Microsoft Ignite 2022 did not disappoint! With a real focus on catering to hybrid work environments for ever-changing work models, here are some of the top announcements from the conference that we are excited about.
- Mesh Avatars in Microsoft Teams
Oh my gosh, have you seen this? Mesh Avatars in Microsoft Teams allow you to set up a customized animated version of yourself to display when your camera is off. Once you have installed the Avatars App from the Teams App store you can design up to three avatars with hundreds of unique customization options. You can opt to use your avatar during meetings by selecting the Effects and Avatars menu before joining and choose from several gestures and reactions during the meeting. Mesh Avatars are now in private preview and I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on them!
Microsoft Tech Community
- Microsoft Teams Premium
Microsoft Teams Premium is an add-on that was designed to make everything more personalized, secure, and intelligent. It’s going into preview in December and then general availability in February 2023, and here are the highlighted features:
- Meeting guides managed by IT for a more personalized experience during meetings—be that a call with a client, prospecting call, brainstorming session, or others
- Custom logos and backgrounds during Teams meetings and for the lobby, as well as setting custom scenes for Together mode
- Teams meetings’ recaps
- Automatically generated and assigned AI-generated tasks after meetings
- Meeting recordings have highlights important moments in the meeting
- Real-time translations for 40 spoken languages
- Advanced meeting protection
- Advanced webinars
- New Teams Meeting Features
Microsoft Teams meetings are a workplace staple at this point, and Microsoft keeps adding features to improve the experience. Here are the new features announced at Ignite that I am most excited about:
- Cameo is now generally available. It is a PowerPoint experience that allows you to seamlessly integrate your camera feed into a PowerPoint live presentation and customize how you appear on slides.
- Collaborate with your team on an Excel spreadsheet in real-time through a meeting window through Excel Live.
- Meeting organizers can now assign seats to meeting participants in the Together mode view and select Together mode for everyone.
Presenting with Cameo
- New Collaborative Apps for Teams
How often do you check the Teams App Store? I am guilty of checking it daily to see what new apps I can find! Here are some of the newest collaborative apps that were announced at Ignite:
- 3M—Their Post-It® app allows users to digitize handwritten notes. With your phone or laptop camera, you can translate handwritten or drawn Post-It® notes onto your digital whiteboard.
- iHeartRadio—This app allows users to listen to music while working and share radio stations with team members. It is the first music app in Teams!
- There are also lots of other exciting new apps to explore by Microsoft partners, such as Workday, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Zoho, and others.
- Outlook update with tools in place for hybrid work
Hybrid working is here to stay, and new features are coming to Outlook to help employees stay connected:
- Working hours and location is a feature that allows users to plan their work week so their colleagues can better plan meetings and communications.
- Meeting recap makes it possible to find the information about a meeting and access the recording from the calendar event.
- Outlook and Teams are adding the ability to schedule a message to be sent at a later time and date to both accommodate employees in different time zones and to respect their off-hours and vacations.
- Outlook is adding message reactions so employees can react to and acknowledge emails the same way they can react to messages on Teams!
- Editor using Context IQ enables you to better navigate through your emails. By using @ mentions you can now surface relevant people and files based on the context typed in an email. Context IQ is a set of capabilities that connects people with the information they require. It works in the background to connect content across different Microsoft 365 products.
- New Features in Microsoft Project and Planner
To help balance team workloads and track project goals, several exciting new features are coming to Project for the web and Microsoft Planner. Here’s some of what we can expect:
- Seamless integration of Planner and Project to Viva Goals to allow for better visibility of the team’s work and progress in each project.
- Users will be able to see all their tasks in the Assigned to Me list (includes Tasks in Teams, Planner and To-Do).
- Users will be able to plan, prioritize and schedule the backlog of tasks into time-boxed blocks of Sprints in Project.
- There’s a new People view in Project that gives managers better understanding of workload distribution and allows for easy task reassignment.
- Video content in Microsoft 365
Video has quickly become an invaluable way to keep remote and hybrid teams connected, and Microsoft Stream, built on SharePoint, makes videos as easy to work with and share as documents. New features include:
- Improved Stream and webcam recording
- Background blur, inking text, and effects are now generally available
- Capability to access Teams meeting recordings now available in the Stream mobile app
- New meeting recording playback capabilities including personalized timeline markers, auto generated chapters, and intelligent search
- New capabilities for Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Microsoft introduced new capabilities for Microsoft Defender in Cloud that help to support hybrid and multi-cloud environments—enabling organizations to strengthen their cloud security posture, extend threat protection across workloads, and integrate DevOps security. New capabilities include:
- Microsoft Defender for DevOps: A new solution that will provide visibility across multiple DevOps environments to centrally manage DevOps security, strengthen cloud resource configurations in code, and help prioritize remediation of critical issues in code across multi-pipeline and multi-cloud environments.
- Microsoft Defender Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): Now available in preview, this solution will build on existing capabilities to deliver integrated insights across cloud resources, including DevOps, runtime infrastructure, and external attack surfaces, and will provide contextual risk-based information to security teams.
- Microsoft cloud security benchmark: This built-in benchmark maps best practices across clouds and industry frameworks, enabling security teams to drive multi-cloud security compliance. Now generally available with Microsoft Defender for Cloud.
- Expanded workload protection capabilities: Microsoft Defender for Servers will support agentless scanning, in addition to an agent-based approach to virtual machines (VMs) in Azure and AWS. Defender for Servers P2 will provide Microsoft Defender Vulnerability Management premium capabilities. Microsoft Defender for Containers will expand multi-cloud threat protection with agentless scanning in AWS Elastic Container Registry. These updates are in preview.
Be sure to check out the Microsoft Ignite Book of News for more information and a comprehensive list of all announcements from Ignite 2022. As always, your Connection resources are here to help. Reach out to your Account Team to learn more.