Based on its established and feature-rich Teams platform, Microsoft has released a preview of the Teams Premium add-on with the aim of making Microsoft Teams more personalised, intelligent and secure. Alongside a raft of new features such as user-defined corporate backgrounds, webinar waitlists, automatic reminders for participants and personalised meeting guides, I am most intrigued by the new AI-based features.  

In the future, smart recaps will help you work through meetings and determine useful information when you’ve missed the appointment. To do so, Teams Premium leverages AI to collate potential personalised tasks and generate chapters of recording highlights so that users can fast forward to the time in the meeting when, for example, their name was mentioned or content was shared. Searches are becoming more intelligent as well with content suggested directly based on close business contacts. 

Microsoft Premium will also offer live translations during meetings. Until now, everything speakers said would be rendered as live subtitles and transcripts in the same language, but Premium now allows this content to be translated in real-time with the help of AI, breaking down language barriers in meetings. 

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Teams – The technological heart of the modern workplace. 

Alongside the Microsoft Teams Premium announcement, Microsoft Teams itself is getting a whole host of new features for appointments, chat, collaboration and telephoning. You can find out details about all the updates in the Book of News, but for me, these upgrades are cementing the Teams platform at the heart of the modern workplace.  

The announcement of the new Microsoft Places app is further confirmation of this as it brings together the best of remote and office working. It shows who is working in the office and when, makes bookings and helps people find their way to the next meeting room. It will also help mangers see how busy an office is at any given time, support in rolling out guidelines for hybrid working as well as potential measures to increase acceptance of hybrid modes of work. 

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Thriving with Viva. 

The Viva platform has been expanded to include another service. Viva Sales is the new kid on the block and, as you might be able to gather from its name, has been designed to help Sales and transmit data from Microsoft 365 to a CRM tool. I personally find the Viva platform a real highlight. All services—Connection, Engage, Learning, Insights, Topics, Goals and now also Sales—all offer terrific value when it comes down to employee experience. It’s remarkable how useful Insights can be at suggesting actionable insights from e-mails or scheduling focus time in the coming days. It also provides monthly feedback on how I’ve worked, showing me how I can improve, for example, my work-life balance or with whom it would be a good idea to get in touch with again. I am absolutely of the opinion that businesses should try out these tools for themselves. 

Microsoft Security – Safe and secure. 

It goes without saying that IT security remains top of the agenda and Microsoft is investing more money in developing security services than in anything else, including in its range of Defender products. Companies are increasingly falling victim to existential threats posed by cyberattacks, a development which Defender 365 solutions have been designed to counteract, defending all your users’ identities, devices and documents. Microsoft has recently announced a 50 per cent discount on Defender for Endpoint up until June 2023 

while Microsoft Defender for Cloud protects your IT infrastructure with the latest technology. Now servers, IoT devices, containers and entire DevOps environments can be protected right down to the code and the compatibility of security features has been expanded to include non-Microsoft platforms such as Amazon Web Services and traditional on-site data centres. Your security concept is rounded off with the Microsoft Sentinel SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solution, which provides new and affordable data storage options and a migration program with instructions, resources and expert support for quickly and easily making the switch to Microsoft Sentinel.  


If you thought we’d reached the end of the road in terms of modern work development, you were wrong. Microsoft has proven that it still has plenty of ideas up its sleeves for more features to help us collaborate better virtually in our day-to-day business. Viva is introducing companies to a whole range of employee experience opportunities, but the potential this offers is yet to be discovered, especially by SMEs. 

When it comes to security, I remain enthusiastic about how Microsoft is helping shape the market. In my opinion, it’s extensive product portfolio combined with the announced updates demonstrate that having a perfect interplay of solutions in all areas of IT security is the only way to ensure a truly secure environment. 


Read part 1 of our Ignite highlights