Here's What's In Store For Microsoft Office 365

At Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta, Bryan Goode, Microsoft general manager for the Office 365 shared product team, talks where he wants to take the productivity suite for both the desktop and mobile versions.

Tommy Carron will be reporting on all things Microsoft and enterprise IT at Microsoft Ignite Atlanta 2016. Read his previous post here.

I discussed the direction for Office 365 with Goode. On mobile platforms, the vision is to provide unique user experiences and give both IT departments and users the ability to customise them. Microsoft wants their apps to work together so there is no plan for a single monolithic Office 365 app.

Office 365 Groups and Delve make it easier to collaborate, share work and see what colleagues are working on. Today's announcement of Tap for Word and Outlook further empowers users to re-use the work of other's from within the organisation. I asked whether this could be ill received by some users, especially where they're working with sensitive or confidential data. Brad responded with assurance that the Microsoft Graph only presents information you already have permission to. So existing security risks can be exposed by showing files that were not intended to be shared. It is also possible for individual users to opt out of services such as Delve until they’re ready.

Goode explained the basis for re-branding of Delve Analytics to MyAnalytics was based on user usage patterns. That it makes sense to keep them differentiated so Delve as a standalone remains. MyAnalytics builds upon Delve Analytics by adding the capability to analyse broader. For example, a user’s MyAnalytics dashboard displays how long it takes for their contacts to respond to e-mail. The dashboard can also show how much time is spent in groups and how that may compare to the goals set for a project. It is possible to receive prompts to alert a user when they’ve not communicated with a contact recently. This losing touch feature pro-actively assists users in maintaining their networks. Additional signal telemetry is coming soon services such as Skype and Yammer.

Bryan said it’s important that MyAnalytics presents actionable oriented and not just interesting metrics. When he’s not in the office how does he unwind? With 2 kids at home it’s almost impossible so a change of scenery by going for walk does the trick.

Next I met with Matt Barlow, General Manager, New Devices Marketing at Microsoft. He introduced a client Microsoft has been closely working with. The Hong Kong based garment manufacturer is focussed on fast fashion, delivering product turnaround from concept to style within 12 hours. To achieve this, they’ve empowered their sales team to do business with customers by bringing them into the design process early. The solution uses Surface devices, Windows 10, System Center and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.

The manufacture participated in Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program to on board quickly and migrated more than 1500 devices to Windows 10 within ten months. They said their clients liked using pens to draw designs when engaged with their sales team. Microsoft assisted with the development of their applications to use the pen input support that the Surface provides. Matt said it is possible to ink enable an application using as little as two lines of code. All of this is only the first phase and next is to use Power BI to perform analytics of their entire business.

Check back tomorrow as I’ll be discussing security, OMS and EMS with Brad Anderson, Microsoft corporate vice-president of the enterprise client and mobility. There’s so much to do and see at Ignite but for now I’m going to unwind with a change of scenery and enjoy an ice-cream outdoors.

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