Microsoft Ignite Virtual 2020: SharePoint and Microsoft Teams

This year’s Microsoft Ignite 2020 has been full of excitement and energy with announcements for SharePoint and Microsoft 365 that are not only exciting and amazing but are raising the bar even higher by integrating AI to produce better results and an overall, smarter system. From new purchasable add-ons, like Project Cortex and products stemming from it, including the first available product, Project Syntex, leveraging AI to targeted accurate, prioritized, and relevant content for your audience, especially those working in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is becoming more robust as global enterprises, from small businesses to global giants, embrace virtual and remote business as the pandemic has changed the face of how business interactions occur. With greater demand, comes higher expectations from users. Microsoft 365 and SharePoint are stable platforms, proven over decades of use, dynamic growth, and enhancements shaped by the users themselves.

Without any surprise, Microsoft Teams has received more attention, making it that much more welcomed in the virtual business world.

Teams – What We Can Look Forward To

SharePoint Home Sites in Teams: the new home site app brings into Teams directly, an organization’s intranet and the powerful SharePoint Home site. Available later this year, the app name and the organization’s branding icon can be pinned to the app bar.

Teams Templates: get started with Teams quicker with Teams templates that are industry-specific, representing common business scenarios. Customized templates can also be created by Administrators to reveal relevant apps, standardize team structures, and scale best practices.

Info Pane, Pinned Posts, and New Conversation Button in Channels:  the channel info pain is visually organized while being easily accessible It provides information such as a summary of active members, important pinned posts by members, and other relevant channel information. There is a new intuitive conversation button in channels that makes it easier to start a conversation as opposed to simply replying to existing ones.

Share News Across Teams: news articles will be able to be shared directly to your audience’s team, inboxes, or community directly from SharePoint.

New Search Results Experience: Finding people, messages, answers, and files will be faster and more intuitive in Teams as it will be powered by Microsoft Search.

Microsoft Lists Apps for iOS (Preview): Available offline and in dark mode, Microsoft Lists mobile app not only allows you access to your lists but also the lists others share with you. Microsoft Lists Apps for iOS provides on the go features for users including the ability to create new lists, share lists with other members, and edit list items.

Microsoft Lists – Offline Mode: In offline mode, Microsoft Lists allows users to instantly view, sort, filter, group, edit, adjust items, and add items.

New Together Mode Scenes: Virtual meetings take on a whole new feeling with the New Together Mode Scenes. Bring your team into a setting that sets the mood and the tone, whether it be a coffee shop, auditorium, or a conference room.

Custom Layouts: Presenters will be able to customize layouts for a dynamic presentation and viewing experience for participants in a meeting.

Meeting Recap: Not everyone is able to attend meetings, and not every bit of information can be retained after a meeting. Hence, the Meeting Recap. With the Meeting Recap, the meeting recording, chat, shared files, transcript, and more will be shared automatically at the end of a meeting. These shared files can be found by choosing the meeting Chat tab with viewability in the Details tab. Meeting Recaps will enable teams to keep moving forwards their goals after a meeting for participants and those who were unable to attend.

Webinar Registration and Reporting: Managing attendee attendance is simple with event registration with automated emails. This feature simplifies event participant management, especially for webinars or any structured meeting. It also provides to the organizer, a detailed, viewable reporting dashboard, assisting the organizer to understand attendee engagement.

New Calling Experience & Collaborative Calling: The calling experience is simplified and streamlined with a single view that displays contact, call history, and voicemail. With a single click, returning or initiating a call is effortless. An upcoming feature, collaborative calling, will allow a call queue to be connected to a channel in Teams by customers.

25K Member Teams: In the Teams tenant, there is no set limit for the number of people. However, Team membership is currently capped at 5,000 members and this will be increased to 25,000 members per individual team later this year.  

Approvals in Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is becoming the central station for collaboration, and as such, approval flows will be able to start from a Teams channel conversation, chat, or the Approvals app. With the Approvals in Microsoft Teams, users will be to manage, create, share, and act on approvals directly from Teams.

Wellbeing Features and Productivity Insights: the goal of the new Wellbeing Features and Productivity Insights is to encourage remote staff to stay healthy through self-care and keeping to routines as if going into the office. By adding structure to the workday, such virtual commutes, it prepares the body and the mind for work. Incorporating Headspace, users can follow a guided meditation to unwind at the end of the day. Powered by MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics, these features focus entirely on the wellbeing of an organization’s remote staff. The first phase begins in October with the second phase available in the first half of 2021.

Meetings Extensibility with Apps in Meetings: Integration of developer apps into Teams meetings will help to create scenarios that provide better meeting context, such as roles, permissions, and rosters.

With SharePoint, Microsoft 365, and AI powering Teams, this app’s potential has just grown exponentially and the potential of what it can do is limitless. Collaborating with Team members, whether on-site, off-site, or virtually, is a breeze. Seamless and smooth, Teams will continue to grow as it becomes the central station of collaboration.

  • Monday, September 28, 2020 By : Mike Maadarani   

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