Microsoft Ignite 2020 – the Microsoft’s latest edition of international customer-focused conference was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this three-day event, Microsoft made several captivating announcements and releases for different classes of users across industries to help them navigate and build resilient digital capabilities in times of change.
For professional developers
Power Platform updates
- Integration of Bot Framework Composer and Power Virtual Agents will help developers to build Power Virtual Agent bots without any code.
- Power Automate Desktop is now available in public preview as a new desktop-based solution. It will enable developers to expedite digital transformation with low-code RPA (robotic process automation) capabilities.
- Power Platform integration with GitHub is now made available for developers to help them create their own SDLC templates and workflows with GitHub actions.
- Azure Cache for Redis has now two new product tiers in the marketplace: Enterprise and Enterprise Flash, enabling developers to make cache more reliable and larger than before, with uptime increasing to up to 99.99% from 99.9%. The Enterprise tier will have three new Redis Modules:
- Azure Cosmos DB now offers serverless database operation option to app developers, allowing them to build and scale small-scale apps seamlessly.
- Azure data services are now Arc-enabled; which means developers can now run fully managed data services across multiple data centers and clouds, including the edge.
- Azure SQL Edge was released at the Ignite 2020 event and is now made available in the market. Optimized for IoT workloads, it can offer rich remote working experience to developers.
For IT professionals and developers striving to build low-code solutions
New capabilities in Microsoft 365
- Meeting capacity in Teams has been increased to 1000 attendees now along with further improvement from the dynamic viewpoints to the custom layouts.
- Microsoft introduced meeting recap in Teams to centralize the vital artifacts of meetings, including transcript notes, meeting recording, etc.
- A few upgrades in Teams Rooms like Cortana voice assistance, Rooms remote app, touchless meeting experiences, etc. will give people the confidence to return back to the on-premises working environment.
- New personal wellbeing and productivity features and insights are also made available in Teams to keep wellbeing among the team and improve their productivity. However, a few wellbeing features like emotional check-in experience, integration with apps like Headspace, virtual commute, etc. will be made available in the upcoming year.
- New insights in Workplace Analytics will be made available in the market in October in Microsoft Teams to assist leaders and managers in maintaining organizational resiliency. For instance, leaders can get insights on employees’ risk of burnout or to know if they can sustain strong ties with clients and consumers.
New features in Microsoft Endpoint Manager
- With Microsoft Endpoint Manager, IT workers and admins will now be able to secure and manage virtual desktops in the same manner as physical devices.
- SharePoint Syntex deemed to be the first product to come out of the new knowledge network called Project Cortex, will be made available for purchase from 1st October on the commercial platform. It can be used to train AI to read organization-specific documents and draw information from it without any codes.
For multi-cloud security
Updates in Microsoft Defender
- After an update, Microsoft Defender now offers complete protection against digital infrastructure, applications, identities, email accounts, cloud platforms and other assets across Azure Defender and Microsoft 365. It can now deliver holistic extended detection and response (XDR) for complete cloud security.
The new Azure Defender
- Azure Defender, with the support of Azure Arc, can now protect virtual machines and SQL servers in a multi-cloud environment as well as on-premises.
- This newer version of Azure Defender also provides enhanced security to containers, especially Kubernetes.
- Azure Security Center for IoT is now Azure Defender for IoT, which can now provide unified security to IoT devices across both OT and IT networks.
Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare
- Microsoft rolled out Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, enabling healthcare centers to deliver a better, safer remote experience to patients, anywhere in the world. The Microsoft’s first industry-specific cloud can turn data into real-time insights, while also supporting compliance with GDPR. The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will be made available in the market at the end of October.
Microsoft Teams EHR connector
- In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft rolled out Microsoft Teams Electronic Health Record (EHR) connector to set-up telehealth services. It will enable remote clinicians/doctors to carry out virtual patient visits in Teams straightaway from their respective EHR platforms.
For cloud service users
A new pair of add-ins for Dynamic 365 Supply Chain Management
- The new Cloud and Edge Scale Unit add-on will empower manufacturing organizations to perform crucial manufacturing and warehousing operations in the cloud and the edge using the Edge Azure Stack tools.
- Microsoft’s other novel add-on – Inventory Visibility will assist manufacturers and retailers to better manage and analyze cross-channel inventory accurately in real-time.
- Microsoft added a new feature in Computer Vision called ‘Spatial Analysis’ to help businesses across industries to re-open their organizations in compliance with the new social distancing and health protection protocols.
- For instance, businesses can use this feature to create apps that can measure the distance between two or more people, for real-time counting of people in a particular room, etc.
Announcement of Power BI Premium Per User
- Power BI Premium Per User is a new Power BI offering, which will drive a new data culture in enterprises, enabling cloud consumers to leverage advance BI tools and make better decisions. It will also provide versatile deployment options to consumers at a great value.
Expanded portfolio of Azure Mixed Reality
- Microsoft has now included Azure Object Anchors in its Azure Mixed Reality portfolio to enable developers to automatically identify, align and trace existing 3D objects.
Metrics Advisor preview
- Microsoft added the preview of Metrics Advisor as a new capability in the Decision category of its Azure Cognitive Services to enable enterprises to monitor critical business performance from manufacturing to sales revenue. It will help organizations to stay resilient in the face of the ongoing crisis.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- The new Microsoft Dynamic 365 voice channel – Dynamics 365 Customer Service will be made available in private preview at the end of October this year to provide an extensive and seamless customer service experience to users. It will enable businesses to immediately connect with their customers via digital messaging, live chats, etc.
Ride the wave of digital resiliency
Today, technology is at the forefront of work, helping businesses navigate and succeed in changing times. So, this year, Microsoft made these biggest announcements and releases to help organizations embrace digital technology and build digital capabilities to be resilient in the face of the change.