SKYPE FOR TEAMS
I lauded the launch of Microsoft Teams earlier this year when Redmond launched the service that could be a killer for Slack. Some thought that Teams couldn’t possibly survive or that it signalled the end of Yammer. Instead, Microsoft is doubling-down on Teams and elevating it to a key service of focus and marketing. To this end, the Skype VoIP platform is getting a boost with the integration of Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams. Companies can now use Skype chats to make group voice and video calls within the Teams tool and within Office 365.
Perhaps, the most significant announcement, which will supercharge the social aspects of a SharePoint online and Office 365 is the integration with LinkedIn profiles with directories. This will allow intranet users with LinkedIn profiles to connect their LinkedIn profiles to their Office 365 (SharePoint) profiles. Microsoft says, “Users who have access to this feature can access LinkedIn profile information by hovering over a person’s name and navigating to the ‘LinkedIn’ tab on the new profile card. Microsoft service administrators continue to have control over organizational privacy and connected features in their tenant. We respect end-user privacy and will honor your LinkedIn privacy and profile visibility settings.”
Fairly minimal integration given Microsoft bought LinkedIn for an astounding US$26.2 billion. However, Microsoft is also connecting LinkedIn with MS-Dynamics sales and recruiting. LinkedIn InMails and messages can soon be sent directly from Dynamics 365 for Sales activities. Additionally, LinkedIn members can draft resumes in Word and update their profiles, and discover and apply to jobs on LinkedIn from Word. Salesforce.com should be very concerned (frightened).
Look for more integration between LinkedIn and Office 365 next year when Microsoft releases the next version of Office and SharePoint, SharePoint 2019 by mid-2018.
Microsoft is also planning to beef up the search engine in Office 365. Specifically Microsoft Graph, the Office 365 API, will index and return results from more sources — allowing employees to search across Sites, Files, People, email, and documents. Today, search is a little fractured and the search interface doesn’t search everything. In the future, Microsoft wants users to search from wherever they are for whatever they need.
As announced here on IntranetBlog.com last week, it has launched a preview of Bing for Business search engine. Bing for Business will search internal enterprise content, such as SharePoint sites and Teams, as well as public web results, “displaying them in a single experience.“
Additionally, Office 365 will feature a new bundle for “first line” (frontline) workers, including those in sales, on factory floors, and medical staff. The package will combine Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility tools.
Finally, MS is now shipping Azure Stack to manufacturers. The on-premises version of Azure allows organizations to run the Microsoft cloud in-house and transition older servers to Azure without shifting data off-campus.
More to come.