Last week, Microsoft held their annual software and development conference, aptly named Build, online for the first time. While this news would normally only interest the techies among us, COVID-19 has forced so many to work remotely that each technology update brings vital improvements to vital solutions such as Microsoft 365 and Teams that better how we work today.
To make sure you don’t miss a thing, we’ve rounded up the latest updates that were announced during Microsoft Build as well as a look to what’s coming soon.
Teams is the all-encompassing tool for collaboration and, with 75 million daily users, a favourite for many during lockdown. Here are its latest updates:
- Customisable templates: you’ll be able to create a team based on a variety of business- or industry-specific templates with pre-defined settings, channels and apps. Admins will be able to create custom templates.
- Chatbots: better integration of chatbots.
- Custom apps & automated workflows: Devs and admins will be able to add custom Power Apps with one click. This means simpler workflows (thanks to Power Automate), and new triggers in Teams will facilitate the creation of custom message extensions, automated @ mentions and message posting in channels. Handy!
- Power BI reports: Power BI reports can now be shared in Teams easily, with additional controls to help recipients see important data.
- Virtual appointments: Schedule, manage and conduct virtual appointments with Bookings for Microsoft Teams so that you can continue holding appointments in lieu of social distancing.
- Broadcast events: Working remotely has brought new challenges to events, presentations, interviews, with many having to be cancelled. The new Network Device Interface support and Skype TX interoperability for Teams makes all kinds of events possible.
- New Shifts capabilities: The Shifts app now has increased functionality and better integration with existing systems. The key additions are Graph APIs, Power Automate actions, plus new triggers/templates.
Outlook is used all around the world; from email to calendar, it allows people to keep on top of their workday. But we know you know how important it is so here are some key updates:
- Type even faster with text predictions via advanced AI within Outlook on the web
- Yammer: Yammer conversations, polls, questions and praise can now be viewed without leaving Outlook for Windows, Mac or mobile.
The smart information tracking app for Microsoft 365 enables you to easily track data and information. It is being integrated with Microsoft Teams and is easy to use, with custom options to keep you busy so watch this space!
Microsoft Fluid Framework is a system that enhances user experience by creating seamless collaboration, representing a huge change to make remote working more flexible and focused. The key announcements are:
- Fluid workspaces in Outlook and Microsoft 365: The first integration with Microsoft 365 will affect Outlook and Office.com, enabling collaboration on dynamic content. Insert tables, charts and tasks lists into Outlook and manage fluid workspaces in Office.com with a fast and fluid framework.
- Fluid Framework now open source: Listen up devs! Microsoft acknowledges that Fluid Framework will only realise its full potential with your help. So it is becoming open source, inviting developers to help enhance the technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing people in all industries to swiftly adjust to a new way of working. The features and enhancements announced for Microsoft 365 are another step in helping keep everyone connected and productive. Microsoft's suite of products could help revolutionise the way your business operates, so if you haven't already, consider how you could bring it in to evolve for the future in a changed world.