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SharePoint roadmap pitstop: May 2023

This month brings a mix of “what shipped” and “what was disclosed.”

May 2023 brought great new offerings to SharePoint and Microsoft 365: Customizable Viva Connections mobile dashboard, Syntex image tagger, Syntex prebuilt model for contracts, OneDrive: Simplified sharing, Loop components in Outlook Mobile, and more. It also highlights public disclosures from two recent events, Microsoft 365 Conference and Microsoft Build.

Details and screenshots below, including our audible companion: The Intrazone SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: May 2023 podcast episode – all to help answer, “What’s rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?”

In the above podcast episode, we share an audio clip of Rajesh Jha – EVP for experiences and devices at Microsoft when he spoke at the Microsoft 365 Conference about his first time seeing ChatGPT-4 with Bill Gates, Sam Altman (CEO – OpenAI), and other members of the senior leadership team – that initial wow impact that laid the foundation for Copilot innovation at Microsoft.

The Intrazone audio snippet guest, Rajesh Jha - Executive Vice President Microsoft Experiences + Devices, talking with Jeff Teper – President Collaborative Apps and Platforms, on stage at the Microsoft 365 Conference in Vegas (May 2nd, 2023).The Intrazone audio snippet guest, Rajesh Jha – Executive Vice President Microsoft Experiences + Devices, talking with Jeff Teper – President Collaborative Apps and Platforms, on stage at the Microsoft 365 Conference in Vegas (May 2nd, 2023).

All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of May 2023 (possibly early June 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.

Viva Topics app in Teams

It’s topics central – a location where you can review and manage the topics you’re connected to, search, explore, and learn from new topics across the company, and find how easy it is to share your knowledge and expertise with others.

Search results for Search results for “Topics” within Microsoft Teams Apps shows the Viva Topics app you can Open or Add to the left rail of Teams.

Previously, we had built a Topics app for Teams as a script that Teams admins could upload. Now, the Topics app is available as a “Microsoft-built” app. This means the app is available in the app store for your tenant already, no upload or script-downloading required. Users in your tenant can either easily ‘add’ the app, like other Microsoft-built or Viva apps, or the Teams admins can select to have the Topics app pre-installed for users. 

It’s a really nice way to bring knowledge and expertise into Microsoft Teams – and now it’s a little easier to do.

Viva Connections dashboard customization for mobile

We are excited to announce that dashboard customization is now available on Viva Connections mobile. AKA, people can personalize their mobile dashboard with the information that is most relevant to their work.

Viva Connections admins can toggle on the switch to enable their end users to be able to rearrange and hide dashboard cards.Viva Connections admins can toggle on the switch to enable their end users to be able to rearrange and hide dashboard cards.

This is enabled by default for all your employees. However, we understand that every organization is different, and you may have specific requirements or preferences. Therefore, we want to let you know that as a tenant admin or site operator, you can turn off the feature if necessary. Just look for the heading “Allow users to rearrange and hide dashboard cards” in the admin center.

Microsoft Syntex image tagger

As it sounds, this enables Syntex to use AI to automatically tag images that reside on SharePoint libraries with descriptive keywords. These keywords are stored in a managed metadata column on the item, making the images easier to search, sort, filter, and manage.

Enable the Syntex image tagger under the Automate menu for a SharePoint document library.Enable the Syntex image tagger under the Automate menu for a SharePoint document library.

Note: The Syntex Image Tagger feature is available on a pay-as-you-go basis and is not included in the Syntex seat license. 

Microsoft Syntex: Prebuilt model for contracts

This model can be used to analyze contracts and extract common entities. You’ll see a new option when creating models for “Contract Processing” and be able to upload sample contracts to select the entities you wish to extract. The model can then be published to a document library to process contracts and automatically generate metadata.

Process contracts faster with the Microsoft Syntex prebuilt model for recognizing and extracting from your contracts.Process contracts faster with the Microsoft Syntex prebuilt model for recognizing and extracting from your contracts.

Before this update, the only option that a user would have in Syntex to process a contract would be to use a custom model. This helps you get there faster with more focus on the content and value versus the model build out. It’s prebuilt for you, for your contract ingest and extraction.

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.

OneDrive: Simplified sharing

We are completely revamping the Sharing control to help you and your organization share more easily and confidently. You can focus on the people you want to share with and how you want to share with them. The share link scope is always shown at the bottom of the dialog box and can be modified at the top-right, under the settings gear, to best fit your scenarios before you share with others. Additionally, the copy link section now returns a quick success toast when the link successfully copies to your computer clipboard.

A new, clean UI and improved ‘copy link’ experience makes sharing a breeze across Microsoft 365 apps.A new, clean UI and improved ‘copy link’ experience makes sharing a breeze across Microsoft 365 apps.

Sharing becomes less cluttered and simpler to use, the goal being to make the overall sharing experience a breeze from OneDrive and across Microsoft 365 apps.

Loop components come alive in Outlook Mobile

Loop components are live, interactive, collaborative objects that you can embed in team chats and now within emails. When you send a Loop component, everyone in the email can view it inline, see changes instantly, and easily make edits. Outlook Mobile users will see a live preview of the Loop component in the thread — with changes made across supported apps synced instantly — and then be able to click to edit it in either the Microsoft 365 Office mobile app or Loop mobile app.

Screenshot from an iPhone showing switching from Outlook Mobile on iOS with a Loop component link that deep-link-launched the Microsoft 365 app for iOS to display the active Loop bulleted list component, “SharePoint investment areas.”Screenshot from an iPhone showing switching from Outlook Mobile on iOS with a Loop component link that deep-link-launched the Microsoft 365 app for iOS to display the active Loop bulleted list component, “SharePoint investment areas.”

It’s nice integration across the apps keeping Outlook mobile users in the Loop.

Related technology – Summary of announcements from two recent events

Microsoft 365 Conference (May 2-4, 2023)

Summary blog: “Welcome to the new era of SharePoint and OneDrive in Microsoft 365” by Jeff Teper.

Copilot in SharePoint helps turn your words into powerful tools for creating and editing SharePoint sites and pages.Copilot in SharePoint helps turn your words into powerful tools for creating and editing SharePoint sites and pages.

  • SharePoint in the AI era
  • Design video throughout SharePoint with Microsoft Stream
  • The new OneDrive: fast, organized, and personalized
  • Collecting and packaging information with Microsoft Lists
    • Updated forms for information collection inside and outside your organization
    • Performance enhancements and updated user experiences
    • Complete, custom templates—now with automation built in
    • Microsoft Lists: Easier, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Lincoln DeMaris.
  • OneDrive and SharePoint content administration and security

 

Microsoft Build (May 23-25, 2023)

There was a lot of news around plugins for developers… especially a big one related to SharePoint and Microsoft 365… “Announcing new Microsoft Syntex innovations – Plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot, Repository Services” by Jeff Teper.

Microsoft Syntex plugins for Copilot brings content management skills to your M365 experiences.Microsoft Syntex plugins for Copilot brings content management skills to your M365 experiences.

  • Syntex plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot, which brings Syntex actions and skills into your Copilot experiences. To enhance Copilot, Syntex delivers critical content management skills for securing, grounding, and processing high value information. Syntex plugins will make it easier than ever to bring AI-powered document processing like classification, content assembly and eSignature to Copilot.
  • Syntex repository services are the fastest way for developers to build and manage file and document centric apps that leverage the rich content platform services of Microsoft 365. Syntex repository services also make it easy for every developer to include critical Microsoft 365 file and document capabilities in every app they build.
    • Syntex repository services are completely headless, and fully API driven.

Plus…

  • Semantic Index for Copilot | A core part of the Copilot System, the Semantic Index is a map of your individual and company data. It is a foundational capability for Microsoft 365 Copilot, and will enhance enterprise search results for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 – whether customers are using Copilot or not. Learn more in the blog posts here and here.
  • Power Platform news: Copilot of Power Pages and in Power BI, and how bots are built with Power Virtual Agents and generative AI.
  • Windows Copilot: Windows Copilot provides personalized answers and helps users act within Windows 11, like changing a setting, playing a specific playlist or opening a relevant app. Windows Copilot brings Bing Chat, the knowledge of the web and can even include the current context across a user’s applications to help them get even more relevant answers.
  • Microsoft created a home for developers on Windows with a renewed focus on productivity and performance across all stages of the development lifecycle. Dev Home will allow users to quickly set up their machines, connect to GitHub and monitor and manage workflows in one central location. Dev Home is open source and extensible, allowing users to enhance their experience with a customizable dashboard and the tools they need to be successful.

Plus, a whole lot of Azure news, Security news, and more. Check out the full Microsoft Build “Book of News” (May 23, 2023)

June 2023 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: Stream Classic webpart retirement and new Stream (on SharePoint) webpart [Roadmap ID: 124800
  • Teaser #2: Create a distinct experience in Viva Connections for different audiences in the Microsoft 365 [Roadmap ID: 117421]
  • BONUS | Microsoft To Do on Apple Watch [Roadmap ID: 98122]

… shhh, tell everyone.

Related blogs, events, and 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 – May 2023. 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 - May 2023 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – May 2023 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.

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