Microsoft Ignite 2021
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that flexible work is here to stay. Because people’s lives have been transformed in immeasurable ways, having the right tools to work when and where you need to will be essential to the remote worker. The new reality as we move forward in 2021 will be a collaborative work experience, connecting teams wherever they physically are.
This year’s Microsoft Ignite conference announced new features and tools, all built to enhance the new hybrid world.
Microsoft has enhanced the way individuals can make presentations by giving presenters the option to choose how they want their video feed, notes, slides, and meeting chats to be displayed during a presentation. Presenters can choose from a few options on how they would like to appear with either Standout mode, Reporter Mode, or Side-by-Side Mode. Attendees can navigate content at their own pace by using the screen reader to follow along easier.
Bringing inclusivity and engagement to meetings, attendees can now use live emojis to react.
This smart mode will automatically personalize your layout as people begin to present, speak, or turn on their video at the beginning of a meeting. The panel of attendees is adjusted to help you keep a natural gaze.
Employee Experience – Microsoft Viva
Finding ways to keep employees engaged, connected, and passionate about their work will be essential. Empowering them to be their best, wherever they are, is the objective with Microsoft’s newest tool, Microsoft Viva. The platform will include four components.
With daily employee insights on how much time people spend on specific tasks, actionable steps can be taken to ensure every person in an organization can thrive. There will be a virtual commute experience to help people mindfully start and end their day. Individuals can praise their colleagues, schedule time away from work to focus, and stay on top of any pending tasks.
Unique to the company, Viva Topics will be the “Wikipedia of your company”. For any company content, this will be the place to put it. New hires and current employees can access training information, company events, and news directly from within Microsoft Teams.
Similar to Topics, Viva Learning will give employees access to resource libraries and training courses to help sharpen their skills and earn certifications.
Connections will be a curated experience for employees to engage directly with one another, as a virtual experience for the office water cooler chat. There will be live conversations, company events, and news.
The biggest buzz surrounding the conference this year was the announcement of Microsoft Mesh. This “Mixed Reality” platform will allow people to work together even when they aren’t together using an assortment of mixed reality applications. Mesh is accessed using a pair of Hololens 2 or VR headsets on mobile phones, tablets, or PCs using any Mesh-enabled app. “Here can be anywhere” for anyone using Mesh. But to grasp its full potential, don’t take our word for it. Watch this video to see for yourself what it can do.
Many of these new tools will be rolling out this year, so be sure to keep an eye out for when they are ready. In the meantime, you can head over to the official Microsoft Blog to stay on top of all of the innovative changes Microsoft is bringing to the hybrid workplace.
If your company is interested in a Microsoft 365 subscription, head over to our Microsoft 365 Estimate page. Answer a few questions and we can help you get the right package for you and your team.