In late September, Microsoft Ignite brought together thousands of Microsoft users in Atlanta to showcase the company’s enterprise products and services. Throughout the five day event, multiple product announcements and feature upgrades were made, many of which will have a great impact on enterprises in terms of usability and functionality.
To dig into some of the news coming out of Ignite, we’re creating a series of roundups to highlight features that we’re most excited about around SharePoint, Security and Infrastructure announcements. This post focuses on SharePoint and Office 365.
What’s so exciting about the Microsoft Ignite announcements around SharePoint and Office 365 is that they reinforce the maturity of the platform and its potential for driving business transformation and achieving business outcomes. And while there are interesting new features and functions, it’s the level of integration across Office 365 that tells a robust collaboration story: the whole is truly bigger than the sum of its parts.
Here are five of what we think are some of the most compelling new features announced at Ignite because they really do take collaboration and integration to the next level.
1. Intelligent People Cards in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Outlook on the Web
Unlike the contact cards everyone is used to in Outlook, people cards bring intelligent, Delve-like experiences into the context of your work. When you hover over a person’s name or image, the people card expands so you can immediately see, not only contact information, but what that person is working on, where they sit within the organizational structure, their organizational relationships, and their areas of expertise. This feature gives all users a 360-degree view of colleagues and provides a better sense of the work they do day in and day out. Practically, it’s a solution to wasting time trying to figure out who to go to for help with specific questions or who has the bandwidth to add to a project, making the most of an organization’s talent pool. It also helps drive awareness around what else is happening within the organization. People cards are now rolling out within SharePoint Online team sites, document libraries, lists and OneDrive for Business, and are accessible through SharePoint and OneDrive mobile apps as well.
2. Yammer integration with Office 365 Groups
When it comes to improving open collaboration, the integration of Yammer into Office 365 Groups is a big step. No longer a disconnected experience, Yammer users can now easily access SharePoint sites and document repositories, as well as a shared OneNote notebook, which means they can seamlessly collaborate on and even co-author documents in Word, Excel or PowerPoint on the web. And teams working within Yammer can use a SharePoint document library to easily manage files, apply workflow, review version history and comply with document retention policies. Additionally, each team also gets its own SharePoint site, allowing members to create content like wikis or blogs. This integration of Yammer really strengthens the broader experience and supports teamwork across organizations.
3. Team news for SharePoint Online modern team sites
This announcement not only provides a great function for SharePoint users, it serves as an indicator of where Microsoft may be headed with modern pages. SharePoint Online team news keeps users up to date with other team members and extended stakeholders, and enables users to broadcast key events and accomplishments. It can be used for sharing best practices or team goals, welcoming new colleagues, updating projects, celebrating milestones, or highlighting content. What’s really intriguing about Team news is that it aggregates news and information from different teams and departments that you may be interested in through relevancy, based on what other colleagues are doing. This provides an amazing form of discovery across the organization, tapping users into different departments, geographies, and areas of expertise, which encourages collaboration and tightens integration.
4. Office 365 Public Content Delivery Network (CDN) Preview Release
5. Conditional access in Azure Active Directory
Conditional access is a simple way for organizations to help safeguard sensitive data both in the cloud and on premises. With conditional access, Microsoft has come up with a variety of levers for controlling data — user, device, applications, location and data sensitivity — enabling organizations to determine how much control to apply and how much to allow users to manage. It only allows organizations to have a deeper sense of trust with storing sensitive data in the cloud because it has a very targeted control over where, when and how data can be accessed and by who on what device.
These features are just a taste of what was announced at Ignite. We’re excited to work with our clients to implement and improve their SharePoint experience with these integrated tools. Engage in SharePoint learning with New Signature experts during our next online SharePoint PowerUser Webinar Series installment.