Microsoft Ignite 2018 – Day 2

Already I ache, the end of Microsoft Ignite 2018 Day 2 and I’ve walked 15,000 steps covering 9.7km – per day average.

I didn’t sign up for that… what I did sign up for, however, was a few more sessions and a wonder around in the Expo Hall.

Yammer

Yammer is getting quite a bit of air-time considering the obvious overlaps with Microsoft Teams, with the distinction being between use cases for inner-loop or outer-loop, there are three ways you can approach those, simply put…

  • Inner-loop
    • Context – frequent collaboration with a group of invested individuals
    • Inclusion – specific named individuals or dedicated teams
    • Engagement – expected equal or near-equal input
  • Outer-loop
    • Context – one-way or one-and-a-half-way communicaitons
    • Inclusion – non-specific individuals or groups
    • Engagement – weighted heavily towards the originator, mostly informative or reaching out

Microsoft are positioning Teams for the inner-loop, which it’s perfect for. And Yammer is positioned for the outer-loop, which it’s perfect for. But with such a high-level of overlap, based on your company’s size and requirements Teams can work great for Outer-loops, and Yammer can work great for Inner-loops.

You can create a 4×4 table with text and colours in both Word and Excel. They look the same

You can work out 12x(6+23)/6 in Calc or Excel. The answer is the same.

But with the annoucments coming out from the Yammer team, it seems like there is significant investment in the product and it will continue to improve and recieve new features…

  • Yammer tab in Teams
  • Live Events in Yammer
  • File uploads stored in SharePoint by default
  • eDiscovery for messages and files
  • EU Data Residency
  • Data Loss Provention
  • Q&A Message type with ‘best answer’
  • Rich-text composition
  • Pinned posts
  • Document preview
  • People Cards
  • and more…

I don’t believe there will ever be specific guidance for all to follow from Microsoft, it’s another tool in a box for you to use how you want, evaluative your requirements, assess the impact, and qualify the effectiveness – and most importantly – stick with it, don’t create confusion by having multiple solutions for the same thing.

Bots

Quite a few differente demos of what companies are doing with Bots and AI in Teams, some very clever ways to apply the technolofy to real-world scenarios.

GE showed a demo of their service bot, the scenario was a self-service hardware refresh solution. Using natural language, and Adaptive Cards to guide the user through selecting which device needs to be replaced, selecting the replacement, and confirming the order, to be processed through tight integration with ServiceNow.

InformaCast performed an interactive demo for incident management (I.e. a hurricane warning), using SMS to reach out to affected users and recording results (safe, not safe) into a pie-chart within Teams, and spun up a persistent incident room (video meeting) in Teams for continual involvement, and providing a consistent and easy experience for people to concentrate on any rescue effort by essentially reducing the uncertainty around constantly changing updates and reduced lag of smaller groups of people communicating with each other to pass on information. And a message/voice recording bot that broadcast to IoT devices like a paging system.

The vast veriety and endless posibilties that bots present to communiations and collaboration is a very exciting subject area.

Cloud Video Interop

Polycom and Pexip have announced their Cloud Video Interop services is now available, just waiting for BlueJeans now!

Expo Hall

Such a busy and vibrant area, imagine a crazy market scene in a SciFi film with flashing lights, funny noises, and games of chance to catch out unsuspecting passers by, offering swag, but in reality scanning their badges to harvest information about them…. but in a good way – I got loads of free stickers.

Polycom

Polycom are coming out with several new devices, I’m particualrly looking foward to the new DECT Savy 8220 headset (I pace a lot while working from home and joining calls, Bluetooth simply doesn’t have the range).

In other news, the Polycom Trio will soon have the ability to pair (up to 4 Trios) together via eithernet, to provide a distributed mic/speaker array for larger conference rooms or those longer tables. It was on-show on the Polycom/Plantronics stand in the expo-hall. All devices act as a single device, and intelligently processes the audio to ensure there is no echo nor feedback, and each Trio can still have extension mics added as well, for up to 120m x 120m meeting rooms.

Yealink

I had a quick hands-on dabble with the Yealink VC200, and I was very impressed. I’d say it’s going to plug the hole that the Polycom Trio Visual+ has left behind for native Microsoft Teams Meetings (although it still operates as a video endpoint via Polycom RealConnect for Office 365 with Skype, Teams, and other 3rd party video-enabled meetings). The Yealijnk VC200 looks to be perfect for huddle rooms, or for the smaller meeting-space that needs video conferencing.

Comes with Ultra-HD 4K camera, 6 beam-forming microphones, and supports touchscreen displays.

Wiretap

I spoke with the guys at the Wiretap booth about their ‘Aware by Wiretap’ product. It’s a safeguarding, compliance, DLP, and ananlysis engine for collaboration platforms (Yammer, Teams, and Workplace by Facebook). Also providing ‘culture protection’ through sentiment analysis, toxicity classification, and other matching algorithms to alert, notify, delete, warn, educate based on the severity of the content or by your administrator’s choice etc.

It does some very clever things, and well worth a look at if you need a product in that space.

Landis Office 365 Contact Centre

One of the first products I’ve heard of that’s developed on the new Microsoft Graph Communiactions API to provide more advanced call control for contact centre scenarios using Skype for Business Online or Microsoft Teams.

  • Serverless design / per-user subscription model
  • Live wallboards
  • Sentiment reporting using Microsoft AI / Cognative Services
  • Barge-in
  • Call Recording
  • Wrap-up time and information gathering

This shows great promise, and will only get better with the items on their roadmap.

Bye

Thanks for reading…

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