What is Microsoft Ignite?
Microsoft Ignite event is a yearly technology conference for IT pros and developers hosted by Microsoft. Typically, the company announces new developments in the Microsoft world and the latest updates to the existing apps and software.
Microsoft Ignite 2022 is over and we want to share some important updates and announcements from this event.
Re-Introducing Microsoft 365 – Begins Rolling out November 2022
New Microsoft 365 App – Will showcase the value of M365 in one place and it works for web, windows and mobile. It is an evolution of the work started with the Office app, and showcases the value of M 365 in one place.
It’s a secure, integrated, experience built on the Microsoft Graph that brings together all your documents, files, contacts, meetings, and more—with intelligent, Graph-powered recommendations personalized for you.
Provides innovative new features to enhance the experience, including:
- Feed, a new way to keep up with work by showcasing shared files from the people users work with and trending content in a bite-sized card format.
- Apps module, a redesigned interface to access any Microsoft 365 app and related third-party apps. The apps module is also now available on mobile for the first time.
- Tagging, a new, intuitive way for users to organize their work independent of where files are stored.
As before it will also:
- Create new documents from a variety of apps or use predesigned templates, including ones featuring an organization’s branding.
- Access files and content created and shared by the user, no matter where it is stored.
- Discover, launch and pin all apps and tools.
- Get recommendations on work that likely needs attention based on meetings, assigned tasks and document activity.
- Perform common quick actions on content without switching to another app.
Microsoft Teams Premium – available in preview December 2022
This new offering makes every meeting from one-on-ones to large meetings, to virtual appointments to webinars more personalized, intelligent, and secure.
Meeting Guides – help you to automatically create the experience that’s right for your meeting. The guide is easily customized and managed by IT. You can select a meeting guide—like a client call, brainstorming meeting, or help desk call—and the options will already be set, reducing the time and thought process around getting the meeting right. And with guides, leaders can rest assured that that meetings adhere to company best practices and policies.
Customized meeting branding: Into the meeting lobby and create custom backgrounds and together modes for employees to enjoy and IT to manage, to never compromise your brand.
Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile – generally available
An enterprise-grade mobile calling experience offered in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative telecom operators. With Teams Phone Mobile, Microsoft Teams is integrated with a user’s mobile device native dialler, meaning that people can use their mobile phones the way they are accustomed to while the organization can enable business calling features and policies on these mobile devices.
The solution delivers cellular network quality of service to Teams communications, while allowing customers to enforce business policies, reduce costs, and improve the user experience for the growing mobile workforce.
User benefits include:
- Single number– Make and receive calls from your smartphone’s native dialer or Teams endpoints using one business-owned mobile number.
- Seamless call Transfer
- Unified call history – View combined call history in mobile native dialer and Teams.
- Presence Integration – Update team presence based on mobile device status
- Unified voicemail – Receive all voicemails on any Teams endpoint. Voicemails can be transcribed and available to read in the Teams app
Mesh avatars in Microsoft Teams – private preview (Technology Adoption Program customers)
This is one of the first steps to enabling metaverse experiences for customers.
With Mesh avatars, employees will be able to connect with presence in Microsoft Teams meetings without turning their camera on. They can represent themselves the way they want to show up by choosing the avatar fits their specific meeting— from casual, professional, or day-to-day.
There are two ways to access the Mesh avatar builder in Microsoft Teams: add the app from the Teams home screen or access the builder from within a Teams meeting.
New Teams Meeting Features
Several new features for Microsoft Teams Meetings increase the engagement and interactivity levels for users and include:
- Cameo in PPT Live, a PowerPoint experience that seamlessly integrates the Teams camera feed into the PowerPoint Live presentation
- Together mode With the latest innovations in Together mode, meeting organizers and presenters can assign seats to meeting participants in the Together mode view and can also pin the Together mode view to the meeting stage so everyone has the same view of the group.
- Excel Live, which allows teams to collaboratively edit Excel workbooks in real time, enabling every participant to live-edit the Excel file directly, right from Teams—without ever opening the file, on any device, including Android and iOS phones and tablets. This feature will be rolling out starting in October and will be generally available by the end of the year.
New Teams channel and chat features
Microsoft is improving the design of the Teams channels experience to feel both familiar and modern. The channels experience will be more intuitive and engaging, enabling users to easily focus on topics and conversations that matter most, while staying in the flow of their work.
New chat features coming to Microsoft Teams include:
- Short, lightweight, rich video clips that deliver a more personal touch and strengthen connections.
- Expanded reactions enable users to express feedback more creatively with more than 800 Teams emojis. They will be generally available in November.
- Suggested replies, currently available for one-on-one chats, will also appear in group chats.
- 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.
- New layout features recent conversations at the top
Cisco is now a Teams Rooms Certified Devices partner
For the first time, Microsoft Teams Meetings will be available natively across certified Cisco meeting devices, enabling customers to configure Teams as the default meeting experience. Initially, six of Cisco’s most popular meeting devices and three peripherals will be certified for Teams meetings, with more to come. All certified Cisco devices will be manageable in the new Teams Rooms Pro Management Portal.
New features in Microsoft Viva Insights help employees, managers, and leaders improve personal, team, and organizational productivity and well-being. The updates, now generally available, include meeting effectiveness surveys, access to schedule send suggestions, the new Focus mode experience, and Quiet Time settings.
Several new features, now in private preview in Microsoft Viva Learning, include learning paths, learning collections, and permissions. Viva Learning is also now more discoverable with the ability to view assigned learning directly from the Viva Connections dashboard and in the daily Viva email. New features in the Viva Learning mobile app include a new home page, notifications for assigned and recommended training, the ability to complete learning courses within the app, and the ability to search and filter through catalogs of connected learning providers.
New integrations in Viva Goals bring goals into the flow of work. These include an enhanced Microsoft Teams app to check in and collaborate on objectives and key results (OKRs) within the Teams activity feed, an extension in Azure DevOps to complete work items, a connection to Power BI datasets to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and key results, and integrations with Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project for automatic project management updates. In addition, new third-party integrations for Microsoft Viva Goals bring purpose and OKRs into the flow of work. New Slack and Google Sheets integrations are available today with additional integrations for Jira on-premises coming soon.
This feature brings people together through digital communities, virtual events, rich conversation tools and a new feature called Leadership Corner. This is a space for leaders to encourage open dialog and feedback across communities and teams through news, Ask Me Anything (AMA) events, surveys and more. Leaders can build, promote, and launch these activities all from one place, and use intuitive dashboards to track metrics and employee sentiment in real time.
Viva Pulse is a new app that empowers managers and team leads to seek regular and confidential feedback about their team’s experience, right in the flow of work in Teams. Using smart templates, research-backed questions, and analytics, Viva Pulse enables teams to use their voice to help managers pinpoint what’s working well and where to focus.
Viva Amplify is a new app that empowers employee communication teams and leaders to elevate their message and energize their people. The app centralizes communication processes in a single space and offers writing guidance to help messages from every part of the organization – leaders, corporate communications, and human resources (HR) – resonate with employees.
Microsoft Viva Topics applies intelligence to automatically organize content across systems and identify experts within the organization to deliver just-in-time knowledge in the apps people use every day. New features in Viva Topics, now in preview, and new ways to discover knowledge in Microsoft 365 include:
- Context IQ to enable people to surface information intelligently and quickly from inside their organization while authoring Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
- Microsoft Syntex Connectors to integrate Viva Topics with third-party services like ServiceNow and EdCast.
- The ability to surface Viva Topics cards in the Outlook app for Windows, and in the Viva Connections dashboard, making it easier for people to access and follow their Viva Topics.
- Topic creators will see the growing impact of the topics they have created through badge icons with numbers of views.
A new set of content apps and services that use artificial intelligence (AI) to index and organize large quantities of unstructured content so it can be easily searched and analyzed. Syntex can also automate content-based workflows, such as contract processing and e-signature.
It integrates Microsoft Search capabilities to make it easy for people to navigate and discover content. No upfront cost, pay as you go, available to Microsoft 365 commercial.
Key functionality includes:
- Document Processing – Syntex helps you understand, tag, and secure information, integrating AI from Microsoft Azure, AI Builder, and other Microsoft sources. Syntex brings structure to your content, which is all part of our approach to intelligent document processing.
- Translation – Syntex enables you to translate content among dozens of languages.
- Summarization – To help you focus on what’s important and needs action, Syntex uses AI to generate summaries of content to distill key points, on demand or using rules.
- Content Assembly – When you’re ready to create a new contract, invoice, letter, or other document, Syntex can help you automatically generate that document with templates and metadata using content assembly.
- Images, audio, and video processing – Images are one of the most common file types in Microsoft 365. You can process and tag images with nearly 10,000 automatically recognized objects “out of the box.” You will be able to automatically extract text from images in SharePoint and Exchange using optical character recognition (OCR) to optimize search and compliance.
- eSignature – One of the fastest growing content transactions is eSignature. You can send electronic signature requests using Syntex, Adobe Acrobat Sign, DocuSign, or any of our other eSignature partner solutions and your content stays in Microsoft 365 while it’s being reviewed and signed.
- Search (Avail. 2023) – Microsoft Search becomes even more insightful through innovative deep learning models that encompass semantic understanding, question-and-answering, and natural language processing to help you intuitively discover information.
Syntex will let you save, share, and manage queries for you and your teams.
- Natural language queries that let you ask specific questions like, “Show me sales presentations in California from last year for Contoso Electronics.”
- Semantic search lets you search by concept rather than keyword, resulting in better relevancy.
- Employees May Ask lets you expand your search and explore answers to related questions, leveraging Microsoft AI that automatically generates question-answer pairs.
- Annotations – You can use annotations, like ink, notes, redactions, stamps, and comments, on any content—not just Office documents—without modifying the original files, so you can preserve original records for critical business processes.
- Content rules processor – Lets you build simple rules to trigger the next action, whether it’s a transaction, an alert, a workflow, or just filing your content in the right libraries and folders.
- Accelerators and Templates – Syntex also provides a growing range of solution accelerators for common patterns and scenarios that every organization faces. Today you can use our solution accelerator for contract management, and we’re announcing our new solution for accounts payable coming later this year.
Microsoft Loop App (Private Preview)
The Microsoft Loop app, in private preview, will help teams to think, plan, and create together. It features workspaces, pages, and components that sync across Microsoft 365. Customers can use the Loop app to work on projects collaboratively. Microsoft will be working with customers in private preview to incorporate their feedback as it continues developing the app. Microsoft is expanding Loop components to additional places across Microsoft 365 and is bringing more component types to ensure users can create and work together.
Microsoft Places – Available in 2023
Microsoft Places is a new workplace app to optimize spaces for hybrid work. As business decision-makers consider redesigning physical workspaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments, technology will be needed to form the bridge across two historically different worlds – in-person and remote work.
Microsoft Places will use intelligence to optimize where work happens in hybrid work: connecting virtual and physical spaces to drive increased connections, engagement, and productivity while providing the holistic picture of hybrid work that’s missing today. Introducing Microsoft Places: Turn your spaces into places | Microsoft 365 Blog
- Hybrid Scheduling – leverage common data signals from Outlook and Teams to allow you to view the week ahead and see when your co-workers and close collaborators are planning to be in the office. You’ll understand the days with the most in-office attendance, allowing you to adjust your schedule to take advantage of valuable in-person connections.
- Intelligent booking – help you discover available spaces with the right technology to match your meeting purpose and mix of in-person or remote participants. And you’ll get recommendations for the shortest commute times—with prompts telling you when to leave based on that day’s traffic and when your meetings are scheduled.
- Wayfinding – no longer waste time looking for the right conference room or following outdated building signs; instead, you’ll be able to access a map on your mobile device that guides you to the right place.
- Hot desk booking – allows you to see where your closest colleagues are sitting and choose your desk accordingly.
- Serendipitous meet-ups – allows colleagues to easily create impromptu meet-ups and share with others in the office.
- Space Insights – manage physical space by gathering utilization data, energy-saving opportunities, and occupancy trends. These valuable inputs are what guide dynamic space adjustments on a particular day, like changing excess huddle rooms to overbooked collaboration rooms. And with advanced knowledge of expected occupancy, leaders can go further with their space optimization, reducing available floors on lighter days—saving energy expenditures and improving workplace experience.
Microsoft Places will be integrated with the Microsoft 365 solutions customers use every day, like Outlook, Teams, and Viva. It will leverage and enhance the rich set of data available on the Microsoft Graph, combining people and place signals.
All the data collection on the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Places platform adheres to our stringent privacy standards. Users will know what data is collected and be able to opt in and out, and information will show trends without singling out individuals.
Windows 365 Announcements
Windows 365 App
Provides a direct path to Win 365 from the taskbar or start menu with a personal, customized experience that can be tailored to each user. With Windows 365 app, you can access your Windows 365 Cloud PC from the taskbar or the Start menu, enjoying a full Windows 11 experience while moving between your local and Cloud PCs. Supported by all Windows 11 devices, the app delivers high-performing and reliable experiences optimized for Microsoft Teams and your other Microsoft 365 apps.
The Windows 365 app offers key value-adds, including:
- Use of a Cloud PC as a window or full screen
- High-performing, reliable experiences for Microsoft Teams, multimedia redirection, and other Microsoft 365 apps
- User actions to Restart, Reset, Restore, Rename, and Troubleshoot Cloud PCs available directly from Windows
- A direct single sign-on experience
- Support for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Microsoft Authenticator for secure access to Cloud PCs
- Accessibility using screen reader and keyboard shortcuts
- Regular and automatic app updates to ensure employees are using the most up-to-date version of Windows 365
With these value-adds in mind, we think customers ultimately will prefer using the Windows 365 app to using the Remote Desktop client.
Windows 365 Government
A new offering for Government Community Cloud and Government Community Cloud High organizations enables U.S. government contractors – and the local, state and federal customers they support – to securely stream their Windows apps, data, content and settings from the Microsoft Cloud to any device, at any time. Windows 365 Government is now generally available.
- Personalized: All your apps, content, and settings, streamed from the Microsoft cloud to any device
- Powerful: Scalable Cloud PCs bring the Windows 10 experience to you, on any device, and beginning in December, Windows 11 will also be available.
- Simple: Provision and deploy Windows on a Cloud PC today, right from Microsoft Intune or at windows365.microsoft.com
- Secure: Enhancing the security benefits of Cloud PCs with new Windows 11 security features
With Windows 365 Government, Cloud PCs are provisioned within a US government data center. Customers that also have Cloud PCs in the commercial cloud will recognize the same experience in the Government Community Cloud (GCC environment) including familiar tools and provisioning policy configuration. Customers using both Commercial and GCC environments can also use the same identity and credentials.