Here’s what’s announced as coming to Microsoft 365 this week

Kevin Okemwa

microsoft 365

If it’s Friday, then by now you are aware that this is when we usually give you the round-up of features announced as new in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap. Let’s dive in!

De-duplication of contacts in Outlook Web

Duplicate contacts are annoying and they generally take up a lot of time to get rid manually. Well, this will not be the case for too long as a new feature tagged 98124 in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap will help you out with this. If you are a Outlook Web App user, duplicate contacts will now be merged into one profile decluttering your contact list. “All user merged contacts will appear subsequently in Outlook Desktop and Mobile.”

The admin and user settings to enable or disable this feature will be live from October 20, 2022. What’s more, the feature will be enabled by default, but the service will be turned on only on October 31, 2022. The feature will begin rolling out towards the end of November and complete rolling out in December.

New praise compose experience in Teams and praise trends in Viva Insights

We are all aware of the impact rewards, recognition and praise have at the workplace. These tend to enhance the employee’s performance index and boost their morale. And now, Microsoft Teams, is adding a new feature, New praise compose experience, tagged 101161 in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap which in place to give appreciate hard work across the organization. The feature will eventually phase out praise badges with emojis.

With a lot of organizations taking on hynrid work, this feature will come in handy as it helps appreciate the employees’ efforts. “Users can send praise to their colleagues through the messaging extension pinned to the Teams messaging bar or through the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams.” What’s more, through the feature, users will now have the capability to select gradient backgrounds. You can enable or disable the feature via the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Viva Connections gets a new home experience

According to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Viva Connections is getting a new home experience tagged 99917, which is set to reach general availability in 2023.  The feature will bring on a modern employee experience as it is easier and faster to set up and optimize content. “The new Viva Connections desktop design serves as a new home experience option that centers essential job tasks, personalized content, easy access to other Viva experiences, and better aligns with the mobile experience”.

Furthermore, you will be able to use existing assets from your organization’s home site and Viva Connection’s Dashboard, Feed, and Resources. What’s more, if you are already making use of Viva Connections, then you can choose whether you want to keep on using your existing desktop experiences that features the home site or make the switch to the new home experience.

Automatic deletion of inactive Microsoft Dataverse for Teams environments

Microsoft is introducing a new cleanup mechanism via the Microsoft Power Platform. Essentially, this feature will automatically get rid off inactive Dataverse for Teams environments from your tenant. This will be done in two phases.

First up is the disabling of Dataverse for Teams environments that have been inactive for over 90 days. After 30 days, the process then transitions to complete deletion if the administrators do not take any action. The cleanup mechanism has no impact on Microsoft Teams assets as it only applies to Dataverse integrations.

Browser Screen Pop for Incoming PSTN Calls in Teams

Whenever Teams users receive a PSTN call, a browser screen will automatically pop up upon receiving the call. The feature tagged 98054 in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap is expected to begin rolling out in early November and reach wide availability towards the end of the same month. The browser screen that pops up will provide the user with important information such as CRM data and case data.

However, the browser screen pop up feature will not function if the policy is not activated in the Teams Admin Center, if it’s not a PSTN call, if the capability is turned off in the user setting, if the PSTN call is anonymous, and finally if the call is declined by Teams user.

Wrap Up

That’s it for this week folks! While we did not cover all the announcements made this week, these were some of the major ones. Earlier this week, we also saw that you will be able to set Adobe Acrobat as your default PDF viewer in Teams soon and enhancement of Teams’ user experience with zero-install link unfurling capabilities. Be sure to check out last week’s post in case you missed it.