On Oct. 12-14, Microsoft announced a plethora of new features, products, and services coming to the Microsoft ecosystem. There were so many announcements, in fact, that Microsoft included them all in their “Microsoft Ignite Book of News”, which can be found here.
If you don’t feel like reading through the 100+ announcements, we’re sharing some of the biggest ones in this blog.
MICROSOFT TEAMS CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE ACCESS TO BUSINESS CENTRAL AT NO EXTRA COST
“Starting in November, Microsoft Teams users will have access to Business Central data from within the collaboration app, regardless of whether they have a Dynamics 365 license. Admins will be able to set permission and access rules to restrict access to business records. Business Central users can invite people from across the organization to connect and collaborate in the flow of work, no matter where they work.
With Business Central embedded in Teams, people can collaborate on critical initiatives and projects directly where they connect. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can now ensure that all team members are empowered with Context IQ, which provides access to the right information and insights contextually, wherever and however they work.”
TEAMS CHAT EMBEDDED WITHIN DYNAMICS 365
“With embedded Microsoft Teams chat, users can collaborate with stakeholders directly from within Dynamics 365. This allows users to use Dynamics 365 data as an organizing layer for Teams collaboration activity and to link chats to Dynamics 365 records, including sales opportunities and service cases, for convenient access for all participants. The feature, now in preview as part of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, is expected to be generally available in October 2022.
Agents who use Dynamics 365 Customer Service can easily collaborate with anyone within their organization, such as agents from other departments, supervisors, customer service peers or support experts, over Teams to resolve customer issues without leaving the case or conversation. Chats over Teams will be linked directly to Customer Service records, enabling a contextual experience.”
NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS CHAT AND COLLABORATION FEATURES
“New chat and collaboration features coming to Microsoft Teams include:
- Video clips: Short, lightweight, rich video clips that deliver a more personal touch and strengthen connections. Simply record, send, view and reply from desktop or mobile. The recipient of the video clip can play the video in their chat and reply with a chat message or a video clip of their own. Video clips is now generally available.
- Expanded reactions: Users can express feedback more creatively with over 800 Teams emojis. With Expanded reactions, users will be able to easily communicate their status with reactions like “reviewed” or “on hold.” Expanded reactions will be generally available in November.
- Suggested replies: Suggested replies, currently available for one-on-one chats, will also appear in group chats. Suggested replies use machine learning to generate responses most relevant to the group conversation. Instead of typing out a routine response to incoming messages, users can simply click one of the three responses while staying productive in their workflow. Suggested replies in group chats will be generally available in October.
- Schedule send: Like delaying the delivery of emails in Outlook, schedule send enables users to manually select the future date and time that they would like a chat message to be delivered. Schedule send is now generally available.
- Delete chat: Using the delete chat functionality, users will be able to easily remove themselves from one-on-one or group chat conversations they no longer wish to participate in, without impacting other participants in the same chat conversation. Delete chat will be generally available in November.
- 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. This ensures senders their message is sent to the full chat audience and helps recipients prioritize messages more efficiently. Mention @everyone is coming to Teams by the end of the year.
- Teams chat is continuing to expand its productivity set of features that use AI models to learn from past collaborations. Teams chat will be introducing zero-state people recommendations, which will suggest people to initiate chat conversations based on previous collaborations. Zero-state people recommendations is coming to Teams by the end of the year.”
INTRODUCING MICROSOFT EDGE WORKSPACES
“Microsoft continues to invest in distinct experiences that make the workday easier by announcing Microsoft Edge Workspaces. Now in preview, Microsoft Edge Workspaces is a shared set of browser tabs that will allow groups to view the same websites and latest working files in one place. For example, let’s say a new team member is being brought on to an existing project. Instead of overwhelming them with links and files over email, the team can share one link to their Microsoft Edge Workspaces, which has all their relevant files and links open as browser tabs. As the team works together, tabs are updated in real-time, so everyone stays on the same page.”
POWER AUTOMATE INTRODUCING NEW WAY TO AUTOMATE USING NATURAL LANGUAGE AND AI
“A new way in Power Automate to accelerate automation using natural language will enable users to describe what they want to automate, and AI will build the flow in seconds without searching or guesswork. Once a user selects a suggested flow, they will set up the appropriate connectors and then finalize it within the flow designer. In the create page for Power Automate, a new option will allow users to create a cloud flow by simply describing the flow, selecting the connectors and finalizing the automation. This feature is now in preview.”
POWER BI UPDATES ENABLE SELF-SERVICE DATA ANALYTICS, ADDS CONNECTIVITY TO ONEDRIVE AND SHAREPOINT
“Power BI updates, now in preview, will enable organizations to scale self-service analytics by further removing friction to deployment, creation and sharing and include:
- Power BI in Office installer: Power BI will be automatically installed for Office users, reducing the need for manual deployment by the IT department. For customers that have Office or Microsoft 365 E5 where Power BI is included, they will save time and be able to scale Power BI faster.
- View and edit Power BI reports directly from OneDrive and SharePoint: Users will be able to view and edit Power BI reports from within OneDrive and SharePoint without needing to download Power BI Desktop. This feature will make it easier for users to preview and collaborate on reports from their OneDrive or SharePoint files.
- B2B dataset sharing and report discoverability: The business-to-business (B2B) Discoverability feature will provide an experience within the users’ own tenant to help them discover all content shared with them by external users. The dataset sharing feature allows B2B users to discover, connect to and work with datasets in their own home tenant. With this capability, B2B users will be able to build new reports and data models within their home tenant using the shared datasets.
- Large dataset reporting support: Working with very large datasets can traditionally present a performance challenge in terms of response time in DirectQuery mode. Enhancements will introduce an optimize setting in the Power BI Desktop ribbon that will enable easy access to configure settings, enhancing response time.
- Easier migration to Power BI Premium: Customers who use Azure Analysis Service will be able to migrate to Power BI Premium with lower effort while also preserving the full set of capabilities they’ve come to depend on, leading to a more cost-effective migration journey.
- Power BI reports and datasets in a Power App solution: Power Apps solutions are a Microsoft Power Platform tool that enables users to deploy apps built using Power Apps, Power Automate, Microsoft Dataverse and other Power Platform services. Until now, Power Platform hasn’t supported content developed in Power BI. With the release of this feature, Power BI reports and datasets will be included as part of a Power Platform solution for import, export and customization.”
MICROSOFT 365 DEFENDER NOW DISRUPTS RANSOMWARE AT MACHINE SPEED
“Microsoft 365 Defender now automatically disrupts ransomware attacks. This is possible because Microsoft 365 Defender collects and correlates signals across endpoints, identities, emails, documents and cloud apps into unified incidents and uses the breadth of signal to identify attacks early with a high level of confidence.
Time is critical in ransomware attacks, and now Microsoft 365 Defender can automatically contain affected assets, such as endpoints or user identities. This helps stop ransomware from spreading laterally, which can substantially reduce the overall cost of an attack while improving a company’s resiliency to recover. The security operations team stays in full control of investigating, remediating and bringing assets back online once they are returned to a healthy state.”
If you have any questions about the upcoming features or are interested in Microsoft products, reach out to our team at Opal Business Solutions. We’re always happy to help!