Cutting edge announcements from day one of Microsoft Ignite 2021

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It’s been a groundbreaking year for Microsoft – with its last major event in July, Microsoft Inspire, serving as a high-profile welcome for Windows 11.

The momentum continued today, with Microsoft Ignite 2021 introducing a host of new innovations and updates aimed at transforming the way enterprises work. With announcements ranging from business opportunities in the metaverse to building hyperconnected businesses and increased digitization in a hybrid everything world, Microsoft is reinforcing its commitment to equipping businesses with the right tools and processes to thrive in an era of rapid digital transformation.

Here are some of the major updates from today at Microsoft Ignite:

Mesh for Microsoft Teams

Initially announced in May, Microsoft today announced that Mesh for Microsoft Teams will be rolling out in 2022. This new feature, described as a gateway to Microsoft’s metaverse, will provide immersive spaces allowing users to connect, share, learn and collaborate directly within Microsoft Teams. One of the most compelling use cases for these new capabilities is for onboarding, where employers can bring new hires into this immersive environment and transcend physical boundaries. This allows users to meet more people and grow their professional network much faster.

Microsoft Loop

With collaboration becoming more and more important, Microsoft introduced its new standalone collaboration app, Microsoft Loop. Built on Microsoft’s previous Fluid Framework, Microsoft rebranded some of these components with Loop, which can be used on its own or integrated directly within Microsoft Teams.

With Loop, Microsoft intends to change the way we all work together by providing users with a canvas for content, comments, chats, and live business processes that rapidly syncs with other users. It’s an effective way to always keep users and teams in sync, and allows them to brainstorm, create, and build on each other’s work.

Microsoft Loop has three core elements:

1. Workspaces that are shared and allow you and your team to see and group everything important to your project.

2. Pages are flexible canvases that grow to match the size of your ideas, putting the focus on your work.

3. Components are featured in every page, allowing users to pull in live business records, track tasks and bring any part of your workspace into Teams and Outlook.

Context IQ

Designed to give users the information they need when they need it, Context IQ turns insights into action by predicting, seeking, and suggesting actionable advice immediately. This introduction is an upgrade to Microsoft’s current AI capabilities across Microsoft 365. It offers users a seamless, hyperconnected experience that will suggest certain files to attach when collaborating with colleagues, or suggest people to tag, along with adding an auto-completion feature to Teams.

Azure OpenAI Service

Simply put, this new service – available by invitation only – makes OpenAI’s machine learning models available on the Azure platform. This means that GPT-3, OpenAI’s groundbreaking language model, can produce human-like text with just a few prompts. Designed to help developers write code faster by intelligently interpreting context, the Azure OpenAI Service allows developers to focus on high priority tasks.

New Dynamics 365 features boosts customer, employee, and supplier interaction

This week marks the five-year anniversary of Dynamics 365, so Microsoft is giving the platform new features aimed at improving how businesses interact with customers, employees, and suppliers:

Dynamics Connected Spaces

Previously known as Dynamics 365 Connected Store, Connected Spaces will optimize retail spaces by giving the user even more control of their space. Connected Spaces also supports the concept of the metaverse by providing users with an interactive and seamless way to engage with their spaces – think retail and factory floors. This new capability has some compelling real-world benefits, as it can help users better manage health and safety in hybrid work environments. By connecting every aspect of your space, Connected Spaces will provide real time, predictive insights to improve customer and employee experiences.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights Solutions optimizes the users entire value chain. With this solution, users will be able to create a digital representation of their entire supply chain and receive real time data on supply chain disruptions – or anything that can impact the supply chain.

Dynamics Customer Service Voice Channel

The Customer Voice Channel is an all-in-one digital contact center solution designed to combine the features of traditional Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Customer Engagement Center (CEC). The voice channel feature can provide real-time voice transcription and translation, along with providing analysis of customer sentiment.

That’s a lot of good news for one day – and we’ve still got two days to go. So check back here for the latest updates from Microsoft Ignite 2021. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn – and let us know if you were there! And as always, our Microsoft experts are here to support you through any of these changes – reach out directly to your SHI account executive or contact us directly with any questions you may have!

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