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BWW Media Group / Microsoft shows its Teams spirit as customers work from home

Microsoft shows its Teams spirit as customers work from home

It’s appropriate that this week’s Microsoft Inspire — virtualized along with the rest of the company’s conferences in light of COVID-19 — should itself focus on beefing up corporate users’ tools for remote collaboration.

At the center of the action is Microsoft Teams, Redmond’s remote-collaboration platform.

At Inspire, Microsoft announced enhancements to Teams’ Power Platform to simplify creating, deploying and managing apps within Teams (such as the new Microsoft Lists). Perhaps even more compelling to enterprise users, Teams will now support Power BI dashboards, allowing participants to access business intelligence collaboratively within the Teams environment.

And just a week ago, Microsoft rolled out contextual search within Teams chats — a feature the company announced at May’s Microsoft Build developers conference.

Attention, marketers: Teams is on the move again, and your clients’ remote workforces will be eager to take full advantage of its features.

Even before the pandemic, most readers said they were either on Teams or preparing to adopt it. And since then, Microsoft has been tireless in convincing these IT pros that the integration, security and feature set of its collaborative platform makes it a better choice than third-party competitors, especially Zoom.

These new capabilities represent a second wave of enhancement to Teams. In mid-March, Microsoft announced a slew of new features in honor of the platform’s third birthday. It also announced that it had added 12 million new Teams users in the first week of domestic social distancing, and it was extending support for teams of 10,000 members, up from the previous limit of 5,000.

In April, Microsoft boasted a 70% month-over-month jump in the number of daily users, from 44 million to 75 million. That includes a lot of professionals doing mission-critical work on Teams.

New features like Power BI integration means new corporate workflows — and the potential for a great deal of new business for ISVs.