Microsoft Teams gets new Advanced Communications capabilities

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Microsoft has just announced some new Advanced Communication Capabilities for Microsoft Teams. The new capabilities cover a wide range, all of which are designed to help companies take their communications “to the next level.”

The first set of these capabilities include the ability to scale Teams meetings to up to 20,000 participants. This will allow businesses to reach larger audiences during interactive meetings. However, they’ve also limited the size of interactive meetings to 1,000 participants, with a new shift to a “view only” mode after the limit is met.  Also included is a branded meeting lobby, and the ability to set up a compliance recording policy.

Microsoft says these new capabilities will be enabled with a new Advanced Communications Plan for Teams, that can be added to any Microsoft 365 or Office 365 paid subscription. A 60-day free trial is also available via the Teams Admin Center or the Microsoft Teams Website in mid-August. Licenses come in at $12 per user per month.

In addition, Microsoft detailed that they will extend support for Skype for Business (3PIP) phones beyond 2023, so businesses can continue to use these devices as they move to Teams. The company also plans on supporting core calling features on SIP phones from Cisco, Yealink, Polycom, and others with Teams. Support for SIP phones will be available in the first half of 2021.

Wrapping up the list of announcements is the introduction of a new line of Microsoft Teams phones with physical buttons, high-quality audio, and core calling features at affordable prices. These phones will come from AudioCodes, Poly, Yealink starting early 2021. Microsoft is also planning on introducing new USB peripherals and Teams phones that have dial pads and a “modern Teams user interface.”