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Today I’m going to breakdown the first track in the series Why Microsoft Cloud? and try to pick out all the MUST KNOWS! from each session. So grab a cuppa and let’s get into everything Microsoft Cloud.

Day 1: Teams Meetings

On day 1 Customer Program Manager, Jonathan Eustace makes the very valid point that we need to RETHINK the idea of meetings – not as disconnected experiences but as a life-cycle of collaboration that relies on a series of meetings and connections until a project is complete – Microsoft Teams can support you and your team in making this transition

So how does Microsoft Teams help in adapting this life-cycle approach? –

Before: The chat feature enables you to prepare ahead of time by chatting and collaborating before the meeting has even started, these chats are then filed and act as notes shared in advance.

During: Teams allows for seamless collaboration in real time through the ability to co-author documents on the Office apps, or simply some brainstorming using the whiteboard feature. Additionally, you can follow along using live captions and give that sense of togetherness using together mode, which really helps fill the void of that in person interaction that we’re missing out on right now..

After: Any files/notes/whiteboards that have been created during the meeting are then saved in the chat which provides a continuous conversation and aids a team in driving things forward, reducing the chance of items ‘falling through the cracks’. For anyone who missed the meeting the cloud recordings are available in the chat and transcripts are searchable allowing you to quickly find information applicable to you.

My main take-away: Microsoft Teams makes meetings smarter!

Microsoft Teams is ever evolving to fit the needs of this new hybrid world, check out last month’s updates here.

Day 2: Teams Platform

We kicked off day 2 of the series with Teams Technical Specialist Johnny McHugh delivering a session on Teams Platform. The urgency to re imagine how we work was a key focus.

Here are some of the great things you can achieve through the Teams Platform –

  • Did you know that there are 800+ third party applications within the Teams app store? helping you streamline common workflows and stay in the flow of work and eliminate context switching by using apps directly in teams.
  • Richer Meeting Experience, For example through polls; which you can complete before the meeting, publish the findings during the meeting, gather results and distribute in the dedicated chat post meeting
  • Turning Conversations into Actions using Automation/Process Management

Johnny also mentioned Power Platform low-code custom solutions for Teams, but we’ll take a deeper dive on this on day three with Carl Wallace..

Day 3: Power Apps

The next session was delivered by Carl Wallace, Territory Channel Manager for Business Applications. From this session my main take away was data, data, data.. focusing on the burning question how can you get the most out of yours? Analyse, Act and Automate.

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  • Dynamics 365 has the unique ability to bring all your data into ONE source.
  • The Power Platform is low/no code platform to accelerate the creation of modern applications. It’s role is aiding how we Analyse, Act and Automate all of that data. Data > Analyse (PowerBI) > Act (Power Apps) > Automate (Power Automate).

Key Benefits

  1. Build business apps faster, easier – empower everyone to create impactful business solutions in hours – not months – with familiar tools
  2. Take your apps to the next level – enable citizen developers to work directly with pro developers for even more advanced solutions
  3. Scale with confidence – build solutions at scale while maintaining governance, security and quality standards
  4. One platform, unlimited innovation – shift your low-code apps into high gear continuously with advanced AI, analytics bots, interactive maps, external portals, mixed reality, IoT and more.

Lastly, did you know Power Apps also comes with many M365 subscriptions? So why not try it out today and get even more out of your Microsoft investments. Power Apps is natively integrated with Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure – so you can do more with the tools you already use.

Reach out to the Dynamics 365 team at Microsoft Ireland to learn more: Contact Us | Microsoft Dynamics 365

Day 4: Microsoft Viva

On day 4, Johnny McHugh, Technical Specialist delivered our Microsoft Viva session. The session started with a powerful message – we need to enable people in organisations to continuously adapt for what’s next, help them survive and thrive in this new cultural of resilience because the people are key to business success.

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Microsoft Viva was developed exactly for this purpose and based on the six key elements of a great employee experience: Well-being, Empowerment, Connection, Growth, Focus & Purpose. It is an employee experience platform built into Microsoft Teams bringing together these modules:

Connections – Culture & communications

Insights – Productivity & well-being

Topics – Knowledge & expertise

Learning – Skilling & growth

Want to see it in action? Click here to find out how Unilever, a champion of employee well-being, adopted Microsoft Viva Insights to provide individuals, managers, and leaders with data-driven, privacy-protected visibility into how work patterns affect employee well-being and productivity. These insights help Unilever improve the employee experience and promote greater work-life balance.

…And that’s a wrap for week 1!

You may or may not have joined us for our Modern Work & Security: Unlock the Tech Series but you can catch all the recordings from the Why Microsoft Cloud track here –Unlock The Tech Series: Why Microsoft Cloud

If you want to talk Modern Work & Security please reach out any time to myself @ leenglis@microsoft.com or the Microsoft 365 team at Microsoft Ireland to learn more: Connect with sales about Microsoft 365

Stay tuned for next weeks breakdown of our Secure Your Business From Anywhere Track!

Free report: The state of security for SMBs

Get concrete recommendations on how to reduce the odds of an attack on your business today.

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