Welcome to Microsoft’s future of work, meet ‘Oslo’ [#SPC14]

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Microsoft loves Office 365 and the cool things it gets to do with it but especially it loves the cool things it thinks you should be doing with it. At the opening keynote of this year’s SharePoint conference, the company highlighted some new ways Microsoft Office 365 will enable people to accomplish more.

Speaking to the near 10 000 conference attendees, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper showcased innovation that brings together the power of the cloud, enterprise social, big data, machine learning and mobile capabilities into an experience made personal for every Office 365 user.

According to Teper, these new technologies will enable a networked way of working together in teams, in groups and across organizations that can result in better customer responsiveness, collaboration, information sharing, discoverability and more.

“Today, the world has become a giant network where connections make information more relevant and people more productive. Most companies, however, are not working like a network, which we believe is vital for their ability to improve collaboration and respond to customers, competition and market changes,” Teper said.

“The new Office 365 experiences powered by cloud, social, mobile and big data technologies enable people and teams to find the right connections and most relevant insights to get more done.”

Delivering on this vision, Microsoft showcased new innovations for end users, developers and IT pros coming to Office 365 in the near future, with an emphasis on the trusted platform fundamentals of security, privacy and industry compliance.

What this means for users is new personalized experiences that integrate social capabilities throughout Office 365 — enterprise social. This, the company argues, will help people spend less time trying to find information or looking for people working on similar projects and more time getting things done. The tech giant believes that the technology should work unseen in the background constantly analysing content, interactions and activity streams and mapping the relationships using machine learning to intelligently connect and surface the most relevant content to each user.

These new experiences include the following:

“Oslo” (code name). A new application powered by the Office Graph and code-named “Oslo” was previewed onstage. It uses personal interactions and machine learning to surface a view of the most relevant, timely information for each individual using Office 365 across SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Yammer and Office.

Groups. Groups is a new feature unifying people, conversations, calendars, emails and files across the Office 365 suite, enabling a seamless collaboration experience across applications. Creating a Group anywhere in Office 365 will automatically provision a corresponding Yammer conversation feed, calendar, document library and inbox where members can collaborate and work as a team. Just like in Yammer, Groups are open by default but can be made private if necessary, enhancing discoverability and sharing.

Inline social. Microsoft is bringing the power of social collaboration and conversations to everyone by offering inline social experiences throughout Office 365. The first experience planned for introduction is the ability to have social conversations inside documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

Office 365 Video Portal. Today, Microsoft previewed the new Office 365 Video Portal to support upload, storage and discovery of videos in a secure manner. Businesses will be able to categorize videos into channels for specific business needs and stream them on mobile devices, with all of the video compression, optimization and rendering work done by Office 365.

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