Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

5 Biggest Microsoft Teams Takeaways from Microsoft Ignite 2019

Microsoft Ignite 2019 was fantastic as always. I had the great opportunity to speak twice, recorded the UC Today podcast live, did a lot of networking and catching up with friends, and even managed to get some sessions in along the way!

After a bit of time to take in a few more sessions and reflect on the content and conversations, here are my 5 big takeaways for Microsoft Teams from Microsoft Ignite 2019.

1. Microsoft Teams is about Apps and Workflows

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Microsoft is keen to highlight that Microsoft Teams is much more than chat, files, meetings and voice. Microsoft Teams is an app platform and has the extensibility to support business workflows with the Power Apps platform.

Alongside the apps store and developer platform, Microsoft announced more integrations with its Power Apps platform to enable low-code/no-code solutions and workflows.

  • Power Apps creators can now publish their apps directly to their company’s app library in Teams, and by the end of 2019, Microsoft will let users pin Power Apps to the Microsoft Teams’ left rail.
  • Power Automate Microsoft Teams triggers and actions which will allow users to create automated workflows within their Teams environment. For instance, trigger when a keyword is mentioned or when someone joins a team. This is due be available before the end of 2019.
  • Microsoft will be introducing Power BI Interactive cards to the chat experience within Microsoft Teams. This will help users to find information and act on data instantly.


2. Meeting join coopetition with Cisco and Zoom


For me the biggest news of the show! Microsoft and Cisco and Microsoft and Zoom have agreements to allow their respective meeting room systems to join each other’s meetings via a WebRTC experience. This “coopetition” is good news for customers, as the reality is even if your organisation standardises on one solution, you may occasionally need to join meetings from partners/suppliers/customers on other solutions.

More detail:


3. Getting serious about more advanced Phone System Requirements


We’ve heard from Microsoft that Microsoft Teams has feature parity with Skype for Business. However, on the telephony side, there are still some specific customer requirements to address, and we heard that they are coming soon, with more detail on the specifics.

  • Compliance session recording, an essential requirement for finance and other highly regulated organisations. ASC, NICE, and Verint will be the first Certified for Microsoft Teams providers for compliance recording. There was a session dedicated to the upcoming compliance recording API. Partner solutions are expected in early 2020.
  • Calling and Meetings API’s/Contact Center API’s – we got an extensive update session of what is in beta today and that GA is “expected soon”. I also had a catch up with Matt Landis, who gave a good summary of the current API story.
  • Dynamic Emergency Calling enables the sharing of a user’s current location, emergency calls to be routed, and help dispatched. Available now in Calling Plans and support for Direct Routing is planned before the end of the year. Check out the Direct Routing Update session
  • Meetings and calling on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is coming for Citrix and VMware and Microsoft’s upcoming virtual desktop service. Here is a summary/demo.

There was even a dedicated blog just to cover all the calling news.


4. Dedicated focus on first-line worker and specific industry scenarios


Microsoft Teams product group have people dedicated to working with and focusing on particular industries and first-line workers. Particular verticals include education, healthcare and retail. Microsoft Teams is being tailed to meet their specific requirements.

A massive growth opportunity for Microsoft, at Inspire we heard Satya Nadella say “”[There are] 2 billion first-line workers, and 77 percent of these 2 billion workers feel they don’t have the tools to empower them. We’ve always focused our tools with the knowledge worker. But the real opportunity for us is to bring knowledge workers and first-line workers together to empower companies and people. And that’s what we’re doing with Microsoft 365”.

Clearly, Microsoft Teams is the hero workload of this first line worker motion.


5. Microsoft’s Teamwork and Enterprise Social Story – are two better than one?


Yammer made a big push for the upcoming year being the “Year of Yammer”, they announced:

  • A new modern Yammer interface
  • Modern Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Yammer “groups” are now called “communities.”
  • New integrations for Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and SharePoint and enhanced security and compliance.

More details of the new yammer here

I am a big fan of enterprise social. I personally like the concept of having yammer for enterprise social and Teams for focused teamwork. At Ignite Microsoft announced a Yammer app within Teams, so you can have Yammer pinned to the Teams left rail. The Yammer app within Teams is interesting. While competitors like Facebook and Slack try to position their single platforms as for both enterprise social and teamwork, Microsoft is trying to bring the user experience of Teams and Yammer closer together, but still position them for separate use cases.

I look forward to testing the Yammer app in Teams and hope it increases Yammer adoption.


Those were my biggest takeaways, agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.

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About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • Nice summary. My biggest concern is the car crash integration with Yammer and O365 groups. It’s just muddying the waters and adding unnecessary noise and confusion to the Yammer use case. If Yammer is supposed to be a separate use case for enterprise social then why try to turn it into a collaborative experience? And worse yet, not let business decide how to manage that. There’s no simple on/off control of this integration. Again, just another confusing approach and poor usability from MS.

  • Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions