Microsoft consistently has something new and exciting up its sleeve. Last month, Microsoft did not disappoint during this annual conference, Ignite, which they virtually hosted. Ignite is typically one of the venues where new announcements and enhancements are revealed. This year, these announcements spanned multiple products and business needs and are sure to provide assistance in your office.
Recently, President Biden met with leaders in the private sector as well as those in education to discuss the need to address cybersecurity threats to the nation and efforts needed across the board. The increase in incidents and the ongoing threat of attack transcends all invisible borders that we put on humans or businesses. In other words, cybercriminals don’t care about your race, religion, income, or the industry that you work within. Data is valuable to them, and they will obtain it however is necessary. This meeting was held to unify efforts so that collectively we are fighting the battle against hackers with the hope of having a more significant impact. The outcome of the meeting was as follows…
We are constantly online and reachable. Whether it is via our phones or that we are sitting at the office on our computers, someone can always reach us. In most situations, that is the point. We live in a time when work is always happening, and no time is off-limits. The average employee receives around 121 emails per day, and I would guess that since the onset of COVID-19, that number has increased. How much "work" are you actually getting done with the constant ping of new emails or messages from applications like Teams?
The overwhelming theme of this year’s virtual Microsoft Inspire 2021 conference was that Microsoft is fully committed to being the very best partner they can be to their partners. Satya Nadella started the conference with a powerful keynote acknowledging that Microsoft has gotten where it is today solely because of its partners and that it will only continue to grow if its partners are also growing. Every major takeaway from the conference carried along this theme, yet concepts ranged from security to reduced costs to higher functionality. Below are what we believe to be the most impactful takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2021.
Just as it seemed we might be seeing clear skies ahead in terms of the pandemic; another dark cloud began to rise on the horizon. The Colonial Pipeline breach hit the news, and many people started to panic. We were all too familiar with the uncertainty of the future, and last year’s toilet paper rush was replaced with people filling gasoline in plastic containers of all sorts and sizes.
Are there tasks at the office that you are consistently required to complete that take “focus” time away from your day? Are there times that you have ever thought, if only these tasks could run themselves, then I could get more done with my day? Microsoft must have been listening to our inner thoughts; thus, they have developed a solution. This solution, called Robotic Process Automation (RPA), was first announced at the 2019 Microsoft Ignite Conference. At the conference, Microsoft introduced the robotic process automation as a part of the Power Automate Desktop. Since the announcement in 2019, Microsoft has doubled down on this investment and has seen the return on investment. Hundreds of thousands of organizations have accepted it and are using it to automate billions of tasks each month. You may be wondering, how do I use this technology to lighten my load of “busy work” and increase my value by allowing more time for deliberate and innovative thinking?
It is accurate that 2020 changed the way we work. Many believe that we will never go back to thinking about work as a location but instead a culture. Microsoft is doubling down on this theory and has created a platform to truly connect employees in a virtual setting. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “As the world recovers, there is no going back. Flexibility in when, where, and how we work will be key.” Micirosoft's solution, is newly released Microsoft Viva. Like the “Intranet” of old, Microsoft Viva is a platform that connects essential aspects of a your business in one central location.