Create. Collaborate. Control: The Microsoft 365 Ecosystem In-depth – Part 02

The second part in unpacking the new M365 ecosystem 

In the first part of this series we looked at how the Microsoft 365 ecosystem has changed over the past few years – the apps that have come, the apps that have gone, and the immense variety of the apps that remain. Today, M365 has evolved to become an interconnected web of services and solutions that can be customised to suit different sectors, industries, and business needs. It’s the equivalent of a digital toolbox packed with tools that are designed to transform any workplace into one that’s modern, agile, hybrid-ready, and connected. 

Microsoft announced the shift in approach towards its Office productivity suite in November 2022 along with shiny new branding, explaining that this is more about creating a centralised space that offers a complete experience than removing access to key apps and technologies. Users still get access to all the features of Office but with some added extras… 

Microsoft Loop 

In the Periodic Table of Microsoft 365 – the definitive guide to the M365 ecosystem since 2017 and now updated to reflect the current apps and changes – Microsoft Loop sits in the quadrant for file storage and collaboration alongside business intelligence. This app is not yet generally available but will be filtering into the ecosystem during the course of 2023. Designed to help people better collaborate and share information within M365, Loop is designed to optimise hybrid and remote working environments. 

According to Microsoft’s announcement, Loop will: 

  • Empower people to communicate both synchronously and asynchronously 
  • Connect Word, Whiteboard, and Outlook within a centralised space that makes it easier to share workspaces and pages 
  • Connect to Microsoft Editor  
  • Integrate with Microsoft Dynamic 365 within Teams 

Microsoft Teams gets even juicier 

Microsoft Teams has been given some tasty extra titbits to make the platform even more reliable and capable for organisations. Teams now include SmartVision 60, an intelligent camera that’s designed to merge multiple video streams with AI and potentially with people recognition further down the line. It is also now accessible on certified Cisco meeting devices, and Teams Premium has had a wodge of features shoved inside that include: 

  • Intelligent recap using AI that automatically generates meeting chapters and personalised highlights 
  • Live translation for captions in 40 languages 
  • Meeting guides to help set up the correct meeting options 
  • A branded meeting experience distinctive to individual tenants 
  • Improved security and safeguards, including watermarking and sensitivity markers 
  • Webinar and virtual appointment capabilities 
  • Teams Live Share allows you to turn meetings into real-time, multi-user experiences where people can interact and annotate in meeting windows.  

Microsoft Places  

This fresh and shiny new addition gives the business the ability to create places for groups, teams and individuals and forms part of the Microsoft Connected Workplace category of solutions. It helps the business to: 

  • Coordinate work across multiple areas of the business and locations so that you can create a hybrid/remote framework that keeps people connected and engaged. 
  • Hybrid scheduling that uses data from Outlook and Teams to help with collaborating and planning. 
  • Intelligent booking to manage meeting times and participants 

There are so many more features being built into the new M365 ecosystem that are changing how Microsoft delivers to your business. Using AI, intelligent systems, smart components and interconnected insights, you can provide your employees with everything from optimised driving routes to work on in-office days, to customised metaverse avatars and integrated content AI with Microsoft Syntex.  

If you want to really get your hands stuck in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem and get the benefit of the new apps and capabilities embedded within it, Mint can help you choose the right pieces to fit your business puzzle.  

Get in touch, and we’ll get you started.

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