Microsoft Inspire just happened and partners everywhere are walking away with a better understanding of the company’s roadmap for the upcoming year. Several participants in AvePoint’s Community Champions program got the chance to attend, network, and learn, and we asked a few to share their impressions below. Read on for some of the most important takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2022.
On Microsoft Viva Learning…
“Microsoft Viva Learning having a ‘content sync graph API’ in public preview may seem a bit technical or boring, but it’s actually a big deal for many who are looking to improve the learning experience of their employees. It means the Microsoft Viva Learning experience which is already integrated where people work can now have arguably any LMS system brought into the experience for its use whether that be to reference in chat messages, as courses in a tab, recommended to colleagues, and more. This is also relevant because the learner record sync goes live later this year which enables even the record of completed course information and more to be synced back into Viva Learning to further enrich the experience.
“This will further solidify Microsoft’s position in a relatively new space of learning-oriented employee experiences and, along with other Viva Learning innovations planned, could create a lot more impact for many customers who didn’t have systems in the initial set of pre-integrated learning partners.” (Richard Harbridge)
On Microsoft Viva Engage…
“Microsoft Viva Engage is understandably exciting for many. We are so happy to hear it’s public now as it’s been one of the hardest secrets I’ve personally had to keep since I absolutely love the experience. For a long time, Yammer has served as an amazing place to connect with people outside of your working group and to amplify your messaging or reach. One of the challenges made harder by a rapid shift for many to remote work has been finding ways to extend your network, reach, voice, and relationships outside of your working group.
“Many employees who had a “voice” couldn’t express themselves with confidence in a community, didn’t know where they could express themselves, or may have struggled with having accessible ways of expressing themselves to enable richer interactions (such as via video versus confident writing). Now not only does Storylines greatly help leaders and those who have a business reason to share messaging and content, but it also (if enabled as such) empowers all employees to have their own enterprise “story” space to share their perspectives, experiences, and thoughts all while being accessible, intuitive, and integrated not in places we already work like Microsoft Teams.
“To say I’m excited about the implications of this on communications teams–especially in the enterprise–is an understatement. Imagine finding ways to engage at a corporate level with groundswell momentum around trends, patterns, or the voices of key employees enabled by Storylines. it’s an exciting future!” (Richard Harbridge)
On Engage, Webinars, & Microsoft Teams Meetings…
“I covered a recap of Inspire news on his weekly show MS Refresh with co-host Sean Bugler. We covered updates to Teams meetings (including Excel Live and Live Sharing), webinar updates, and a bunch of thoughts on the addition of Viva Engage to the Yammer and Teams toolkit. Is the Viva branding making Microsoft 365 licensing as complex as Power Platform? Find out by watching below!” (Matt Wade)
On Employee Engagement and Security…
“Microsoft Inspire 2022 delivered on inspiration this year. I was most impressed with Microsoft’s continued commitment to two areas that most may not see as connected: Employee engagement and security. With announcements including Viva Engage, collaborative annotation, and the continued optimization of security and compliance features in Microsoft 365, it’s apparent that Microsoft is focused on making Hybrid Work work securely.
“As we continue to navigate our way through the “new normal,” organizations are realizing that the way we used to do business just isn’t the new reality. Security must meet the demands of a more dispersed workforce, must be agile and intuitive for IT workforces that are many times stretched thin, and must provide a solid return on investment. As Microsoft consolidates functionality into its services such as Microsoft Purview and Entra, we see cost savings not only in licenses and tools but in streamlining skillsets for our IT Security personnel. The Gartner article The Top 8 Security and Risk Trends We’re Watching highlights these needs.
“The need for true employee engagement is at an all-time high in many organizations. We aren’t all returning to an office and the feelings of being disconnected are surging. Microsoft’s continued effort to solve this shines with the new engagement offerings in Microsoft Viva Engage, allowing us to strengthen our connections corporately through stories, rich storylines, and enhanced social networking features. As we switch from community to our work groups in Teams, collaborative annotations allow everyone to contribute to brainstorming sessions using the meetings Whiteboard.
“Cities, states, and even oceans may separate us from our coworkers, but the powerful collaboration tools Microsoft is continuing to develop and deliver allow us to remove the distance and engage securely.” (Joy T. Apple)