My Ignite 2020

Another year has passed and Microsoft haven’t slowed down on the development on their cloud services. As always during Ignite there is a ton of news, technical and inspirational sessions and fun activities.
With this article I would like to share news that I think are particular interesting and give you some insights why I like them.

I want to start with the new integration between Planner and Microsoft 365 message center for all Microsoft 365 admins out there.

Some messages in message center requires actions from admins and with this integration it is easy to take a message and directly create a task and assign it to the correct persons within the department. This will, at least for my customers, help them to deliver a better service for their end users.

Project Oakdale – Public preview

Quickly create custom business apps for your team with low code and without opening another tool requiring another add-on license.

So what does this mean for us?
Microsoft has released a preview versions of the new Power Platform apps in the Teams app catalogue. With the new apps we can quickly, built-in within Teams, build low-code or no-code apps, flows and chatbots that we quickly can deploy to our team.
Project Oakdale is included with the most of all existing Teams licenses and gives us storage of 2GB per team with support for up to 1 million rows.

Teams news

Since Covid-19 Microsoft have really focused on deliver a better meeting experience in Teams and with health studies they innovate features so that we who are consuming the service will feel better and in the end be more productive. So here is some of the news announced.

Meetings

  • Together mode scenes coming later this year.
    Makes it possible to change the scene. Instead of the look of only an auditorium you can, as an example, choose a conference room scene.
  • Custom layouts puts your video feed on top of the presentation.
    Looks like you are using your presentation as a background effect. Giving presentations a even more professional look.
  • Meeting extensibility with 20+ integrations coming in October.
    Makes it possible to integrate different meeting services, third party, into your meeting experience
  • Breakout rooms coming later this year.
    Giving us a better way to execute digital workshops.
  • Attendee registrations for Live Events coming later this year.
    A great feature coming so that if we use Live Events as our webinar tool with an external audience, with customers as an example, we can follow up with them watching the event.

Collaboration

  • Team templates is general available.
    Administrators can help the organization with setting up custom templates with which channels, tabs and apps that should be provisioned. Helps us to standardize team structures such as project teams as an example.
  • 25,000 team members.
    For larger organization this might be more relevant.
  • Power BI app in preview.
    With this app you can start to collaborate with your Power BI reports in a whole new manner.
  • A new search results experience.
    When you search in Teams you will be presented with a all sections displaying messages, people and files in one view. Of course you can still go to the different section to just view messages as an example. I think this search experience is a great new feature that at least I will appreciate.
  • Save message as task in Planner.
    How many times didn’t you get that message in a chat or channel conversation that you forgot to take action on? Now you can save that message quickly as an task and then follow up in your Planner app in Teams. A small feature but might be one of my favorites.

Calling

  • 6 new calling plan countries.
    Sweden is one of them, easy way to get started with calling regular PSTN calls via Teams.
  • Collaborative calling.
    Skip creating call groups if your group already are member of a team and channel. Add the call queue directly to your channel in a team.

Admin

  • SharePoint home site app.
    Easily integrate your organizations SharePoint home site or intranet and pin the app in the app bar in Teams. Rolls out in Q4. Organizations can customize the app with branding.
  • Customer key support.
    As an public preview later this year Teams will support customer key.
  • Device management role.
    We can start to delegate device management role to administrators that only should be able to administrate Teams devices such as phones, Teams rooms and collaboration bars as some examples.

The new Stream vs Stream Classic

Microsoft announced a new vision for the Microsoft 365 video service with “the new Microsoft Stream”.
The main thing is that instead that video has it’s own storage like in Stream classic the storage will be based on SharePoint and OneDrive meaning that private meetings in Teams will be saved in our OneDrive and shared to the meeting participants and channel meetings will be saved in the SharePoint site connected to the team.

The vision is to see Stream as one of the Office applications and the service is rebuilt to integrate with the different services and apps in the suite so that you can manage videos as easily as any other Office file in SharePoint and OneDrive.
In short, the new Stream will be a media player.

Pros vs cons

  • Positive is that the new Stream will leverage the power of content services for compliance, governance, permissions and sharing that already exists in SharePoint and OneDrive which means easier for organizations to have control over their data instead of files being spread over multiple services.
  • Another positive thing is this means sharing a video with external or anonymous will work.
  • Hopefully when you share i video or sound clip in Teams chat the Stream media player will integrate and make the experience more satisfying.
  • Negative is that we need to do another video migration. The migration from Office 365 videos will be completed during Q1 2021 and after that we need to migrate videos to the new Stream service. For more information regarding the migration see this section in docs.
  • What about the included Stream classic storage, will customers in theory loose 50% of their data storage?

Wellbeing

Microsoft presented a lot of material regarding wellbeing. Have a look at the video below presenting the new Insights app in Teams. I think this app can help us balance our digital work life.

Summarize

For being the first digital version of Ignite I think the experience was overall good. I had that Ignite feeling with having to many sessions in my schedule colliding and feeling stress over which session to choose. The sessions was overall high quality. I missed the expo or connection zone to meet people in real life, maybe next time Microsoft should consider set up a virtual connection zone, in for instance Minecraft so that we can walk around virtually connecting with Microsoft experts, partners and other attendees.

Ignite was packed with features, if you missed then have a look at the 2020 version of book of news.

Lastly I would like to share a quote from a Toyota employee explaining why they focus on letting their users develop in Power platform.

“The main reason we have citizen development is to battle against shadow IT.
It’s all about visibility”

-Toyota employee

As an surprise Microsoft announced that the next Ignite will be in mars 2021. Possibly with the same amount of news presented. I’m already excited!

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