On the show this week, we’re joined by a special guest from Microsoft, to talk about one of the key pillars of Microsoft Viva – and we discuss new Teams features you might not like quite so much, discuss the recent Microsoft outage and look at three big new features on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap…

Diving deep into Viva Insights

Kamal Janardhan, General Manager for Microsoft Viva Insights, joins us on the show. We ask key questions that will be top of your mind, including

  • What’s happening to Outlook Insights and MyAnalytics? Do they stay or go, or will these be knitted together?
  • There’s a lot of information being gathered – is it enough to accurately represent what people actually do – especially with people working at home or focusing on tasks that don’t involve collaboration?
  • For customers who have already been working on employee wellbeing initiatives, how can you integrate the work that’s been done so far into Viva Insights?

Corporate Teams users to get in-app adverts

Appearing in the Message Center earlier in the week, Microsoft announced that Teams users will see a banner in their activity feed, on mobile, advertising the fact that they can add a personal account to Microsoft Teams.

We discuss whether Microsoft should be providing any adverts – or indeed collecting NPS survey data in-product from the people in your business; and of course, the view is a resounding – no, they should not even consider publishing adverts, even for their own products. It is surprising that such an initiative gained approval – so we’ll see if this upcoming change is reversed over the next few weeks.

Opt-out from adverts is not simple – if you don’t want your users to see adverts for Teams Personal, then you need to submit a ticket to Microsoft.

Watch out for Auto Claims Policies

Auto-claim policies allow users who haven’t been assigned a Microsoft Teams licence to automatically have one issued when they first sign in to the product.

On the show we discuss potential scenarios where you would want this to happen, and Paul points out that most corporate users will assign Microsoft Teams licences for those users who should have the product. Steve suggests that companies who don’t assign Microsoft Teams licences generally have a reason not to do so – like if they are using another product or using Skype for Business On-Premises and aren’t yet ready for Microsoft Teams.

You can configure Auto Claims policies by following Microsoft’s documentation. It is off by default, but it is worth examining the setting in your tenant today to ensure it is set how you need it.

Microsoft 365 outage blamed on DNS

It has been an interesting past few weeks for Microsoft 365 customers, with an Azure AD code change causing an outage in March, and with April arriving, someone probably felt a little foolish as a DNS-related outage took down access to multiple Microsoft services, including Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics 365.

DNS of course always gets the blame, but fundamentally DNS is a very reliable service. In complex infrastructure environments like Microsoft’s there are more parts to go wrong though.

New Teams meeting features arrive on the Roadmap, Ignite announcements slip

First, we discuss Microsoft 365 Roadmap features that have slipped, including one of the new Presenter modes, Standout, which was promised by the end of March, just a few weeks ago at Ignite 2021. Whilst we agree it is disappointing that Microsoft have failed to get a feature out when they say they can, if it means the feature is more reliable when it does launch it will be worthwhile. It is now on track for April, so we’ll see if they deliver.

Presenters get more new video features with PowerPoint Live getting similar features to Presenter mode, including the ability to overlay their video in-content and placing a box with video in the corner of the video view. It sounds very much like the Presenter mode options, but aimed at those that prefer to pre-organize their meeting presentation, including video options, inside PowerPoint rather than on an ad-hoc basic within the meeting itself. If all goes to plan, we can expect this in a few weeks time.

And finally, fans of Spotlight mode who want to present together will rejoice – including Paul, who plans to make use of this feature in his meetings. Again, in April, the ability to spotlight up to seven presenters in a meeting will arrive. This will be a good complement to webinar features in Teams and make it easier for several people to virtually present to a larger group.

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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