In the new Hybrid Workplace, providing the right digital tools to connect and support employees wherever they are is essential. It supports productivity, engagement, safety, and collaboration. As companies begin to reopen their offices, and conference rooms and meeting spaces become busy again, optimizing how they are utilized will be key to everyone’s success.
Microsoft Teams Panels were announced last October at Ignite 2020 as a new category of devices. They provide a space and time management solution powered by a native Teams experience, running on a compact digital display that can be mounted virtually anywhere. Today, we’re pleased to announce that they’re now generally available.
Supporting the Hybrid Workplace with the right devices in the right places
With Teams Panels, employees can book an available room on the spot or find another time slot and reserve it right from the panel. With vibrant, color-coded LED indicators, it’s easy to determine space availability from a distance. And, the intuitive and easy-to-read UI presents space and meeting information, so you can confirm you’re in the right place at the right time.
A popular feature available now is the ad hoc meeting scheduler. Let’s say you and a colleague need to jump on a quick client call. Simply go to the Teams Panel outside a meeting space. If the time slot is not booked, it will appear green. Just tap the screen to instantly book it and the room is yours for the time selected. Teams Panels use the Exchange calendar for the booking of the room, so users can have insight in the meeting space free or busy status at any time.
Teams Panels work with a range of devices
When paired with Microsoft Teams Rooms or Surface Hub devices, users can take advantage of connected device experiences, like booking an ad-hoc Teams meeting on the Panel and joining the same ad-hoc meeting on a Teams Rooms or Surface Hub device.
And while the best end-to-end experience is pairing a Teams panel with another Teams device or Teams Room configuration, you can add a panel outside of any meeting space, allowing users to schedule any room through Outlook or right from the panel itself. All Teams Panels can be centrally provisioned, updated, and monitored from Microsoft Teams Admin Center.
In the coming months, four powerful new features will roll out:
Room Capacity Warning leverages select in-room cameras to detect when the maximum people allowed per room is reached.
Nearby Rooms lets employees view the building floor plan and book another room when a space is unavailable.
Room Check-in Notification sends a message to the in-room display that people in the next meeting are waiting outside.
Remove Unused Scheduled Room identifies and allows for the removal of ‘ghost’ meetings to free up unused meeting space time slots.
Teams Panels are currently available from our partner Crestron and Yealink will release theirs in April, with additional partners to be announced later in the year. Our certified hardware partners deliver optimized touch screen experiences with LED indicators and multiple mounting options, as well as additional sensors that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Teams.
When an organization licenses Microsoft Teams Room Standard or Microsoft Teams Room Premium, no additional licenses are required for Microsoft Teams Panels. Teams Panel devices are currently sold separately by Crestron and Microsoft.