Recap – Modern Work news from Microsoft Ignite 2022
Last week’s Microsoft Ignite brought together tens of thousands of people from all over the world to explore the latest innovations, learn from product experts and partners, level up their skillsets, and create connections. Following is a summary of key Modern Work announcements from the event.
Reintroducing Microsoft 365
Across multiple sessions at Ignite, we reintroduced Microsoft 365 as the single, integrated cloud-first platform for all the ways people work today. This reintroduction shifts the positioning of Microsoft 365 as a bundle of solutions, to a complete and integrated experience connected through the Microsoft Graph. Reinforcing this shift, we also announced the new “Microsoft 365 app,” which showcases the value of Microsoft 365, all in one place. It not only makes it simple to get started, but it also harnesses the intelligence generated from within the Microsoft 365 solution in a way that makes work easier. And the integrated value of Microsoft 365 can help organizations save more than 60 percent compared to competitive solutions.
In addition to features from the Office app, the new Microsoft 365 app will provide innovative new features to enhance the experience, including:
- Feed, a new way to keep up with work by showcasing shared files from the people users work with and trending content in a bite-sized card format.
- Apps module, a redesigned interface to access any Microsoft 365 app and related third-party apps. The apps module is also now available on mobile for the first time.
- Tagging, a new, intuitive way for users to organize their work independent of where files are stored.
The Microsoft 365 app will begin rolling out starting next month.
Learn more with the following resources:
- Blog post
- Partner Advisory communication
- Forrester Consulting study, Total Economic Impact of Microsoft 365 E3
- Do More with Less
Microsoft Teams Announcements
Introducing Microsoft Teams Premium
The new Microsoft Teams Premium add-on will be available in preview in December. Built on the familiar, all-in-one Teams collaboration experience, Teams Premium will make every meeting – from one-on-ones and virtual appointments to town halls and webinars – more personalized, intelligent and secure. Learn more about Teams Premium.
Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile now generally available
Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile, previously known as Operator Connect Mobile, is an enterprise-grade mobile calling experience offered in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative telecom operators. It is now generally available. With Teams Phone Mobile, Microsoft Teams is integrated with a user’s mobile device native dialer, meaning that people can use their mobile phones the way they are accustomed to while the organization can enable business calling features and policies on these mobile devices. Learn more about Teams Phone Mobile.
Mesh avatars in Microsoft Teams in private preview
Mesh avatars are now available for Microsoft Teams meetings in private preview. Mesh avatars will offer flexibility and choice in how users show up in a Teams meeting with a customized, animated version of themselves without turning on their camera. Using the Avatars app in the Microsoft Teams App Store, users will be able to design up to three unique avatars using the hundreds of customization options – from physical attributes to accessories and more. Learn more about Mesh avatars in Teams.
New Teams Meetings features
Several new features for Microsoft Teams Meetings increase the engagement and interactivity levels for users and include:
- Cameo, a PowerPoint experience that seamlessly integrates the Teams camera feed into the PowerPoint Live presentation.
- Excel Live, which allows teams to collaboratively edit Excel workbooks in real time, within the meeting window, on any device, including Android and iOS phones and tablets. This feature will be rolling out starting in October and will be generally available by the end of the year.
- Together mode makes meeting participants feel more like they’re together in the same room during a virtual meeting. Now, meeting organizers and presenters will be able to assign seats to meeting participants in the Together mode view (in preview) and select Together mode for everyone, so all meeting participants will have the same view (now generally available).
Cisco is now a Teams Rooms Certified Devices partner
For the first time, Microsoft Teams Meetings will be available natively across certified Cisco meeting devices, enabling customers to configure Teams as the default meeting experience. Initially, six of Cisco’s most popular meeting devices and three peripherals will be certified for Teams meetings, with more to come. All certified Cisco devices will be manageable in the new Teams Rooms Pro Management Portal. Learn more about Cisco and Teams.
New Teams channel and chat features
Microsoft is improving the design of the Teams channels experience to feel both familiar and modern. The channels experience will be more intuitive and engaging, enabling users to easily focus on topics and conversations that matter most, while staying in the flow of their work. New chat features coming to Microsoft Teams include:
- Short, lightweight, rich video clips that deliver a more personal touch and strengthen connections.
- Expanded reactions enable users to express feedback more creatively with more than 800 Teams emojis. They will be generally available in November.
- Suggested replies, currently available for one-on-one chats, will also appear in group chats.
- With mention @everyone for group chats, a single notification will be sent to all users in a group, removing the hassle of entering each person’s name one by one to notify an entire group.
New Teams collaborative apps from customers and partners
Top independent software vendor (ISV) partners continue to build collaborative apps for Teams. Recent additions to the Microsoft Teams App Store include:
- 3M, whose Post-It App in Teams allows users to digitize handwritten notes. The app supports the ways people like to collaborate – from typed digital notes to written analog notes – during and following a meeting to enable asynchronous collaboration.
- SAP is leveraging Adaptive Card-based Microsoft Loop components to enable a collaborative ERP experience. Users can interact on key business processes and objects and engage on SAP data securely from within the SAP systems, starting with SAP S/4 HANA Cloud or from Teams and Outlook.
- iHeartRadio, the first music app on Teams, allows users to listen to music while working and share favorite stations with colleagues.
Other ISV partners delivering innovation for their Teams apps include Workday, Workplace by Meta, Zendesk, SurveyMonkey, Thrive Global, ServiceNow, Priority Matrix, and Zoho.
Updates to Teams platform for developers
- Now in preview, Teams Live Share SDK will allow developers to turn any app, when shared in a Teams meeting, into a real-time, multi-user collaborative experience.
- Extension of Teams apps to Outlook and Office. Using the Teams 2.0 JS SDK, announced at Microsoft Build 2022, developers can now build production apps that extend Teams Pages and Message Extensions across Teams, Outlook, and Office using a single app and deployment model.
- Teams Toolkit in Visual Studio. Microsoft Teams Toolkit is now a part of Visual Studio, Microsoft’s flagship Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Developers can now use Visual Studio to build rich, collaborative apps that work in Teams and can also extend Teams app experiences into Outlook and Office.com.
Introducing Microsoft Places
Microsoft Places is a new workplace app to optimize spaces for hybrid work. As business decision makers consider redesigning physical workspaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments, technology will be needed to form the bridge across two historically different worlds – in-person and remote work. Microsoft Places will use intelligence to optimize where work happens in hybrid work: connecting virtual and physical spaces to drive increased connections, engagement, and productivity while providing the holistic picture of hybrid work that’s missing today. Learn more about Microsoft Places.
Microsoft Viva announcements
New features in Microsoft Viva Insights help employees, managers, and leaders improve personal, team, and organizational productivity and well-being. The updates, now generally available, include meeting effectiveness surveys, access to schedule send suggestions, the new Focus mode experience, and Quiet Time settings.
Several new features, now in private preview in Microsoft Viva Learning, include learning paths, learning collections, and permissions. Viva Learning is also now more discoverable with the ability to view assigned learning directly from the Viva Connections dashboard and in the daily Viva email. New features in the Viva Learning mobile app include a new home page, notifications for assigned and recommended training, the ability to complete learning courses within the app, and the ability to search and filter through catalogs of connected learning providers.
New integrations in Viva Goals bring goals into the flow of work. These include an enhanced Microsoft Teams app to check in and collaborate on objectives and key results (OKRs) within the Teams activity feed, an extension in Azure DevOps to complete work items, a connection to Power BI datasets to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and key results, and integrations with Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project for automatic project management updates. In addition, new third-party integrations for Microsoft Viva Goals bring purpose and OKRs into the flow of work. New Slack and Google Sheets integrations are available today with additional integrations for Jira on-premises coming soon.
Viva Pulse is a new app that empowers managers and team leads to seek regular and confidential feedback about their team’s experience, right in the flow of work in Teams. Using smart templates, research-backed questions, and analytics, Viva Pulse enables teams to use their voice to help managers pinpoint what’s working well and where to focus.
Viva Amplify is a new app that empowers employee communication teams and leaders to elevate their message and energize their people. The app centralizes communication processes in a single space and offers writing guidance to help messages from every part of the organization – leaders, corporate communications, and human resources (HR) – resonate with employees.
Microsoft Viva Topics applies intelligence to automatically organize content across systems and identify experts within the organization to deliver just-in-time knowledge in the apps people use every day. New features in Viva Topics, now in preview, and new ways to discover knowledge in Microsoft 365 include:
- Context IQ to enable people to surface information intelligently and quickly from inside their organization while authoring Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
- Microsoft Syntex Connectors to integrate Viva Topics with third-party services like ServiceNow and EdCast.
- The ability to surface Viva Topics cards in the Outlook app for Windows, and in the Viva Connections dashboard, making it easier for people to access and follow their Viva Topics.
- Topic creators will see the growing impact of the topics they have created through badge icons with numbers of views.
Microsoft 365 announcements
Introducing Microsoft Syntex
Microsoft is unveiling Microsoft Syntex, a new set of content apps and services that use artificial intelligence (AI) to index and organize large quantities of unstructured content so it can be easily searched and analyzed. Syntex can also automate content-based workflows, such as contract processing and e-signature. It integrates Microsoft Search capabilities to make it easy for people to navigate and discover content. Learn more about Microsoft Syntex.
Microsoft Loop app
The Microsoft Loop app, in private preview, will help teams to think, plan, and create together. It features workspaces, pages, and components that sync across Microsoft 365. Customers can use the Loop app to work on projects collaboratively. Microsoft will be working with customers in private preview to incorporate their feedback as it continues developing the app. Microsoft is expanding Loop components to additional places across Microsoft 365 and is bringing more component types to ensure users can create and work together. Learn more about Microsoft Loop.
Windows 365 updates
Windows 365 keeps growing! New products and updates include:
- Windows 365 Government, a new offering for Government Community Cloud and Government Community Cloud High organizations, is now generally available. It enables US government contractors – and the local, state, and federal customers they support – to securely stream their Windows apps, data, content, and settings from the Microsoft Cloud to any device, at any time.
- The Windows 365 app, now in preview, will provide a direct path to Windows 365 from the taskbar or Start menu with a personal, customized experience that can be tailored to each user.
- Citrix HDX Plus for Windows 365, now in preview, helps IT teams deliver support for a broader range of endpoint devices and peripherals, advanced security and policy controls, and a better experience in low-bandwidth environments.
Windows Update for Business reports
Update Compliance provides detailed deployment monitoring for Windows client features and quality updates. Update Compliance is migrating the reports to Azure Workbooks to make them more modular and customizable. The new solution, Windows Update for Business reports, aligns with the Windows Update for Business brand to make it clear the reports are for Windows updates and servicing. This change will be available in November. Learn more about Windows Update for Business reports.
Test Base for Microsoft 365 – new preview features
Test Base is a cloud-based intelligent testing solution developed with the goal of helping organizations modernize the way they validate their apps against Windows releases. Based on feedback, Microsoft is adding new features, such as in-place upgrade support and Microsoft 365 Apps testing, to help make app testing even easier and expand the apps against which they can be tested. Learn more about Test Base.
Organizational messages in preview
Employees often get information from IT through email, Microsoft Teams, and other communication channels. Important communications do not always get read, leading Microsoft to develop another way to get information to employees. Organizational messages will provide a new communication channel for IT to connect with employees directly through Windows surfaces, including above the taskbar, in the Notifications center, and in the Get Started app. This feature will be in preview in November. Learn more about organizational messages.
New management features in Universal Print
Universal Print, Microsoft’s secure cloud printing solution, is making two new additions to help make print management easier. Available in preview by the first week of November, delegated admin lets IT teams in branch offices manage the printers at just their locations. Also, to help admins diagnose printer problems, the printer’s jobs page will be enhanced by adding information, such as the name and size of the item, time taken at each step, and error code for failed jobs, with links to the corresponding help pages. This feature will be generally available by the end of October. Learn more about Universal Print.