• Amanda Sterner

My thoughts about Microsoft Ignite 2019

I finally recovered after Microsoft Ignite, a busy week full of exciting news and meeting a lot of great people. In this blog post I will share some of the news I find most exiting.

During the conference I also shared shorter videos of the news I found most exciting, you can find those in the end om this blog post.


A disclaimer, there were a lot of things announced so these are just a few highlight from me :). If you want the full list here's the link to the Ignite 2019 book of news.


1. News for Microsoft Teams

Well this is mainly a blog post about Microsoft Teams so lets start there! These are my favorite updates:


Multi window chat

The news in Microsoft Teams I'm most exciting about is being able to pop out chats, meetings, calls or documents. Finally I can do work in a file and answer a chat without doing all the clicks again to find my file.

Will roll out during the first half of 2020.


Private channels

Another hot potato during the week, let's say I had more than one heated discussion about private channels during Ignite. Private channels will make it possible to have a private channel in an already existing team with other permissions so only selected people can reach the channel.


Link to more info. Will start the roll out now.


2. Project Cortex

Microsoft describes it as the first new big launch in Microsoft 365 since Microsoft Teams so this is really exciting. Microsoft describes Project Cortex as:

"Project Cortex uses advanced AI to deliver insights and expertise in the apps you use every day, to harness collective knowledge and to empower people and teams to learn, upskill and innovate faster."

I find this so exciting as now we are starting to have the tools to make our days easier but now it's time to really start getting the tools to work for us. The more we can automate the more time we have left for more important things.


Project Cortex will use AI to find content across teams and systems, organizing the content and will automatically create a knowledge base based on relationships among content and people. It will create knowledge base articles automatically but also give us the possibility to update with curated content.


There are a lot more thing to read about Project Cortex - I recommend going here and here to read more. Will be generally available the first half of 2020.


3. News for SharePoint

I come from a SharePoint background and find these updates equally exciting as the Microsoft Teams ones, here are some of my favorites:


Audience based navigation

You will be able to have target audience navigation items in your menu, perfect if your intranet is on SharePoint. This feature will be based on Azure Active Directory groups.


Will roll out during December.


Multilingual pages

Many organizations don't only have one language and soon it will be possible to create both sites and content in multiple languages. Another great intranet function.

Will roll out during Q2 2020.


My feed web part

A web part that shows your feed, based on the Microsoft Graph. It will bring together relevant information for you such as files, news, activities e.g.


Couldn't find info on roll out.


News and pages scheduling

Sometimes you just want to complete a page before you publish it, soon it will be possible. Another great update for SharePoint.


Link to more info. Couldn't find info on roll out.


4. New Office app

I'll admit it - I don't like apps and tend to just skip apps, especially when you have to download several apps to do what you want to do. With the new office app you'll have one app for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Besides that you'll see your recent and recommended files and do other actions as creating a form and taking a photo of a table and convert it to an Excel table. I promise I'll download this and maybe I'll start liking apps.

Link to more info. In public preview now (but the capacity seems to be full), I couldn't find any info other than that.


5. The new Yammer

I've fell that the popularity for Yammer is very low with small ups sometimes. I've been in organizations where Yammer is a great tool because of how many people where a part of the organization and I've been a part of organization where Yammer have died organically.


For the last year I've had a really hard time with Yammer as it feels like such a detour I get nothing back from, and that's a sad feeling because Yammer can be really good when it works. That's why I'm excited for the new Yammer.


Besides getting a total makeover which makes Yammer feel less 2005 it will get deeper integrations with other parts of Microsoft 365.


The updates I find most interesting are:

  • Groups in Yammer will be renamed to Communities to better reflect the purpose of them - communities

  • A new Yammer conversations web part, to make your intranet even "smarter"

  • And the best thing of the three - a Yammer app inside Microsoft Teams! Finally I can engage there without leaving my beloved hub for teamwork

Link to more info. In private preview starting in December, will roll out during 2020.


Overall I had a great week, lots of exciting news and I got the possibility to meet so many friends from the community. Until next time Microsoft Ignite!


My five most exciting things from Microsoft Ignite per day


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4



All images, well not the ones on my face ha-ha, are borrowed from Microsoft.

Welcome to my blog about Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and collaboration

© 2020 Amanda Sterner

amanda@amandasterner.com

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