In the face of economic uncertainties and changing work patterns, SMEs are on the hunt for ways to get the most out of their IT investments and reenergize their employees to achieve business results. Now, more than ever, solutions are needed that can adapt to change, boost productivity, and cut costs. Luckily, modern AI-powered tools have the potential to make a real difference, shaking up how we work at the individual, team, and organizational levels. This potential is quickly becoming a reality, and Microsoft is leading the charge. They’re working hard to bring AI-powered capabilities to their consumer and enterprise products, including the awesome Microsoft Teams platform.


Last year, Microsoft Teams rolled out a whopping 400 new features and improvements to keep its users delighted. They’re not stopping there. Teams has even more exciting stuff in store to deepen connections and foster collaboration. But here’s the kicker: some customers want Teams to step up its game and offer advanced meeting capabilities to ramp up productivity and save some bucks on software. You see, many organizations shell out big bucks for meeting solutions and expensive add-ons like webinars, virtual appointments, and meeting intelligence. It’s a real money drain. But hold on tight because Teams Premium has got your back. For a small subscription per user per month, you can unlock all these fancy meeting features and more. It’s a steal of a deal that lets you do more without breaking the bank.


With the pandemic leading to a staggering 252% increase in weekly meeting time, it became crucial to work smarter, not harder. The volume of work and information to sift through has skyrocketed, especially when it comes to meetings. We’re talking about heaps of time-consuming administrative tasks like note-taking, deciphering key takeaways, and capturing action items with their respective owners. As such, Teams is incorporating AI into the meeting experience and revolutionizing productivity in exciting new ways. With the intelligent recap feature in Teams Premium, you’ll have access to automatically generated meeting notes, suggested tasks, and personalized highlights. This means you can effortlessly obtain the most important information, even if you weren’t able to attend the meeting in person. It’s all about working smarter and making sure you’re always in the loop.


Say goodbye to spending hours reviewing lengthy meeting recordings. Thanks to intelligent recap, you can now save valuable time. AI comes to the rescue by automatically dividing the meeting into convenient chapters, allowing you to effortlessly select the content that matters most to you. This feature is already available for PowerPoint Live meeting recordings. But that’s not all! Intelligent recap will also generate meeting chapters based on the transcript, ensuring that you never miss a beat. So you can sit back and relax and let AI simplify your meeting review process.


Meeting highlights will now be taken to the next level by including speaker timeline markers. These markers provide valuable insights into who spoke during the meeting and exactly when they did so. With a simple click, you can easily jump to those specific moments in the meeting. What’s more, these timeline markers are intelligently organized based on your closest collaborators, ensuring that you never miss any feedback or important input from your manager or key team members. Stay engaged and in sync with the help of these intelligent speaker timeline markers during your meetings.


Just as meetings aren’t a “one size fits all” affair, Teams policies are often tailored to specific user groups or departments. For instance, your legal department may have more lenient meeting and messaging policies, such as collaborating with external users, compared to outside agency contractors. Managing individual policies for meetings, messaging, and apps can be a daunting task. However, with the newly introduced custom user policy packages, IT administrators can now save time by creating customized bundles of policies for users with similar roles in the organization. This streamlined approach simplifies policy management, ensures consistency, and provides a time-saving solution for handling policy assignments across different user groups in your organization.


Windows 11 users can also access the preview version of Designer within Microsoft Teams. This innovative app, reminiscent of Canva, empowers Teams users to effortlessly create captivating designs for presentations, posters, digital postcards, and various other visual content to be shared across social media platforms and other communication channels. Designer operates by accepting text prompts or uploaded images and harnesses the power of DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s cutting-edge text-to-image artificial intelligence. This integration enables Designer to generate imaginative designs tailored to your specifications. With intuitive drop-down menus and text boxes, users can further personalize and customize their creations, ensuring a truly unique and engaging visual experience.


While I’m aware of the AI sceptics out there, I do believe that artificial intelligence and automation in business are key to efficiency, productivity and to stand out from the crowd. I have over 20 years of experience in providing professional IT support and cybersecurity for London-based SMEs. I have seen their pain, their challenges and their successes. And the latter is what I wish for you. Let’s get together and take your business to the next level through automation. Contact me today and begin your journey into a new world of technology.

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