What do the premium features of Microsoft Teams do to improve the virtual meeting experience for businesses?
Over the last three years, the number of hours that the average business spends in meetings per week has more than doubled. This has mainly been due to the fact that many more businesses are operating either remotely, or with a hybrid work model in place. This massive increase in meeting hours highlights a need for a more efficient meeting experience – and Microsoft Teams Premium can offer this to businesses.
What is Microsoft Teams Premium & How Is It Different?
Most people in business will be familiar with Microsoft Teams by now. It has been around since 2017, but it really took off in terms of popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams is described by Microsoft as a collaboration platform, and it’s primary functions revolve around communication – video meetings, instant messaging, and cloud telephony. Video meetings are by far the most widely used feature in Teams, and this is most likely why Microsoft decided to develop Microsoft Teams Premium. According to one company we spoke with that has been providing Office 365 consulting for over 12 years, Microsoft Teams Premium is different to the standard version of the application because showcases a range of AI-powered capabilities.
Microsoft invested a great deal in the non-profit AI project, OpenAI; and from that investment, they have incorporated this technology into Microsoft Teams, in order to provide a better and more personalised meeting experience for business customers. So, what sort of features are there?
Natural Language Processing
The first thing to look at is how Microsoft have built natural language processing into the Teams meeting experience. This is in aide of making it easier to generate accompanying material for meetings. Some examples of how this comes into play in a Teams meeting are as follows:
- Intelligent recaps – this feature is used to generate meeting notes through voice recognition and natural language processing.
- AI-generated chapters – this feature uses AI to automatically divide a meeting recording into sections that viewers can parse through.
- Timeline markets – this intelligent feature marks the timestamps meeting recording that denote when you joined and left a meeting, allowing you to listen and/or see what you missed.
- AI-generated tasks – inline with the intelligent recaps, Teams Premium is also able to auto-generate tasks based on what was discussed in a meeting.
These are just a few of the different AI-powered meeting features that are included in Teams. But what other features are included in this premium plan?
With businesses becoming increasingly reliant on the virtual meeting experience to interact with partners and customers alike, it is valuable to be able to create a more personalised experience that represents your brand. For example, a company we spoke with that provides IT support for Construction companies claimed that a number of their clients whose virtual meeting usage had increased since the pandemic were looking for ways to integrate their branding into meetings. This is a sentiment that has been shared by many organisations around the world, and is why Microsoft decided to bring personalisation feature for the Teams meeting experience in the Premium package. Some of these features include:
- Branded Meetings – This feature enables businesses to add their company logo and colours to a meeting. This is great for customer facing meetings where a business wants to convey an air of professionalism.
- Backgrounds & Together Mode Scenes – Two key features in the Teams meeting experience is the ability to add backgrounds to one’s video feed, and the ability to set a background scene for the Together mode (a mode that superimposes video feeds into a collective scene). With Teams Premium, businesses can create and set customer backgrounds and scenes.
- Meeting Templates – According to a Microsoft 365 consultant we spoke to, most businesses adopt Microsoft 365 as a means to streamline everyday processes. One of the ways that Teams Premium contributes to this is with Meeting Templates that businesses can create, so that when they need to schedule meetings, they don’t need to configure all the settings every time.