Expert roundup: A look ahead to Microsoft 365 in 2022

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We spoke to our friends in the Microsoft community to get their take on exciting new features in the ever-changing world of productivity. They shared their top announcements of the year and expert insights–so you can make the most of your Microsoft 365.

Digital collaboration is changing fast. IT pros are feeling the pressure to keep up with the latest Microsoft 365 innovations and best practices, and respond to emerging challenges. Your IT teams may be feeling the squeeze as they simultaneously support users and manage their environments in the current working context. 

If this is the case, we’ve got you covered. The ShareGate team caught up with Microsoft MVPs and experts to get their take on various topics, including what’s new and next in the world of Microsoft 365 productivity.

Get up to speed with their top announcements for 2022, or keep reading to review some quick takeaways below.

Our Microsoft experts agreed that there weren’t a ton of big announcements in the last year. But there were lots of smaller ones that could help organizations work smarter and faster. 

Chat with self in Microsoft Teams

I used to do that all the time in email, and now I can finally do it in Teams.

Maarten Eekels, Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Regional Director

Ever sent an incomplete message to someone accidentally? We’ve all been there. 

Chat with self is a new chat feature in Microsoft Teams that lets users message themselves.

Focused on improving chat and helping users stay organized, the ability to chat with yourself in Teams provides a safe place for writing drafts, quick ideas, or leaving reminders.

Maarten Eekels 2

“There’s not many really large announcements, but so many smaller announcements. And all of the announcements together about Microsoft Teams really make a difference, I guess. Chat to self, to send yourself a chat message. I used to do that all the time in email, and now I can finally do it in Teams, sending myself a chat message.”

Maarten Eekels
Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Regional Director (@maarteneekels)
Chat With Self
Chat with self in Microsoft Teams

Shared channels in Microsoft Teams

[Shared channels] will ease so much pain from logging out and logging into a different tenant.

Luise Freese, Microsoft 365 Consultant and Office Apps & Services MVP

Shared channels, also called Microsoft Teams Connect, makes it easier to collaborate with anyone inside and outside your organization.

Team owners can invite a user or an entire team to a single channel within a team across multiple organizations.

Shared Channels
Shared channels in Teams can be shared with individuals and teams across multiple organizations

In shared channels, you can use apps, meetings, chat, 1:1 calls, share content, and co-author documents with external users in real-time. It’s like private channels, but there are some important differences. 

Unlike private channels, users you invite to a shared channel don’t become team members or have a guest account.

And if you work in multiple tenants, shared channels are a game-changer. With shared channels, you don’t need to switch tenants to access a channel in another tenant–enabling companies to collaborate more efficiently. Shared channels is set for public preview in early 2022.

Freese Luise

“The thing that I am most excited about is shared channels. So, this will ease so much pain from logging out and logging into a different tenant or just, like, having a gazillion of profiles in each browser, and then assigning all those tenants to that. I’m really excited to have this.”

Luise Freese
Microsoft 365 Consultant and Office Apps & Services MVP (@LuiseFreese)
Antje Lamartine

“Shared channels is something that’s really going to enable end users to work across boundaries and borders, and this is something a lot of people really want to do.”

Antje Lamartine
Microsoft 365 Adoption and Change Management MVP (@antjelamartine)

Microsoft 365 insights

I think fun could be part of the dialogue.

Marc D Anderson, Microsoft MVP, Co-founder and President of Sympraxis Consulting

The anywhere workplace is here to stay. And in response to this new reality, Microsoft is continually investing in integrations for “modern workplace” structure and tools to help with new ways of working.

One thing is certain–collaboration will be the key focus on Microsoft innovations that will enable flexibility, strengthen connections across people and teams, and extend beyond organizational boundaries.

Erica Toelle

“I think the most exciting one coming up is our Power Automate integration. You’ll be able to customize your disposition review workflows, or really any process around records management. And it really brings that Microsoft 365 story together.”

Erica Toelle
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Records Management and Information Governance, Microsoft (@EricaToelle)
Screen Shot 2022 02 15 At 10.47.41 Am

“Business systems historically have sucked. They’ve just, they’ve been awful. You have to use them, so we don’t have to make them good. I think fun actually can be part of the dialogue.”

Marc D Anderson
Microsoft MVP, Co-founder and President of Sympraxis Consulting (@sympmarc)

“Enabling one place to talk about where you can figure and signpost the different resources within your organization, whether that be on the mobile client, or on a desktop client.”

Simon Doy
Owner of iThink365 (@simondoy)

Everything we know about how teams collaborate has changed–and no one knows this better than Microsoft. With more tools at your fingertips than ever to help you run a productive environment, keeping up with all these announcements and updates can get overwhelming.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one Microsoft 365 management solution to help you make your biggest Microsoft 365 admin jobs easy, check out ShareGate

In the next article of this series, our Microsoft experts will share their tips for empowering team communication and collaboration with Microsoft 365.

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