Early Christmas Gifts at ESPC by Nicole Enders

A few weeks ago, we were all thrilled by the fantastic news we’ve heard from Microsoft Ignite. And now, we will get our first early Christmas gifts with more details about Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and so on at the ESPC in Prague. I’ve been travelling to many events in the last months and everywhere the people wanted to know  

  • … what is the next step of collaboration? 
  • … why are we talking about the year of Yammer? 
  • … what is the strategy behind Microsoft Teams and what about SharePoint and Yammer? 
  • … 

And then, there was the moment at Ignite when Jeff Teper told us what’s coming up in the next couple of days, weeks and months. He was talking about many different topics and here are my highlights: 

  • Knowledge Management: I was impressed by the announcement of Project Cortex and the (r)evolution of knowledge management. I cannot remember the number of projects I’ve been working on where we were trying to find the best approach to document and to share knowledge in a company. With the new capabilities of Project Cortex you will have an AI based support for knowledge management out-of-the-box. You can find more information about this topic at https://resources.techcommunity.microsoft.com/project-cortex-microsoft-365/ 
  • Power Platform: A couple of years ago, most of our customers thought about SharePoint as a platform for all their processes and applications. But in some cases, SharePoint was not the suitable tool and we had to find a better solution for our customer. With Office 365 the situation is different; we have many other options to support business processes by using a combination of multiple services (e.g. SharePoint with Flow and Power Apps). Nowadays, we also get many requests concerning chat bot support in our solutions. That’s why I was very excited that there will be enhancements in Flow (which is now called Power Automate) to support robotic processes with UI Flows. Furthermore, we will have the possibility to create chat bots without coding with the newest member in Office 365: Power Virtual Agents. And last but not least, we will get updates for the AI Builder. All these changes will enable us to build intelligent solutions for us and our customers. 
  • Yammer: We use Yammer as our corporate network and to organize us in open communities. Compared with other services like SharePoint and Teams, Yammer was more like an independent service. It had a different look and feel and its dedicated administration. For example, you had to manage your profile picture and profile details in Yammer and in Office 365; there was no connection between the Office 365 services and Yammer. Searching for information in Yammer and SharePoint was not so easy and it was hard to implement consistent compliance rules. Now, Yammer will get an update; no, not an update! It will be a complete new application / service. With this new Yammer, we will have to rethink: “When do we use Teams, when Yammer and when SharePoint?” 
  • Teams: Teams is the service with the most grown usage in Office 365. It seems, that every Office 365 service related to collaboration will get connectors or interfaces to be integrated into your daily teamwork. The next step is the integration of all of your tasks from Planner, Outlook or To-Do. The goal is clear: You don’t need to switch between different applications to do your job. With other enhancements like private channels, pinning channels to the top or better video capabilities, we know that we are on our way to the next step of collaboration. 

Many of these aspects will be covered in the keynote “The Intelligent Workplace with Microsoft 365” by Jeff Teper and I’m looking forward to hear the newest updates there. But there is so much more to come. I’m thinking about sessions like… 

  • What’s New with Microsoft Teams: the Hub for Teamwork in Microsoft 365 (Karuana Gatimu) 
  • Deep Dive into QNAMaker (Donald Hessing) 
  • The Future of Yammer: Share Knowledge, Engage Leaders and Build Communities in Microsoft 365 (Mike Holste, Dan Holme) 
  • Project Cortex: What’s New and What’s Next (Adam Harmetz, Sean Squires, Chris McNulty) 
  • … 

I know, it is a hard choice we have to make and during the following days I will be working on my personal agenda because we cannot join all these fantastic sessions and speakers. I recommend that you use all the provided possibilities to learn something new, to share your knowledge and to network with your peers and the speakers, sponsors and organizers. I wish you a great time at the ESPC in Prague! 

Visit ESPC19 Community Reporters for more live #ESPC19 content and exclusive interviews from the ESPC19 Reporter Team.

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