Microsoft’s flagship conference, Microsoft Ignite, concluded last Friday after a week filled with announcements straight from Microsoft’s senior product teams. With big news surrounding SharePoint, OneDrive, Yammer, PowerApps, Teams and more, we’ve highlighted the most significant for your intranet and digital workplace.
The majority of this new functionality won’t be available under mid next year, which gives you time to consider how these fit into your overall strategy. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks as we bring you more on this, with insights into how this new functionality could enhance your own intranet solution such as Unily.
OneDrive and SharePoint still sit at heart of 365, making it easy for people to work together. To kick-off the roundup, we’ve highlighted the top headlines around SharePoint and OneDrive, which we talk about in more detail later on.
Announcements from Ignite focused around business outcomes, and how these products can start working better together to support some key activities.
The top announcements surrounding OneDrive include:
The top announcements surrounding SharePoint sites include:
Read the full story here with more on those points.
One of the big announcements for the intranet space at Ignite was the announcement of SharePoint Hub Sites, described by Microsoft as “a new building block of the intranet, to bring together related sites to roll up news and activity, to simplify search, and to create cohesion”.
Essentially, you can now associate multiple Team Sites and Communication Sites (released earlier this year) to Hub sites, bringing together content across separate sites which might be related. Hub sites provide a common navigational structure, look and feel, and search across associated sites. They also aggregate news and activities from associated sites and display the roll-up on the hub site’s home page.
Highlights of Hub Sites:
Stay tuned for some new blog posts where we’ll talk more on how these pages can work within a wider digital workplace. Read the full story here.
The announcement of the new Microsoft Teams last year was an exciting step forward, creating Sites that work hard to pull together multiple tools from the Office 365 Suite. At Ignite 2017, it was announced this integration is being taken even further, with Skype for Business being integrated into Microsoft Teams, replacing the existing chat functionality.
This doesn’t mean Skype for Business as a separate tool is being diminished, as Microsoft also announced a new version of Skype for Business Server for on-premises customers in 2018. However, it does mean that eventually, users will be encouraged to use Teams as the central place for Instant Messaging, as Microsoft steadily work on bringing more of the capabilities currently in Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.
Read the full story here.
Yammer has always been a question mark for users, as Microsoft are reluctant to specify whether it’s to be replaced with another service, or whether they plan to continue innovating on the platform. With Groups and Teams being introduced, this became even more of a grey area. This year at Ignite however, some news on Yammer’s future has been released. It’s nothing ground-breaking, and items like the Yammer mobile-app should have been available years ago to keep up with user’s needs, but it does confirm that Yammer is here to stay.
Microsoft has committed that over the next few months, “we are innovating on the fundamental enterprise social experience that Yammer delivers”.
Some of the innovations include:
Read the full story here.
In the past, we’ve created Office 365 based intranets which have integrated with LinkedIn in some way. Although they added value, it wasn’t always easy to achieve due to the relationship between Office 365 and LinkedIn. So we’re really excited to hear that Microsoft is going to start integrating its LinkedIn data into Office 365 apps and services.
This will enrich users’ Profile Cards with information from LinkedIn, allowing you to get more information quickly about the people you work with.
Read more on this story here.
Microsoft also announced a new series of capabilities for SharePoint and OneDrive at Ignite, integrated with PowerApps, Power BI, Microsoft Flow and Microsoft Form, allowing people to create and share custom forms, applications and workflows that automate processes.
Biggest announcements include:
To read more and to find out release dates on the above, take a look here.
Microsoft also announced the next version of Office this week – 2019. This version will contain all the standard application such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but also means new versions of Skype for Business, SharePoint and more!
Not much is known about the new release yet except for the fact that the final release is expected towards the end of next year.
Read the complete announcement from Jared Spataro here.
With so many new announcements from Ignite, it’s a challenge for the enterprise to consider these new tools in the context of their own digital workplace. Where tools like Hub have the potential to simplify, they also have the potential to add more complication to the growing list of Office 365 tools available. However, as these features aren't expected to land for another 6-12 months, there's plenty of time to find ways to strategically utilise these new tools without disrupting users.
We’re looking forward to showing you how the Unily solution will use these new innovations to help you create the most streamlined and understandable platform for your users. Stay tuned as we roll our more blogs on this over the upcoming month.
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