April 2022 Digital Workplace Roadmap Review | Quisitive

Happy April! Here are some impactful changes for your Digital Workplace this month

Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams Shared Channels

Those of us that collaborate in multiple tenants have been eagerly anticipating this feature. Microsoft will be completing the rollout of Shared Channels in early April.  External collaboration is off by default and many organizations intentionally do not collaborate externally, but if you have the need, discuss the possibilities with your Governance Team. Shared Channels enable us to collaborate externally without having to switch organizations.

Team owners who are enrolled in the public preview program will see shared channels as an additional channel type when creating a channel.  You can share the channel with anyone in the tenant (internal users and external users).

Teams Shared Channel

External collaboration in shared channels is powered by Azure AD B2B direct connect, a new way to collaborate with other Azure AD organizations. With B2B Direct connect, there’s no need to add the external user as a guest in your organization. Cross-tenant access policies let admins manage B2B direct connect for their organization. A shared channel can be shared with as many organizations that can be specified in the Azure AD cross-tenant access policy.

You can join shared channels public preview by enrolling in Teams public preview program.

Teams public preview program

If you are already part of Teams public preview program you don’t need to do anything. You

may consider updating your public preview user training; notifying your help desk; and updating your user level policy around shared channel creation.

You can manage shared channels and external collaboration for your organization via the policy managed through the Teams Admin Center or via PowerShell (New-CsTeamsChannelsPolicy).

Presenter modes move and resize options

Presenter modes on Video Based Screen Sharing (VBSS) (Screen or Window sharing) in Meetings enables immersive presentations on Teams meetings merging video and content on the stage. This new feature will allow presenters to decide how they will be shown with respect to the content.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88566

When this will happen:

Standard: Microsoft will begin rolling out in early April and expect to complete by late April.

Government: Microsoft will begin rolling out in early May and expect to complete by late June.

How this will affect your organization:

The presenter modes preview window will have new buttons for changing the layout customization. The customizations will remain in case the presenter closes the window.

What you need to do to prepare:

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

SharePoint Logo
SharePoint Online

SharePoint App Bar

If you set the App Bar to be temporarily disabled, then you have an additional reprieve and time to plan – the disablement is now extended until September 30, 2022.  If you didn’t disabled the App Bar, it’s a good idea to start customizing it for a better user experience in SharePoint and Viva Connections.  Here’s some information from Microsoft on customization.

Coming soon to your tenant, if you have not disabled the App Bar, you will see a + sign in the App Bar.  If you’ve disabled self service site creation, then users will not be able to create a site from the + sign, but they will be able to create other SharePoint objects.

This new feature will allow users to create sites, files, and lists from within the SharePoint app bar. Users will be able to select the Create command (the plus sign) on the app bar and then select an option from SharePoint sites, Microsoft Lists, or Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote). As users create each of the different assets included in the panel, they will launch the create experience for each format.

SharePoint:  Updates to channel site layouts and parent site settings

Two updates are coming for the SharePoint sites that get created for every team and private channel in Microsoft Teams. The first update is to simplify the layout for all private channel sites to make them more useful and easier to navigate between the parent site and the associated team. The second update is to adjust the way site theme and navigation is inherited when the Teams-connected sites are added to a hub site.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88963

When will this happen:

Targeted release (select users and entire org): will begin rolling out in mid-April and be complete by late April

Standard: will begin rolling out in early May and be complete by late May

How this will affect your organization

The first update improves the layout for channel (private and shared) sites. The new page layout features the News, Documents, Quick links, and Activity web parts. The Quick links webpart displays links to additional guidance for popular tasks that can improve the value of your site.

Microsoft SharePoint dashboard and improved layout

The second update improves the relationship between Teams-connected sites and hub sites. This update streamlines the process of associating Teams-connected sites with hub sites.

With this update:

What you need to do to prepare

You do not need to do anything to prepare for these updates. However, if you currently have private channel sites associated with hub sites, you will need to plan to associate the parent team site with the hub site once this update reaches your tenant.

Learn more:

Microsoft Viva Updates

Microsoft Viva - Insights, Topics, Learning and Connections


Inspiration Library in Microsoft Viva Insights

Inspiration library is a new feature available in preview through the Viva Insights app in Teams. The Inspiration library turns insights into action with access to curated content and best practices from top sources like Harvard Business Review and Thrive. The productivity and well-being insights delivered by Viva Insights are enhanced by premium content focused on driving better employee experiences and boosting engagement.

This will roll out on Android, Mac, Desktop, and iOS.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 93214

When this will happen:

Preview: will begin rolling out in late March and will be complete by late April.

How this will affect your organization:

Your organization will see a new Inspiration Library tab appear within the Viva Insights Teams app.

This is rolling out default on.

Discover Viva Learning content in SharePoint, Bing and Office.com

With Viva Learning’s integration with Microsoft Search, users in your organization will be able to search for learning opportunities from the search bar in SharePoint, Office.com or Office app as well as the work tab in Bing.

Note: You’ll need a Viva Learning or Viva Suite license to get access to this feature. If you do not have a Viva Learning or Viva suite license, you may safely ignore this message.

When this will happen:

We will begin rolling this out in late March and expect to complete rollout in early April.

How this will affect your organization:

With a Viva Learning or Viva suite license, the feature will be enabled by default for your organization.

What you need to do to prepare:

You might want to notify your users about this change and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Viva Connections Multilingual Dashboard

You can now create Viva Connections Dashboard in multiple languages.  This is currently in Private Preview, but will become generally available in May 2022.  Here’s how to set up the multilingual experience in Viva Connections

You’ll have the ability enable the multilingual experience and choose languages in site settings.  You can also assign translators.  Any user in your organization’s Active Directory can be assigned as a translator and that user will be provided with the appropriate permissions.

Viva Topics – exclude sites and files from topic discovery

Updated – rollout timeline –  Exclude sites and files from topic discovery based on applied sensitivity labels

Microsoft will begin rolling out early April (previously mid-March) and expect to complete by late April (previously mid-April).

This release will enable you to select sensitivity labels that exclude SharePoint sites and files from topic discovery. Once this new configuration is saved, sites and files with the selected labels will no longer be included as part of the discovered list of files for an AI-suggested topic. Any description or alternate names extracted from those files will also be removed from the AI-suggested topic.

Once this setting is applied, topics that once contained files with selected labels will now be excluded.

Welcome to your source for the December Digital Workplace Updates!  Many of the updates have new release dates so watch your M365 Message Center for late-breaking changes.

Microsoft Lists
Microsoft Lists

New Microsoft Lists entry point in the SharePoint app bar

If you’ve got the SharePoint App Bar enabled expect to see the SharePoint Lists icon rolling out. The rollout should be complete in mid-January 2022.

Users will get the same experience in the app bar as if they navigated to Lists via the M365 App Launcher.

lists in app bar

Microsoft Search
Microsoft Search

Multiple changes to Microsoft Search are being rolled out soon.  In mid-December, you should see changes to the Promoted Results experience.

In order to improve the Microsoft Search experience, promoted results will no longer be supported in Microsoft Search for Organization level scoped searches and will be replaced by the Bookmarks and Q&A features.

Promoted results will continue to be supported for hub and site level scopes.

Promoted results will no longer trigger in Microsoft Search for SharePoint Home or office.com when this change is implemented.

What you need to do to prepare:

Microsoft Search provides an alternative to promoted results using either Bookmark or Q&A answers.

If your organization set up Promoted Results in SharePoint, you can import the Promoted Results into Microsoft Search and make the imported content available to your users. This is an easy way to quickly populate search results as soon as you set up Microsoft Search and make it more effective for your users. We recommend using promoted results from SharePoint as a reference to understand how to name and create relevant search results.

Microsoft Search allows a search administrator to import promoted results as Bookmarks. To import promoted results, in the Microsoft 365 admin center, open the Search & intelligence admin center and then select Answers. In the Answers dialog, select Bookmarks and choose Import SharePoint results to import promoted results from SharePoint.

Important note:  If you aren’t able to see the Search Administration in the M365 Admin Center, request the Search Administrator Role.

This change should be completed by late January 2022 and was previously only available to individuals in targeted release.

You will be able to modify search verticals(tabs on top of search result page) and add new verticals with SharePoint content for your tenant search page.

For example, the Files vertical shows results classified as files and makes it easy for users who are looking to find documents. You can customize verticals in Microsoft Search to meet the needs of your organization or individual departments. Microsoft Search has two types of verticals, out of the box or default and custom verticals. The default verticals, such as All, Files, and People, create easy access to the most commonly used search results.

You can manage verticals at two levels:

Microsoft has released documentation on managing the search verticals.


OneDrive Sharing Experience Updates

Users in standard release should be seeing these changes roll out in early December and changes should be complete by early January.

Instead of a Copy link button, you’ll see an entire section where you can set permissions for the link and then copy it to share it with recipients. If you need to update the link permissions, you can do it directly from the Link Created dialog box as well.


Users who interact with the OneDrive/SharePoint share control will easily be able to change their link permissions before creating a link and pasting it into the app of their choice. They will also be able to change the link settings post-creation directly inside the confirmation box.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, we look forward to guiding you through all the changes in the new year!