Setting up an online meeting is not as simple as it may seem. In this article we go over some basic steps to making sure you are ready for your next virtual meeting. We also go over some tips and tricks when using Microsoft Teams. Teams is one option that many Windows and Microsoft users prefer. Since the pandemic many brands and types of virtual meeting software have come out of their digital hibernation and have suggested that they are the best of the best. Narrowing down the right one for you can be tricky. We at Skycomp can help you through that process and then get into how to get things working for you and your team.
Selecting which brand of video conferencing or call software is not easy to narrow down. Usually your needs can easily sway that decision. The main thing that you want to look at before your choice is do you have an office full of Windows computers, and do you have an Office 365 Subscription? Answering these two questions will tell you exactly what you need. If you answered yes to both, you most likely already have Office 365 accounts for all of your team. This means teams is basically already set for you. You just need to confirm with your IT provider what level of subscription you have to confirm the details and limitations of your Teams meetings. If you are on a Macintosh or don't have Office 365, most likely another provider like Skype, or Zoom might be a better fit for your team.
The Next Steps:
So you've decided the direction your going. Now you need to know if the systems in your office have video calling capabilities. Your in luck, most laptops and desktop systems come with a standard video card and audio card. Most Laptops have a webcam built in and an internal microphone. So you are on your way to having successful video calls. Desktops have another set of things you might have to purchase. Some desktop monitors come with webcams built into the monitor. Ususally that have a little microphone to. If quality is something of interest to you, Definitaly looking at a external webcam and microphone as an option. Be warned that Webcams and external cameras are tough to come by in the pandemic. Since everyone switched to working from home, most webcams have sold out. In the next few sections of the article, we will go over some tests you can do to figure out if you system will work with a video call software. (And make you look like you know what your doing)
Say goodbye to crappy video quality and not understanding where the mute button is!
First you want to make sure your computer has a webcam and a built in microphone. Most computers do have these capabilities, but it is always good to check. This is an important step that lots of people overlooked when the transition happened to virtual everything… We suggest running through these simple steps to prepare for the future! An easy way to find out is to just search in the bottom left hand side of your screen for “webcam” usually a camera app will come up, you can click to open it and test out your built in webcam! To access audio settings, you will see a little speaker icon usually in the bottom right of the taskbar. Right click it and select “Open sound settings” this will take you to a menu where you can select what audio devices your computer uses by default. This is very helpful to check before going into a virtual meeting so you can confirm everyone will be able to hear you!
Many different virtual meeting programs have different ways to navigate scheduling and calling menus. Not everyone uses the same software. If you freelance or clients of yours only have certain software, it is very helpful to know how to setup a meeting on everything. You can watch the video at the top of the page as “Solving Technology” takes you through one application Microsoft Teams. Not to say that other software is not as good as Teams. But most companies now have integrated Office 365 into here IT solutions. So, if you fit into this category these next sections will open your eyes to some new features if teams you might not have known about.
With a simple way to add guests and jump into a scheduled meeting via an email Teams is a very fast way to get virtual meetings rolling. All you have to do is open your calendar with Outlook and right at the top left of the screen has a button to schedule a Teams meeting. Then you just punch in the information like you would for a normal meeting. I know, easy right?
Teams default settings has a certain box that is unchecked. It is kind of frustrating for users that this box by default is unchecked because most other virtual meeting programs have this feature built in. The reason to check the box in your profile settings makes it so when you join a call or start a meeting you it opens in a new window. Allowing the chat function to still work during the call. This is helpful in an IT office and many other types of businesses. If you are in a meeting for example and another staff member has an urgent question, they can send you a chat via Teams and it will pop up in a separate window and not interrupt your virtual meeting. Another great example of how helpful this setting is when you are late for a scheduled meeting and without running down the hall or over to the next cubical you can just send a quick personal reminder to a co-worker to join the meeting while you remain in the meeting window with the rest of the staff.
Finding the box can be tricky for some users, located in not the most obvious of places. Its within your profile settings. All you need to do is go to your picture in the top right of the Teams window. Select the settings gear and there you will find a checkbox that is currently unchecked that says, “Turn on new meeting experience (new meetings and calls will open in separate windows. Requires restarting Teams.)” Simply click the check box and restart your Teams application. This will make virtual meetings a breeze and help working from home and chatting with other staff from home very user friendly.
Microsoft Teams you can call and schedule meetings with people within and outside of your company. You might notice when you send out scheduled meetings you do not see a dial in number or ways for people find a conference code. This feature is an extra add on for Office 365 and can be purchased for an additional monthly fee.
Skycomp offers Office 365 solutions and support. If you would like to find out how to get setup with Microsoft Office 365 in your company reach out to us on our contact page.
The team at Skycomp are constantly always looking for ways to improve the user experience and make technology straight forward and easy to work with. We created a video tutorial on this subject where you can watch Serge our CEO talk you through the process from start to finish. You can watch that video at the top of this page.
Since the pandemic started Teams has been a great resource for keep companies together. If your company is struggling to communicate and you have the option. Skycomp highly recommends getting a subscription and keeping everyone in the loop.