One of the challenges of hybrid work is enabling teams to remain connected, engaged, and in sync. Ensuring everyone is on the same page may have felt easier when we were all in the office together, but we’re continuing to deliver updates to Microsoft 365 that bridge the digital and physical divide to bring employees closer to each other and to their organization’s mission and goals.
We’ve got lots of exciting news this month, including the private preview of Microsoft Viva Goals—a new module that helps organizations set measurable goals and enables employees to record and track progress along the way. We’re also adding new features that improve your ability to deliver compelling presentations and visuals, enhance security protections for small businesses, and help keep you organized—whether you’re working at home, the office, or somewhere in between.
Let’s dive in.
Working smarter with Viva Goals
In October 2021, we announced our acquisition of Ally.io, a leading objectives and key results (OKRs) company, to help revolutionize how organizations use technology to bring a deeper connection to work, purpose, and results. That solution comes to life this month through Viva Goals—the latest addition to the Viva suite.
Viva Goals aligns your teams to your organization’s strategic priorities, enabling employees to focus on the work and outcomes that are most critical to the bottom line. With customized dashboards and quick links, Viva Goals makes it easy to check in on progress and share results. By bringing OKRs into the flow of work, they’re accessible within the place employees work and spend their day. Explore Viva Goals today.
Bringing dynamic storytelling into the flow of work
The ability to clearly communicate your story has always been an important part of business, and that value has only increased in the shift to hybrid work. The ability to clearly communicate across mediums—from emails and presentations to graphic illustrations—is now a critical skill for most employees who need to connect with a dispersed audience. With updates to Visio and PowerPoint, we’re making it easier for you to get your message across, with a deeper connection to data and visual storytelling.
We’ve introduced new templates in Visio for the web to help you quickly create visual timelines for product launch roadmaps, marketplace rollouts, marketing plans, and annual goals, just to name a few. You can also choose from an expanding list of popular business frameworks, such as Porter’s Five Forces, PESTLE Analysis, 5 Whys, and the four Ps of marketing. We also offer industry-specific diagrams and templates to help you create simple but powerful visuals.
A key part of communication is being able to tell a compelling story rooted in data. There is no better storytelling tool than PowerPoint. With Storytelling, an integration between Microsoft Power BI and PowerPoint, we enable live, interactive reports within the slides. PowerPoint users are now able to add live report pages into PowerPoint slides without losing data interactivity, even when presenting their presentation.
A new enhancement to presenter mode enables the presenter to choose where they show up on the slide and the ability to resize their video feed while automatically adjusting content size accordingly.
Keeping work focused and organized, from anywhere
Being digitally connected is an important part of work today. But it also creates its own challenges—managing inbound information and requests across platforms, juggling competing deadlines, and managing streams of reminders and pop-ups. All of which can make it harder, rather than easier, to get work done. With updates to Microsoft Teams, Lists, and Forms, we’re helping to streamline processes and minimize distractions.
We are now adding a notification drawer in Teams which appears at the top of your screen for in-meeting messages. This allows you to preview, collapse, and clear all notifications with just one tap.
Microsoft Lists for Android is now available in the Google Play store for Microsoft 365 commercial customers. With this new mobile app, you can access your lists on the go anytime, anywhere. Manage events, track issues and assets, help with new-employee onboarding, and keep coordinated across inventory. With access on the go, easy sharing, and quick photo capture, you can keep everyone connected with the latest information using Microsoft Lists. Get the app now.
We’re excited to announce two new experiences with Microsoft Forms. The first is the cross-device experience, which brings the full capability of Microsoft Forms to your mobile device. The second is the getting started experience for new users, which includes a series of templates that can be used across work, school, and life. Read the Tech Community blog, Create and Analyze Forms and Quizzes from Mobile, to learn more.
Bringing enterprise-grade endpoint security to small and medium sized businesses
Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) face increasing cyber threats, and many don’t have the resources they need to keep their information safe. On March 1, 2022, we made Microsoft Defender for Business generally available in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, our comprehensive security and productivity solution for businesses with up to 300 employees. We are now also offering Defender for Business as a standalone, giving these organizations multi-layer protection, detection, and response option.
Microsoft Defender for Business spans the five phases of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework—identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover—to protect and remediate against known and unknown threats. Read our blog, Microsoft Launches Defender for Business to help protect small and medium businesses.
This month, we made improvements to the average workday that help employees stay focused on the work that truly matters, communicate in more compelling ways, and keep their information safe. These innovations are all focused on helping employees adapt and thrive in this new world of work, which is ultimately what’s best for business. We’ve got lots more in store for you—stay tuned.