Blog Post

What We Learnt at Microsoft Ignite 2021

The dust has settled following Microsoft Ignite 2021 and what an event it has been. The announcements made at Ignite have provided us with a significant understanding of the future of technology and the ‘blended’ world we live in today.

A step into the Metaverse

We’ve recently seen a wave of announcements from various tech firms surrounding the conceptual ‘Metaverse’ – the meshing of real world and digital concepts to enable collaborative remote working. Ignite introduced us to Microsoft Mesh, which leverages the scaling power of Microsoft Teams to enable digital collaboration like never before.

Blending digital and physical realities, Microsoft Mesh harnesses tools like Teams and Microsoft Hololens to fuse our ways of working into enduring digital scenarios. The future looks incredibly aligned to collaborative but disparate working, fuelled by the rise in home working conditions and the need to be physically represented via digital means.

For us at Tisski, we are really excited at the potential of the Metaverse and how collaboration with our customers will look in the future. I expect to see these capabilities expand over the coming years, with the direction suggesting that our ways of working are only likely to morph further.

Microsoft 365 enhancements

In other exciting news, Ignite shone a light on lots of new features landing across the core Microsoft 365 services. Personally, Microsoft Loop has caught my eye; this new app gives a flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and sync across other apps like Outlook and Teams. That means we can use Loop components, pages and workspaces to provide fluidity and flows in our work using data that travels with us.

Coupled in with the announcements regarding Microsoft Loop was the elaboration of a concept we’ve all been using for some time in limited scenarios: ContextIQ. This technology delivers artificial intelligence-based suggestions as you type, bringing context and suggestions to your fingertips.

Imagine a scenario where you are typing a message in Microsoft Teams about an opportunity and as you type the opportunity name, the relevant record in Dynamics 365 is suggested as a linkable item… ContextIQ will make this a reality, intelligently informing us as we type to bring relevance to our conversations.

Dynamics 365 goes multiplayer

Some excellent quality improvements have landed for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and they’re set to make a fantastic impression on operational usage for our customers.

The key announcement here is that Dynamics 365 is going multiplayer, with the introduction of the ability to see who else is viewing and/or editing a record. This is a big step forward for collaboration and successful co-working. In a similar vein, Teams chat is now embedded and enabled directly in Dynamics 365, allowing for contextual conversations without the need to leave the screen.

With a wave of improvements to expand the quality of the overall D365 platform, a favourite example of mine is the enhanced omnichannel approach, which will bring the ability to communicate vocally with customers natively, eliminating the need for third-party tools.

Pay-as-you-go Power Apps

Ignite brought the announcement of several significant changes for the Power Platform, but the one that’s front and centre for me is the pay-as-you-go licencing model. This allows users to connect Azure subscriptions to the Power Platform and pay for what they use, after they’ve used it. This model lets us build apps for burst usage that otherwise do not need to be licenced on a per-user or per-app basis, allowing greater flexibility in apps you may be considering building.

Microsoft has also made an update to allow Power Apps to be packaged and shared natively via mobile app stores such as the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store so that Power Apps can be more accessible and easier to find. This also opens up interesting examples of building mobile apps under a Power App framework, truly realising the low-code/pro-code movement in building more conventional mobile apps.

Ignite has shone a spotlight on the direction technology – and Microsoft – is heading in. One thing is for certain: we’re in an ever evolving but hugely exciting world where tech barriers are diminishing, with technology transforming ways of working continuing to emerge.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for Tisski to be able to guide our customers on the technological landscape of the future and how it can impact the way they work, as well as the way we work alongside them.

Tisski employees smiling

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