Microsoft 365 Roadmap feature updates and announcements in January

Jan 28, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

Now we have the joys of Christmas out of the way and the new year, new me fad is ending once again, we can all move on. The same cannot be said for Microsoft, who by the looks of it are continuing to fix, enhance and add a whole load of new features to the Microsoft 365 toolset.

Key Microsoft 365 roadmap updates for January

It’s safe to say it’s been a busy month, both in the Office 365 Message Centre and on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap this January. So, we thought we’d call out some of the key roadmap updates from this month.

  • New Office icons have begun rolling out and have been given a significant modern refresh
  • Schedule management for Microsoft Teams within the Shifts App has been rolled out, along with new functionality within Teams for Firstline workers.
  • The long-awaited details of the first stage of the migration of Video to Microsoft Stream have also been announced – with the ability to opt-in to the migration process starting to roll out in Q1 2019
  • Planner notifications are coming to Microsoft Teams
  • SharePoint and Teams: connect site to a Team in one click. This will also include web parts as tabs in Teams
  • New ‘Roadmap’ visualisation functionality within MS Project
  • MyAnalytics coming to additional subscriptions
  • Microsoft planner update: plans can now be copied.

Other Office 365 Message Centre updates include:

  • Microsoft Stream mobile app now available on iOS and Android
  • New out-of-the-box Flows in OneDrive
  • Mass deletion notifications coming to OneDrive and SharePoint Online
  • New Planner notifications in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft 365 updates to look out for

New icons coming to Office 365 app tiles. This has been in the works for a while now and this is being rolled out as part of Microsoft’s design overhaul in bringing its products into the 21st Century.

Microsoft have said that “redesigning the Office App Icons will help embrace a new world of work”. But what does that mean for users? Essentially, they are updating the Office app tile icons on the Office 365 app launcher and Office.com.

Office 365 Icon Redesign

Office 365 Icon Redesign

Microsoft have stated that existing functionality with the app launcher and Office.com will remain the same. The only difference will be the icons for Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and Skype will be given a modern facelift.

It has been said that they will gradually begin rolling this out to all users starting in mid-January and will be completed by the end of February.

Microsoft Teams updates in January

Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers:

Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers

Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers

Who doesn’t like an official update around Microsoft Teams? The big announcement from Ignite was that Microsoft would be decommissioning StaffHub in favour of Shifts within Microsoft Teams. Since then we hadn’t necessarily seen much movement, until now:

“Empower your Firstline Workers with new capabilities in Microsoft Teams – Shifts, new mobile features, Praise, Graph API for Shifts”

The new functionality opens avenues of endless possibility for Firstline staff, right within Microsoft Teams. Shifts is essentially a scheduling management tool, that managers can use to create shifts schedules and end-users can use to review and make change requests from their mobile devices.

Additional functionality has been added to the Shifts mobile experience also. Users now have the option to customise their navigation to show only the items that are most relevant to the. New location settings have been added, along with the ability to share audio messages.

The most exciting feature update however goes to smart camera. This essentially utilises Office Lens to enable Firstline workers to easily handle image heavy tasks. Images can be posted into a chat, with all images taken via smart camera not being stored on the phone.

For those who require more information Microsoft have put together this handy article: Empower your Firstline Workers with new capabilities in Microsoft Teams.

Planner Notifications for Teams:

Finally, some long awaited Microsoft Planner updates. The big announcement here is that Planner notifications are coming to Microsoft Teams, with the Planner app to be updated.

Planner notifications in Teams

Planner Notifications in Teams

After this update takes place, team members who are members of a team with Planner installed will receive a Teams notification when a task is assigned to them by another person. This notification will appear in the Teams Activity Feed and Chat.

What’s interesting to note is that this update adds a Planner bot to teams where Planner is installed, and audit logs will show the bot as being added by “Microsoft Teams Services” on behalf of the team owner. The only purpose of the bot is to send a notification to a specific user when a task is assigned to him or her by another person, users cannot interact with this bot in any other way.

This feature will begin rolling out early Feb 2019.

Yammer updates

New, updated Yammer Adoption resources

In January, we have also seen updates to the Yammer Adoption Resource Center with content being updated, along with a new look and feel. These Yammer adoption resources are centred around 6 key topics to improve user adoption rates in Yammer.

  • Planning your strategy
  • Prepare for launch
  • Communicate the Launch
  • Training Members
  • Ongoing engagement
  • Measure Success

Of course, if you don’t want to be taking on this kind of project yourself, you can look to take advantage of our very own Prosci accredited change consultants.

Content and Code’s very own resident Office 365 MVP Steve Goodman has also put together a helpful article – ‘Five reasons to choose Yammer over Microsoft Teams for your next conversation’.

With all the buzz surrounding Microsoft Teams, you could be forgiven for assuming that Microsoft would like you to abandon email, Yammer and other tools in the Office 365 suite and use it for all your day to day communications. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s worth considering some of the key reasons why you should consider Yammer rather than Teams for certain types of conversation.

SharePoint updates

Delivering modern experiences in SharePoint

Since Microsoft introduced modern SharePoint in 2016 there has been a complete overhaul to the classic view and UI of the SharePoint platform along with responsive design and better usability. In the latest round of SharePoint enhancements Microsoft have made it easier for end-users to receive feature updates.

From 1st April 2019 it will no longer be possible to restrict an entire organisation (tenant) to classic mode for lists and libraries. After this date, lists and libraries that are in classic mode as a result of tenant opt-out will automatically be shifted to modern.

Modern SharePoint UI

Modern SharePoint UI

It is important to note however, that Microsoft currently have no plans to depreciate or remove the classic mode of SharePoint. The shift purely reflects Microsoft vision of the Modern Workplace, with new feature innovation going into the modern experience, with support still provided for Classic features.

For further information, including tools to identify those list and libraries not supported by the modern UI, read the full article on Delivering SharePoint Modern Experiences.

As part of our Office 365 Service Owner and Digital Insights offering we provide proactive consultant curated intelligent updates on Office 365 Health, Messaging and Roadmap activity that can impact your users and services underpinned by Office 365.

To find out more about these services and to ensure that you don’t miss out on further updates, book a call back with a Content and Code Consultant.

Ensure your organisation is fully prepared for Office 365 chanages

Content and Code provide proactive curated intelligent updates on Office 365 Health, Messaging and Roadmap activities that will impact your users and services underpinned by Office 365. To find out more about this offering and to understand your options, book a call with a Content and Code Consultant.

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