How has April already come and gone? This month has seen many great things happen at Microsoft, plus mention of some new rollouts in the pipeline. As the month of way too much chocolate (thank you Easter) we’ve had rejoice from those working from home as background distractions on video calls are limited even further, transferring forms from disabled or a departing employee becomes easier and, overall, SharePoint and Office 365 becomes even better to work within.
Teams – Updates!
Say Goodbye to Background Distractions
If you’re one of the many people who work from home or out on the road, then you know the fear of the background distraction when you’re on a conference or client video call. Everything from children in the background, a messy room or a playful pet can create a background image that is hard to look past. Thankfully, this fear is now a thing of the past, with Microsoft Team’s creating ways to avoid these distractions altogether (yay!). Intelligent blur technology, which enables the background of a video call to be blurred while keeping the subject of the video clear, has already been rolled out. Later this year Microsoft is going one step further and rolling out a feature that will give you the option of to remove a background completely and replace it with a company logo, office environment or any other scene of your choice.
Other things that are being rolled out in Teams include Content cameras and Intelligent Capture in Teams Rooms for greater capturing of important information (such as content on whiteboards) and live captions to ensure all meetings are communicated clearly, regardless of the noise level of location.
Blurred background which has already been rolled out across Teams.
There are a lot of boxes to tick when an employee leaves a company or when a Microsoft account is disabled. However, one thing to ensure gets ticked off is transferring the ownership of any forms. If you’re the global administration of an organisation, you can now gain access to, and transfer, forms of a former account through a specialised URL.
Transferring forms can only be done by the owner of the form or by a global administration of a group.
Keeping in mind that data is only stored for a 30-day period after an employee leaves an organisation, after which it is permanently deleted. Because of this, we recommend having exiting employees transfer the ownership of their forms to a group before they leave to ensure no data is lost.
Overall, What Else is New to SharePoint?
SharePoint is all about communication because according to Microsoft, “open, transparent communication is critical to employee engagement.” And, we couldn’t agree more. SharePoint is all about creating clearer workflow processes, communication and filtering of information.
So, what’s new?
Over April, SharePoint has had some great updates that, if not already rolled out, will be within the next few weeks.
You may have noticed that the Yammer Conversations web part is available and will now enable you to participate in Yammer conversations without needing to leave your SharePoint page. This Part is the link between knowledge management powers of SharePoint with the social nature of learning. Another new web part that has rolled out is the Yammer Highlights web part, giving a quick overview of active conversations with a targeted portal experience. Plus, the release of three new connected web parts for SharePoint Online, the List Properties, File Viewer and Embedded web parts, data from lists and library web parts can now be displayed in new, and easier to understand, ways.
Keep things consistent in Office 365 with new larger and more flexible image types (perfect for your company logo!) within the navigation bar. You will be able to upload a custom logo of any file size and format via URL. This customised navigation bar can then be applied it to all Office 365 applications and configured back to your company portal.
Another great rollout has gone a long way to increasing collaborations with external parties. This new feature rolling out to OneDrive, SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel Online in the next few weeks, allows for collaborations via LinkedIn contact and without the need for an email exchange.
Looking for time savers? Hover cards have been added to the functionality of the Office 365 group, enabling you to hover over the title of a SharePoint group-connected team site and have access to information that usually you would need to click into a separate page for. Quickly search through members, approve pending members and complete other tasks using this new hover function.
Another great time saver is the ability to copy a current plan by electing Copy Plan under the … menu. No more re-typing for similar plans, just copy and amend.
Find out more about updates: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/SharePoint-Roadmap-Pitstop-March-2019/ba-p/392013 and https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/SharePoint-Roadmap-Pitstop-April-2019/ba-p/504656?fbclid=IwAR2vXzzdqpVLIFzhxur0EVAB4UvtF4AG5Gqr-4MkVpt6daZOVejG1tVZbK4
Look out for us in MAY – we’ll be coming at you live from the USA SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas (MGM Grand).
We cannot wait to show and tell all of the additional releases that are going to be launched throughout this event.