Welcome to July! This 6th installment of our “Microsoft News” articles marks the halfway point of 2023, and what a half year it’s been. Once again, we’ll review the latest updates and features recently released, as well as share what’s on the horizon for release in the near future. As always, you are completely welcome to share this information with anyone in your circle of influence. If we can help anyone realize the most value from their Microsoft Subscriptions, then we’ve accomplished our goal with these updates!
We’ll start with the “buzzword/topic of the year,” AI. In this case, we are talking about Microsoft Copilot. To leverage Copilot to read and write all your emails, you’ll need to have a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5, Microsoft 365 Business or Microsoft 365 Business Premium license to start. You will also need an Azure AD Account and your admin teams will need to do some work to allow everything to “talk” to the service. With that in place, you will be able to add the Copilot add-on license to complete the license requirements. Then, to have Copilot help with your email and meeting scheduling, use Outlook on the web. Pro Tip: Install it as a Progressive Web App and you’ll never notice the difference. If you are a Dynamics 365 customer you will get some of that Copilot magic in Dynamics for free, with other Copilot features available as paid add-ons.
An AI tool that creates images and templates. It's currently available and is fun and easy to use. This cute little robot was created by Microsoft Designer. Try it out in preview today!
With AI covered, let’s talk about Teams. We reported a few posts ago that there was a Teams 2.0 “Preview” version available. Microsoft has announced that the new version will become the default version in September. If you are responsible for training or support for Teams, now is the time to start prepping for the change. Here are some of the updates within the Microsoft Teams world:
Changes to the “old” version of Teams include a new setting (Settings -> General -> Chat Density) that allows you to choose how much room each chat takes in the list.
Android Auto users might look on with jealousy as Apple CarPlay users can now make and receive Teams calls using speed dial or Siri. This is rolling out now and should be completed by early August.
Improved search features.
Cloud file attachment on mobile devices.
Improvements to Teams Room functionality.
The new Channel Experience. When your tenant gets this update (and it probably already has) you will see the newest channel messages show up at the top of the list, instead of the bottom. You will also notice a new channel info panel on the left-hand side of channels where you can pin important channels’ posts. If you don’t want to pin the new channel, you can close it by clicking the little button with an arrow in a box in the upper right-hand corner of your Teams client. You can bring the panel back by clicking it again.
Pop channel conversations out just like chats. You can do this by clicking the three buttons on every Channel Thread.
We also have updates to share with the powerful collaboration tool, Viva!
In Viva Goals, you can use “alignment view” which helps your team visualize how their work contributes to the overall mission with a bird’s eye view.
In Viva Engage, a new campaign discovery hub shows you all the campaigns in your organization. You can view those campaigns you follow or choose to discover new ones.
Viva Topics will soon feature an expanded view of Topics surfacing more information available to the users.
For mobile users, Viva Connections will now send out a push notification letting users know when a new news item is published or they are @ mentioned in a comment. You can also now customize the Viva Connection Dashboard on the mobile app.
Elevate Your Use of Microsoft 365
And that concludes our tour of some of the most significant changes in the Microsoft 365 landscape. JourneyTEAM has a very experienced collection of Collaboration and Content Management experts who can help you improve how your business operates. Please reach out on our JourneyTEAM contact page with any feedback or questions.
See you next month!