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Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Executive Summary

The Microsoft Ignite is one conference that’s really every tech event! From September 26th – 30th Microsoft and its Partners unveiled many new technologies and advancements for Office 365, Skype for Business, SharePoint and more. Office 365 and Cloud were the leading topics of this year’s event in Atlanta to which Microsoft hosted several breakout sessions which are available to watch on-demand here. We have summarized some of our impressions and key highlights from the Microsoft Ignite for you:

Office 365: Announcements and Roadmap

  • New App Launcher

    Updated version includes tabbed layout, as well as, the ability to resize, pin and organize tiles. Office 365 themes are also supported.

  • New Admin Center

    Now out of preview and generally available – Admins can quickly access relevant information with new capabilities at their fingertips.
  • Improvements to Security & Compliance

    This includes enhancements to Advanced Threat Protection, new Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance, as well as, updates to Advanced Security Management. In addition, Microsoft published a whitepaper on data security in Office 365.

Skype for Business

During the Skype for Business Key Note Guardeep Pall, Corporate VP for Skype for Business at Microsoft, announced several new innovations from the Skype team:

  • Skype for Business for Mac is available starting October 2016
  • Enhanced Skype for Business experience for Mac and iOS users based on the Apple CallKit-Framework
  • Real-time transcription and translation in Skype Meeting Broadcast available in preview by the end of 2016
  • Skype for Salesforce: Skype for Business Online can now be integrated with Salesforce (Enterprise/Unlimited Edition)
  • Dynamic conference IDs offer enhanced security and smoother transitions between meetings
  • Previews of PSTN Calling in France and Spain will be available for testing
  • Next generation Skype Room Systems enrich the Skype for Business meeting experience in every meeting room
  • New Cloud Video Interop enables non-native video teleconference (VTC) systems to join Skype for Business meetings

UC Point also announced an extended Interoperability solution to customers who are seeking a native conferencing experience across platforms. UC-Interop seamlessly connects conferencing platforms and devices from different vendors with Office 365 and Skype for Business. Unlike conventional bridging solutions, UC-Interop enables participants to join conferences in a single click, experience Native Content Sharing – regardless of the platform they are using – as well as greatly improved bandwidth utilization. UC-Interop is being offered as a Managed Service bundled with modular support services. Customers benefit from a flexibly scalable pay-as-you-need licensing model.

Sharepoint

  • Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016 Enhancements will be available in November 2016
  • People Cards: Display user information in SharePoint and OneDrive libraries on the basis of Delve profiles
  • Team News: Create news posts that are published at the top of your team sites. Mobile apps will also be adding a news tab.
  • SharePoint Mobile Apps for Android und Windows 10 are in preview (the iOS App was released in Juni 2016)
  • Simultaneously create a SharePoint team sites and Office 365 groups via the SharePoint home site
  • New FastTrack Offer: Free data migration to Office 365 from SharePoint 2013, Google Drive and Box (available until March 31, 2017, 150+ Licenses)

OneDrive for Business

  • Integration of SharePoint team sites and Office Group documents
  • Discover View: Find relevant documents using Office Graph
  • OneDrive Sync: Desktop synchronization of SharePoint documents, OneDrive folders
  • Activity Center will display current status of synchronization, as well as, document activities
  • Download multiple files as compressed .zip folders
  • More than 20 new file types are now supported, including: Adobe formats and RAW photos. The new file types will also appear in the document preview of the library.
  • Receive push notifications of document releases on mobile devices

Yammer

  • Increased integration of Yammer in Office 365 groups
  • Integration of SharePoint and Office Online in Yammer (includes sharing SharePoint/OneDrive files, creating and editing documents in a browser)
  • Forward E-Mails to Yammer groups
  • Synchronize Yammer and Groups, access and security settings

Conclusion

Microsoft previewed the latest and greatest of recent technology advancements at the Microsoft Ignite. While some features are already generally available, many announcements will remain in preview over the coming months. You can get an overview of the release status of new features for Microsoft products here: Fasttrack: microsoft.com/roadmap.

We are excited about the upcoming enhancements - If you are interested in Office 365 and Skype for Business, let us help you!