Microsoft Inspire is a conference held annually by Microsoft for its partner community. This year it was a virtual event, meaning many of the IT Partners Team were able to tune in and gain a greater understanding of Microsoft’s roadmap for the upcoming year.

We are excited to share a summary of the upcoming innovations that may be of benefit to you and your team!

Key Takeout’s

1. Microsoft Teams and tools for remote work

Teams has experienced 900% growth in adoption and has become a key facet of virtual collaboration. Microsoft is outpacing collaboration competitors through its rapid development of Teams – focusing on closing important feature gaps and solving pain points.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, discussed some of the new features coming to Teams. Such as Together Mode, coming in August. Nadella highlighted that “This new experience uses AI to digitally place participants in a shared background… Our research shows that the brain exerts less effort when participating in a meeting using the Together Mode.”

Microsoft also announced the new Power BI personal app for Teams. The app will give users a single location for all their data visualisations and a place to find more data from across their organisation.

Here are examples of further features coming to Teams:
• New dynamic view for meetings
• Highlighting people speaking and raising hands in the meeting
• Improved “pin the person” mode
• 7×7 gallery view
• Background noise suppression
• Live captions to help with conversation overlap or large groups
• Advanced meeting transcript – what was said / who said it (minutes with actions)

You can read more these additions here.

2. Microsoft Lists for effective task management

MS Lists will be added to the Microsoft 365 Suite as a stand-alone app in the coming weeks. This new app will allow you to track issues, manage inventory, build out event agendas, report status, manage FAQs, and more! The app also includes templates to provide an easier way to start lists, and Power Platform integrations are enabled as well. Lists will also be added to Teams in August and to iOS later in the year.

3. Enabling secure remote work

Security was another major focus for Microsoft at this year’s Inspire event. Organisations are needing to strengthen their security practices to support employees with access to company data and sharing information in a collaborative manner. The recent Microsoft security announcements are focused on solutions that offer improved data protection and seamless security deployment. Examples include:
• Endpoint Data Loss Prevention
• Insider Risk Management and Communication Compliance

4.Power Platform

Microsoft’s Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate) also had solutions introduced at Inspire 2020. New enhancements to the Power Platform within Teams makes Teams a more powerful hub for teamwork and business process. Microsoft Dataflex (previously Common Data Service – CDS), a relational database, is now built into Teams at no additional cost, enabling users to create, deploy and manage Power Apps inside MS Teams.

For end users, Microsoft’s array of offerings can be complex to navigate! Our Professional Services team have years of experience in helping clients navigate the Microsoft eco-system, giving companies competitive advantage. You can get in touch with Bevan or Art at [email protected].