We were delighted to have the father of Microsoft SharePoint and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, Jeff Teper, as our keynote speaker at our very first Valo EU Online Summit last week. In his opening gambit, Jeff praised Valo for our innovation and for being a great partner!
Thanks Valo for being a great Microsoft 365, SharePoint and Teams partner and hosting this community event. https://t.co/yrjz63PwQu
— Jeff Teper (@jeffteper) June 5, 2020
In his speech, Jeff laid out Microsoft’s vision for the future of Microsoft 365. He said although Microsoft loves the technology, the future is all about empowering employees and organizations. And we couldn’t agree more!
Since the pandemic began, Microsoft has been working on enhancing how people do remote work. Its focus has been on improving productivity, security and privacy. But also, on building a climate for “transformative applications” that will help businesses continue interacting with customers and partners externally where ever they’re operating from.
So, let’s take a look at ten of the highlights from Jeff’s speech.
1. Microsoft Teams is the fastest growing business product in Microsoft’s history
Microsoft Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users, of whom two-thirds have shared, collaborated, or interacted with files on Microsoft Teams.
In the last quarter, with the adoption of remote work and education, the daily minutes on Microsoft Teams calls and meetings has grown twenty-fold to over four billion minutes a day.
In fact, in April 2020, there was a record-breaking 200 million Microsoft Teams meeting participants in a single day! If you want to learn how to become a Microsoft Teams Rockstar, don’t forget to check out our Gokan Ozcifci’s eBook on the topic.
2. Microsoft Teams is evolving as a hub for teamwork
Microsoft Teams, which brings together calling, chat, meetings, collaboration, and has recently integrated Yammer for community support, is evolving.
Microsoft Teams now has a dual role.
Not only does it bring together all Microsoft’s communication tools and applications such as SharePoint and Planner. It is also a hub for other Microsoft third party applications, such as Valo Teamwork and Valo Intranet, that can be seamlessly integrated to Microsoft Teams.
Valo is a very innovative company. They’ve been a great partner throughout our time modernising SharePoint and now integrating with Microsoft Teams.
3. There’s been two years of digital transformation in two months
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation, recently said that Microsoft has seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.
Guest speaker Susan Hanley said she has witnessed the acceleration of digital projects in the last few months. Citing an example of a US hospital that had planned to roll out a tele-medicine solution in 2020, which was due to take several months’, but was compressed into several weeks.
4. IT have gone from behind-the-scenes operators to front-line heroes
IT teams, who are used to operating behind the scenes, have taken center stage in their efforts to keep organizations going in during the crisis. Jeff even called them the new “heroes”.
The tasks they’ve had to do have been varied. Some have had to scale their infrastructure and add additional layers of security. Whereas others have had to figure out how to provide equipment for people in order to be able to work from home.
And many have had to provide additional programmes to support their colleagues who need help with information and digital literacy skills.
5. Trust and protection of data are paramount in the world of remote work
Satya Nadella always leads his keynotes talking about how important trust and protection of data is. Never has this been more important with organizations trying to run their businesses remotely.
As a result, Microsoft has introduced a raft of new security measures. A new DLP policy has been created to prevent the sharing of financial information over email, files and team chats in channel messages.
Using DLP for Microsoft 365 users now have full control over how sensitive information is shared in an organization. Data is automatically protected irrespective of where it is stored or where it travels.
6. Using tech to clamp down on workplace harassment and bullying
Creating a “culture of inclusion” is a top priority for Microsoft. With the rapid adoption of the communication tools, Microsoft has rolled out a new communication compliance feature in Microsoft 365 that detects and prevents negative behaviours and harassment and bullying.
The new function can automatically detect patterns of harassment, threats and even profanity across messages. Allowing moderators in organizations to follow up and take appropriate action swiftly.
7. AI being used to improve functionality and enhance inclusion
Microsoft is using AI in a number of ways in Microsoft 365. One feature is its Live captions. It’s been built for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency or are dialling in from a noisy environment. And makes it easy for everyone to follow along with the meeting.
Microsoft Teams also has a new raise hand function, so all participants’ input can be heard. And Microsoft has added a background noise suppression function to reduce noise such as someone typing loudly on their keyboard, or working in an open space.
8. Remote work is more than a video meeting
Remote work is much more than attending a video meeting! A lot of people want to stay connected across their organization and tap into larger communities other than just working with their immediate colleagues.
So, Microsoft has introduced the Yammer App directly into Microsoft Teams to help people participate in the conversations that go beyond just their core working group and your teammates.
9. SharePoint is an App and a Platform
Jeff is always asked, is SharePoint an App or a platform? And he said it is both!
SharePoint is a platform that delivers intelligent content services, it has an App and great SharePoint websites.
But SharePoint is also the platform by which Microsoft serves up files experiences, list experiences, knowledge experiences across Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams, and in the custom apps!
10. Microsoft’s brand new product SharePoint Home Sites is now available to everyone
Microsoft has launched a brand new product to help organizations create branded websites called Home Sites. Valo was one of the original 15 global launch partners as announced last year.
Home Sites makes it easier for comms teams to create more engaging SharePoint sites to help inform their employees and help staff discover knowledge in their organization.
There are many features, but we particularly like the Multilingual feature. A lot of our multinational customers need to localize pages for the languages that their employees speak. Now at a click of a mouse users can change the content shown into multiple languages. This makes it possible for all employees to get access to the same information in their mother tongue.
If you missed Jeff’s announcements and want to hear about these more in detail, we have the webinar for you to watch on-demand!
Get in touch to find out how our digital workplace tools, built on Microsoft 365, enable work to take place anywhere, any time and on any device!