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SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: January 2024

What a great start to 2024 – tantalizing tech for everyone.

In this episode, we focus on everything that landed this past month: Microsoft 365 Backup (Public Preview), SharePoint Premium: Document translation, new image and video experiences in Viva Engage, Community Campaigns in Viva Engage, SharePoint “News for email” custom tab, Microsoft Search: ServiceNow Tickets connector GA, Teams: Discover Feed in Channels, and more.

You’ll find full details and screenshots below – keep on a’scrollin’ along, including our audible companion: The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: January 2024 podcast episode – all to help answer, “What’s rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?”

This month, we covered numerous Viva Engage updates. So many, we decided to include a short primer on what Engage is and how it supports community engagement with your organization. To the roadmap!

All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of January 2024 (possibly early February 2023).

Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences

Build your intelligent intranet on SharePoint in Microsoft 365 and get the benefits of investing in business outcomes – reducing IT and development costs, increasing business speed and agility, and up-leveling the dynamic, personalized, and welcoming nature of your intranet.

Microsoft 365 Backup (Public Preview)

Microsoft 365 Backup is currently in preview and will begin rolling out to customers in early 2024. This is your in-place backup solution with lightning-fast restorability from Microsoft to ensure business continuity; Your data is kept in its native format, encrypted, geographically distributed, and secured within Microsoft 365.

To set up Microsoft 365 Backup, first select which application you'd like to create the backup policy for: OneDrive, Exchange, and SharePoint.To set up Microsoft 365 Backup, first select which application you’d like to create the backup policy for: OneDrive, Exchange, and SharePoint.

Microsoft 365 Backup delivers peace of mind by providing performance and reliability. 

  • Fast backup and restore within hours.
  • Full SharePoint site and OneDrive account restore fidelity.
  • Full Exchange mailbox item restores or granular item restores using search.

NOTE | This is a paid public preview: A list price is $0.15USD/GB/mo of protected content. Once Microsoft 365 Backup has been deployed and is available for use in your tenant, you will see it in the Microsoft 365 admin center page under Settings. During this preview period, performance and speed of web interfaces, initial configuration, and restores might be slower than expected as we scale up our infrastructure to remove undesirable latency from our system. Backup for other Microsoft 365 sources, such as Teams chat and other Microsoft 365 services, and granular file-level recovery are on our post-GA roadmap, but not yet a part of this public preview.

SharePoint Premium: Document translation

Get ready to easily create a translated copy of a selected file or a set of files in a SharePoint document library. You can translate a file while preserving the original format and structure of the file. This feature lets you translate files of different types either manually or automatically by creating a rule. You can use custom glossaries and models to improve the quality and consistency of your translations.

SharePoint Premium lets you easily create a translated copy of a selected file or a set of files in a SharePoint document library.SharePoint Premium lets you easily create a translated copy of a selected file or a set of files in a SharePoint document library.

You can also use the translation feature for translating video transcripts and closed captioning files. And the good news is that document translation is available for all supported languages and dialects. Consider translating a file or two hundred… it’s meant to support you at scale with content services that are “at your service.”

NOTE: Through June 2024, you can try out document translation and other selected Syntex services at no cost if you have pay-as-you-go billing set up. For information and limitations, see Try out SharePoint Premium and explore its services.

Four Microsoft Viva Engage updates…

1 | New experiences for video and images in Viva Engage

The team is simplifying the experience so that all users can add videos and images into the existing feed, instead of in a separate area called “Stories” – this change come from a lot of great feedback from our community.

Add images and videos inline to your Viva Engage posts.Add images and videos inline to your Viva Engage posts.

With these integrations, we will no longer refer to stories as a discrete experience. We will instead make the media look great, through all Viva Engage experiences. That means in Viva Engage posts, across Outlook, Teams, and Viva Connections—anywhere Viva Engage posts appear — images and videos will be more integrated and streamlined, with less context switching.

2 | Improved copy + paste link experience in Viva Engage web/browser

Viva Engage is improving the copy link experience when in a browser. When you copy and paste a link using the “Copy Link” button on a conversation card, it renders a short summary of the content. This resembles a lot of the great work you’ve seen with document link previews, news post previews — and now, Engage post previews. All common preview experiences make consuming content a breeze – visual peeks ahead with enough information to commit to clicking, or not.

3 | Community Campaigns in Viva Engage

It’s time to boost engagement within your community. Now, community admins can create campaigns directly within their community. Click the plus button, and fill in campaign details like #hashtag, description, and default publisher. 

Select Campaigns on the Feature management tab to access the campaign dashboard within Viva Engage.Select Campaigns on the Feature management tab to access the campaign dashboard within Viva Engage.

Campaigns start as drafts, allowing admins to upload cover photos, set goals, and pin links before hitting the publish button. Admins and regular users can view all community campaigns by clicking “View all campaigns” in the right rail of the community space. 

Fill in the fields according to your campaign goals.Fill in the fields according to your campaign goals.

Community members are automatically followers of the campaign, and using the community campaign hashtag in posts will display them in the campaign’s feed. Conveniently, when typing “#” in the community, a dropdown suggests relevant community campaigns. 

4 | Viva Engage: Answers in Communities

They got questions – you’ve got answers. Answered questions make an organization strong – strong in their knowledge management game – especially if you can bring in the knowledge from the right people with little-to-no overhead.

On the Feature management tab, select the Answers button to open the Answers configuration options in Viva Engage.On the Feature management tab, select the Answers button to open the Answers configuration options in Viva Engage.

Answers in Microsoft Viva lets people learn from each other by asking and answering questions. Now, if you have a premium license, you can use Answers in your Viva Engage communities. This new feature lets you:

  • See related questions to avoid duplicates and save time.
  • Ask questions with separate titles and details for easy scanning.
  • Earn badges for answering questions in communities.
  • Track question activity in communities with Answers Analytics and Global Answers Analytics.
  • Reach more people with your questions through Answers feeds and digests.

Overall, the user interface makes it easy to tell that it’s a question, with smarts behind it to find the right subject matter experts and make it easy for them to respond and engage.

Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams

Microsoft 365 is designed to be a universal toolkit for teamwork – to give you the right tools for the right task, along with common services to help you seamlessly work across applications. SharePoint is the intelligent content service that powers teamwork – to better collaborate on proposals, projects, and campaigns throughout your organization – with integration across Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.

SharePoint news for email now supports custom template tab settings

The broader “News post to email” feature has been a real hit. Not only does it make your email news content look nice – especially looking as intended – it’s proving to increase your readership – minimizing fall off of people clicking an email teaser and going out to SharePoint. And you can track email read metrics to truly understand the impact of your news posts. Now there is no “going out to SharePoint” for news post in email. Just read it right there, in your inbox – in its entirety.

To create a News post for email, select a “Made for email” template from the news template picker.To create a News post for email, select a “Made for email” template from the news template picker.

As a site admin, when you set a custom Email news template as your site default, the “Saved on this site” tab will open first in the News template picker and your templates will appear before the built-in templates from Microsoft. You put work into custom templates, as we want to honor being able to highlight your custom work first.

Microsoft Search | ServiceNow Tickets connector is generally available

We are excited to announce the launch of the Microsoft Graph connector for ServiceNow Tickets. Now you can index tickets from ServiceNow, and people can search for these tickets in Microsoft Search and Copilot. 

ServiceNow Tickets takes all service requests and converts them into a single point of contact.ServiceNow Tickets takes all service requests and converts them into a single point of contact.

Tickets is a system provided by ServiceNow for enterprises to manage and resolve IT issues efficiently. A ticket is a special document or record that captures details about incidents and requests. It is generated by employees or automated systems, which are then assigned to IT agents for resolution.

  • Refer to the ServiceNow Tickets documentation, to learn more about configuring the ServiceNow Tickets Graph connector. 
  • Head to Search & Intelligence section in the Microsoft 365 admin center to get started. 
  • Also, check out documentation for Microsoft Graph connectors for ServiceNow Knowledge and Catalog. 

FYI | SharePoint Add-In retirement in Microsoft 365

Since the release of SharePoint Add-Ins in 2013, Microsoft has evolved SharePoint extensibility using the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) enabling you to write applications that can be used in Microsoft SharePoint, Viva Connections and Microsoft Teams. With our continued investment in SharePoint Framework, Microsoft is retiring SharePoint Add-Ins.

Starting July 1st, 2024, SharePoint Add-Ins cannot be installed from the public marketplace, also referred to as store by existing tenants. Installation from a private tenant catalogue remains possible. Starting November 1st, 2024, new tenants will not be able use SharePoint Add-Ins, regardless of their origin (public marketplace, private tenant catalog). And then, starting April 2nd, 2026, Microsoft will remove the ability to use SharePoint Add-Ins for existing tenants.

If your organization still uses SharePoint Add-Ins, they will no longer function after April 2nd, 2026. Our SharePoint development team recommends porting customizations to the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) and/or ask your solution vendors for updated solutions. Use the Microsoft 365 Assessment tool to scan your tenants for SharePoint Add-In usage. Review the guidance for migrating from SharePoint Add-Ins to SharePoint Framework. There will not be an option to extend SharePoint Add-Ins beyond April 2nd, 2026.

Related technology

Microsoft Teams: Discover Feed in Channels

The Teams team is bringing you a personalized channel feed filled with people and topics you care about. You get context, too. You’ll see why a specific channel post is being shown in your feed, and you can customize feed preferences by selecting things like “Do not show post from X person or X channel”. You can also give direct feedback on whether a post seen on the feed is useful or not. This helps refine your feed over time – to feed you in the most relevant of ways.

The customizable Discover feed in Microsoft Teams.The customizable Discover feed in Microsoft Teams.

It’s an easy, relevant, personalized way to get caught up – without as much hunting and scrolling up and down a channel.

New promotional offer | SharePoint Premium

At its core, SharePoint Premium enriches, organizes, and secures content to improve Copilot experiences through services like document tagging to extract metadata from images and documents, manage and secure SharePoint sites and libraries, and protect and archive information across Microsoft 365, and more.

To help you get started with pay-as-you-services as part of SharePoint Premium, we’re excited to share a new promotional offer that provides monthly free capacity for select SharePoint Premium services including:

  • Unstructured and structured document processing
  • Content assembly
  • Image tagging
  • Translation
  • eSignature

This promo is available to customers now through June 30, 2024. To get started, you’ll need your Azure subscription ID to configure pay-as-you-go billing.

We’re excited to begin to move beyond SharePoint Premium disclosure, into real use and feedback in these early days. Take us up on the promo, try all that you can, and let us know what resonates.

Stream (Classic) retires on April 15, 2024, and all unmigrated videos will be deleted

Microsoft will retire Stream (Classic) on April 15, 2024, and all videos on Stream (Classic) will be deleted after the retirement date. All your existing Stream (Classic) videos can be transferred to Stream (on SharePoint) to take advantage of Stream’s rich integration within Microsoft 365.

To support your move to Stream (on SharePoint) we have created a migration tool that allows you to transfer your videos to SharePoint while also bringing over metadata, links and permissions associated with your videos. To begin using the migration tool please refer to our Stream migration guide.

  • Additional resources:

2024 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Microsoft published a compilation of new capabilities planned to be released between April 2024 and September 2024. This first release wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and improvements, set to fuel your digital transformation — both customers and partners.

“2024 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform now available” by Mo Osborne (Corporate Vice President & Chief Operating Office Business Applications & Platform).“2024 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform now available” by Mo Osborne (Corporate Vice President & Chief Operating Office Business Applications & Platform).

Here are five items from Microsoft CVP Mo Osborne’s post to whet your appetite, and encourage you to read his blog for full details:

  • Microsoft Copilot for Sales is set to deliver cutting-edge, generative AI capabilities for sellers by enriching the Copilot in Microsoft 365 capabilities with sales specific skills, data, and actions.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations focuses on usability, performance, and scalability in key areas such as project planning, invoicing, time entry, and core transaction processing.
  • Microsoft Power Pages will add interactive Copilot to support every step of site building to create intelligent website design, page layouts, content editing, data binding, learning, chatbot, accessibility checking, and AI-guidance to securing the site.
  • Microsoft Power Automate is bringing Copilot capabilities across cloud flows, desktop flows, and process mining.
  • Microsoft Copilot Studio will bring native capabilities for extending Copilot, general availability for generative actions, and geo-expansions to the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Norway, Korea, South America, and South Africa. We’re also introducing rich capabilities to integrate with OpenAI GPT models, along with new channels such as WhatsApp, and software lifecycle capabilities such as topic level import/export and role-based access control.

If you like tracking what the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 have in store for the future, read Mo’s full post, “2024 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform now available.”

February 2024 teasers

Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for more roadmap goodness? If so, here is a few teasers of what’s to come to production next month…

  • Teaser #1: Microsoft Copilot Dashboard for Viva Insights [Roadmap ID: 185698
  • Teaser #2: Microsoft Lists: Add ratings, Drag/drop images, Collaborate in real-time [Roadmap ID: 124867]

… shhh, tell everyone.

Helpful, ongoing change management resources

  • Follow me to catch news and interesting SharePoint things: @mkashman; warning, occasional bad puns may fly in a tweet or two here and there.

Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – January 2024. We are open to your feedback in comments below to hear how both the Roadmap Pitstop podcast episodes and blogs can be improved over time.

Engage with us. Ask those questions that haunt you. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We are here to put both our and your best change management foot forward.

Stay safe out there on the road’map ahead. And thanks for listening and reading.

Thanks for your time,

Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)

The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop - January 2024 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – January 2024 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.

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