M365 Monthly Update: December / January

Just slipping back into work? Acclimatizing to the new world? Working out what is what and who is who? Well, there’s one less thing to worry about as we’ve rounded up all the interesting Microsoft 365 updates from over the holiday season. You’re welcome, Happy New Year!

1. Approvals in Microsoft Teams

What’s new:

Approvals in Microsoft Teams is a way to streamline requests and processes with a team or partners. Users will be able to create new approvals, view pending approvals, and see previous ones in one place.

Why is this important:

Everything else is happening in Teams, so why not approvals? As time, energy and attention start to shift to the hub for teamwork more and more integrations are following. Approvals powered by Power Automate allow users to create triggers for processes where the work is happening allowing for more time for work. The Approvals app is on by default if your tenant has enabled Power Automate. Manage the Approvals app in the Teams Admin Centre within the app page.

When is it coming: Mid-January

2. New large meetings options for Outlook for Windows

What’s new:

When organizing Teams meetings in Outlook for Windows for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists, Teams users will soon see a prompt to set meeting options. This allows the meeting organizer to configure settings to allow participants to bypass the lobby, present etc.

Why is this important:

Large meetings can be tricky to control, manage and deliver successfully. And whilst additional meeting options have been avalible to configure in Teams they haven’t been avalible in Outlook until now.

When is it coming:

Late-January

3. SharePoint page authoring – First user experience

What’s new:

Microsoft are introducing a first-run, optional interactive experience, to guide new users through the basics of creating their first SharePoint page or news post.

Why is this important:

Supporting your internal training, awareness and communications for SharePoint authors and editors there is now a first time user step by step experience. This update helpfully guides uses through the key features for the SharePoint editor. Would be good to include in any communications or onboarding pack so users can reap the benefits.

When is it coming:

End of February

4. Meeting recap for Microsoft Teams

What’s new:

The new meeting recap feature in Teams helps meeting attendees and those unable to attend a meeting stay up-to-date by providing the meeting recording, transcript, and chat all in one place. These are automatically shared in the Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab.

Why is this important:

There’s now no scratching around for the content, recording, or transcript of the meeting. Everyone participant in the meeting whether present or not will have immediate access to all of the resources from the meeting. This update will not be enabled on channel meetings.

When is it coming:

Mid February

5. Teams task publishing for frontline workers

What’s new:

Task publishing and reporting features are coming to the Tasks app in Teams. This allows an organization to define the tasks that need to be completed across their frontline locations, choose which locations need to complete those tasks, and track the progress of the work. Frontline managers and workers can use the desktop or mobile Tasks in Teams experience to see the tasks they need to complete, all in one place.

Why is this important:

Task publishing lets companies create tasks centrally at the corporate level and publish those tasks to different frontline locations like stores, factories, and clinics. You can publish to all teams or choose specific locations based on customizable characteristics like size or layout.

The feature will be disabled until an admin in your organization enables it.

When is it coming:

Mid January

6. History menu in Microsoft Teams

What’s new:

Hovering over the backward and forward navigation buttons, users will be able to see recently visited locations in Microsoft Teams. The history menu makes it easier to navigate to previous locations, such as nested tabs and documents.

Why is this important:

There is a lot happening on Teams, messages, notifications, conversations. Its natural to move quickly through many screens in a short space of time given the nature of the platform so it can be tricky to remember where something was. The history tab gives you a simply breadcrumb of where you have just been (up to 12 pages).

When is it coming:

Late February

7. Improved in-meeting sharing expereince in Microsoft Teams

What’s new:

In Microsoft Teams desktop client on Windows and Mac, users will see a new design when sharing their screen, window, Whiteboard, or PowerPoint during meetings.

Why is this important:

This new update gives users a cleaner, simplified interface when sharing content. It replaces the old share tray which was overwhelming and confusing for new Teams users. The new format highlights the in meeting audio button, differentiates the Whiteboard and makes it easier to select content to share.

When is it coming:

Mid March

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