Microsoft Inspire is over for another year. We hand back the keys of Las Vegas to the Poker hustlers, Sinatra tribute acts and Tiger-straddling Magicians and return to our familiar stomping grounds of partitioned desks and musky meeting rooms.
So what can we take away from this year’s event? Microsoft have given us plenty to choose from. I have highlighted some of the announcements made at Inspire below.
Updates to Microsoft 365
Microsoft used Inspire to announce further enhancements to their Microsoft 365 platform. As well as the free version of Teams (which I have touched upon in my previous articles) Microsoft 365 now offers Whiteboard as part of Windows 10. This allows users to collaborate on work documents, exchange notes and share ideas on the same page.
Microsoft 365 is also rolling out a preview of a new Workplace Analytics solution which uses collaboration insights from the Microsoft Graph, to help teams run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries. Organizations can use aggregate data in Workplace Analytics to identify opportunities for improving collaboration, then share insights and suggest habits to specific teams using MyAnalytics.
Capabilities are also being introduced that enable anyone to view live events in real-time or on-demand, across devices with Microsoft 365 through Yammer. Events can be viewed in real-time or on-demand, with high-definition video and interactive discussion. These new capabilities leverage deep integration of Yammer, Stream, Microsoft Teams, and the rest of Office 365.
Continuing the momentum of customer innovation, Microsoft announced new capabilities and programs that empower customers to create enterprise-grade IoT solutions.
Azure IoT Central’s new features and support for partners to manage and extend IoT solutions: Azure IoT Central brings the simplicity of SaaS for IoT with no cloud expertise required.
Azure IoT Central now supports Azure CSP subscriptions, allowing cloud solution provider (CSP) partners to easily provision and manage Azure IoT Central applications. Azure IoT Central analytics Power BI template enables customers to see IoT data in Power BI, such as how many measurements have been sent, which devices are most active, etc. With this window into real-time insights and historical data, customers and partners can analyze the long-term trends to inform business actions.
With the new connector in Microsoft Flow, customers can build workflows that are triggered when an alert is fired, such as issuing a ticket to inspect manufacturing equipment with Connected Field Service, using a simple drag-and-drop motion from hundreds of other systems in the library of published connectors.
Support for IoT data export. Customers can now continually export data from IoT Central to Azure Storage and consume it in Power BI for advanced visualizations and analytics, or Azure Machine Learning to gain deeper insights.