Last week in Orlando Florida, Microsoft hosted their annual conference – Ignite 2019. At this event, Microsoft introduced a “broad range of new tools and services to help companies and individuals put their data to work for them, help their employees build expertise quickly, and take advantage of key Azure tools no matter what cloud provider they’re using,” And once again, Microsoft didn’t disappoint.
We’ve selected and summarized the top 7 Ignite announcements that we believe are the most relevant and advantageous to you.
New Features in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a huge asset for Convverge and our clients when it comes to collaboration, so we’re always excited when new features are released. The following is available now or will be released shortly:
- Outlook integration to allow users to move and share emails in the chat is coming soon.
- “Private channels” have been another highly requested feature in Teams, and it’s now coming to the chat platform.
- A new tasks pane is coming to give users a central customizable view for personal and assigned tasks. In addition, later this year, you’ll also be able to start pinning channels within the app, open the app on separate windows that is meant to work for documents, chats, meetings, and calls side-by-side.
- Integrating Yammer into the Teams platform to quickly access events, conversations, and communities from Yammer. Microsoft Teams will be getting surveys and polls features, and much more.
Microsoft 365: Project Cortex
Project Cortex is a new solution designed to create a knowledge database (Knowledge Network) of an organization, Microsoft explains. The solution uses machine learning to analyze the documents and contacts across the organization as well as of outside patterns, and then the information becomes available in Office apps, such as in Outlook and Teams.
During the Ignite 2019 conference, Microsoft has also announced that it’s bringing Cortana to Outlook for Android and iOS, and with it, the company is introducing a new masculine voice for Cortana. Further:
- There’s a new “Play My Emails” feature which will allow the digital assistant to read emails and calendar events aloud.
- Also, there’s a new “Briefing” feature that creates a digestible brief of your calendar in your inbox, and the “Scheduler” is a new feature to quickly add events and meetings to your calendar.
- But more importantly, Microsoft launched a few new focused Cortana-based experiences that show how the company is focusing on its voice assistant as a tool for productivity. In Outlook on iOS (with Android coming later), Cortana can now read you a summary of what’s in your inbox — and you can have a chat with it to flag emails, delete them or dictate answers. Cortana can now also send you a daily summary of your calendar appointments, important emails that need answers and suggest focus time for you to get actual work done that’s not email.
Microsoft Flow: Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft is renaming Microsoft Flow, their cloud workflow app platform, to Power Automate. Along with this, Microsoft announced new robotic process automation features called UI flows, which allow organizations to automate repetitive tasks and work with legacy applications that don’t support automation via APIs.
As part of Office announcements, Microsoft announced they’re continuing mainstream support for OneNote 2016 until October 2025, which aligns with mainstream support for Office 2019. They’re retracting the decision to discontinue the desktop version of OneNote. Starting in March 2020, the Office installer will install the 2016 version of OneNote by default.
Office Mobile App
Microsoft also unveiled a new Office app for Android and iOS designed to make the installation of Office apps onto mobile devices a lot easier. Office mobile app lets you create, edit, view and share files. It also includes the complete Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to offer a conducive and convenient office experience, while you’re on the go. With the Office Lens feature, you’ll be able to scan tables and text with your mobile device to create files.
Insider Risk Management in Microsoft 365
Security products aim to make Azure and Microsoft 365 the safest spaces in the cloud. Insider Risk Management can help you and your organization to promptly identify and remediate insider threats and risks, while maintaining a principled approach to privacy. It was also designed for privacy, so display names for unsafe users can be anonymized by default to maintain confidentiality and prevent conflicts of interest.
This is currently only available in private preview.
For those who are interested in all of the announcements revealed at Microsoft Ignite, you can find them in Microsoft’s Book of News.
If you have any questions regarding these announcements and how they can benefit your organization, call us for a free consultation. At Convverge, we help companies achieve greater profitability and growth by leveraging Microsoft technologies that bring people and information together to make better decisions, faster.