Teams Five Years

Microsoft Teams is five years old – what have I done in these last five years?


Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by GrahamWalsh

Blink and it’s already five years old.  Like a growing child, times flies when you are having fun.  Microsoft Teams was announced in November 2016 at Future Decoded in London.  I remember being there and hearing all about it.  Obviously, I had to try it. At the time I was working for Pexip, and we did video interoperability for Skype for Business. We were in the process of being certified for video interop with Skype for Business On-Premises. This alone was major news and exciting times.

Let fast forward to March 14th, 2017, during the Enterprise Connect keynote, I was sitting in the audience and up pops Pexip as a new Cloud Video Interoperability (CVI) provider for Microsoft Teams, along with Poly(com) and BlueJeans. This was the start of a new journey for everyone. Microsoft Teams was the next gen Skype for Business platform, but cloud only, no on-premises servers.

This led to some major architecture changes to how video was transcoded from the Skype for Business days.  After spending 2.5 years working with CVI, it was time for a change, and I joined Crestron Electronics to focus on the Microsoft Teams Rooms devices. Again, great fun taking the recently launched Flex systems to market. Crestron thought of the devices from the ground up for integration to other audio-visual components in the room. Even with a pandemic, it was such a busy time with many organisations looking for native Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions.

After just over two years with Crestron, it was time for a change of gears and focus on simplified Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions and this time with Neat and Android based devices. Neat, announced Microsoft Teams integration back in June 2021 at a hybrid work event that Microsoft held and was keeping a close eye on this new start-up from 2019, which was exclusively Zoom appliances. The first week of joining Neat, there was a public build available to be installed on devices to test out native Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android on the Neat devices.  Not sure if it was a coincidence of me joining Neat or the engineers are super smart and had Microsoft Teams working in good time.

Anyway, after a few months of testing with TAP customers from Microsoft, the Microsoft Labs testing and validating the hardware performance of video and audio, we can now say that we almost fully Microsoft Teams certified.

With this initial certification, Neat Bar, Neat Pad (for controlling the Neat Bar or Teams Panel for room scheduling) and the newest Teams devices category, Teams Board, we have the Neat Board.  All in stock and available now!! Wave two device certification will be Neat Bar Pro for larger rooms and Neat Frame for personal or hot desking areas, running Teams Display software.

What else has happened in five years? Well, my children went from six to eleven for my eldest and four to nine for my youngest.  I got engaged to Nicola and soon to be married in August this year.  I was awarded Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services and we had this odd thing called Covid.  Who says life is boring?

Here are some photos five years apart.

This HDMI Adapter was a giveaway on the Microsoft booth at Enterprise Connect 2017 celebrating Skype Room Systems/Teams Rooms that they don’t need cables as you can use what we know today as Teams Casting.

Here’s the to the next five years 🥳

Also published on Medium.

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