Curious about the impact of increased meetings on your workday? Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld shares insights and tips on maximizing productivity with Microsoft Teams Premium, and what Teams admins need to know for a seamless integration.
I’m intrigued by Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report, and it got me thinking about our workplace dynamics. Our meeting culture is getting out of hand.
While meetings are important, too many are messing with people’s productivity. Since February 2020, organizations had three times more meetings and calls. This has left 68% of employees without enough focused time. On top of that, employees spend at least 62% of their time searching for information during their workday.
Microsoft Teams Premium could offer better meeting interactions, smarter productivity features, and advanced protection with the help of Microsoft Purview. In this article, I’ll focus on what Teams administrators need to know to roll out Teams Premium smoothly in their organization. Join me!
Table of contents
Enhance engagement: custom meetings, advanced webinars, and virtual appointments
Let’s explore the standout features that give your Teams a power boost. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the functional requirements associated with these features, incorporate them into your Teams governance strategy. Figure out what your end users need. Then, you can configure the requirements within the Teams Administration Portal or with PowerShell.
Here’s the lowdown on the key features:
Customize your meetings
These are the Teams Premium features available to customize your meetings:
- Meeting templates
- Company branding
With Microsoft Teams Premium, you can create custom templates for specific meetings like board or project meetings. Set the right audience for each template; for example, only board members can access the board meeting template. Create a Board Meeting Policy and assign the templates you need.
After selecting the right templates and saving them, assign the policy to the board members. Just select the policy and manually choose the board members right from this menu:
You can also go to the user section, select the users and assign the policy:
Last but not least, you can use PowerShell. Currently, there’s no option to assign a meeting template policy to a group.
With Microsoft Teams Premium, every company can add its own branding to meeting themes. This includes:
- Custom meeting backgrounds
- Meeting waiting room
- Custom Together Mode scenes
Here’s an example of a company branding in a meeting waiting room:
By default, a global policy is in place to apply customizations to all employees. It’s recommended to use it. If your organization has multiple subsidiaries, each with its own brand, but shares a Microsoft 365 tenant, create a policy for each subsidiary using the group policy assignment option.
Custom Together Mode scenes
Together Mode is a great feature for creating more immersive meetings, especially in the education field. Check it out:
Each organization, with the Microsoft Teams Premium license, can create their custom Teams Together Mode scenes. You need a developer to build your scene using the Microsoft Developer Portal. After your developer builds the scene, you can upload it within the meeting template and include it in your global meeting customization policy.
Is your organization using external hardware or software-based encoders? Teams Premium provides the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). You use PowerShell to enable this feature and assign it to a meeting policy.
Now, let’s look at the features available for an enhanced webinar experience:
- Custom emails
- Custom webinar reminder email send times
- Manage what attendees see
- Manually approve registrants
- Enable and manage the waitlist for webinars beyond capacity
- Limit registration start and end times
Administrator controls are only available for RTMP-in and custom email communications. (We touched on RTMP-in earlier – just scroll up a bit!) Enable this feature in the event policy to let event organizers and co-organizers edit their emails.
If you’re comfortable with scripting, here’s the Microsoft documentation for using PowerShell to manage email communications for webinars and town halls.
Advanced virtual appointments
And finally, let’s explore the features for advanced virtual appointments in Teams Premium:
- SMS notifications
- Custom waiting room
- A queue of scheduled and on-demand appointments
This option is enabled by default. You can find it within the Microsoft 365 Administration Center:
Microsoft Bookings admins and schedulers can later choose to turn off or turn on SMS notifications on an as-needed basis in scheduled appointment types and scheduled individual appointments. Just a heads up—before you switch off this feature, make sure to chat about it with your peers.
The Virtual Appointments usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin center gives you an overview of Teams Virtual Appointments activity in your organization. Here’s an example:
You can find more details in the Bookings App and the Microsoft Teams Electronic Health Record (EHR) connector. Make sure to outline roles and responsibilities in your Teams governance strategy, and assign access to the Virtual Appointments Usage Reports only to the employees that need it.
Just a heads up, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Currently, you can’t pick a custom meeting template when setting up a new meeting on Outlook for Mac or Outlook on the web.
- Images won’t show up on mobile.
- Meeting themes won’t work with webinars. You’ll still use the webinar registration page for setting up the branding on meeting registration and emails.
- Meeting themes aren’t currently supported on Safari or Firefox.
Unlock intelligent productivity using AI
Alright, now let’s dive into the key features of Team Premium for smart work:
- AI-generated tasks
- Meeting summary
- Smart transcript
- Translate captions
Make the following features available for your colleagues:
- Enable Cloud Recording in your meeting policies.
- Enable the transcription feature in your meeting policies.
Your Teams governance strategy should include an agreement about the automatic expiration of meetings and the associated timeframe. It’s part of your meeting policies.
Advanced meeting protection to keep meetings confidential
Now, for that extra touch, let me share the key features that add a layer of protection. They’re here to ensure your confidential business conversations and content stay on lockdown.
- Sensitivity labels
- End-to-end encryption
- Manage what attendees see
Don’t forget to weave these features into your Teams governance strategy! The security officer and ISO in your organization are your go-to folks for making it happen and keeping things in check.
Here are the enhanced meeting protection functions that come with Teams Premium beyond the standard Teams offering:
|Manage meeting lobbies
|End-to-end encryption for one-to-one calls
|Moderate meeting chats
|Control who can present
|Add watermarks to meetings
|End-to-end encryption for meetings with up to 50 attendees
|Control who can record
|Prevent copy/paste in meeting chats
|Assign Microsoft Purview Information Protection sensitivity labels for meetings*
|Custom user policy packages
As an admin, it’s key to grasp that Microsoft Teams Premium adds great new features. Get to know them well to maximize their benefits. Your role in your organization’s Teams governance strategy is pivotal. Stay in the loop with the latest features for successful implementation and lasting integration. Share your insights with the Governance Board to guarantee a successful Microsoft Teams Premium rollout in your organization.