Microsoft Ups Capabilities For Teams To Empower Workforce

Determined to mop the floor with Slack and other business-based chat services, Microsoft continues to invest in Teams.

At the moment, the software giant is building up Teams features for “first-line workers” -- or those who typically work on their feet and interact directly with customers in retail, hospitality, travel, and other such industries.

“We’re expanding Teams with new capabilities to digitally empower the first-line workforce,” Emma Williams, corporate vice president, Modern Workplace Verticals at Microsoft, notes in a new blog post.

That includes mobile-only features like location sharing and a Graph API for the service’s Shifts scheduling tool -- which provides integration between Teams and workforce management systems.

It also includes a new Praise feature, which is designed to help managers and employees recognize their coworkers directly within the Teams environment.

First-line employees represent a huge opportunity for growth. Indeed, Williams that there are roughly 2 billion such workers, worldwide. Yet, far too many of these workers rely on unsecure consumer apps to communicate with their colleagues and supervisors.

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Williams and her team hope to change that with the launch of a mobile Teams experience, which she promises is more secure than the average chat app.

“It’s simple, familiar and secure, with several new mobile-only features that have particular relevance for first-line workers, including location sharing and smart camera, as well as the ability to record and share audio messages,” according to Williams.

To the chagrin of Slack and other rivals, Microsoft Teams is gaining traction across the business community.

In, fact, the service’s market share grew from 3% in 2016 to 21% in 2018, according to Spiceworks.
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