Microsoft is continuing on its efforts to digitally empower the Firstline Workers, debuting a number of new features for Microsoft Teams. The new features are focused on mobile experience so that users can effectively communicate and collaborate on the go.
Today, there are over two billion Firstline Workers who build a relationship between people and the company, and its products and services. Working in first line outside the cubicle, these workers play roles oriented to a service or task across every industry, including retail, travel, hospitality, and manufacturing.
The first new feature in Microsoft Teams is a customizable mobile experience that comes with tools for effective communication and collaboration on the go. These mobile-only tools enable several features like location sharing, smart camera, and ability to record and share audio messages.
“Workers need different capabilities depending on their role. While some might need access to private chats, calendars, and calls, others may only need access to teams and channels,” wrote Emma Williams, Corporate Vice President of Modern Workplace Verticals, in a blog post.
“IT administrators can now give each employee role-based access to the primary Teams features they need. This capability can be used for employees in any role, with the option for IT to create a custom policy or use the newly available Firstline Worker configuration policy template.”
Second, Microsoft is also developing a set of new APIs that will allow enterprises to add their existing workforce management systems into Microsoft Teams. The first API in the set is the Graph API for Shifts that will enable integration between Shifts and enterprise scheduling systems. This API will be very useful for managers and employees to access workforce management right from Teams.
Last, there is a new Praise tool that will encourage managers and employees to recognize coworkers and acknowledge their work. There will be options for praises, like Achiever, Awesome, Team Player, Creative, Kind Heart, and more. Since the acknowledgements will be done in the Teams app, the whole team will be able to see it.
Microsoft is continuously improving the Teams collaboration app to make it accessible to everyone. Before the Microsoft Inspire event last year, it had announced the free version of Microsoft Teams that comes with support for up to 300 people. The free version, available in 40 languages, allows unlimited chat messages and search, and features audio and video calling.
The new customizable mobile experience is already available now, the Graph API for Shifts will be in public preview this quarter, whereas the new Praise tool will roll out this quarter.