Microsoft Modern Workplace Updates Inspire 2022

How will the latest Modern Workplace updates from Microsoft, help all of us become more productive and change the way we work in the future? Find out with our Microsoft and Licensing expert, Jacob Chew. In this blog, they provide a handy summary of some of the latest Modern Workplace features and products showcased at Microsoft Inspire 2022.


1. Teams Connect

Collaborate outside your organisation


Teams Connect was finally announced as being generally available. This new feature will make it possible to have a shared channel in Teams with another organisation.


So, working with users outside of your organisation becomes much easier; you no longer have to be a guest in each other’s tenant, and it removes the need to effectively switch between the two to collaborate.  I can see that this feature will hugely benefit employees who constantly work across multiple organisations outside of their own.


Picture1 Teams


2. Teams Meetings

New Annotations and Excel Live


Annotations will allow users to draw, highlight and annotate over the top of a meeting. This is the Microsoft Whiteboard application effectively acting as an overlay to a Team’s meeting.

Excel Live offers similar functionality to PowerPoint Live in Teams meetings. However, Excel Live allows users in a meeting to all work on an Excel sheet together during the same meeting, at the same time, without disrupting one another. In comparison to PowerPoint Live, this provides an even greater level of collaboration.


3.Teams Video Clip

Record in Teams and also Chat to Yourself


This new feature in the chat or messaging function with Teams allows a user to record a short video clip using the front-facing camera. This is expected to be generally available in Q4 this year. Another useful feature released in Teams chat is the ability to chat to yourself – effectively acting as a quick notepad or to-do list.

4. Digital Contact Centre

Better customer connections


Microsoft’s aim with this new product is to create better-connected experiences between customers and contact centre agents. Microsoft’s entry into this market could be a-little-too-late. Nevertheless, this Contact Centre-as-a-service solution combines Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, Power, Azure, and AI, making it a powerful CX tool.  The AI is powered by the newest member of the Microsoft family, Nuance, purchased by Microsoft for $16bn earlier this year.


According to Microsoft “Nuance brings a new level of conversational AI, security, and automation to the contact center. This gives both customers and agents tools to resolve issues faster and with more personalized service, thus reducing resolution times while improving customer satisfaction.”


5. Viva Sales

Reducing Sales Admin


This brings Teams, Microsoft 365, Outlook, and your organisation’s CRM together to help sellers spend more time selling and less time on administration. Only 37% of a seller’s time is spent on selling, with the rest of their time spent on administration.


Viva Sales reduces the time spent on admin. Driven by AI, it collects and connects data across all Microsoft apps, so sellers have the intelligence they need during meetings. The idea is to remove the friction in finding, sharing, and logging information on a customer or prospect.




6. Viva Goals

Align Employees to Strategy


This is a goal setting and management solution that aligns and connects teams to strategic priorities set by the organisation to drive results for successful business outcomes. Viva Goals adopts the OKR (objectives, key results) methodology to help teams focus on the most important goals and provide business leaders with visibility on progress. This helps bring clarity around success criteria, helping everyone stay aligned across the organisation.


Many organisations will be using goal setting models such as SMART Goals, KPIs, and Management by Objectives (MBOs). However, these models may not always align with the team, department, and company objectives. But by using Viva Goals, organisations can link objectives down to the team level, so everyone knows and understands how their contribution plays a part in making the organisation a success.




7. Viva Engage

Deepen Communities with social networking


Think of this as an internal Facebook for your organisation. Viva Engage is a way to connect with colleagues you may not already be collaborating with in Teams, but share a common interest with. Through Engage you can find and join communities, follow people, and even share videos, files and create polling. You can also keep your followers updated with a storyline feed.

To date, Yammer has led the way in employee engagement and does not seem to be going anywhere soon. However, Viva Engage will share the same communities, home feed and network with Yammer, and could be a way to introduce Viva Engage to users before Yammer is potentially retired in the future. Watch this space!


To sum up, all of these Modern Workplace updates will help us all better connect with our fellow colleagues, modernise communication and enable frontline workers to achieve their best work. Looking to the future, once Outlook/Exchange in Teams is fully incorporated, Teams could be the only application Microsoft envisage certain workers using. So, could we see Surface devices pre-installed only with Teams as the OS, similar to Chromebooks? Food for thought…


Images & Videos: Microsoft

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