This on-demand webinar covers:
- Reduce costs by consolidating external tools such as Slack, Trello, Zoom and others, and using the tools that your Microsoft Teams licenses include.
- Evolve your team’s culture and communication model, working more collaboratively with less effort.
- Gain a competitive advantage with unified communications, managing all your meetings and tasks in one place.
- Maximize your investment by integrating Teams with Office 365, Planner, PowerApps, and any type of CRM.
- Secure your digital workplace with end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, data loss prevention, and extensive admin controls
In December 2022, Microsoft began rolling out functionality to all tenants that allows users to delete 1:1 chats, group chats, and meeting chats they participate in.
It is important to note that this deletion only impacts the chat view of the user doing the delete action. Other users in the chat are not affected and do not lose the chat or chat history.
Once available, users will be able to delete chat threads or chat groups from the Teams desktop or mobile application. To do this, select the ellipsis and then the Delete option to clear the chat list. The key driver here is to allow users to clean up their Teams experience.
How to Delete Chats in Microsoft Teams Desktop
How to Delete Chats in Microsoft Teams Mobile App
Once your tenant receives this capability, it will be enabled by default. If you would like to disable this feature for your organization, you must do so in the Teams Admin Center (TAC) or through PowerShell.
In TAC, this setting can be found under messaging policies > Delete Chat.
To accomplish this with PowerShell, you must use the AllowUserDeleteChat parameter. For example:
Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy -Identity StudentMessagingPolicy -AllowUserDeleteChat $false
Turn this setting on to allow users to permanently delete their 1:1, group chat, and meeting chat as participants. Set this to TRUE to allow. Set this to FALSE to prohibit.
|Accept pipeline input:||False|
|Accept wildcard characters:||False|
Additional information regarding using PowerShell to block this functionality can be found here: Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy (SkypeForBusiness) | Microsoft Learn
Looking for assistance with Microsoft Teams?
Traditional call centers were primarily phone-based and voice-based, requiring a lot of specialized talent to administer. The agents would go back and forth between different programs and screens, making it difficult to pull all of the necessary information while on the phone with a customer. With modern contact centers, everything is cloud-based, so workers can utilize all of the Microsoft 365 applications to simplify and streamline administration. It’s designed for omnichannel communication, so that you can use any method (chat, call, email, social media etc.) to reach customers in their own digital environments and further productivity.
With traditional call centers becoming a thing of the past, the modern call center, run completely via software rather than hardware, moves to the forefront. Especially considering the number of organizations switching to work-from-home models, Microsoft Teams is an extremely useful and secure collaborative calling platform – how can your organization deploy a multi-channel contact center that integrates with Microsoft Teams?
In this 7 Ways to Elevate Your Contact Center with Microsoft Teams video, Timothy Cone, Quisitive’s Global Director of Modern Work and Chris Macaluso, Quisitive’s Managing Consultant & Practice Technical Lead, Modern Work partner with Ken Feagle of Anywhere365 Technical Pre Sales and Awil Abdi, Anywhere365’s Sales Director, NORAM to cover seven specific and transformative examples of how to use Microsoft Teams to take your contact center to the next level.
Here are 7 ways to elevate your contact center using Microsoft Teams:
1. Leverage Microsoft Teams to maximize your Microsoft 365 ROI.
All of the elements of the contact center can be deployed using the Microsoft 365 stack. Leveraging this software allows for the native Teams telephony infrastructure to replace outdated telephony hardware. Most of the integration can be done in SharePoint Online, PowerBI can be used for business intelligence and reporting, and Azure SQL services can provide AI and bot capabilities as well.
Everything is in your environment, and you won’t need to get any new licenses. Furthermore, Teams can integrate with your current enterprise systems and CRMs so you can keep all of your data in the Microsoft tenant, secured with Azure. The WebAgent can then pull this data in real-time within the same software as your call, chat, or SMS message so that you can view everything in one single-pane window.
There are also many key benefits of Anywhere365, including direct routing for Microsoft Teams, Agent interface, distributed admin possibilities, call classification, recording, advanced reporting in PowerBI, CRM integration, sentiment analysis, bots and AI, and more.
2. Create an omnichannel experience.
An omnichannel dialogue increases productivity and enhances customer engagement while leveraging existing investments in your Microsoft stack. Anywhere365 is natively integrated with Microsoft Teams to engage customers across any channel, from anywhere, and at any time. “Everybody is a contact center,” which means that at any given time, if someone needs access to certain secure data, that access can be granted remotely, exposing the contact center capabilities to anyone in your organization without actually having to make them an agent or supervisor.
Omnichannel means that a customer can connect to your organization through multiple platforms and multiple devices. Today, most people have a mobile phone, tablet, etc. that they can use to connect to one of your agents, simply by going to a website. Having the accessibility to connect your agent with a customer through any platform, device, or method of communication is what the modern contact center is all about – replacing traditional call centers to reach customers wherever they are online.
The modern contact center can also start with bots and AI to categorize customer needs before connecting directly to an agent. At times, the bots could resolve any issues without the customer having to connect with a real person. Through AI, the system can also do real-time translation if the customer speaks a different language than the agent. All of this is configurable within the system through the various bot services.
3. Get real-time visibility and insights.
Traditional phone systems would have someone who generates reports as an admin, and either puts them on a website or in some kind of file to be sent out to managers. Today’s modern contact centers have real-time insights so that whoever needs visibility to that data can access it at any time, from anywhere. A manager can easily check the data at any time to view what stages all of their agents are in with their customers.
Organizations can also use PowerBI in the backend to view historical reporting over time. This dashboard can provide insights such as where SMS, chats, and phone call dialogues are coming from, your organization’s agent acceptance rates and other deep-dive capabilities through PowerBI.
4. Utilize AI for integrated voice and chat.
You can utilize and configure bots in web chat interface, use bots to handle SMS, and AI can intercept and pick up keywords to trigger a workflow and properly route each point of contact. It can also pull up customer history so that agents have access to all of the customer’s previous interactions in real-time, while they are communicating with that customer. AI can save time for agents by answering common questions and categorizing customer needs, making your contact center more efficient.
AI technology can improve customer relationships by providing instant responses, providing information on the customers’ feelings, overcoming language barriers, and more. Anywhere365 provides contact center dialogue management and advanced features for the Microsoft Intelligent Communications platform.
5. Use advanced routing.
Microsoft 365 also allows for follow-the-sun routing so that global companies can transfer customers in real-time from location to location so that, as contact centers in North America shift to after-hours, customers can be carried over to the next region for 24/7 support. You can also use advanced routing to mark certain customers as VIPs so that when they contact your organization, they are skipped ahead in the queue and are connected with an agent even faster. This also works for internal contact centers, so that c-level executives can be given high priority and be connected with an agent much more quickly.
6. Customize your communications flow.
The Anywhere365 Dialogue Studio allows for designing and programming your communication flows, giving you a visual view of your call flows. This platform can be integrated with many 3rd party applications, and it can set up real-time sentiment analysis so that managers can jump into calls at certain important customer touch points at certain sentiment levels. Keyword detection, picking out the customer’s name, CRM data, and recent orders, can all be built into the call flow. Some of this can be built out in SharePoint, but the visual aspect of Dialogue Studio can be very helpful in terms of mapping the customer call flow.
7. Take advantage of Azure security benefits.
With Azure security benefits, all of your data is protected within your tenant, so you have full control to send your security team to add different protections and customize security options for your organization. Azure Defender monitors user activity and protects identities, while Azure Compliance prevents sensitive data from being exposed in a Teams chat, email, etc. Your organization will have full control to customize this platform based on your specific needs.
Ken Feagle from Anywhere365 then performs a demo of the A365 WebAgent to show how calls come into the Teams platform, how the platform populates all the necessary information as a call is coming in, how the communications are recorded, and what the dashboard looks like from an agent perspective.
Microsoft Teams provides everything your modern contact center needs to provide omnichannel customer support all in one single platform. Today, it is essential to be able to reach customers in their own online environments, based on their own preferences. Teams allows your organization to easily communicate with users via their preferred communication method, and the Microsoft 365 suite provides extra capabilities for analyzing data, using AI, securing the platform, etc. to put your organization in the most optimal position to succeed.
If you’d like to explore if Microsoft Teams is the right step for you, or if you need help with the optimization of the platform you already have in place, our team can help.
This blog offers guidance on Microsoft 365 migrations, including the differences between key Microsoft 365 apps (OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams).
The purpose of this blog is to offer guidance on Microsoft 365 migrations, including the differences between key Microsoft 365 apps (OneDrive vs SharePoint vs Teams) and where to map content based on purpose, audience, and the tools needed to support that content.
Microsoft 365 Migration Planning
Before you start your Microsoft 365 migration, specifically your content migration, you must plan the outcome by assessing your current source environment. What you discover will influence your overall strategy and timing, including:
- The design of the target environment and the mapping between source and target systems.
- The amount of content you migrate. Determine if the content is redundant, out of date, or still relevant.
- The building of the user onboarding into your upfront planning. Communicate early and often with your users about the migration and how it will impact them. Don’t wait until the very end to start preparing them for the change.
Microsoft 365 Migration: OneDrive vs SharePoint vs Teams
When to use OneDrive
OneDrive is meant to be used to store files that are personal to you. Each person in your organization gets their own OneDrive, which includes at least 1TB of space.
The recommendation is that if you’re working on a file by yourself, save it to OneDrive. For example, use OneDrive vs SharePoint when working with personal files that shouldn’t be shared, or drafts of files that are not ready to be moved to a SharePoint library or Teams for collaboration.
While users will be able to share documents from their OneDrive site, they should not use OneDrive to store documents that should instead be stored on a SharePoint site. The following guidelines should be communicated to users regarding when to store something in OneDrive:
1. Documents that you personally need to do your job, but that would not benefit others. For example, documents like task planning spreadsheets that you use to organize your work.
2. Documents that you need to share with a few limited individuals for a limited amount of time. For example, you and a few others are planning a team celebration, and you post a pdf of the menu from a restaurant that the team is considering.
3. First draft documents that you are working on that you are not quite ready to share with others. However, if this document needs to be shared with a wider audience or needs to live on for a long period, it should be stored on a SharePoint site.
When to use SharePoint
A SharePoint site is a container of information and data. Information can be stored in repositories such as lists, libraries, calendars, etc. When considering SharePoint as a destination for your files, it is important to first distinguish between the two types of modern SharePoint sites available and when is the best scenario to use them.
- Communication Sites – The primary goal of this type of site is to inform readers – mainly for them to read, not create. A typical use of a communication site is an Intranet. Used to broadcast information to a broad audience, in this type of site, only a small set of members contribute content that is consumed by a much larger audience.
- Share content such as news, official documents, and reports that you want to share visually in a compelling format, an example is a human resources site with benefits information.
- Inform and engage dozens or hundreds of readers (or the entire organization).
- Showcase the services your group offers or tell a story about a new product launch to the entire organization.
- Team sites – Used primarily for collaboration among members of your team or with others on a specific project, team sites allow most members to contribute content to the site, and the information is limited to only the members of the team or project stakeholders. This type of site may or may not be connected to a Microsoft 365 group. Use this type of site when:
- Content is meant to be shared with a small audience for specific goals and tasks that need to be accomplished.
- Track and stay updated on project status.
- Organize and co-author shared content.
- Optionally connect to a Microsoft 365 group to access team resources (e.g., Microsoft Teams).
When to use Teams
When thinking about the differences between SharePoint vs Teams, it’s important to note that a Microsoft Teams workspace is a SharePoint Team site (see the previous section) that is connected to a Microsoft 365 group. It is a collection of people, conversations, files, and tools all in one place. It extends the capabilities of a regular SharePoint Team site by offering chat options, real-time collaboration and communication, and meeting, file, and app sharing.
Use a Microsoft Teams workspace when you want to:
- Pull together a team.
- Communicate by using chat instead of email.
- Take advantage of rich chat with text, audio, video, and file sharing.
- Securely edit files at the same time.
- Provide transparency to the team by posting messages and starting threads.
- Have a private chat to develop an idea, then share it with the rest of the organization.
- Store all files related to a topic in one place.
- Integrate your favorite apps, such as Planner, Trello, OneNote, etc.
Looking for further guidance?
Now that you understand the key differences between OneDrive vs SharePoint vs Teams, we hope you feel better prepared to utilize these apps effectively. If your organization is beginning its Microsoft 365 migration journey and you’re looking for expert guidance, Quisitive can help.
This three-part blog series will introduce three tools I have been using that can significantly increase how well we communicate. The first is the feature in Teams called “Speaker Coach.” Speaker Coach is turned on while you are in a meeting by opening More options and choosing “Turn on Speaker Coach” as shown below.
Figure 1: Turning on Speaker Coach
When you activate Speaker Coach in Microsoft Teams, it makes two noticeable changes to your Teams experience:
- When you are on a call, the Teams UI will provide you with real-time feedback as you are speaking.
- After you finish the Teams call, Speaker Coach provides a report that is just available to you, providing feedback on the call.
This blog post will provide more details on the real-time feedback available in the Speaker Coach for Teams, details on what is in the Speaker Coach report for Teams, things to be aware of in Speaker Coach, and my thoughts on where Speaker Coach for Teams could improve.
Real-time feedback from the Speaker Coach for Teams:
When you are on a Teams call, and Speaker Coach is enabled, small messages appear when relevant at the top of your Teams window.
Figure 2: Examples of real-time feedback in Teams meetings
- “you guys” might be offensive or non-inclusive in some cases.
- Good pitch variation! Keep it up!
- Try varying your pitch and adding emphasis to keywords.
Examples I have seen are indications when I speak too quickly, when I use a term that may not be inclusive or positive feedback when my tone is adjusting well throughout the meeting.
The Speaker Coach report:
An example of a recent Speaker Coach report is shown below in Figure 3. Figures 4-6 show examples of drilling into details on various pieces of feedback from the speaker coach in Teams.
Figure 3: Teams Speaker Coach report
Each section can be drilled into to provide more detail, such as the example below for repetitive language shown in Figure 4. The graphic indicates when it occurred during the discussion and what specific words were identified as redundant. For example, figure 5 shows examples of pace, and Figure 6 shows examples of filler words.
Figure 4: Teams Speaker Coach Repetitive Language
From using Speaker Coach in Teams for a while now, I am used to the feedback below and have been working on adapting my approach to speaking accordingly. My pace is generally too fast (it’s never told me it’s too slow). So, I have been improving at slowing down during my Teams meetings.
Figure 5: Teams Speaker Coach Pace
Filler words generally indicate that the speaker needs to think before they say what they want to say. Often, we use filler words to fill those gaps when we are talking. However, there is nothing wrong with a bit of silence, and when combined with a quick pace, filler words can often make it less likely that others will be willing to interject their thoughts into the conversation.
Figure 6: Teams Speaker Coach Fillers Words
Things to be aware of while using Speaker Coach in Teams:
When you share content in a Teams meeting with Speaker Coach turned on, you will want to avoid sharing the screen with the Teams UI on it due to the real-time feedback. It’s a bit disconcerting when you are presenting to a customer, and they see the Speaker Coach telling you to slow down your pace. 😊
Areas for enhancement in Speaker Coach:
There should be an ability to set exclusions on specific items in each of the different areas that the Speaker Coach in Teams is monitoring (Repetitive Language, Filler Words, Pace, Inclusiveness, Intonation, and Monolog). For example, I have seen some instances where the inclusiveness items are not relevant when speaking to specific groups of people. Additionally, I would expect that adding to the list of things being checked could also be helpful.
- Teams Speaker Coach, including how to activate it: Preview: Speaker Coach in a Teams meeting – Microsoft Support
- Teams: Speaker Coach [Develop a short recording for this: Now in public preview: Speaker Coach in Microsoft Teams Meetings – Microsoft Community Hub]
Speaker Coach in Microsoft Teams is currently in preview, but from my perspective, it works exceptionally well. If you aren’t already using this functionality and are on Teams calls, check it out! In the next part of this blog post series, we will look at Speaker Coach in PowerPoint!
Draw on the broader infrastructure capabilities of Microsoft Teams and elevate your contact center by replacing expensive and legacy hardware and software. 74% of contact center traffic is via voice. This is diminishing as we incorporate more digital sources of communication, but it is still the only choice for many.
This on-demand webinar covers:
- Make your business leaner and more efficient
- Leverage the architectural basics of direct routing and calling plans capabilities
- Employ AI to facilitate effortless customer interaction
- Use your data to personalize the customer experience using intelligent routing
- Gain insight, collaboration and suggestions to solve problems through CRM integration and reporting
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.
About the Customer
A shoe manufacturer and distributor in Colorado has distinguished themselves by placing comfort first with nontraditional looks. Since 2002, they have delivered shoes to over 90 countries, expanding their warehouses and retail store locations to keep up with growing worldwide consumer demand. In March, as a response to COVID-19, they launched a donation of shoes to healthcare workers across the globe that has now reached close to one million pairs of shoes.
The shoe distributor had been using legacy on-premise phone system equipment to manage their global call center including customer service support lines, wholesale support for retail stores distribution and support for point of sales. The platform was difficult to maintain across their worldwide locations, especially as the company was experiencing an increase in calls, which challenged the aging platform. The legacy equipment support was being outsourced to a third-party vendor as their employees did not have the hands-on experience to support the system themselves.
The company’s reliance on this vulnerable equipment for operational communication posed a major risk for the organization. When components in the hardware failed, it created an outage that was time-consuming to get back up and running. The lack of consistency in this legacy system was also hurting their operational performance. In addition, they did not have system access to make administrative changes, making it harder to assign and retire phone numbers when onboarding and offboarding employees at the call centers.
Quisitive conducted a phone system assessment to evaluate their legacy telephone environment. This created a baseline of what was actively in use from the previous system and what needed to be recreated in a new environment. Quisitive proposed a solution leveraging Teams Voice, a tool the company already owned but were not using. In order to provide quicker execution, Quisitive duplicated their legacy workloads in their Teams environment, rather than revamping their processes. Teams Voice provided stability, lower maintenance and overhead costs and continuous patch updates to provide future improvements.
Quisitive executed a phased deployment plan for locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. Their existing phone numbers were ported to the Microsoft phone system and activated in Teams Voice. In regions where number porting was not available, Quisitive implemented Session Border Controllers and Teams Direct Routing to provide calling services to Teams users through in-country telephone providers.
Quisitive also configured Teams-based auto attendants and call queues to support their US and international customer service and support lines to duplicate previous call center functionality. The use of Teams auto attendants and call queues provided the customer with multiple call flow options to meet their broad needs.
Their regional IT staff was trained by Quisitive to fully support and maintain their new phone system without being dependent on outside assistance.
In addition, Quisitive helped create a global IT support desk to help them expand. Quisitive also developed a plan to launch Teams Voice for more employees in different regions utilizing third-party vendors to coordinate work in various languages across multiple time zones.
The company has improved its remote employees’ access to communication with cloud-based Teams while ensuring security through inherited Microsoft 365 security and compliance.
Teams Voice provided the global shoe distributor:
- Improved remote work reliability and security with a cloud-based solution
- Consistent performance of business operations
- Reduced time spent on administrative work and ongoing maintenance patches
- Ability to provide service-level agreement (SLA) for call quality and availability
- Centralized technical knowledge for phone system support and maintenance
Updates to Microsoft Viva Engage
Inside Microsoft Viva Engage, Microsoft has made available Storyline in Public Preview. See the announcement here.
Storyline is a new way for people to share, connect, and contribute to their organization through Yammer and the Microsoft Viva Engage app. Previously, the only way to share broadly through Yammer was through communities, but communities aren’t always a perfect fit for what people want to share. In some cases, there may not be a community that matches the subject the person wants to discuss. In other cases, the community’s audience may be too broad, or not broad enough. Enter Storyline…
Storyline posts are posts to your followers and other interested people from within your organization. People interested in knowing what you have shared can go to your profile page in Yammer to view your storyline feed. Once there, they can choose to follow you and select through which clients, Teams and/or email, they want to be notified of new storyline posts. Because only people who follow you, and those who you @mention, will be notified when you make a new storyline post, you don’t need to worry about spamming people who aren’t interested in what you are sharing.
Updates to Microsoft Viva Topics in Teams
Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline for Viva Topics in Teams.
Viva Topics in Teams allows users to mention topics in their chat conversations so that others in the conversation can easily learn more about a topic by hovering over the topic name and viewing the topic card. This feature requires users to have a Viva Topics license.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 72189
When this will happen:
- Public Preview: We began rolling out in April and will continue rolling out through June and expect a complete rollout by late June.
- General Availability: We will continue rolling out through late June and expect a complete rollout by mid-October (previously late July).
- GCC: We will continue rolling out in early July and expect a complete rollout by late October (previously late August).
How this will affect your organization:
If your organization has users with Viva Topics licenses, those users will be able to mention topics by typing the # character and choosing a topic from the topic picker. The topic picker will narrow selections based on what the user types. Once a topic is selected, users can post the message.
What you need to do to prepare:
There is nothing you need to do to prepare for this change. The topics being displayed will be the same topics that are shown in Outlook Web and SharePoint.
Looking for assistance with Microsoft Viva?
Fall 2022 Microsoft Teams Updates
Microsoft Teams Update 1: Schedule Send for Teams Chat
As remote teams become more common and spread across multiple time zones, Teams is introducing the schedule send feature that allows users to schedule chat messages to be delivered in the future. With this feature, we can help build better work-life balance and support flexible schedules by scheduling chat messages so that they only deliver during our peer’s work hours. Users can schedule messages to be delivered both on desktop and mobile. Additionally, all scheduled messages can be edited and deleted before they are delivered.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88281
When this will happen: Production will begin rolling out in late September, and we are expected to complete the rollout by mid-October.
How this will affect your organization: All users within your organization will be allowed to schedule chat messages. All scheduled messages can only be delivered no more than 7 days in the future and cannot be flagged as urgent or important. Inline images and attached files will only be accessible by others in the chat once the message has been delivered.
Microsoft Teams Update 2: Video Clips in Teams Chat
Video Clips are a new way of working and connecting with coworkers using short videos in Teams. Users can capture, send, and playback video messages in Chat on all Teams endpoints. Recording is limited to 1min across all platforms.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 97158
When this will happen:
- Preview: We will begin rolling out mid-September and complete it by late September.
- GA: We will begin rolling out in late September and complete it by early October.
How this will affect your organization: Teams users can start using the feature. The feature is enabled by default and can be configured through messaging policies.
What you need to do to prepare: Try out the feature and share it with your colleagues. Admins can disable this feature via the Teams Admin center.
Microsoft Teams Update 3: Automatically view up to 49 videos (7×7) in Teams meeting
Microsoft Teams Meetings currently supports a maximum of 9 videos (3×3) on the screen by default (in Gallery view). For seeing more than 9 videos, users needs to manually select the ‘Large Gallery’ view. With this update, users will be able to automatically see up to 49 videos (7×7) on their screen by default without explicit action. However, the Large Gallery view will still continue to exist as an option.
The actual number of videos seen by a user in Gallery will depend on:
- Hardware/device capabilities
- Internet bandwidth
- Whether the content is popped out in a separate window or not
Please note: This enhancement will be supported on devices that meet hardware requirements (CPU, memory etc.). Detailed information regarding hardware requirements will be shared by Sep 22, 2022 (before GA release).
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 86435.
When this will happen:
- Public preview: Will begin rolling out in early September.
- Worldwide & GCC: Will begin rolling out in late September and complete in early October.
How this will affect your organization: No explicit user action is needed to enable or use this feature.
What you need to do to prepare: You may update your user documentation to inform users about this change.