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Enabling collaboration, communication, & knowledge sharing with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Project Cortex, and more – Key Take Aways from Microsoft Ignite

Jeff Teper delivered a session on “Enabling collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Project Cortex, and more” on Day 2 of the ongoing Microsoft Ignite 2020.

The session started with an acknowledgment of the role played by Microsoft partners and communities in helping organizations get through the turbulent times of the Pandemic. The Pandemic caused a rapid “race to the cloud” and this led to an overwhelming rise in the demand for Microsoft 365. During these unprecedented times, Microsoft 365 has grown to over a quarter-million users while Teams witnessed over 75 million daily active users and SharePoint grew ten-fold in the last four years.

But as the Pandemic evolves, businesses now need to make the transition from remote everything to a new hybrid model of work. The workplace of the future would neither be home nor office, but a fluid experience spanning across both. And Microsoft is committed to bringing a broader set of features to Microsoft 365 helping organizations transition to the new way of work.

Microsoft 365 has been helping organizations strengthen collaboration with Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and Microsoft Lists. It has been ensuring employee engagement and communication through SharePoint, Microsoft Stream, and Yammer. And connecting people to relevant knowledge and expertise through Microsoft Search and Project Cortex. All these tools are delivering integrated experience and platform enabling teams to stay productive.

During, the next part of the session, Jeff made an array of new announcements on behalf of Microsoft. These new capabilities will empower organizations to collaborate, communicate, and share knowledge better.

Announcements around Collaboration

  • Microsoft Teams Templates: Allows users to choose from common business scenarios, such as event management or crisis response, and industry-specific templates, such as a hospital ward or bank branch. Each template comes with pre-defined channels, apps, and guidance. Also allows users to create custom templates for their specific organization, enabling you to standardize team structures, reveal relevant apps, and apply best practices.
  • Microsoft Teams Info Pane: Provides an at-a-glance summary of active members, important posts that team members have pinned, and other relevant information in each channel. Info pane is a great addition for new members and would help them get up to speed or keeping current members in the know.
  • New search experience in Microsoft Teams: Powered by Microsoft Search, this feature would be available by late 2020. It helps users find messages, people, answers, and files faster. This redesigned search feature uses AI to sort the relevance of results based on how you work and whom you work with most in Microsoft Teams and across other Microsoft 365 services.
  • Add Folder to OneDrive: Add any shared folder in Microsoft 365 to your OneDrive so that you spend less time looking for files and more time collaborating.
  • New Microsoft Lists app for iOS: Brings mobile access to the lists you own and the lists others share with you. Users can create new lists, edit list items, and easily share lists with other people. This new app for iOS supports offline and Dark Mode.
  • Offline mode for Microsoft Lists: View and edit your lists, regardless of whether you are online or offline. With this offline mode, you can instantly sort, filter, group, add and adjust items to improve your productivity all around.

Announcements around Employee Engagement and Communications

  • News boost in SharePoint: Prioritize important news and announcements to appear at the top of feeds and other locations within Microsoft 365, such as your SharePoint home and web parts, auto news digest emails, the new tab page in Microsoft Edge, and more locations. You can boost the visibility of a news item for a certain time until an employee has viewed your content, or until an employee has seen the item in his or her feed a certain number of times.
  • Share news in email, Microsoft Teams, or Yammer: Now you can share a news item directly to your employee’s team, community, or inboxes.
  • Priority Announcements: Admins can increase the visibility of important Yammer announcements by sending notifications to the inboxes of all community members.
  • Delegate Posting: Enables designated users to communicate key company messages and announcements to the organization on leadership’s behalf.
  • Featured Conversations: Improve the visibility and engagement to news and campaigns and add emphasis by setting a conversation as featured in All Company or any other community.
  • Home Site App for Microsoft Teams: Brings the power of the SharePoint-based intranet home site directly into Microsoft Teams seamlessly. The home site app gives your users global navigation across sites, communities, and teams; quick access to sites they use regularly; and a personalized news feed.
  • Insights for Communicators: Understand your reach, impact, and engagement across Microsoft 365 by using new analytics in SharePoint, such as dwell time on content, heatmap views of interaction, and automatic analytics digest powered by AI.

Announcements around Knowledge Sharing

Introduced in 2019 to simplify knowledge management by augmenting AI and human expertise, Project Cortex empowers everyone to make more informed decisions, take actions faster, and contribute their knowledge while addressing the need for security and privacy at every step. Though a recent addition, yet Microsoft is shipping out new capabilities with Project Cortex. Some of these include:

  • Enhancements to taxonomy services: In July 2020, Microsoft has started shipping out new enhancements to the taxonomy services of Project Cortex as a foundational capability.
  • Preview of New AI Capabilities: Microsoft is also shipping out customer preview of new capabilities that apply AI to organize knowledge and expertise into topics and to deliver that knowledge in the apps people use every day.
  • New SharePoint Syntex: Uses advanced AI and machine learning to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge. This would be available to customers in October 2020.

To conclude, we at AgreeYa are very excited with the announcements made. Each year after the Microsoft Ignite event, we are among the first few early adopters of new Microsoft technologies. We remain steadfast and integrate the newly released leading-edge technologies to deliver our customers with a competitive edge. With strong expertise in solutions around Collaboration, Communication & Productivity utilizing Microsoft Teams, SharePoint & Yammer, we have enabled digital transformation to small, medium, and global Fortune 100 organizations. For any support or query, do not hesitate to drop an email to our experts at partner.microsoft@agreeya.com.

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