You Already Own It October 2020: Updates From Microsoft Ignite

Microsoft 365 Overview 
More info here.

MICROSOFT ENDPOINT MANAGER INTRODUCES MICROSOFT TUNNEL FOR REMOTE ACCESS TO ON-PREMISES RESOURCES, SUPPORT FOR SHARED IPAD, WVD AND MORE:   Microsoft Tunnel, a remote access solution integrated with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, enables iOS and Android devices to connect to on-premises apps and resources to be productive on the go.   Microsoft Endpoint Manager will now support management of virtual endpoints, so you can manage your Windows Virtual Desktop endpoints, or third-party Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, right alongside your physical PCs within the same console. This will be available in public preview by the end of 2020.
More info here.

SHAREPOINT SYNTEX, ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT USING ADVANCED AI TO DELIVER UNDERSTANDING:  SharePoint Syntex lets you teach AI to read a document and extract information as you would with no-code AI models. It then uses your models to automatically process content, extract information and apply metadata. With rich metadata, you can find and work with content more easily, as well as automatically apply sensitivity and retention labels to manage compliance and streamline processes, such as flagging files that deserve attention.  SharePoint Syntex will be available to purchase for Microsoft 365 commercial customers on Oct. 1.
More info here  

STREAM MAKES VIDEO SHARING SIMPLE ACROSS MICROSOFT 365:  Microsoft Stream — With video that will be stored in Microsoft 365, the new experience builds on the rich content management features of SharePoint and unlocks the intelligence of Microsoft Graph to deliver long-awaited features including external and anonymous sharing, integration with Microsoft Search, enhanced analytics, improved transcript quality, and new controls for security and compliance.  The new Stream will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
More info here.

CALLING FEATURES ARE COMING SOON TO MICROSOFT TEAMS:  Collaborative Calling, which enables customers to connect a Call Queue to a Teams Channel. Users can collaborate and share information in the channel while taking calls in the queue. This feature is ideal for scenarios such as an IT help desk or HR hotline. IT admins can quickly connect call queues to specific channels, and team owners can manage the settings.
More info here.

ENHANCEMENTS TO TEAMS CHAT AND CHANNEL CONVERSATIONS:  Team templates, available now, make setting up a new team even easier. Template options include a predefined set of channels, tabs, apps and settings catered to industry-specific and role-based scenarios. IT professionals can also create custom templates for their organization, allowing them to standardize team structures, surface relevant apps and scale best practices.  Although there is already no limit on the number of people in a Teams tenant, the size limit for individual teams is increasing to support up to 25,000 members.
More info here.

NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS EXPERIENCES:  Several new Together mode scenes are coming later this year, including various auditoriums, conference rooms and a coffee shop. Presenters will soon be able to select a scene from the gallery as the default scene for all meeting attendees. In addition, custom layouts will allow presenters to customize how meeting content shows up for participants during the meeting. Breakout rooms, coming before the end of this calendar year, will allow meeting organizers to split up meeting participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions.  More than 20 partner apps are coming this October with meetings extensibility moving to general availability, allowing Teams users to customize their Teams meeting experience with third-party apps. HireVue, ServiceNow, Range, Buncee and PagerDuty are among the apps expected to roll out in the coming months. And after a meeting, a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will be shared with participants in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting.  Teams meetings are growing to support up to 1,000 participants with the full meeting experience. For larger meetings and events that require additional control, Teams can seamlessly scale to support 20,000 participants in a view-only meeting experience that includes the ability to use live captions. These new capabilities are available to customers with the new Advanced Communications plan.  For more structured meetings, such as customer presentations, attendee registration with automated emails makes it easier to manage attendance and view a reporting dashboard after the meeting to help understand attendee engagement. And with new production tools like NDI for Microsoft Teams, anyone can transform a Teams meeting into a virtual stage by converting each participant’s video into a discrete video source that can be used for professional media broadcasts or streaming to social communities through the production tool of your choice.
More info here.

NEW MICROSOFT TEAMS CAPABILITIES SUPPORT FIRSTLINE WORKERS: The integration between Teams and RealWear head-mounted devices is now available, enabling field workers to remain 100% hands-free using a voice-controlled user interface while maintaining situational awareness in loud and hazardous environments.   Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie, now available on Android, is a push-to-talk experience that turns employee- or company-owned Android devices into walkie-talkies for instant and secure voice communication over the cloud using cellular network or Wi-Fi.
More info here.

NEW MEETING ROOM EXPERIENCES SUPPORT THE HYBRID WORKPLACE: Microsoft Teams Rooms capabilities will enable social distancing, touchless meeting experiences and more inclusive, collaborative experiences for people joining meetings from home.  Through a new experience in the Teams mobile app, a user can control in-room devices without touching the center console. Controls include join and leave the meeting, mute and unmute the room, adjust audio volume, and turn cameras on and off.  Support for Cortana voice assistance on Microsoft Teams Rooms. With a simple spoken command, users can join and end the meeting without touching the room console. Additional commands will be added over time.  Proximity Join on Surface Hub. Users can join a meeting on Surface Hub from their own PC or mobile device.   Teams casting allows you to wirelessly connect and display content on a nearby Teams Rooms device directly from a smartphone. Over time, this capability will also be made available to PCs.  Teams panels. This new category of devices can be mounted outside a meeting space to streamline space management, providing users with the ability to view space and meeting details, reserve a space, view upcoming reservations and easily identify current availability status. Users can also view the building floor plan and book another room using the “Nearby Rooms” feature.  Surface Hub and Microsoft Teams Rooms device coordination enables users to operate both types of devices in the same room, during the same meeting.
More info here.

NEW MICROSOFT 365 CAPABILITIES MAKE TEAMS AN EVEN RICHER HUB FOR COLLABORATION:  The new home site app brings the power of your SharePoint home site and the rest of your intranet directly into Teams to give employees a gateway to their organization’s intranet, with customizable naming, branding and multilevel navigation to teams, communities and resources. Coming later this year, the app name and icon match the brand for your organization and can be pinned to the app bar in Teams, providing quick access to search and a personalized view of news and important sites. Create tasks from chat and channels, available in the next few weeks. Quickly create tasks right from any Teams chat or channel conversation without having to switch apps or windows.
More info here.

UPDATES TO POWER PLATFORM IN MICROSOFT TEAMS MAKE IT EASIER TO USE LOW-CODE APPS, BOTS AND AUTOMATED WORKFLOWS:  A new Power Automate app in Teams, coming this year, makes it easier to automate workflows, with easy-to-use templates and a simpler building experience. Power Automate will also enable automatic approval processes in Teams, including the ability to integrate e-sign services such as Adobe Sign to automate the signature process.  Enhancements to the Power BI app for Teams, coming in public preview later this year, will make it easier to discover data from across the organization and quickly create visualizations from Excel datasets right within Teams, collaborate more effectively and make decisions based on real-time insight.  Project Oakdale, Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents apps for Teams, both coming this year, include embedded app and bot creation studios, so anyone can build an app or bot without leaving Teams. Power Virtual Agents bots can identify the user interacting with them and respond with personalized, user-specific returns.
More info here.

 

Business Applications – Power Platform Overview 
More info here.

 

POWER AUTOMATE DESKTOP DELIVERS ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION:  With Power Automate Desktop, you can automate Windows-based tasks you can image across both desktop and web applications with minimal effort. Thanks to Power Automate Desktop’s intuitive design environment, non-coders can automate processes quickly without writing a single line of code. Alongside this, it provides complete control and flexibility for advanced users, programmers and developers in an environment that’s familiar.
More info here .

UPDATES TO POWER BI IN TEAMS AND NEW POWER BI PREMIUM PER USER FOR ENHANCED ACCESS TO DATA INSIGHTS, COMPETITIVE PRICING:  Power BI Premium to be offered to individual users. A new Power BI offering, Power BI Premium Per User, will be available in public preview starting in November and will be generally available in spring 2021.   Power BI Premium is well-suited for organizations with smaller Power BI deployments that need Premium features; organizations with large Power BI Pro deployments that are looking to gain access to paginated reports, dataflows, AI and more for select users; and organizations with E5 that aren’t ready yet for a full Premium deployment, but that want to “step up” to Premium.
More info https://aka.ms/AA9g2sm 

POWER PLATFORM LOW-CODE UPDATES FOR GITHUB AND AZURE:  With Power Apps, professional developers can now build Power Platform connectors with Azure API Management and Azure Functions to any Microsoft hosted third-party, legacy or line-of-business apps, while scaling seamlessly through Power Platform and Power Apps for Microsoft Teams. Citizen developers can distribute Power Apps apps through Teams for massive scale with no stand-alone Power Apps licensing requirements.  Power Platform and GitHub integration allows developers to now manage Power Platform solutions and environments seamlessly using the GitHub connector for the Power Platform, allowing DevOps engineers and IT to administer self-service continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) for their citizen developers. Public preview at Ignite.
More info here.

DYNAMICS 365 VOICE CHANNEL WILL STREAMLINE CONTACT CENTER OPERATIONS:  Dynamics 365 and Azure Communication Services are introducing a first-party voice channel that will streamline contact center operations and provide a reliable, fully connected customer experience.  The solution, available in private preview starting this October, will integrate directly with the omnichannel capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, a robust application that allows organizations to instantly connect and engage with customers through channels such as live chat, digital messaging and SMS.
More info here.

 

Azure 

Azure SQL expands zone redundancy: With the introduction of Azure Availability Zones, SQL Database can place different replicas of the business-critical database to different availability zones in the same region. To eliminate a single point of failure, the control ring is also duplicated across multiple zones as three gateway rings (GW). The routing to a specific gateway ring is controlled by Azure Traffic Manager (ATM). Because the zone redundant configuration in the Premium or Business Critical service tiers does not create additional database redundancy, you can enable it at no extra cost. By selecting a zone redundant configuration, you can make your Business-Critical databases resilient to a much larger set of failures, including catastrophic datacenter outages, without any changes to the application logic. More info here. 

Usage-based optimization with Azure Synapse and Power BI: This new capability, turned on in Azure Synapse Analytics, tracks the most utilized Power BI queries in an organization and creates cached views to optimize query performance, ensure data is always up to date, and improve access to insight. With the performance accelerator, Azure Synapse and Power BI together become a continuously learning system optimizing performance as usage grows and usage patterns evolve. More info here. 

Azure Resource Mover:  This service reduces the complexity of moving resources, minimizing the number of decisions needed on how the resources will be moved. You can use this feature, not only to move resources, but also to copy and distribute them across many regions. During the move process, only one side (source or destination) will be active, but once you finish the move, if you decide not to delete the source, you have in fact a new deployment of the solution. More info here. 

Azure Arc-enabled servers and data services:  Azure Arc brings existing infrastructure running on-premise or other public cloud environments into Azure. Azure- Arc enabled data services supports running Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure PostgresSQL Hyper scale in on-premises data centers, multi-cloud and the edge. Azure Arc simplifies governance and management by delivering a consistent multi-cloud and on-premises management platform. More info here. 

Azure Migrate’s new agentless software inventory and dependency mapping: Azure Migrate new features includes agentless software inventory and dependency mapping and migration of workloads with support for Availability Zone and UEFI migration, in addition to comprehensive discovery and assessment of current estate. Azure migration also provides support for WVD and ASP.net Web applications. More info here. 

Next-generation Azure VMware Solution: Azure VMware Solution now supports backup solutions from partners like Commvault, Veeam and Veritas and DR capabilities from Zetro and JetStream. It also integrates with native Azure Migrate tools to build AVS specific assessments for cloud migration. Replication Assisted vMotion(RAV) for large bulk migrations is also included as part of new HCX enterprise Edition. More info here. 

 

Security 

Microsoft Defender: Microsoft Threat Protection is now Microsoft 365 Defender, also called XDR(Extended Detection and Response. The following have been rebranded:

  • Microsoft 365 Defender (previously Microsoft Threat Protection).
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (previously Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection).
  • Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (previously Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection).
  • Microsoft Defender for Identity (previously Azure Advanced Threat Protection).

Learn more about Microsoft DefenderAzure Defender and Azure Sentinel. 

Azure AD Conditional Access enhancements: New capabilities include APIs in MS Graph to manage policies as code and enforced Conditional Access policy in the Azure AD advisor tool with introduction of Insights to assist with troubleshooting issues and gaps in policy coverage.
More info here.

Azure Security Center enhancements: Azure Security Center now provides a unified view of your multi-cloud security posture. Azure Defender’s XDR dashboard within Azure Security Center can help to see which resources are protected. Azure Key Vault protection is now included. Defender also provides protection for on-premises and multi-cloud SQL Servers. This also includes a view into protection of Virtual machines. A new asset management experience called Azure Security Center Inventory can now find specific resources.
More info here. 

 

Windows Virtual Desktop 

Microsoft Endpoint Manager support: Once implemented, WVD sessions will be able to be configured to hybrid join Azure Active Directory along with Active Directory. This will allow WVD to be managed with Intune only if desired.

MSIX App Attach: This feature is in public preview now and allows you to dynamically attach an application to a user session. Splitting out the application from the OS makes it easier to manage a single master image.

Azure Monitor support: Once implemented, this support will allow proactive monitoring of the WVD environment.

Screen Capture Protection: Will allow a policy to be set that prevents screen captures, further protecting sensitive information.

Direct RDP to Session Host: Depending on the type of network the client is connecting from, this will allow a direct RDP connection over UDP, bypassing the WVD gateways which will increase reliability and performance.
More info on these enhancements to WVD can be found here.

 

Dev/Data 

GitHub Actions integration with Application Service: Makes it easy for developers to run an automated workflow whenever there is a new pull request, commit or other event in their GitHub code repository. The integration enables a user to go to the App Service Deployment Center and follow on-screen, step-by-step instructions to set up a native continuous integration and continuous deployment workflow. More Info here. 

Azure Arc Enabled Data Service: Offers Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure PostgreSQL Hyperscale that can run across on-premises datacenters, multi-cloud, and the edge. Customers can now take advantage of the latest Azure managed database innovation, such as staying always current with evergreen SQL, elastic scale, and a unified data management experience, regardless of whether it’s running in Azure, running in their datacenter, or running in a different public cloud.

Last Access time lifecycle management: Customers can manage Azure Blob storage lifecycles based on when and how much a resource is accessed. This feature allows for resources to be placed in the appropriate tier based on access and usage while potentially saving on costs. More Info here.

Web-based version of Visual Studio: Provides an easy way for developers to quick manage their code space that lives in GitHub, without installing local IDE. As long as the developers have a browser, they can get their development work done quickly. More Info here.

SignalR + Hangfire: Using both SignalR and Hangfire in your applications can provide a seamless processing app that can execute functions on a schedule/on-demand and provide a live data feed of information as it’s processed. To the user they’d see data update on a webpage without having to refresh. On the backend PowerShell or API calls are being done on a schedule or even on demand to populate SQL tables or any other data source you want to set up that SignalR is linked to and detects changes on which will then send the data to any subscribed clients that would then update whatever renders the content you’re wanting to show dynamically. More Info on SignalIR here and on Hangfire here.

 

There is quite a bit to taken in! For a more in depth overview of you can find info here.

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