Many business have decided to move away from the traditional way of working in offices and switch to permanent remote working. But a handful of businesses will be adopting hybrid work, so will require technology to support this. Microsoft 365 are releasing new features designed for the hybrid world and to transform employee experience.
Easily connect and collaborate across businesses
Remote working has amplified the usage of technology, and now more than ever businesses are hosting virtual events to move forward with social and business events. The new features will make it easier to collaborate across multiple businesses and event sizes.
Microsoft Teams has been a staple for many businesses to keep lines of communications open between workforces and clients. The latest features will now allow you to organise and host interactive webinars for up to 1,000 attendees. Both people outside and inside your business will be able to attend.
If webinars exceed over 1,000, Teams will automatically scale to accommodate a 10,000 view-only broadcast.
The new end-to-end experience will include:
- Custom registration
- Rich presentation options
- Host controls
- Post-event reporting
A new integration is also set to be released which will combine Teams events with attendee management experiences from Microsoft Dynamics 365. Marketeers will be able to manage attendee information with the integration and nature leads before, during and after the event.
Microsoft Teams Connect
Microsoft have also announced ‘Teams Connect’, a place where workforces can create shared channels with internal and external people. The shared channel will view with an individual’s primary Microsoft Teams tenant, with their other teams and channels – this will make it easier for users to access it in their workflow.
The shared workplace will allow users to use Teams collaboration capabilities such as chat, meet, collaboration on apps and co-author documents in real-time. Admins will be able to use their granular controls to external user access to data and information.
This new release is available now in private view, but it will be broadly available later in the year.
Improved meeting and presentations for a work-from-anywhere world
Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams
The new experiences in Teams will aid speakers in hosting more impactful and dynamic presentations. On a normal basis, presenters will share their screens which limits participants to interact. But with Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams, you will be able to host more engaging presentations.
While presenters will be able to lead their meetings in a single view, with notes, slides and meeting chats, participants will be able to modify their experience by navigating the content at their own pace. PowerPoint live is now available in Teams.
This feature will allow presenters to personalise how their video feed will appear to the audience.
Standout – This will show the speaker’s video feed in front of the shared content
Reporter – This view will show content as a visual aid above the speaker’s shoulder (like a news segment)
Side by side – This will show the presenter’s video feed with their content whilst they present.
Dynamic view will automatically arrange the elements of meetings for a seamless viewing experience. Teams will begin to adjust the layout based on when participants join, turn on their video, speak or present in a meeting.
Meeting experiences for the hybrid workplace
Meeting rooms were previously intended to enable in-room collaboration. But due to hybrid working, experiences need to be adjusted to accommodate remote and in-office workers.
New gallery views
Microsoft Teams Rooms will have new gallery views including together more and a large gallery view to maintain easy viewing of participants. Even if your meeting room has one screen or two, meeting content will still be viewable along with remote workers, and at the same time.
Teams Intelligent speakers
The new products are intelligently designed to recognise and differentiate between voices of up to 10 people talking in a Microsoft Teams Room. Attendees will be able to know who in the room said what which is ideal for remote workers or post-meeting follow up.
Dell Video conferencing monitor for Teams
Two new video conference monitors are being added to Microsoft’s portfolio which specifically integrate well with Teams – Dell video conference monitor and the Poly 21. Both monitors are designed with critical conference features like a microphone, speaker and camera. It also comes with light right into the monitor to allow employees to link their PC through a USB to get started on collaboration.
The new Cam 130 by Aver is also being released to allow optimal quality camera experience in video meetings.
Teams will support end-to-end encryption for one-one-one Microsoft Teams calls, it will also come with a second option for sensitive online conversations. IT teams will have visibility on who can use end-to-end encryption and this feature will be available later in the year.
Employee experience for hybrid working
In our last Microsoft edition, we spoke about Microsoft’s announcement of Microsoft Viva – a new employee experience platform which was created to empower people and workforces. In this edition, we’re announcing some new features within Viva.
This module is designed to give users a hub of where they can access company news, conversations and various other resources. With that said, desktop experience for Viva Connections is now available for customer with an existing SharePoint license.
Viva Insights is now in preview and gives individuals, managers and leaders insights to help workforces thrive. The virtual commute experience will also start rolling out as part of the Viva Insights app to better control workdays. And the new Home tab will also be available next month. This will allow users to manage pending tasks, send praises to colleagues and schedule breaks during the workday, all within Teams.
Viva learning is a central hub for content libraries which includes LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learning and content from third-party providers, it’s also where your users will find your businesses custom content. This app will be available to preview in April and expected to be generally available later in the year.
Zero Trust Security
Zero trust security compromise two main elements, an integrated, end-to-end approach and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. The two elements combined combat security from all angles and at scale in the cloud which includes compliance, identity and management for enhanced protection.
AI will work to analyse 8 trillion threat signals on a daily basis to give your business greater visibility and identify what might be missed. New features include:
Microsoft Information protection
People will be able to collaborate on protected documents together with Microsoft Information protection. It also has built-in and intelligent extensible protection for documents and emails across 365 apps.
Threat Analytics in Microsoft 365 Defender
Threat analytics is in preview and provides reports from expert Microsoft security researchers to help you recognise, prevent and combat active threats within Microsoft 365 defender.
People can now have a seamless and secure sign-in experience where passwords no longer need to be used to sign in and access data. Microsoft Azure Active Directory supports sign in’s with biometrics or Windows Hello for Business and the Microsoft Authenticator app.
You can easily customise policies for users, groups and types of credentials, and you can use the new reporting tools to track progress. Temporary Access Pass is now in preview and time-limited codes can now be set up or password credentials can be recovered.
Microsoft Cloud Print
Microsoft’s new cloud print solution, Universal Print, is now generally available. It offers simple and secure printing within zero-trust environments. This will allow workers with work-place joined Windows devices to detect printers dependant on their location and print without the need to install additional software. Later in the year, users will also be able to print documents from OneDrive for Business web experience from any device, and any browser.
Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo
Multi-Geo addresses any global data residency needs and lets customers provision and store data in the geographical locations they’ve specified. Multi-Geo will be included in Teams later this year to allow businesses to specify where their Teams data is stored.