Microsoft Ignite Virtual 2020: SharePoint Announcements

This year, for the first time, Microsoft Ignite 2020 came together on a virtual stage. Despite not being in person, we all had an excellent time learning, experiencing, interacting, and having fun with other attendees whether we were new to each other or we were reconnecting with familiar faces. As always, Microsoft Ignite is filled with tons of new, innovative, and exciting announcements. This year’s MS Ignite 2020 did not disappoint!

SharePoint touches on so many facets within Microsoft 365, and the number of announcements to new features and products is astounding. Breaking this down into three categories, we have the following:


SharePoint is the foundation for user collaboration within and without an organization, and is super dynamic, always changing to suit user needs but more importantly, paving new roads for others to follow. Let’s start here with SharePoint’s announcements:

SharePoint Syntex: combines AI and machine teaching by augmenting human expertise, automating the processing of content, and transforming this content into knowledge. Learn more in my article SharePoint Syntex.

Project Nucleus: working offline will now be possible with Project Nucleus. How you ask? You can learn more in my article Project Nucleus.

SharePoint App Bar: the SharePoint App Bar will not only be customizable in bringing relevant information to the user, but a consistent experience will be provided to every site in an organization’s intranet. One cannot help but wonder if this is a step towards the solution for the global hub site navigation menu.

Meeting Recordings & Stream Powered by SharePoint: Microsoft Teams Meetings recordings and Microsoft Stream are currently being modernized for the new innovative SharePoint storage, allowing staff to easily access their recordings after a meeting in OneDrive. Learn more in my article Microsoft Stream.

Boost News in SharePoint: with news boosts in SharePoint, important news and announcements can be prioritized to appear at the top of the Microsoft 365 news feed. The length of time of the appearance of the news and announcements can be controlled in three ways – on a set timed schedule, until the content is viewed by an employee, or the content is viewed by the employee and when the pre-determined number of views is met, the announcement or news is replaced by the next prioritized item.

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

Built-in SharePoint Templates: SharePoint templates have been readily available, but now, templates can easily be selected and customized from within SharePoint. These built-in SharePoint Templates can be applied to any existing SharePoint site.

Communication Insights: analytics is the name of the game in understanding user engagement. Powered by AI, SharePoint analytics will provide information to help your company understand the user engagement across Microsoft 365 along with the reach and impacts automatically from analyzing user dwell time on content to heatmap views of user interaction. These insights can be combined with Live Events, Questions and Answers, and Yammer for a more detailed analysis of user engagement and impacts.

SharePoint Admin Centre Improvements: one of the improvements in the SharePoint Admin Centre are the settings for OneDrive. Managing OneDrive has just become that much easier! Other great improvements including updating of the admin centre homepage, actional insights, more options for migration, and improvements to site visibility.

Automatic Expiration of External Access: rolling out in September 2020, automatic expiration of external access becomes generally available. An expiration, like 30 days, can now be set for any external access in your organization, and the countdown begins once the external guest user is invited to a file or the site. Upon expiration of the access pass, access is automatically revoked.

External Sharing Policies with Microsoft Information Protection Sensitivity Labels: external sharing policies can be associated with sensitivity labels, making it that much more powerful to secure external collaboration.

Governance Insights for Files in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams: centric insights for your company’s top sites with the most sensitive documents and share sites can now be accessed. These insights provide you the ability to validate access policy settings to ensure the security policies are proficient and/or to take actions to tweak them in the SharePoint Admin Centre.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policy for Blocking Anyone Links for Sensitive Content: already available to the general public, this new DLP policy rule blocks anyone with the link option for sensitive content. Using anyone with the link, administrators can configure the DLP rule to take action to block access and sharing of the sensitive content.

Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP): endpoint DLP provides protection and avoids the leakage of sensitive content for all endpoints on all Windows devices.

Unified Session Sign-Out: in the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre, the administrator can sign out a user instantly from all their sessions on all devices, whether they are managed or unmanaged. Unified Session Sign-Out is powered by continuous access evaluation.

Information Barriers for OneDrive and SharePoint: To avoid conflicts of interest, communication, and collaboration information barriers can be put in place between certain sets of users in the organization.


Add to OneDrive: When a folder is shared with you from either OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, or SharePoint, a shortcut to that shared folder can now be created from either the Shared with me or from your shared libraries, all in your OneDrive so it can be easily found later.

Mobile App Improvements: OneDrive home for Surface Duo, iOS, and Android has be updated.

Move and Keep Sharing: Reaching out to a broader group of collaborators can easily be achieved by relocating the file from an individual OneDrive site to a shared library in SharePoint.

Offline Edit Support for Office Docs in OneDrive for iOS:  Office documents that have been marked for Offline use on the iOS OneDrive mobile app will be editable offline by simply tapping Open in Word or tapping Edit. Editing will begin where you left off when you were online. Once back online, editing takes place where you left off offline.

Sync Admin Reports: Sync Admin Reports will provide admins the ability to monitor health and sync adoption by having access to machine syn insights, on a pay per use basis. Admins will be able to check sync app versions of individual devices and check sync status.

Known Folder Move Improvements: Update include the following:

– new policy to exclude specific file extensions or file names

– selective sync removed as a blocker

– Admins can choose specific folders to move to OneDrive. These folders include Documents, Desktop, and Pictures

Microsoft Teams in SharePoint

There we many new announcements for Microsoft Teams including SharePoint Home Sites in Teams, Teams Templates, Info Pan, Pinned Posts, Conversation Button in Channels, Search powered by Microsoft Search, and so many more exciting additions, enhancements, and features. Catch them all in my article SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Search

The greatest engine created, designed, and implemented now powers search across all Microsoft 365 applications. Read more in my articles Microsoft Search – The Questions and Microsoft Search – The Answers.

As you can imagine, the excitement and the virtual buzz during Microsoft Ignite Virtual 2020 as it is packed with many new additions, features, and enhancements that touch SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Stream, and Project Cortex and many more Microsoft apps.

  • Sunday, September 27, 2020 By : Mike Maadarani    0 comment