Category: Uncategorised

Outlook and Teams – New Meeting Response

Do you get invited to meetings which you can’t attend due to meeting clashes or a leave of absence, but where you want to know what happens and the decisions taken?


What is being introduced and When?

From late May 2024, Microsoft is introducing a new “Follow” response for meeting invitations.

Screenshot showing the "Follow" button as a valid response
Screenshot of the “Follow” button in a meeting invitation.

What happens?

Using the “Follow” button will let the meeting organiser know that you cannot attend the meeting but that you are interested in the details.

Screenshot showing Follow response in Organisers mailbox
Follow response returned to the meeting organiser

The organiser will be prompted about recording or transcribing the meeting. 

If this is done and the organiser has the Teams Premium license (Microsoft Teams Premium licenses – Office 365 News and Updates ( then a set of AI meeting notes will be delivered in the recap tab of the meeting making it easy for those who are following to catch up after the meeting happens.

Microsoft Teams Premium licenses

The availability of third-party tools for Meeting AI capabilities, such as Meeting Notes, Actions, etc., has been rapidly rising.

Unfortunately, these AI systems are beyond Imperial’s reach or trust at the present time – see Imperial’s AI and Education Guidance Hub pages (  Additionally, licensing such capabilities is expensive and may expose college data to use in the training of future AI models such as ChatGPT, etc.

Staff who wish to use meeting AI can now request a Teams Premium license through ICT.

The Teams Premium license costs £20 + VAT per user per year (or part thereof).

What’s in the Teams Premium license?

Teams Premium licenses deliver intelligent meeting recaps, live translations, and advanced event capabilities.

Meeting AI—If you record or transcribe a meeting, the AI will generate a meeting summary and a list of actions recorded during the meeting.

Live Caption translation—A Teams Premium license allows meeting attendees to choose the language into which the captions they view are translated. There is a list of 40 current languages, with more being added constantly.

Advanced Event experiences—If you are a webinar or Town Hall user, the Teams Premium license will add additional functionality to these event offerings.

You can find out more about these features at Microsoft’s Learn site for Teams Premium (

How do I request a Teams Premium License?

You can order Teams Premium licenses by completing the request form at

Once checked, the cost will be charged to your nominated cost code, and the license will be provisioned against your account.

N.B. Teams Premium can only be provided for users with an A3 or A5 license – please validate your license eligibility by going to the photo profile or initials in your Office 365 pages (, then clicking on view account and choosing the subscriptions element. When viewing your subscriptions, you must check that you have either “Microsoft 365 A5 for faculty” or “Microsoft 365 A3 for faculty” applied to your account.

M365 Updates for March ’24 and beyond!

Microsoft have recently announced a slew of updates and feature changes for Microsoft 365 and Teams.  We’ve distilled down these changes to give you a quick summary of the updates that you’ll be seeing over the coming weeks.


Using your personal account in New Teams


Starting in April 2024 and rolling out gradually, the new Microsoft Teams desktop app on Windows and Mac will let you use any type of Teams account (work, school, or personal).


Meeting Recap


Launching in April 2024, shortly after a meeting ends, a recap message will appear in the meeting chat with links to the meeting recap page and meeting artifacts such as the transcript, the recording, any files shared in the meeting, and the meeting Collaborative notes and Whiteboard (if used).


New Planner App in Teams


The old Tasks by Planner and To Do app within Teams is being replaced during late March and early April. The new app will be called Planner and will bring together tasks from To Do (your personal productivity list), Planner (your groups tasks) and Project (if you have Project), allowing you to see all your work and personal tasks in one space.


Teams Calendar Meeting Notifications


By the end of April 2024, when you receive an invitation or an update to a meeting, a notification will be added tot he notifications area in teams giving real time notifications of new meetings, updates and changes.

If you schedule a new meeting in a Teams channel, then you can now choose to alert all the members and add it to their calendar. This should mean that team members no longer miss out on channel scheduled meetings.


Teams Meetings in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge


If you are using a web browser to join a meeting then from the beginning of March you will be able to view an enhanced gallery of up to 9 videos on the screen instead of the previous 4. You need take no action to see this updated view.


Viva Engage – Create or Reply to a Post using email


The ability to create a new post or reply to an existing post directly using email will be retired from Viva Engage starting on March 31st, 2024.


To Do App on iOS


If you use the To Do app on an iPhone or iPad device, the new version has a minimum iOS version requirement of iOS 15.

Minimum versions for iOS and Android OS ensure security and bug fixes are optimised.


Retirement of MS Publisher – October 2026


In October 2026, Microsoft Publisher will reach its end of life. After that time, it will no longer be included in Microsoft 365 and existing on-premises suites will no longer be supported. Until then, support for Publisher will continue and users can expect the same experience as today.


New App Launcher in Microsoft 365


The new App Launcher experience will be rolling out between April and June 2024.

The new launcher should bring improvements in access to apps and ease of access to recent files too.

Picture showing the changes from the old launcher to the new launcher in Microsoft 365
Old vs New launcher


Retirement of Teams Live Events

In September 2024 Microsoft will turn off Live Events in Microsoft Teams. This will affect any users who have had access to Public facing Live Events.

What Now?

A new feature, called Microsoft Town Halls is being rolled out with greater capabilities than Live Events.

Town Halls feature a “green room” for pre-event preparation and bringing speakers together.

Town Halls also offer the ability to bring multiple speakers into view along with content such as presentations of screen shares or for panel style sessions with multiple speakers (up to 7 in view at any one time) – something that was difficult with Live Events.

Town Halls also offer the ability to send integrated emails for attendees – so no copying and pasting the attendee link into a separate calendar invitation in the future. Emails may also be customised further when the organiser has a Teams Premium license.

Live Events switch-off

Live Events capability will be switched off on the 31 July 2024. Staff who have Public Facing Live Event capabilities will be contacted in the coming weeks to discuss current and anticipated requirements going forwards.

New Town Hall users

ICT will shortly publish a new request form for Town Hall capabilities. Staff who wish to use Town Hall features will need to apply for this capability at least one month in advance of their planned event to ensure time for the College events team to review the request and for capabilities to be enabled, rehearsals held, etc.

Find Out More

You can find out more about Town Halls and the feature set at the following Microsoft pages – Introducing Town Halls in Microsoft Teams and Retiring Microsoft Teams Live Events – Microsoft Community Hub

Updating to the New Teams Application

What’s Happening?

In summer 2023, Microsoft made the new Teams application available for Windows and then Mac OS X systems in preview. As a result of the extensive use and testing and in order to move forwards with new features, Microsoft will be ending the Classic Teams application on Windows and Mac OS from 31 March 2024.

In advance of this enforced change, ICT will be updating the policy for all College users to use the New Teams application.

This change is planned for 27 February 2024 and will install the new Teams application at the next initiation of the application if you haven’t already switched over manually by 27 Feb.

Why the New Teams Application?

The classic Teams application has been in use for almost 6 years and can hog memory and processor resources making it unreliable on lower specification devices. Since the first iteration many new features have been added creating divisions in the application and it’s effectiveness.

The new version consolidates the changes into an improved application which uses much less computer resources, resulting in greater availability for other applications. Improvements in the underlying code also mean that the New Teams app is faster and more responsive.

What About Known Issues?

Microsoft maintain a list of known features for the New Teams application at

The main one that may affect a small number of users is the ability to produce Live Events in the New Teams application. An update is being released to allow this and will be available at the point when we change, or shortly after. For anyone who needs to produce a live event you will be able to switch back tot he old version of Teams to produce your event. Note that presenters will be able to use the New Teams application in a Live Event.

Microsoft Teams Preview

Microsoft Teams Preview is being rolled out for Education tenants.

You can now opt in to get Teams previews by completing the registration form at

This will add you to the group which has the preview policy applied. Once available on our tenant you will be able to switch to Preview mode using the toggle switch on the main title bar in the Teams client for Windows.

Please note that this applies to both Windows and Mac OS clients (as of 01/09/2023).

You can find out more about the Teams Preview by visiting the Microsoft Adoption Pages at this link … New Microsoft Teams (Preview) – Microsoft Adoption

Effective Hybrid Meetings on Teams

While reviewing a Yammer (soon to be Viva Engage) community that I am involved in, I came across the following actions that you can take when hosting or participating in meetings to make them effective Hybrid meetings that work like “charms” …


CHARMS for Remote and Hybrid Meetings
The six CHARMS to making Teams meetings effective


When you join a Teams meeting whether you are joining in person or remotely, use a personal device to join the meeting (ensuring that you are muted if in a meeting room).  This will allow you to then …


  1. Join in small talk

    You can use the chat function on your personal device (laptop, tablet or phone) to directly engage with others in the meeting using the chat function.

  2. Participate via chat or by using the hand raise feature

    Ask questions or post suitable information using the chat, or “raise your hand” and when called upon, provide a verbal update.

  3. Pin a participant

    Not so that you can throw darts at them!  Rather to keep the participant in focus – especially useful in a large meeting.

  4. Recognize who is talking

    Transcription will detect who is speaking – so if you use your device it will correctly attribute your comments in the transcription and live captions to you.

  5. Turn on Live captions

    Live captions provide a brilliant way to keep up with who is saying what in a meeting, and for those with accessibility issues they provide a vital additional means of knowing what is going on.

  6. React using emojis

    Emojis add fun and also provide a great way to show recognition, appreciation and engagement.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – Viva Insights

Have you discovered the free tools available to you in Viva Insights?

What is Viva Insights?

Viva Insights is the new brand name for what was “My analytics” but it’s been built upon and extended to provide much more in the way of resources to help you as an individual to get that work / life balance and to build your mental health.

How do I get Viva Insights?

All staff at College are licensed for Viva Insights and it’s free to use.
Go to Teams and click on the Apps button and search for Viva Insights.  Choose to add Viva Insights by clicking on the Viva Insights app and then choose “Open”. Viva Insights will then open up and you’ll have Home, Wellbeing, Productivity and Teamwork down the left side.

What’s Inside?

The Home page contains an Inspiration Library (click see more and then see all) with pieces focussing on Wellbeing, Culture, Impact and Resilience.
On the Wellbeing page you can set up a “virtual commute”, and set a daily focus plan – giving you that much needed time set aside in your day to focus without meetings or distractions.
Focus time sets your presence to “Do Not Disturb” so you won’t be bothered with calls or notifications from Teams.
The virtual commute can give you a short but useful time to change from work mode to personal mode – something we used to do on our commute home from the office.  You’ll get a chance to review how you are feeling, look at what’s coming up tomorrow (and plan appropriately) and there’s an optional headspace meditation section, to focus on breathing and putting aside work.
The Productivity page shows you your personal meeting habits and the areas that might need focus.  Do you always include an agenda with meeting invitations?  Do you focus in meetings or are you distracted by other things such a email?  Do you join meetings on time?  All the information within the productivity page is personal to you and NOONE else sees that.
The Teamwork page gives you visibility of your interaction with work colleagues.  It shows your network of work relationships and who is moving in and out of your “inner circle”.

Find Out More

Find out more at about Viva Insights on Microsoft’s support page (Viva Insights in Teams and on the web – Microsoft Support) and see how to set up the app on this Microsoft page (Discover and pin the Viva Insights app – Microsoft Support)

Outlook and Teams Updates – November 2022

Following Microsoft Ignite (Microsoft’s annual technical conference), a number of updates for Outlook and Teams have been released.


During the Ask Me Anything (AMA) session held on 8 November 2022 many of these were covered with quick demos.

The session recording can now be viewed here (Imperial users only).


If you want to join future AMA sessions then please register to be added to the invitation by following the instructions in the blog post here.

Office 365 Training – 2022 / 23

Flipped open silhouette of a head with Office 365 app icons


We are delighted to announce the new 2022 / 23 training sessions bookable for the following Office 365 courses.


Getting Started with Office 365

This course covers the basics of Office 365 to help you get started and be confident using One Drive for Business, Office Online and to work with colleagues on shared documents.

Running at 10am on the following dates:

20 October 2022
08 December 2022
12 January 2023
07 March 2023
22 May 2023
03 July 2023

Click here to book.

Collaborating with Microsoft Teams and other O365 Services

Do you want to know how to do more with Microsoft Teams, collaborating with your colleagues, working in a single multifaceted workspace?  Come and find out how to do more with Microsoft Teams and other collaborative services.

Running at 2pm on the following dates:

20 October 2022
08 December 2022
12 January 2023
07 March 2023
22 May 2023
03 July 2023

Click here to book.


Join the OneNote training to find out how you can replace the paper notebooks, search for content and use the “swiss army knife” app that is included in your Office 365 subscription.  In addition to looking at personal Notebooks, the course touches on the use of Class and Staff notebooks for teaching and management purposes.

Spaces are available at 10am on the following dates:

03 November 2022
15 December 2022
16 January 2023
09 March 2023
25 May 2023
04 July 2023

Book a place here.

Power Automate

This introductory course will help you get started with Power Automate – understanding the basics and how to build automation for personal productivity.  Automation can help with saving time and reducing errors by removing the human element from repetitive task processing.  Build it once, reuse the process time and time again in a repeatable method.

Sessions are running at 2pm on the following dates:

03 November 2022
15 December 2022
16 January 2023
09 March 2023
25 May 2023
04 July 2023

Book a place here.

An Introduction to SharePoint

We are developing a new SharePoint course and will announce further details once this is available.


Available on demand most Tuesdays from 2.45pm.

Learn about the new Webinar feature in Teams and attend the training so that you can then request the Webinar feature for your account.

Book a session here.