Every organization needs collaboration and teamwork to move the cogs of its daily operations, especially when it comes to organizations with a large workforce, numerous technologies and multiple lines of business. In the new world of remote work, this is now more important than ever.
Microsoft Teams is your ultimate hub for teamwork and collaboration, and provides a powerful and capable application at your fingertips. It can help empower everyone in your organization to create content, discuss projects, store data, and make better decisions as a team.
In this blog post, we will discuss how Microsoft Teams is enhanced by AI and how Microsoft Teams helped a company to run a successful virtual event.
Here you will find:
According to the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, nearly 80% of workers were using collaboration tools for work in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019 (a 44% increase since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic).
This shows how much employees value the power of teamwork and having the right solutions to help improve workforce collaboration can help an organization position itself for future success.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool that is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of productivity applications and is accessible via desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. It enables users to work together on projects, share files, manage tasks and co-author documents in real time.
Teams also includes features such as video conferencing to host internal or external meetings and instant messaging, making it a powerful tool for teamwork. This tool makes it easy for employees to stay organized by creating channels for different topics and projects.
In addition, Teams integrates with other Office 365 applications such as OneDrive, SharePoint and Outlook, making it easy to access all your work tools in one place. As a result, Teams can help to boost productivity and collaboration within organizations.
To make your organizational teamwork seamless with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft continues to improve this collaboration tool with artificial intelligence (AL) and machine learning. Read the section below to learn more.
How machine learning & AI enhances Microsoft Teams
There's no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are transforming the way we live and work. By automating repetitive tasks and providing decision-support tools, AI and machine learning are helping us to be more efficient and productive.
Organizations are also beginning to harness these technologies to improve their operations, gain insights into their data, and better serve their customers. This is exactly what Microsoft has in mind when it comes to improving the call and meeting quality on Microsoft Teams.
Here are some of the new upcoming enhancements for Microsoft Teams:
🗣️ Echo cancellation: To help remove any unwanted echo effects during a Teams meeting or call, Microsoft Teams uses AI to recognize the difference between sound from a speaker device and the user’s voice. Based on this distinction, it can eliminate any echoes without suppressing speech or preventing other participants from talking at the same time.
🎤 Audio interruption fix: The need to speak up or clarify a point during a call or meeting is a normal part of human interaction. During such an interruption, it is important for the speaker to still be able to hear others for quality feedback. Based on an AI analysis of 30,000 hours of speech samples, Microsoft Teams can better retain preferred voices while silencing unwanted audio signals resulting in better quality conversations.
💬 Background noise suppression: Whether we work remotely (or at the office), background noise interruptions can happen at any time. To help mitigate this issue, Microsoft announced the release of AI-based noise suppression in 2020 for Microsoft Teams as an optional feature for Windows users. After further optimization of their AI model and aggregation of key user metrics, Microsoft has enabled machine learning-based noise suppression as a default feature for Teams customers using Windows (including Microsoft Teams Rooms), as well as Mac and iOS.
🔊 Audio reverberation fix: Poor room or workspace acoustics can cause the user’s voice to reverberate or bounce (as if they’re speaking within a cave). To help address this issue, Microsoft Teams uses a machine learning model to convert captured audio signal to sound as if users are speaking into a close-range microphone.
💻 Real-time screen optimization: This is important for content presentations via the Share screen option on Teams. To help ensure the highest video quality, Microsoft Teams now uses machine learning to detect and adjust the characteristics of the content presented in real-time, optimizing the legibility of documents or smoothness of video playback.
💡Brightness and focus filters for a richer video view: New AI-powered filters in Teams give you the option to adjust brightness and add a soft focus for your meetings with a simple toggle in your device settings to better accommodate for low-light environments.
⚙️ Video quality optimization: To help avoid low-quality video due to unexpected issues with unanticipated internet issues, AI-driven optimizations in Teams help adjust playback in challenging bandwidth conditions, so presenters can use video and screen sharing worry-free.
Click here to learn more about these improvements from Microsoft Teams.
How can Microsoft Teams help your organization? Read the section below to see how a non-profit organization used Microsoft Teams to solve its event hosting issue.
How Microsoft Teams helped Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC conduct a virtual fundraising event in less than 24 hours
Fundraising is a critical part of the work that occurs at a non-profit organization. This is especially important to the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast British Columbia which provides quality support and services to thousands of vulnerable youth in the community and their families.
This organization runs two crucial fundraising events annually and manages 12 neighborhood Clubs in the lower mainland and Fraser Valley region of metropolitan Vancouver. Due to unforeseen constraints during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC had to cancel a live fundraising event in March 2020. After weighing their options, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC reached out to ProServeIT for help with moving the event to a virtual platform.
The ProServeIT team helped set up Microsoft Teams as the virtual event platform for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC in less than 24 hours. The organization used Teams to host their raffles and auction bids via the chat function on the collaboration tool.
With the security controls available on Teams, the fundraising event was broadcast in a closed environment to preserve the value of the sponsors and ticket purchasers. The feedback received from the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC revealed that the virtual participants clearly enjoyed the event and truly felt as if they were “in the room”
Microsoft Teams is constantly evolving with the help of machine learning and AI. By using these technologies, users can have more confidence in the quality of their conversations and collaboration.
If you are not yet taking advantage of what Microsoft Teams has to offer, we encourage you to discover how it can help your workforce by clicking this link today.