We’re experiencing digital transformation at epic velocity. COVID-19 has accelerated secular tendencies within the methods we work and stay, jumpstarting sturdy new habits that may persist nicely previous the pandemic.

All through 2020, as we’ve navigated the equal of a 12 months of digital transformation each month, it’s IT professionals who’ve led the way in which. When COVID-19 triggered a sudden shift to distant work, IT professionals introduced complete organizations on-line—generally over a single weekend. They skilled people and groups on important new instruments, shortly deployed customized apps, and vigilantly protected organizations from more and more complicated safety threats. Now, as enterprise leaders look to construct resilient organizations and discover new alternatives for enlargement, they’re seeking to IT professionals for sustainable options to help them for the lengthy haul.

We wish to assist. At Microsoft, it’s our mission to empower each particular person and each group on the planet to realize extra. As we speak at Microsoft Ignite, we’re asserting scores of recent options and capabilities that purpose to do exactly that. However on this age of accelerated transformation, serving to our prospects obtain extra additionally requires a broader view. So we’ve dedicated to turning into the world’s finest college students on the way forward for work, carefully learning our personal telemetry, and dealing carefully with prospects and researchers throughout each discipline, to grasp our difficult new actuality. This distinctive vantage level has formed our understanding of the place leaders and organizations must focus at the moment and sooner or later, and guided our innovation investments to construct instruments to help them.

As we kick off Microsoft Ignite 2020, listed here are seven keys to success for each IT and enterprise chief to empower individuals for the brand new world of labor—plus innovation in every space to ship human ingenuity at scale.  

1. Reimagine teamwork, tradition, and social capital–digitally.

We’re reimagining conferences and workspaces to unlock new types of collaboration, assist individuals and groups keep related and engaged, and guarantee fluid communication throughout organizations.

Higher conferences for everybody

Microsoft Groups presents an end-to-end assembly answer that scales to help your assembly, calling, and large-scale occasion wants. Announced this summer season, Collectively mode is a brand new assembly expertise in Groups that helps individuals really feel nearer collectively even when they’re aside by putting them in a shared background. This makes conferences extra partaking by exhibiting individuals’ faces and physique language, making it simpler to choose up on the non-verbal cues which might be so essential to human interplay. As we speak, we’re asserting new Collectively mode scenes, together with auditoriums, convention rooms, and a espresso store—all out there later this 12 months. Presenters will be capable to choose a scene from the gallery because the default for all assembly attendees. We’re additionally introducing using machine studying in Collectively mode to mechanically scale and middle assembly individuals of their digital seats, no matter how shut or far they’re from their digital camera, making a extra practical visible expertise.

In July, we introduced new methods for assembly individuals to regulate what they see in Groups with Dynamic view. As we speak, we’re asserting customized layouts, coming later this 12 months, that may enable presenters to customise how content material exhibits up for individuals in the course of the assembly. For instance, when a presenter is exhibiting a PowerPoint slide, individuals will be capable to see the presenter’s video feed transposed onto the foreground of the slide they’re exhibiting.

An animated image of Teams Custom layouts.

We’re additionally excited to announce that Breakout rooms, some of the requested Groups options, will likely be out there subsequent month. Assembly organizers will be capable to break up up individuals into smaller teams to facilitate brainstorming periods or workgroup discussions. Presenters can then hop between breakout rooms, make bulletins to all breakout rooms, and shut the rooms to return everybody to the principle assembly.

An animated image of Teams Breakout rooms.

Greater than 20 companions together with HireVue, ServiceNow, Vary, Buncee, and PagerDuty are utilizing new Groups assembly extensions, which can transfer to basic availability in October, to combine their apps and allow customized assembly experiences in Groups. Assembly organizers can entry apps from both AppSource or the Groups retailer and add them as they schedule the assembly.

An image of of Teams Meeting Extensibility.

After a gathering in Groups, a recap with the assembly recording, transcript, chat, shared information, and extra will likely be mechanically created in Groups. Assembly recaps assist transfer work ahead for each assembly individuals and for individuals who have been unable to attend a gathering. The recap will even be out there in your Outlook calendar by going to the assembly occasion. And shortly, assembly recordings will likely be mechanically saved—like different information are at the moment—in Microsoft 365 to allow them to be shared, simply and compliantly, with exterior individuals.

An image of Teams Meeting Recap.

For buyer shows together with webinars, we’re asserting Groups help for attendee registration with automated emails to make it simpler to handle attendance and consider a reporting dashboard after the assembly to assist perceive attendee engagement. Attendee reporting and scheduling APIs will even be out there, so prospects can carry this information into their CRM and advertising and marketing automation apps, and extra.

Various enhancements are coming later this 12 months for the Calling expertise inside Microsoft Groups, together with a streamlined view that exhibits contacts, voicemail, and calling historical past directly, making it simpler to provoke or return a name with a single click on.

Additionally, Groups conferences are rising to help as much as 1,000 individuals with the complete assembly expertise by the top of the 12 months. For bigger conferences and occasions that require further management, Groups will quickly seamlessly scale to help 20,000 individuals in a view-only assembly expertise that features the power to make use of stay captions. These new capabilities will likely be out there to prospects with the brand new Superior Communications plan. Be taught extra about these enhancements within the Microsoft Tech Community.

Instruments for a related worker expertise

The brand new dwelling web site app brings the ability of your SharePoint dwelling web site, together with the remainder of your intranet, straight into Groups. This offers staff a simple gateway to their group’s intranet, with customizable naming, branding, and multi-level navigation to groups, communities, and sources. Coming later this 12 months, you’ll be capable to customise the app identify and icon to match your group’s branding and pin it to the app bar in Groups for fast entry to look and a personalised view of stories and essential websites.

An image of the SharePoint Homesite App.

We’re additionally asserting a set of recent instruments for office communications that may allow organizations to spice up the visibility of stories and bulletins, higher join staff to their leaders, and foster a tighter office neighborhood. Be taught extra about these on our Microsoft Tech Community blog.

Units for the workspace of the long run

To assist create workspaces the place individuals can collaborate successfully and safely each remotely and from the work web site, we’re designing experiences the place each attendee—distant or in-person—is a first-class participant. As organizations proceed the transition again to the workplace, shared house units like Microsoft Groups Rooms and Floor Hub will likely be important instruments in delivering the last word hybrid office expertise. That can assist you get began, Microsoft, with help from specialised assembly room companions, can deploy two of your Groups Rooms at no further cost (phrases and circumstances apply). Be taught extra at rooms.microsoft.com.

As we speak we’re asserting Microsoft Groups panels, a brand new class of units that may be mounted outdoors of a gathering house to inform individuals of scheduling and occupancy and to help with wayfinding across the workplace. Groups panels can even use data from different related licensed Groups units, like cameras that help individuals counting, to indicate room capability data and assist everybody observe their group’s security tips for shared areas. We’re glad to announce our first Groups panel companions are Crestron and Yealink.

We’re additionally enabling further methods to have interaction with in-room units with out contact. Later this 12 months, Microsoft Groups Rooms units will help new touchless conferences capabilities—just like the Room distant app, Groups casting, and voice help with Microsoft Cortana.

An image of Teams Panels.

As we speak, we’re additionally excited to announce that the Floor Hub 2S 85-inch mannequin is offered for pre-sale reservations for industrial prospects within the US, with availability starting in January 2021. Floor Hub harnesses the complete energy of Microsoft, together with Microsoft 365, Groups, Home windows, and extra to create connections and unlock productiveness for groups in every single place. We’re additionally asserting two new software program capabilities for Floor Hub 2S. First, we’re bringing the complete Home windows 10 desktop expertise to Floor Hub 2S, which provides individuals a very customized Home windows expertise on a superb giant display. Second, we’re releasing the Home windows 10 Staff 2020 Replace for Floor Hub 2S, which improves the Groups assembly expertise and introduces the brand new Microsoft Edge browser to Hub. For extra particulars, take a look at this Surface blog post.

An image of the Surface Hub 2S.

2. Prioritize wellbeing to assist individuals focus and be their finest.

Because the in-office, nine-to-five workday offers strategy to fluid work fashions and versatile hours, we’re spending extra time speaking with each other digitally, and infrequently outdoors of conventional work hours. In Groups, for example, we’re seeing the variety of chats and conferences per particular person proceed to develop, particularly after hours. In the meantime, workdays all over the world are growing in size. Whereas it’s nice to attach with our teammates, all of us want reminders to take time to detach from work with the intention to protect our wellbeing. Analysis from our newest Work Trend Index underscores simply how essential that is. In a worldwide research, over 30% of Firstline and knowledge staff stated the pandemic has elevated their sense of burnout at work. And one-third of distant staff stated the shortage of separation between work and life is negatively impacting their wellbeing. To assist leaders prioritize wellbeing for each worker, we’re introducing experiences to assist construction the day, make house for breaks, nurture relationships, and keep on high of duties.

Wellbeing experiences in Groups

We could not miss that hour of site visitors bookending our days, however research from Microsoft Analysis exhibits that commutes can function significant transitions firstly and finish of the workday—and that the reflection we do throughout that point can enhance productiveness by 12-15%. Obtainable within the first half of 2021, new options in Groups will make it seamless to construction your day by scheduling a digital commute that helps you will have a productive begin within the morning and mindfully disconnect within the night. Our world research additionally discovered that 70% of individuals assume meditation might assist relieve their work-related stress. The science backs this up. Research show meditation can scale back stress and burnout and enhance your capability to react to suggestions. So at the moment, we’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with Headspace to carry a curated set of mindfulness experiences and science-backed meditations into the movement of labor in Microsoft Groups. Whether or not you’re a distant employee seeking to discover focus earlier than a giant presentation or a Firstline Employee hoping to de-stress after an extended workday, this expertise makes it simpler to search out time to loosen up and get well.

A brand new keep related expertise in Groups helps people strengthen relationships with their colleagues by making it simple to reward high collaborators for key achievements and to schedule 1:1s to catch up. It additionally helps you keep on high of your commitments by intelligently surfacing prompt duties and emails from Outlook—plus @mentions in Groups—that may require observe up.

Close to the beginning of the day, people will even obtain a daily Briefing email from Cortana—together with key private productiveness insights and prompt duties for that day—proper of their Outlook inboxes. This function will turn out to be typically out there starting in September.

Supervisor and chief insights in Groups

Managers carry the life preservers for his or her groups in intervals of disruption, serving to them prioritize and defend their time whereas staying related. Starting in October, we’re bringing Office Analytics into Groups to provide managers line of sight into teamwork norms like after-hours collaboration, focus time, assembly effectiveness, and cross-company connections. These will then be in comparison with averages amongst related groups to supply managers with actionable insights.

At present, Office Analytics presents manager-initiated change packages to carry the group collectively round an motion plan for enhancing well being and effectiveness. Strategies remind people to unplug on the finish of the day, reclaim time to focus, and scale back assembly overload. Weekly summaries enable the group to observe progress and have fun successes. In 2021, we are going to combine these options into Groups as nicely.

As organizations face uncertainty and alter, firm leaders want visibility into how work is evolving and the way adjustments are affecting the individuals whose creativity and innovation will propel their enterprise into the long run. Powered by Office Analytics, new insights in Groups enable leaders to ask questions like “Are employees at risk for burnout? Are people maintaining strong internal connections? Are relationships with customers being maintained?” Working like a well being monitor for organizational resilience, this function helps leaders observe indicators of worker wellbeing, reply to irregular rhythms with research-backed finest practices, and measure the influence of change over time.  

Lastly, we’re refreshing the enterprise continuity report, a part of the Microsoft Productiveness Rating, to assist prospects measure how the transfer to distant work has affected collaboration norms for his or her organizations.

3. Create a trusted, safe, trendy expertise for each worker.

As versatile hours and hybrid work fashions turn out to be the norm, offering a safe trendy expertise for each worker has by no means been extra essential. We’re introducing new options and capabilities for IT professionals to assist empower everybody to work securely from anyplace. We’ve included highlights beneath, however please take a look at my colleague Brad Anderson’s Microsoft 365 blog for a deep dive.

New options in Microsoft Endpoint Supervisor

Microsoft Endpoint Supervisor is the command middle that enables IT professionals to make distant and hybrid work doable for people and groups throughout their organizations. As we speak, we’re asserting the general public preview of a number of options in Endpoint Supervisor designed to enhance end-user experiences and simplify IT practices. Built-in into Endpoint Supervisor, Microsoft Tunnel is a distant entry answer that permits iOS and Android units to attach on-premises apps and sources from nearly anyplace. Endpoint Supervisor additionally now helps administration of digital endpoints, so you’ll be able to handle your Home windows Digital Desktop endpoints, or third-party VDI options, throughout the identical console as your bodily PCs. We are actually additionally offering a first-class administration expertise on macOS to fulfill the productiveness wants most essential for our Mac admins. New capabilities embody the power to deploy scripts to units, new enrollment experiences with single sign-on (SSO) throughout apps, and new managed app lifecycle options from Apple. We’re additionally asserting help for Shared iPad for Enterprise. This permits IT professionals to deploy shared iPads to customers and permit them to log in with their Microsoft Azure Energetic Listing work accounts into separate partitions of the gadget.

An animated image of the Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

New investments in safety, compliance, and id

As we speak we’re additionally asserting that we’re unifying our options throughout Microsoft 365 safety and Azure safety to ship probably the most complete prolonged detection and response (XDR) in the marketplace. Microsoft Defender, now inclusive of Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender, prevents, detects, and responds to threats throughout identities, endpoints, functions, e mail, infrastructure, and cloud platforms. 

And to assist organizations all over the world as they face the necessity to adjust to an elevated quantity and frequency of trade and regional laws, we’re asserting the brand new Compliance Supervisor, which offers a library of greater than 150 out-of-the-box and scalable assessments.

That can assist you to guard identities, apps, and providers throughout your complete surroundings, each in and out of doors of Microsoft, we’re additionally asserting new Azure Energetic Listing Utility Proxy capabilities and accomplice integrations, in addition to new Microsoft 365 connectors and Microsoft Graph APIs.

These are only a style of the numerous safety, compliance, and id improvements we’re asserting at Ignite at the moment. For extra about our new investments in safety, compliance, and id, please check out my colleague Vasu Jakkal’s blog.

New worker and know-how experiences in Productiveness Rating

Additionally built-in into Endpoint Supervisor, the previously announced Endpoint Analytics in Productiveness Rating will likely be typically out there by the top of October to assist organizations perceive and empower nice work with highly effective know-how. Productiveness Rating focuses on two areas, the worker expertise, and the know-how expertise, providing visibility into how your group works, insights to determine the place you can also make enhancements, and actions you’ll be able to take to replace expertise and methods so that everybody can do their finest work.

Productiveness Rating will even introduce three new classes. Two new worker expertise classes deal with conferences and teamwork to assist leaders perceive finest practices and applied sciences that assist guarantee inclusive, constant, and efficient methods for individuals to work collectively. In the meantime, a brand new know-how expertise class, Microsoft 365 Apps well being, offers insights into efficiency and foreign money, retaining important apps updated, safe, and capable of help worker workflows. To be taught extra about these updates take a look at the devoted Productivity Score blog post.

An animated image of the Leader Insights Productivity Score.

A brand new Outlook expertise for Mac

We’re additionally happy to announce the brand new Outlook for Mac. Constructed on Microsoft sync know-how, it brings updates throughout the Mail, Search, Calendar, and Individuals experiences which might be designed for simplicity, reliability, and customization. The up to date expertise is fastidiously crafted and particularly designed with the ability of Microsoft Providers to supply options and insights which might be related to you and allow you to customise the expertise. Learn all the particulars on our Outlook blog.

An image of Outlook for Mac.

New Microsoft Workplace administration and servicing capabilities 

To assist prospects get probably the most out of their Microsoft 365 funding, we’re asserting a wave of recent Workplace administration and servicing capabilities. These embody a predictable and dependable enterprise-level servicing mannequin designed to reduce interruption and to optimize community utilization. IT admins will get further flexibility by way of capabilities like push-button rollback and “snooze updates until next release.” We’re additionally introducing new cloud-based controls and insights—together with inventories of apps and add-ins, insights into channel combine, safety patch compliance, and detailed controls. Instruments to handle regressions and apply insurance policies will additional assist IT to spice up efficiency, reliability, and safety with out compromising controls or including additional prices. Lastly, new Workplace app well being and remediation capabilities will assist free IT professionals to focus much less on troubleshooting and extra on delivering strategic worth to their organizations.

New improvements for Home windows Builders

We’re doubling down on Home windows developer innovation at Ignite this 12 months with the newest model of React Native for Home windows, new MSIX options, up to date Home windows Runtime parts, new Home windows SDK packages, and extra. All of the developer enhancements are designed to streamline and simplify alternatives for Home windows builders and amplify what is feasible on the Home windows platform. Many of those new options and packages can be found at the moment or later this 12 months. To be taught extra, go to the Windows Developer Blog.

Microsoft Edge on Linux

With the brand new Microsoft Edge, we wish to free prospects to make use of the browser throughout all of their units. Along with Home windows 10, the brand new Microsoft Edge is already out there on Home windows 7, Home windows 8, macOS, iOS, and Android, and at the moment we’re asserting that the preview of Microsoft Edge on Linux is coming in October. Prospects will be capable to obtain the Microsoft Edge Dev channel for Linux from the Insiders website or from the native package deal supervisor. To be taught extra about all the things new with Microsoft Edge, and its highly effective anti-phishing instruments, go to the Ignite version of the brand new Web Experiences Blog.

An animated image of Microsoft Edge on Linux.

4. Unlock the info, information, and experience of your complete group.

Powered by the Microsoft Graph, our information experiences permit you to seize and redeploy all the data in your group to profit people and groups.

Reworking content material into information

Final 12 months we introduced Venture Cortex, a Microsoft 365-initiative to floor insights and experience within the apps you employ day-after-day utilizing superior synthetic intelligence (AI). Primarily based on buyer suggestions supplied throughout non-public preview, we will likely be making these AI-powered capabilities out there to prospects as a set of distinctive improvements.

The primary product we are going to ship is SharePoint Syntex, which makes use of superior AI and machine instructing to amplify human experience, automate content material processing, and rework content material into information. SharePoint Syntex permits you to train AI to learn a doc and extract data as you’d with no-code AI fashions. Subsequent it makes use of your fashions to mechanically course of content material, then extracts data and applies metadata. With wealthy metadata, you will discover and work with content material extra simply and mechanically apply sensitivity and retention labels to handle compliance and streamline processes—for example, flagging information that deserve consideration. SharePoint Syntex will likely be out there to buy for Microsoft 365 industrial prospects on October 1. We’ll be releasing new providers later this 12 months that manage data into matters and ship information to allow a wealthy worker expertise all through Microsoft 365. Learn more.

A brand new imaginative and prescient for Microsoft Stream

We’re excited to share a new imaginative and prescient for Microsoft Stream—the clever video app in Microsoft 365. We’re rebuilding Stream to combine seamlessly with functions throughout the suite, so you’ll be able to create, share, and uncover video as simply as an Workplace doc. Prospects who wish to create future-proof video experiences in Microsoft 365 can begin at the moment with SharePoint and Graph File APIs. For purchasers utilizing traditional Stream, we are going to help your transition to the brand new Stream over the approaching months, with a phased introduction of recent options in Microsoft 365, migration instruments, and steering. 

An image of Microsoft Stream.

New innovation in Microsoft Search

We’re additionally introducing new improvements in Microsoft Search, together with Microsoft Graph connectors, to incorporate a brand new connector from Microsoft for Salesforce. Microsoft Graph connectors allow you to search throughout not solely Microsoft 365 however dozens of exterior providers as nicely, along with over 100 distinctive connectors from our companions. Learn extra in our MTC blog.

5. Automate course of and workflows to extend discontinuous innovation.

AI and automation streamline workflows and free individuals up from rote duties, giving them again time, focus, and vitality for the inventive and revolutionary work that solely people can do.

Enterprise course of transformation with Groups plus Energy Platform

Customers will quickly have much more intuitive and highly effective low-code methods to construct the options they should run their enterprise processes in Groups. We’re excited to announce the final availability of the embedded Energy Apps and Energy Digital Brokers studios, powered by “Project Oakdale,” which give Groups customers the power to construct, edit, and publish customized apps and chatbots—proper in Groups. And constructing and deploying these customized bots is even simpler with native authentication and easy bot publishing. A brand new Energy Automate app in Groups makes it simpler to automate workflows with easy-to-use templates and a less complicated constructing expertise. Microsoft Groups will even natively allow approval workflows, which might be custom-made utilizing Energy Automate, and we anticipate to combine e-sign providers similar to Adobe Signal later this 12 months. Lastly, the brand new Energy BI app for Groups permits organizations to foster a data-driven tradition with a central hub for information and studies, together with curated really useful studies. These options will launch later this 12 months.

6. Embrace everybody in digital transformation.

New trade options, together with experiences designed for Firstline Employees, assist organizations allow digital transformation for all their staff.

Trade options in Groups

Guaranteeing that individuals have entry to the proper instruments to do their jobs is pivotal in each trade, particularly industries like authorities, monetary providers, and healthcare. It’s now even simpler to tailor Groups for trade with templates, get digital go to reminders and be a part of through cell, allow collaboration with Lists, and far more.

For instance, many healthcare organizations have ramped up their telehealth choices to allow distant medical visits and help telehealth workflows with Groups. The brand new Microsoft Teams EHR connector, now in non-public preview, will enable clinicians to launch a digital affected person go to or seek the advice of with one other supplier from inside their digital well being file (EHR) system. This can streamline the expertise for medical doctors and sufferers, serving to them present high-quality care. Epic would be the first EHR system to combine with Groups on this means, and Groups will likely be out there within the Epic App Orchard later this 12 months. This is among the many new capabilities inside Microsoft 365 and the brand new Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.

To additional scale back the executive burden on clinicians, Nuance and Microsoft have partnered to combine Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) with Groups. This integration provides Nuance and Microsoft’s AI investments to digital visits by securely capturing and contextualizing physician-patient conversations, and mechanically documenting the encounter from inside Groups. The Nuance DAX and Groups integration is offered in private preview.

New experiences for Firstline Employees

As we speak we’re asserting the final availability of a number of thrilling new capabilities for Firstline Employees. First, Groups Walkie Talkie for Android is a push-to-talk expertise that permits clear, on the spot, and safe voice communication over the cloud. Firstline Employees can even collaborate hands-free with distant specialists utilizing the Groups app for RealWear head-mounted units. Firstline managers can use shift schedule help to get alerts if conflicts happen when creating schedules or when approving schedule change requests. And lastly, customizable reward badges open the chance to advertise your organization values in celebration of each success and foster better camaraderie throughout a time of disconnect.

An animated image of Walkie Talkie.

Nonetheless to come back:

7. Assist individuals be taught, reinvent, and develop with the tempo of change.

For people, groups, and organizations, success within the new world of labor requires studying new digital expertise, reinventing roles, and discovering new methods to develop day-after-day. We wish to assist our prospects present each worker with the sources they should incorporate studying proper into the movement of their each day work.

This summer season, Microsoft launched an initiative to assist 25 million individuals worldwide purchase the digital expertise wanted in a COVID-19 economic system. Within the coming months, we will likely be asserting new studying experiences in Microsoft 365 and Groups to help this initiative, together with different studying alternatives designed for workers throughout your group. Test again right here for extra information, coming quickly.

As we speak at Ignite, we introduced seven keys to success to assist leaders navigate a brand new world of labor, together with a whole bunch of recent options and capabilities designed to place these rules into motion. As all of us face new challenges and adjustments it’s an honor to assist our prospects reimagine work for the long run—and we sit up for bringing you a lot extra thrilling bulletins within the weeks and months to come back.

For in-depth technical-readiness content material round Microsoft Ignite information and bulletins—together with over 100 new Microsoft 365 and Groups movies —go to the brand new Video Hub.

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