On the show this week, Paul and I talk through a plethora of new updates arriving in Microsoft Teams, many going straight to the new Teams client; and Entra ID leaps forward towards a zero trust by default stance – we find out how. We discuss how Microsoft is doing well financially, but are they still providing great customer support; and Andy Honeycutt, Microsoft MVP joins us to discuss Copilot for Microsoft 365 adoption in the real world.

Microsoft Teams Ushers in 2024 with New Features and Enhancements

Microsoft Teams has rolled out 33 new features and enhancements in its January 2024 update. The updates include improvements to meetings, chats, Teams Phone, Teams Devices, Platform, and Frontline Workers. Notable features include the arrival of Immersive Spaces (Mesh for Teams) and ‘Decorate your background’ that transform meetings into 3D experiences and customize real-world backgrounds respectively.

Teams & Entra ID New Features, Plus Copilot Adoption in the Real World: The Practical 365 Podcast S4 E13
Figure 1: Original background on the left, and decorated “cleaned up” background on the right. Which is better?

Additionally, the ‘Intelligent recap’ feature is now included with the Copilot for Microsoft 365 license; which makes a lot of sense; it seemed strange to be able to ask Copilot during a meeting to recap the conversation or list action items but need a separate Teams Premium license to get those notes provided in the Recap notes.

Read more about the full set of updates and about “Decorate your background“.

Microsoft Entra’s Leap Towards Zero Trust: Auto-Rollout of Conditional Access Policies

Microsoft Entra has announced the automatic rollout of its Conditional Access policies, designed to bolster security in your Microsoft 365 environment and make it easier for you to apply best practices. The policies, based on risk signals, licensing, and usage, have been developed to keep up with the evolving cyber threat landscape. This move is part of a larger initiative to strengthen security, including significant engineering advancements. These policies offer an increased level of protection without compromising productivity.

Read more about the auto-rollout of Conditional Access policies

Office 365 Surpasses 400 Million Milestone Amidst Strong Q2 Results

Microsoft’s Q2 FY24 report reveals a significant 55% of its $62 billion revenue stemmed from its cloud products, including Office 365, Azure, LinkedIn, and Dynamics 365. The company’s cloud-based division saw an $8 billion quarterly revenue increase, raising the annualized run rate to $134.8 billion. Notably, Office 365 has now hit a remarkable 400 million paid seats, demonstrating steady growth in active users.

Off the back of these numbers, we highlight a few things; firstly despite the lack of comparative data, Microsoft claimed Copilot users were 29% faster at tasks such as searching, writing, and summarizing, and emphasized their success with Copilot for Microsoft 365 so far by claiming that 10,000 organizations use Copilot Studio (recently renamed from Power Virtual Agents). And we question whether Microsoft is improving the quality of support and account management they give to their customers in line with the growing numbers.

Read more on Tony Redmond’s blog or watch the Microsoft webcast.

Andy Huneycutt Discusses Copilot for Microsoft 365 Adoption

Teams & Entra ID New Features, Plus Copilot Adoption in the Real World: The Practical 365 Podcast S4 E13
Figure 2: Andy Huneycutt joins us on the Practical 365 podcast, talking about Copilot adoption in the real world.

We’re joined by MVP Andy Huneycutt to discuss Copilot for Microsoft 365 adoption, with a focus on the US healthcare org that Andy is currently rolling it out for. We ask:

  • What has Andy found so far in terms of Copilot usage, and has he found his team has to work hard to persist usage once it’s in the hands of users, and are there stand-out use cases?
  • With business changes, how have you dealt with resistance so far, and what form has that come in?
  • Compliance is often mentioned by organizations as a reason to halt the enablement of Copilot for Microsoft. Was this a challenge for you and your organization, and how did the reality of Copilot in actual use compare to your expectations when it comes to using tenant data

Join us in two week’s time, when I’ll be back – joined by Rich Dean to discuss more Microsoft 365 news, along with special guest interviews.

About the Author

Steve Goodman

Technology Writer and Chief Editor for AV Content at Practical 365, focused on Microsoft 365. A 12-time Microsoft MVP, author of several technology books and regular Microsoft conference speaker. Steve works at Advania in the UK as Field Chief Technology Officer, advising business and IT on the best way to get the most from Microsoft Cloud technology.

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