Microsoft Teams news from Ignite 2020

This year’s Microsoft Ignite has been a different kind of event having been adapted to be a 100% free online event. There have been lots of announcements across the Microsoft portfolio of services/software with sessions and keynotes available for later watching.

I just wanted to highlight some of the new functionality I’ve seen announced for Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Ignite Meetings

Some of the new meeting functionality shown has been in preview for a while, but one of the key takeaways was that Breakout rooms are rolling out in October to allow meetings to be divided up into smaller groups

Illustration of breakout rooms in a Microsoft Teams meeting

A new feature I hadn’t seen mentioned before is custom layouts, this will allow a presenters video to be transposed over a slide they are presenting. Previously I’d only seen this able to be done with production software but it looks to build on the background blur technology previously released

Illustration of presenter video over laying powerpoint presentation

Another great feature that has been demonstrated is the ability when presenting PowerPoint slides in Teams that you can see the presenter view, no more having to share your screen to be able to see it should mean an even better experience.

PowerPoint presenter view in Teams client

An important announcement was made about meeting recordings, these will in the future be stored in SharePoint/Onedrive, this will allow recordings to be easily accessed but controlled using existing technologies.

Accessing meeting recordings from OneDrive


A new calling experience has been shown off, it simplifies the calling app so that you no longer have to click around to see call history or bring up the dial pad, the most commonly used features are now on the same page/screen. What is interesting to see is the ability to control call forwarding rather than having to dig around the Teams settings section.

The new Calling app within Microsoft Teams

It will soon be possible to transfer a call (1:1, group calls & meetings) between your desktop and mobile clients, this is great for the times you may need to start a call before back at a PC for move involved collaboration

Detailing transferring of calls between desktop and mobile clients

New reporting capabilities will be arriving for Auto-Attendants and Call Queues, although initially it will be exposed via Power BI. Another interesting AA feature announced is the ability to delegate people to be able to re-record greetings, this is great as it allows the task of changing messages (like offer of the week/day messages) to be done by users without requiring a Teams RBAC assignment.

Auto-Attendant and Call Queue announcements

An interesting announcement is the ability for a call queue to be sent straight into a channel within a Team, with agents (if enabled) being able to log in/out and see the status of the other agents. This is great as it allows membership of the queue to be controlled by the people managing the Team, rather than having an administrator manage the call queue directly or using group membership.

Illustrating a Call Queue call being routed through to a Teams Channel

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