Microsoft Inspire 2022 Debuts Exciting New Collaborative and Employee Engagement Updates for Teams and Viva

Microsoft Inspire 2022, the largest partner event for the company, recently concluded, and there are some exciting announcements to report. The digital conference happens every year, bringing together the community of partners to share updates, information, and more. It’s a prime opportunity for Microsoft partners to explore the company’s new features and upcoming priorities so that we can share those with our customers and understand how they can fit into their Microsoft roadmap.

This year’s event featured several big announcements regarding a variety of products. In this post, we’ll go through the most important updates for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva.

New Microsoft Teams collaboration features reflect the shift to hybrid work

After two and a half years of reinventing how the world works, most organizations seem to have settled into a hybrid framework. This new arrangement involves workers having flexibility and working both in the office and remotely. To meet the needs of the new workplace, Microsoft unveiled some exciting Teams collaboration feature updates.

Microsoft Teams Meeting announcements

  • Excel Live: In one click, all meeting members will have access to edit a workbook in real time. It will also support Sheet Views, allowing all users to sort and filter how they want when co-editing. It debuted in August.
  • Collaborative Annotations: All meeting participants will now have the ability to draw, type, or react to content shared in the meeting with a robust toolset powered by Microsoft Whiteboard. Annotation mode will need to be enabled during screen sharing, which will pop up the toolbar. It’s currently generally available.

Teams Rooms and devices updates

  • Intelligent cameras: Microsoft is partnering with Jabra, Hubbly, Logitech, Neat, Poly, and Yealink to deliver AI-enabled Intelligent Cameras. With these devices, you’ll experience enhanced views of rooms, optimized for remote attendees. It supports equity in meetings so that everyone can see more clearly. Additionally, the cameras will be capable of producing multiple video streams. That will allow in-person participants to appear to remote ones, helping everyone feel closer no matter where they are.
  • Teams displays: Microsoft continues to expand its Teams displays portfolio for flexible workspaces. One device is the Yealink DeskVision A24. It’s a 24-inch display usable as a standalone for Teams collaboration or connectable to a PC as a second screen. It supports multitasking, so users can view more content across screens.

Microsoft Webinar in Teams new features

There are four new capabilities to improve the interactivity of webinars:

  • Presenter bios with headshots, titles, profiles, and more.
  • Theming to allow for branding or match the event subject to the design.
  • Capacity limits will be available to set thresholds.
  • Custom questions can gather information from attendees with more preset queries and the option to include consent for terms and conditions.

Teams Connect received an upgrade with shared channels

With Teams Connect shared channels, organizations can work together in one spot to schedule meetings, have conversations, share and work on files, and collaborate on all apps in one shared space. No tenant switching is necessary, and the user experience is richer than ever. This feature is generally available now.

Team Chat enhancements

  • Video clips: Users can record and send a short video message in Chat. It will be generally available in September.
  • Chat with self: This capability offers a new way to keep essential chat notes organized. Users will find it pinned to the top of chat history. They can create messages, save files, and share them. Chat with self is generally available now.
  • Expanded reactions: For users looking for that perfect emoji response, Chat now has more choices, which will be generally available in September.
  • LinkedIn integration: View colleague LinkedIn profile deals from Teams chat, channels, calls, or meetings. Users can now add this feature.
  • Dynamics 365 embedding: Link existing or new chats to Dynamics 365 records for convenient access later without switching apps.

Collaborative app updates

  • Live Share: Developers can make any app collaborative, using Teams as the meeting stage. This new space allows users to share information and work on projects. Live Share has Fluid Framework as its foundation, which allows for synchronization of state, media, and control actions.
  • Collaboration controls in Power Apps: Users can drag and drop Microsoft 365 collaboration features (e.g., chats, meetings, tasks, files) inside the custom apps.


Microsoft Viva updates Goals, introduces Engage, and announces other enhancements

The other crucial product announcements most important to our customers revolve around Microsoft Viva, the employee experience platform. It’s a central repository for worker resources that support their well-being and productivity. Two new modules, Viva Goals and Viva Engage, are impacting the workplace of the future.

Viva Goals

Viva Goals had a soft launch in March. After feedback and changes, it’s now generally available. The goal-setting and management solution enables alignment between teams and business priorities. It’s a vehicle for leaders to build high-performing teams, employees to have a better sense of purpose, and HR to enhance the employee experience.

Goals is a centralized source for goal setting and progress monitoring. It also makes goals part of the typical workday, so they are always top of mind.

Viva Engage

Viva Engage, the newest app focused on culture, was just announced at Inspire. It consists of communication and engagement opportunities to bring people together. Its foundation is Yammer, and it works as a digital community to connect and empower. Leaders can use it to share news, strategies, and culture messaging.

Employees will appreciate a space to build a community and professional network. Some unique features include stories, Best Answers, @mentions, and topics.

Microsoft Viva also announced more updates, including:

  • An employee learning API is now available.
  • Viva Insights now includes hybrid workforce experience and meeting effectiveness reports. Meeting category is now an option in Teams, and a shared focus plan module allows people to block out uninterrupted time, so they have less meeting fatigue.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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