Enterprise Connect: Microsoft Reveals Video and Voice Updates

Sandra Radlovački

GM of Microsoft Teams shares new exciting additions

Microsoft Channel News
Enterprise Connect: Microsoft Reveals Video and Voice Updates

At this year’s Enterprise Connect, Microsoft presented a number of updates related to meetings and voice services.

Before delving into the new features and updates on meetings and calls, Nicole Herskowitz, General Manager of Microsoft Teams, briefly talked about hybrid work and the challenges it comes with. For companies to thrive in the future, both remote and in-person teams need to have an equal footing when it comes to communication and collaboration.

Herskowitz mentioned three major areas that require a digital transformation in the hybrid world:

  1. 1:1 meetings and calls
  2. Group meetings
  3. Events

“Hybrid meetings are a cornerstone for building a thriving work culture. They need to be inclusive for both in-person and remote attendees.”

Video Updates

Earlier this year, MS Teams added new features like the front row, a refreshed microsoft whiteboard, and redesigned Teams experience on Surface hub.

Herskowitz introduced a new category of intelligent cameras with three unique technologies:

  • AI-powered speaker-tracking – In-room cameras use audio, facial movements, and gestures to detect who is speaking and then zoom in for a closer frame
  • Multiple video streams support – This feature allows users in the room to be shown in their own video feed
  • People recognition – Identifies and displays the names of enrolled users on the gallery view and meeting roster.

Rolling out as updates over the course of next year, these features will be made available to OEMs such as Jabra, Neat, Poly, and Yealink in the coming months.

Voice and Phone Updates

On the Teams Phone front, an integration of PSTN and voice calling will allow for spontaneous internal communication. According to Herskowitz, there are nearly 80 million monthly active Teams Phone users and over 180 countries relying on Teams Phone to stay connected.

The highlight of this batch of updates is the new PSTN deployment option Operator Connect, which will be generally available this week.

Operator Connect will have more than a dozen operating partners, covering 50 markets. With Operator Connect, admins can easily choose operator partners, assign numbers to users, and set up policies for their respective organisation.

Besides Operator Connect, more locations have been added to MS Teams Calling Plans, bringing the total coverage to 33 markets.

Other phone updates include:

  • Support for sophisticated calling scenarios – The addition of voice calling to channels will allow call cues to be added to Teams channels where users chat, share documents and generally collaborate. Calls can be routed to that channel, allowing members of the team to answer them as they appear
  • Call transferring between devices – Teams users can now transfer in-progress calls by simply tapping on “move the call” from within the Teams app on the device they want to receive the call transfer
  • One-to-one call transcription – Users will be able to record and capture transcription of one-to-one calls by the end of this year
  • Spam identification – Now generally available, this feature allows users to quickly decline spam calls. Teams will digitally attest outgoing calls to prevent them from being rejected by external recipients
  • SIP gateway solution – Feature to be generally available in November. The solution will bring calling functionality, such as hold-and-resume, transfers and the ability to dial in and out of meetings, to third-party SIP phones from Cisco, Poly, Yealink, and AudioCodes. It can easily be managed from the Teams admin centre.




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