23rd June 2021
Microsoft Inspire 2020 has now come to a close. Like most businesses, Microsoft have had to make changes this year as a result of Covid-19, this includes hosting their entire Microsoft Inspire event virtually.
Enhanced are pleased to provide details of what we deem to be the most significant developments and topics discussed this year as covered by Microsoft.
Azure Migrate Enhancements
This includes the ability to import and create assessments using uploaded Configuration Management Database data and support for Azure VMware Solutions assessments.
In addition to Azure Migrate, several Azure disks and networking enhancements have been added to meet requirements for some of the most critical workloads. This includes shared disks for Azure Disk Storage, private links for exporting and importing data securely over a private network and support for third-party virtual appliances within virtual wide-area network hubs, including Barracuda.
Last access for Azure Blob Storage, now in public preview
Azure Blob Storage now supports Network File System (NFS) 3.0, enabling support for read-heavy data workloads across media, energy and financial services.
A Microsoft 365 app that helps track information and organise work, will begin rolling out to Microsoft 365 in late July 2020 (Lists home) and will be available in Microsoft Teams (Lists app in Teams) in August 2020. A Lists mobile app for iOS is expected later this year.
Lists allows users to track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views, rules and comments to keep everyone in sync. Ready-made templates make it easy to start, and lists can be further extended with Power Platform integrations. Lists are a core part of Microsoft 365 with enterprise-ready security and compliance.
Lists can be further customized using Power Automate (workflows) and Power Apps (forms), where Lists become the foundational database for productivity apps, which are all functional within Teams.
Universal Print is a Microsoft software as a service (SaaS) solution that enables an intuitive, rich and secure print experience for users and helps IT reduce time and effort.
This new service, announced in the spring, opens opportunities to many reseller partners. Printer manufacturers are working on native support for Universal Print, and independent software vendors are developing print and output management solutions with Universal Print integration.
Dynamics 365 Customer Voice
Dynamics 365 Customer Voice offers out-of-the-box integration with everyday applications, workflows and ready-to-use templates (Support, Pulse Check, Order Delivery and Service Visits) to help businesses listen, understand and respond to customer needs at the right time and in the right place.
Customer Voice captures feedback instantly with ready-to-use templates that include pre-built questions, workflows and reports. With built-in integration capabilities, you can easily personalise surveys at scale and connect feedback directly into everyday applications and workflows, including Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Apps and hundreds of other apps through Power Automate.
A newly designed Yammer
A reimagined user experience for both web and mobile built with the Fluent Design System, is loaded with new features and integrations that power communities, engagement and knowledge across Microsoft 365.
Microsoft is announcing new ways to support the hybrid meeting experience through greater device management capabilities. This enables customers to have two options for managing their Microsoft Teams Rooms devices: in-house or with a partner through new capabilities in the Teams Admin Center, or outsourced to Microsoft or a certified Microsoft partner with Teams Room Premium.
Microsoft Teams Rooms provides users with premium meeting room experiences, and now it has been added to the list of Teams devices that can be managed in-house or through a Microsoft partner in the Teams Admin Center. By adding Microsoft Teams Rooms to the Teams Admin Center, IT can better manage the devices.
Now generally available, Teams Room Premium provides a cloud-based IT service that includes 24/7 proactive management and monitoring delivered by Microsoft experts. Teams Rooms Premium gives customers the option to shift the operational burden of their rooms to Microsoft or a certified Microsoft partner. This solution is suited for customers who would like to modernize and expand their Microsoft Teams Rooms without scaling or ramping their internal resources to manage the demand. Customers can realize benefits such as freeing up IT, peace of mind, improved efficiency and delighting end users.
Microsoft is also publishing a new Meeting Room Practice Guide to enable partners to provide managed or value-added services on top of either Microsoft Teams Rooms or Teams Rooms Premium.
Power BI personal app for Microsoft Teams
Provides a hub for all data visualisations and a place to find more data from across the organisations. The app provides a more streamlined experience for accessing Power BI reports in Teams and provides sample reports, training information and streamlined sharing functionality to help users incorporate data-driven decision-making into their work.
The new personal app will be available in the Apps section of Teams in August.
Power Platform experience
Make it easier to create, deploy and manage apps without ever leaving Teams. Apps and chatbots built with Power Apps and Power Virtual Agent can now access data that resides in Microsoft Dataflex, a relational database now built into Teams at no additional cost. With the addition of DataFlex, Teams becomes not just the hub for teamwork, but the hub for business process transformation. This powerful combination enables users to build applications and workflows directly within Teams more easily than ever, without having to worry about back-end tech logistics.
This added functionality will allow more users and organizations to explore creating and using conversational chatbots powered by Power Virtual Agents in Teams. And apps built with Power Apps and used in Teams will be responsive to the form factor that they’re loaded on, meaning a creator can build an app once for users to view full screen on both mobile devices and desktops.
The new Power Apps features will be available in August in public preview. Power Virtual Agents features will be available in August in public preview.
Microsoft Teams integration for RealWear head-mounted device
Gives firstline workers hands-free access to information and the ability to conduct calls with remote experts directly from their job sites. Users can access chats, remote assist capabilities and other resources using only voice commands.
The Teams app for RealWear HMT-1 head-mounted wearable computers is now available in public preview and can be downloaded from the RealWear Foresight app platform.
Microsoft Teams Platform updates
Today, every Teams meeting offers chat, a file folder, meeting notes and a whiteboard, as well as the ability to record and transcribe the meeting. All of these assets are permanently associated with each meeting and persist after the meeting finishes, so participants can easily revisit the content. Now developers can enable new scenarios and even richer experiences by building apps that can be integrated as a new tab in Teams meetings, as well as new side panel and real-time notification capabilities. Users will be able to add apps to the meeting controls bar, providing easy access for meeting participants.
These platform updates will be available for public preview starting in late July.
New interactive Yammer app
It allows all employees, including firstline staff, to participate in their Yammer communities, receive organizational announcements and critical updates, engage in company-wide discussions and join live events alongside their shifts, tasks and project work.
Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie
This push-to-talk experience turns employee- or company-owned Android devices into walkie-talkies for instant and secure voice communication over the cloud. It also reduces the number of devices employees must carry, lowers costs for IT and frees communication channels from cross-talk or eavesdropping. Jabra/BlueParrott and Klein Electronics join Samsung in developing devices that will provide native integration with Teams Walkie Talkie.
Teams Shifts scheduling
Make it easier for managers to create team schedules while alerting them to potential schedule conflicts. Task publishing, now in private preview, enables teams to delegate tasks to specific locations — such as a retail store — and track their progress through real-time reports.
For IT administrators, firstline worker and manager policy packages, now generally available, will streamline policy assignment with pre-defined settings tailored for their entire firstline workforce. Shifts audit logs are now generally available, providing IT admins a unified view and ability to search for Shifts activities such as clocking in or out and editing Shifts.
New connectors announced this week simplify getting security insights across many leading solutions and partners including networks, firewalls, endpoint protection and vulnerability management: Alcide kAudit (Kubernetes logs), Vectra AI, Perimeter 81 (Activity logs), Symantec Proxy SG, Symantec VIP, Pulse Connect Secure, Infoblox NIOS, Proofpoint TAP, Qualys VM, VMWare Carbon Black, Okta SSO, RiskIQ (Azure Logic Apps custom connector). These connectors with sample queries, dashboards and analytics will help collect security data easily, help detect and respond to threats, and provide security insights immediately.
Communication Compliance in Microsoft 365
The ability to intelligently detect regulatory compliance and code of conduct violations — such as workplace threats and harassment — within an organization’s communications and to help organizations take quick remediation action on policy violations. Now, several new features that enhance the intelligent set of detection, review and remediation capabilities are available in public preview.
Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Provides native data-centric protection for sensitive information and is now available in public preview.
Endpoint DLP helps you meet compliance requirements and protect sensitive information on endpoints, providing an integrated experience with DLP in Office 365, including Teams, and DLP for your cloud apps through Microsoft Cloud App Security.
DLP solutions provide content visibility into data at rest, in use and in motion on-premises and in the cloud. DLP also provides context-based policy enforcement for that data. Building on the same engine that enables labeling, protection, governance and retention policies on data in Microsoft Information Protection, Endpoint DLP enables customers to manage DLP policies across workloads (e.g., Teams, SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive, Microsoft 365 Apps) from a single console: the Microsoft 365 compliance center.
Double Key Encryption for Microsoft 365
In highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare, customers have data that need the highest level of protection and even more control. This could include trade secrets, formulae, designs, code, and algorithms, etc. This capability provides greater depth for protecting data that might represent a small volume of your overall data but is nevertheless mission critical.
Double Key Encryption for Microsoft 365 protects your data by encrypting it with two keys, one key in your control and the second key stored securely in Microsoft Azure. To view the data, one must have access to both keys. Since Microsoft can access only the key in Azure (with all the BYOK assurances), your data is unavailable to Microsoft, ensuring enhanced data privacy and security.
Microsoft Sustainability Calculator
Will provide our cloud customers with full transparency into their scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions from their cloud usage and enable them to demystify, reduce and report their environmental impact.
You can read the full Microsoft Inspire 2020 ‘Book of News’ here.