Staying ahead of your competitors often has to do with having optimized business technology. Companies that are making better use of digital solutions are often more productive and see higher revenue per employee. 

In a study by Microsoft on SMEs in Singapore, businesses said that digital transformation was expected to bring an average of 26% in revenue gains and 22% average projected cost savings. To stay digitally advanced means knowing what new updates are coming in the technology world, especially when it comes to leaders like Microsoft. Announcing exciting upcoming features and products is what the company’s annual event, Microsoft Ignite, is all about. This event kicked off on March 2nd and brought a lot of great announcements for tools that many small businesses in Singapore and beyond use every day, like Teams, Outlook, and more. So, what should you be aware of, in the Microsoft universe? We’ll go through some of the biggest product news from Microsoft Ignite 2021 to help you be ready.

Presenter View in Microsoft Teams

Video presentations can be tricky when you aren’t sure where your shared content is showing up in relation to your video. For some presentations, you may want your video smaller, and for others, larger. You will now have a choice in how you present to others in Microsoft Teams with three professional-looking options. Choose from:

  • Reporter Mode: Your video image is larger, and your shared content is placed over your shoulder.
  • Standout Mode: Your video feed shows as a silhouette in front of your shared content.
  • Side-by-Side Mode: Your video and your shared content share the screen, side by side.

New Mixed Reality Platform – Microsoft Mesh

Microsoft announced a big leap in the AR/VR world with Microsoft Mesh. This is a mixed reality application designed to enable shared experiences anywhere. This platform is designed to take holograms and virtual spaces to the next level, giving people the ability to collaborate in more meaningful ways even if they’re countries apart. Some of the platform highlights:

  • Design together in 3D virtually
  • Collaborate in real-time
  • Access on HoloLens 2, VR headsets, mobile phones, tablets, and PCs
  • Host virtual meetings and town halls with realistic-looking avatars

More Cloud-based Capabilities for Microsoft 365 Admins

Admins for Microsoft 365 will have more freedom to handle the tasks needed to keep their teams productive and secure. These updates are specifically focused on helping organizations better manage IT costs. Cloud-based admin capabilities added include:

  • Inventory and security update status
  • Reliability and performance trends by app and channel
  • Reliability advisories
  • Diagnostic coverage
  • The ability for IT admins to allow users to update their channel
  • App health scores
  • Performance advisories
  • Device-level reliability
  • And more

Attack Simulation Training in Microsoft Defender for Office 365

One of the best ways to train a team on cybersecurity is to simulate a real attack. This safely allows users to gain valuable experience and hone their skills. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 now has Attack Simulation Training, which uses neutralized versions of real attacks to simulate highly accurate risky behavior. The tool comes with robust reporting and analytics so organizations can see how their team is progressing in their cybersecurity skills.

Webinar Registration & Email Confirmation in Teams

Another big update that rolled out for Teams is the ability to use the application for webinars and have similar capabilities to what you get when using a service like GoToMeeting. Teams is adding the ability to set up a customized webinar registration page and it will also automatically email attendees a confirmation. Meetings and webinars are also now supported by MS Teams for up to 1,000 attendees.

Time Management Updates for Outlook

Outlook has become much more than just an email program for many companies. It’s used for task management, meeting room scheduling, and calendaring. Some helpful Outlook time management enhancements were introduced at Microsoft Ignite, including:

  • Outlook calendar board: A new free-form view for organising and managing calendars, files, reminders, and to-do lists has been added to Outlook on the web to make organization more streamlined.
  • Suggested times: Outlook in mobile uses AI to suggest times when people are available for meetings, reducing a lot of back and forth during meeting scheduling. The feature looks at a user’s habits, preferences, and more to intuitively suggest the best times.

End-to-end Encryption for Teams 1:1 Calls

Have you avoided using Teams for sensitive conversations because you were worried about security? You won’t have to worry much longer, as Microsoft is bringing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to 1:1 Teams calls for commercial customers. This will boost security and compliance efforts for businesses and help sensitive verbal information stay more secure.

Get Help Optimising Your Use of Microsoft & M365

Managed IT Asia can help your Singapore business take full advantage of the upcoming advances in the Microsoft world and help you optimize your use of Microsoft 365. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.

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    MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!