Sparking workplace innovation – top Teams takeaways from Ignite 2019

  • Posted on November 25, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Microsoft Ignite

If you asked attendees at this year’s Microsoft Ignite how they’re using Teams, what responses would you expect to get back?

Some might point to the unified comms features. Others may cite the collaboration and content management capabilities.

Those of a more technical persuasion could even reference the app development opportunities.

But those in the know – the type of progressive business leaders who are challenging and reshaping their workplaces – would probably reply differently.

I’d bet they wouldn’t pick out one single feature or function. Instead, I think they’d call out Teams’ ability to transform their organization – redefining work processes and the workplace experience (WX).

And they’d be absolutely right.

The engine that drives elevated experiences
Enterprises are seizing upon the powerful potential of Teams to redefine the way employees work. We’ve just released research that shows that 94% of senior decision-makers agree on the importance of reimagining culture and employee experience. Despite this, only 39% have already implemented WX initiatives. There is progress to be made here.

Teams is central to a comprehensive approach, enabling organizations to enhance employee experiences and optimize operations. As a canvas for employee experience, work-process integration and orchestration, Teams can become central to the DNA of your business.

At Ignite, we heard about a range of new capabilities. So, here’s my recap of the most exciting upcoming functions.

  1. New features for frontline workers
    Among the most exciting Teams announcements from this year’s conference were the raft of new capabilities designed to empower frontline workers.

    An SMS sign-in function was unveiled – providing a simple, swift way to sign in with a phone number and a one-time authenticated passcode. That was in addition to off-shift access – a new feature that provides notifications to workers, alerting them when they access Teams on personal devices outside of payable hours.

    And delegated user management simplifies the maintenance of user credentials and password reset requests – reducing the burden on IT.

  2. Teams app innovation just became heaps easier
    Another key Teams headline was the incorporation of Power Apps into the platform. Power Apps can now be published as Teams apps. And, as well as benefiting from simpler app publishing, admins can also load custom apps directly to their company’s library in Teams – improving visibility and adoption among employees.

  3. Propel productivity with Tasks for Teams
    One of the most prominent new features from an end-user perspective is Tasks. Employees now enjoy a unified view of individual and assigned tasks, incorporating not just Teams channels, but Microsoft To Do, Planner and Outlook too. And users can also select the view they prefer, from lists and boards through charts and schedules, with assignee, priority and key date information also detailed.

  4. Clever conversation and collaboration capabilities
    Users will now be able to create private channels within teams, to restrict certain conversations and files to selected colleagues. Meanwhile, polls and surveys will soon be available in Teams chats and channels as messaging extensions – enabling employees to quickly gather instant input from colleagues.

Turning Teams-based innovation into business impact
These new features are intriguing enough in isolation. But when you consider the business impact that these innovations can deliver alongside current and future foundational Teams functions, the potential for your workplace is tremendous.

And that’s the reason for all the enthusiasm around Teams, and why it is Microsoft’s fastest growing product ever. Because, by embracing its comprehensive capabilities, the impact on your workplace experience can be profound.

The challenge, of course, is knowing how to adopt and then realize the most business value out of Teams. Everything from the workloads you should focus on first, through balancing technology and change management concerns.

That’s where we come in.

We can help you make the most of Teams – and you can find out how by reading our new Microsoft Teams Guide. In it, we explain how you can solve deployment headaches and enable your adoption and change management programs to flourish. The promise of Teams is big, let us help you on your journey.

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