Ignite has come and gone for 2018, and this year did not disappoint. Microsoft Teams has been front and centre, lots of announcements and a wide array of brand new Teams native endpoints including Bluetooth devices, phones, and the next generation of Skype Room Systems (name change perhaps?).

Below you’ll find a summary of key announcements/news to share, stay tuned over the next few weeks to get more detailed reviews:


Surface Hub 2

Whilst we were already aware of the estimated shipping date of Surface Hub 2, what was a surprise was that while the hardware will be released in Q2 of 2019, many of the new software features will require a hardware and software update set to launch in 2020. If you want a Hub next year, you’ll be getting it with Surface Hub 1 software for now.


Yealink unveiled their full portfolio of Teams certified devices this week, showing off a native Teams desk phones, a Teams conference phone and their Skype Room Systems.


Learn more here.


Known as Flex, this was probably the most rounded solution on display. Crestron unveiled their Teams native Teams phones and Skype Room Systems. Their phone offering is simply an “OEMd” Yealink T58A, however one thing they have that Yealink don’t is manageability from the Crestron XiO Cloud. More on that in a full post next week. Biggest benefit I see with Crestron solution is we can now finally use a touch panel on the table that does not require cabling back to a PC NUC, and isn’t a Surface Pro: it simply patches into a standard PoE port and communicates with the codec over the network. Yes!


Learn more here.

Microsoft Teams

So much to cover here! here’s a very brief summary that I’ll expand on over the next few weeks. Favourites highlighted:

  • Yammer tab coming to Teams
  • Metadata detail in Teams files
  • Sync documents from Teams files tab, work offline
  • OneDrive files on demand now available for Mac
  • Microsoft Search unifying across all office 365 with power of Microsoft Graph
  • Now have share screen from chat, no need to start a meeting for one to one screen share!
  • Mobile content collaboration from mobile improvements
  • Background blur now available worldwide!
  • Meeting recording now available worldwide
  • Drive mode for Teams meetings
  • Polycom RealConnect interop now available for Teams meetings (Pexip/Bluejeans next month)
  • Teams Live Event now available in preview
  • “Certified for Teams” program. Check out office.com/teamsdevices
  • Certified devices will get a Teams dedicated button. One click to bring teams app to focus, long pres for Cortana, flash when missed a call
  • Microsoft aims Teams at Frontline workers, will retire StaffHub
    • Manager and employee views
    • Can clock in/out/take breaks from mobile
    • Message other workers on the clock
    • Swap shifts easily
    • Teams/Flow interop
    • Will allow for customisation of Teams for use in different industries
  • View and manage Teams from Teams & Skype Admin Portal
  • Will be able to create teams with dynamic membership groups
  • New Teams admin roles
  • Teams will support DLP for chat and channel messages (demo was impressive)
  • Teams chats now in retention policies
  • Calls button now always visible in Teams, regardless of whether or not PSTN connectivity is configured/available
  • Shared Line Appearance and Delegate control from Teams not far away.
  • Device Management will be added to Tams and Skype Admin Portal
    • Get usage stats
    • Push updates
    • Read release notes
  • What’s coming in the future?
    • “Intelligent Light”. Instant talk, always on lightweight, asynchronous voice communication
    • Role-based calls, attendant calls, outbound customer calls (proactive outbound dialling)

Stay tuned for a more detailed rundown over the next few weeks!


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