Microsoft Teams Panels wants to make your meetings easier when you're back in the office

Microsoft announces general availability of Teams Panels, which helps with booking meeting rooms.

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Teams Panels for helping staff book meet rooms – when we finally return to the office.     

Last October, Microsoft said "Teams Panels" devices were coming from Creston, Yealink, and other partners. The software giant has now said the first of these are generally available. The devices can be mounted outside a physical meeting space and help manage reservations, availability status, and booking nearby rooms. 

"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 says

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Teams Panels allows employees to book an available room on the spot or find another time slot and reserve it right from the panel. 

Microsoft highlights that Teams Panels devices work with multiple devices they're paired with, such as Microsoft Teams Rooms or Surface Hub devices.

"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," Microsoft says. 

Microsoft will soon also release four new features to support users who need to be physically present in meetings. These include: 

  • 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.