Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ category

Microsoft Teams – many enhancements announced.

August 9th, 2022

Mac devices now have a versions of Teams that is designed to support all of Apple’s Mac devices.

We are rolling out a production grade universal binary version of Teams, which means it will run natively on the entire Mac lineup, including those with Apple silicon. For Mac users, this means a significant boost in performance, ensuring efficient use of device resources and an optimized Teams experience even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.

Mac devices will be “automatically upgraded” to it. Microsoft plans a gradual rollout, with the “general availability” commercial release expected “over the coming months.”

Teams Chat Embedded in Dynamics 365
Teams chat embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning solution, is at the preview stage and is scheduled to reach general availability in September https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/boost-productivity-with-microsoft-teams-chat-in-dynamics-365/ba-p/3584286

Users c can use records in Dynamics 365 to start a chat. Sales teams will see all “connected chats” related to a customer record. A use case is when a sales rep leaves an organization and others need to know what happened with an account.

To turn on this connected chat feature https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/teams-integration/enable-teams-chat

When connected chats are used to share Dynamics 365 records information with another person, “the recipient doesn’t need a Dynamics 365 license to collaborate,” the announcement clarified.

Other Teams Enhancements
Microsoft also described Teams other enhancements.

Admins can “clean up individual policy assignments from users in bulk,” with an “Unassign Policies” feature added to the Teams Admin Center portal under the “Manage Users” tab. , Teams users will then “inherit the correct policy either via a group policy assignment or global organization-wide default.”

For organizations using Teams with “frontline workers,” Admins can now “deploy up to 500 teams with 25 users per team using one PowerShell command.” Similarly its also possible to remove members. This capability is in preview.

Microsoft added a Device Test capability for Teams appointments, which will “validate camera, microphone, and browser compatibility, as well as the internet connection at any moment before the scheduled appointment start time.”

The Forms app in Teams is replaced by a new Polls app, available from the Teams app store. It has many user interface improvements, such as t a new “Rating” feedback poll.

LinkedIn profiles are now integrated with Teams, and users can view these from “Teams chat, channels, calls or meetings.

Microsoft added the ability to message team owners in Teams via a @Team Owners” addition.

Microsoft suggested that Teams on iPad devices is “now more responsive to screen size, app orientation, and display modes.”

Microsoft added the ability for users to hide or to remove a call from their call history list when using the Teams desktop or mobile app.

Microsoft enhanced a Common Area Phone offering “to serve a wider variety of scenarios for customers without increasing the price.”

Microsoft added improvements for Teams Room devices, including a “Manage” button for checking out rooms or extending reservations.

Teams calling functionality was also added for certain models of Spectralink Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) devices.

Microsoft Edge browser improvements

July 31st, 2022

Microsoft Edge is the built-in browser on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

It’s powered by Chromium, which ensures its compatibility with the vast majority of the web.

Starting with Edge 102, the browser will automatically compress disk caches to optimize performance.

Using too much disk space can worsen the browsing experience as well as bog down an entire system.

“When a browser uses too many resources, it not only impacts the browsing experience but can also slow down the entire system,” explained Microsoft’s Edge team in a blog post. “However, when it comes to performance optimizations, we often need to balance optimizing for the entire system, since optimizing for one resource can often come at a cost increasing the use of another resource.”

Browsers store content from the web by using disk caches. This allows Edge and other apps to access information quickly. While browsers, including Edge, already moderate how much disk space they take up, compressing content allows for further optimization.

Contents within caches are usually highly compressible. “Since the contents in these cache(s) are often highly compressible, compression results in increasing the likelihood that the requested resource can be fetched from the disk.”

Edge will automatically compress disk caches on eligible systems. The browser has to check whether a system is eligible to ensure that compression will not result in poor performance.

Cache compression is particularly advantageous for systems with a “clear” amount of available storage space, which is otherwise quickly used up with unlimited cache.

Most recently, the browser’s CPU and memory requirements have been slashed, which would have a less damaging effect on battery life. Bleeping Computer(opens in new tab) reports that sleeping tabs should use 32% less memory on average, with CPU usage dropping by 37%.

An upcoming update could give users a whole new way to interact with Edge by using custom commands. Microsoft Edge Canary 105 will see a feature that enables the command bar to run commands from a launcher integrated into the browser. Unlike rivals such as Chrome and Firefox, the new command bar is not located in the browser address bar, but as a standalone option, which we can hope will provide much smoother functionality.

he new command bar is opened by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Space, and sits just below the Microsoft Edge address bar. 

Although given the official name DevTools Command Palette, ghacks.net found that a wide range of commands could be used in the bar, including creating a new window or tab, opening office web apps, and even opening other apps such as Stack Overflow.

Users already signed up to Microsoft Edge Canary are able to try out the new feature now by updating to the latest build. The tool is still in development, so there’s no news yet on a potential release date, but if it gets enough engagement in the testing phase, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t become a part of Microsoft Edge in the future.

Microsoft has been made aware that some users are experiencing issues with favorites synchronization and plans to fix this in an upcoming release.

Omnichannel for Customer Service – Dynamics 365

July 18th, 2022

Omnichannel for Customer Service offers a suite of capabilities that extend the power of Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise to enable organizations to instantly connect and engage with their customers across digital messaging channels.

Omnichannel for Customer Service provides omnichannel capabilities for Dynamics 365. Gives us many of the contact centre features we require out of the box.: web chat, SMS, voice and more directly within Dynamics 365.

Put simply we’re talking about giving customers many different ways of contacting you for support.

Omnichannel customer service is also often used to describe a system which combines many channels in to a single stream. The single stream gives a seamless experience for customers and support agents

Other related functionality includes Unified Routing to intelligently allocate work items to agents and also the Customer Service Workspace which gives agents a multi-session UI. And not forgetting Power Virtual Agents that can be used as voice IVRs or webchat BOTs.

An additional license is required to access Omnichannel for Customer Service.

Supervisors get real-time and historical visibility and insights into the operational efficiency of agents and the utilization across various channels.

The enterprise-grade routing and work distribution engine allows customers to configure agent presence, availability, and routing rules, thus ensuring agents are working on the most relevant engagements.

End of support for Microsoft SQL 2012

July 15th, 2022

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will no longer be supporting SQL Server 2012     

The product, on July 12, 2022, reached the end of its 10-year support model. It means that SQL Server 2012 will no longer get future security patches from Microsoft. The server continues to run under such circumstances, but organizations may be potentially exposed to future security troubles and they could get encumbered by the compliance implications of running unsupported software.

Organizations who need to stick with SQL Server products, have four options:

  • Organizations can upgrade to SQL Server 2019.
  • Organizations can continue to use SQL Server 2012 and get “Critical” security patches only via Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates (ESU) program for up to three years.
  • Organizations can move their SQL Server 2012 workloads into Microsoft Azure virtual machines, where Microsoft provides the ESU patches at no cost.
  • Lastly, Microsoft advocates using Azure SQL Managed Instance, which is an Azure platform-as-a-service offering that promises high compatibility with on-premises SQL Server.

The Azure SQL Managed Instance option is similar to the Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance service, but the latter lets organizations continue to use their own infrastructure. The nuances between those two options are described in this Sept. 30, 2020 Microsoft Tech Community post.

While the ESU program offers a grace period of sorts for SQL Server 2012 users, its use with on-premises servers comes with licensing requirements. Organizations will need to have Software Assurance coverage, which is an annuity cost. However, they can only buy ESUs when they have an “Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), a Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE) and Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES)” licensing, according to Microsoft’s end-of-support FAQ document.

The ESU program lets organization buy Critical security patches in one-year increments, for up to three years maximum. Microsoft hikes the ESU price each year by 25 percent of the base price of SQL Server 2012 license, according to the following formula:

  • Year 1: Approximately 75% of full license price
  • Year 2: Approximately 100% of full license price
  • Year 3: Approximately 125% of full license price

Those incremental fees no doubt are designed to prod organizations into moving their SQL Server 2012 workloads into Azure virtual machines, where Microsoft provides ESU patching for free.

For organizations making the move to cloud services, Microsoft’s  Azure Migration and Modernization Program offers either Microsoft ,or partner support for moves to Azure services. This program is billed as being available to organizations of all sizes, and bearing “no additional cost” for Azure customers, per its landing page.

Microsoft has recently beefed up the funding for the Azure Migration and Modernization Program.

“We’re now investing significantly more to support your largest Windows Server and SQL Server migration and modernization projects, up to 2.5 times more than previous investments, based on project eligibility,” the announcement indicated. “This investment will help with your migration in two ways: partner assistance with planning and moving your workloads, and Azure credits that offset transition costs during your move to Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure SQL Database.”

The announcement also warned that Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be reaching their end-of-support phasesnext year on October 10, 2023.”

Microsoft plans to offer its ESU patch program and its Modernization migration support program for those servers as well.

Next year, in April, many of Microsoft’s 2013-branded application servers will also fal out of support 

Note: Before you upgrade SQL, check the compatibility of the software that runs on it with the new version of SQL – you may be faced with the need to also update those systems to later versions for example older versions of Dynamics Ax,

Power Apps Wave 2 2022 enhancements

July 13th, 2022
  • Power BI continues to invest in empowering every individual, team, and organization to drive a data culture. Creation experience is improved by aligning our experiences with Office and enabling datasets authoring on the web.
  • By bringing power query diagram view into Power BI Desktop, creators can use a no code experience to perform extract transform load (ETL) on their data.
  • For teams, there are enhancements to metrics focused on enterprise needs and integration with Microsoft Viva Goals.
  • The big data experience is increased through:
    • automatic aggregations,
    • query scale out,
    • data protection capabilities via data loss prevention (DLP),
    • improved visibility into activity to admins. 
  • Power Apps will expand governance capabilities to allow organizations to enable, manage, and support citizen development across the entire organization. 
  • Makers and developers of all skill levels will be more productive over Dataverse in a unified studio, with modern experiences to build and manage data and logic.
  • Infused intelligence will: support development, enrich data, and optimize end-user experiences.
  • In addition to ensuring trust and the ability to leverage rich data experiences, both makers and end-users will benefit from out-of-the-box collaboration capabilities to enable users to be more productive when working together.
  • Power Pages  brings more out-of-the-box capabilities to support both low-code/no-code development as well professional developers.
  • In this release makers have additional capabilities to work with forms and lists and to use the design studio to get started quickly with additional solution templates.
  • There are enhancements for professional developers to do more with the sites and to use both the Microsoft Power Platform command line interface (CLI) tool and visual studio (VS) Code
  • Administrators can also use those tools to better administer and govern their Power Pages sites. 
  • Power Automate is more accessible with new experiences to help users of every skill level to build out their cloud and desktop flows.
  • Organizations can automate their deployments of Power Automate, with additional enhancements for application lifecycle management (ALM).
  • For increased usage of robotic process automation (RPA), new features will make it easier to manage machines in Azure and the credentials of your users and accounts.
  • Power Virtual Agents bring improvements in:
    • the authoring experience with commenting,
    • Power Pages integration, data loss prevention options, proactive bot update messaging in Teams, and more. 
  • Creating a bot is typically a complex and time-intensive process, requiring long content update cycles and a team of experts.
  • Power Virtual Agents gives anyone in your organization the ability to create powerful custom bots using an easy, code-free graphical interface, without the need for AI experts, data scientists, or teams of developers.
  • A bot can interact with users, ask for clarifying information, and ultimately answer a user’s questions. 
  • AI Builder continues to enable citizen developers to use and customize AI capabilities to build more intelligent apps and workflows. Lifecycle and governance of AI Builder models will be improved with enhanced versioning, deployment, and monitoring capabilities.
  • Makers will also benefit from new features for intelligent document and text processing like the ability to manage human in-the-loop validation, easier integration of large data sets for automated e-mail processing, and the ability to process contracts and multi-page tables in documents.

Dynamics 365 – Wave 2 highlights for 2022

July 13th, 2022
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing brings real-time customer journey orchestration to enable business-to-business (B2B) brands to hyper-personalize experiences across the entire buying journey.
  • Confidently grow your marketing and customer experience programs to target up to 100 million customers with up to 300 million messages and interactions per month.
  • Intuitive lead capture forms, leads nurturing hands-off automation, and a new analytics dashboard enable alignment between sales and marketing teams like never before.
  • Organizations can reach new levels of marketing maturity with AI-powered next best content selection and increased support for business units.  
  • Dynamics 365 Sales continues to optimize the seller experience using data and AI .
  • Help sellers to prioritize their work, blending business with productivity tools to meet sellers where they are.
  • Drive in-the-moment, collaboration experiences, so that every seller can engage with their colleagues and customers efficiently, reclaiming their time and being more productive.  
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service is focused on delivering the capabilities that help run contact centers optimally.
  • Enhancements in unified routing with features such as percentage-based routing, preferred agent routing, and longest idle routing are new features
  • Customer support swarming in Microsoft Teams will help agents resolve complex cases through collaboration.
  • Organizations can empower their customers with options to leave voicemail, callback, and dial agents directly in the voice channel.
  • The agent experience is modernized with an enhanced conversation timeline, horizontal multisession navigation, and AI-powered conversation summary.
  • Supervisors can view Microsoft Power Virtual Agents analytics within their omnichannel analytics dashboards.
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service brings new capabilities that enable organizations to better orchestrate service operations for workers. Organizations can now:
    • build and maintain location and assets for large facilities,
    • keep their cost at bay by configuring “not to exceed” limits,
    • and group similar incident types under “trade” for ease of management.
  • Optimization improvements include booking lock constraints and i myriad of user experience improvements to the mobile app to further empower frontline workers.  
  • Dynamics 365 Finance launches the general availability of vendor invoice optical character recognition (OCR) which automates the reading and recognition of vendor invoices.
  • There are additional capabilities for subscription billing use cases.
  • The Tax calculation service will be integrated with Dynamics 365 Project Operations (preview)
  • The electronic invoicing service will be extended to support new and upcoming e-invoice legislations for: France, Poland, and Saudi Arabia. 
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management continues to invest in capabilities that drive agility and resilience across the supply chain.
  • New analytics and support for multiple vendors in planning optimization help organizations optimize their sourcing strategies.’
  • Inventory visibility lets organizations track real-time consumption within allocated quantities in support of promotions, special events, and new product introductions.
  • Guided warehouse implementation and configuration experiences enable rapid reconfiguration of supply chains .
  • Manufacturers in the process industry can use Planning Optimization to shorten their planning cycles. 
  • Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management expands its ecosystem of providers and builds on the continued success of FedEx. There are now 14 providers that span the supply chain lifecycle from order ingestion to last-mile delivery.
  • In the upcoming release, there is support for various order types—back orders, subscription orders, manual orders, and purchase orders.
  • You can also simulate fulfillment to model and understand the impact of choosing various fulfillment strategies.
  • Contextual collaboration features allow an order to be shared with multiple stakeholders using embedded Microsoft Teams. 
  • Dynamics 365 Project Operations Empower project managers and project teams in this release wave with project budgeting and time-phased forecasting, baselines and snapshots,
  • The application experiences on the web and mobile form factors is modernised.
  • For both project accountants and back-office personas, w advanced subcontracting and subscription billing capabilities are added.
  • Across-the-board investments will ease the complexity of interaction patterns.
  • Modern and fluent controls are also targeted for this release wave.
  • Dynamics 365 Guides Improve collaboration experiences for authors and operators on Microsoft HoloLens 2.
  • The application will also be updated to provide more advanced content authoring workflows versioning and publishing of guides in the coming wave. 
  • Dynamics 365 Human Resources We can now to tailor experiences and automatically complete processes where manual decisions and tasks are needed today.
  • Improved efficiency is available to managers and employees by providing notifications outside of the application for benefits processes and tasks.
  • Integrating employee skill and compensation, and leaving information to resource managers in Dynamics 365 Project Operations will also improve collaboration and efficiency.  
  • Dynamics 365 Commerce New and updated B2B experiences, include sales agreements across channels and customer-specific catalogs.
  • Omnichannel media management features streamline workflows.
  • Key point of sale investments includes a Store Commerce app availability for iOS and Android devices.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay digital wallet integration,
  • New customer support options through virtual agent and live agent integration will be available for e-commerce.
  • Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection will offer a new transaction acceptance booster (TAB) offering that allows merchants to increase their bank approval rates without having to rip and replace their incumbent fraud provider solution.
  • To replace a merchant’s incumbent fraud solution is costly and timely, and this enables the merchant to benefit from Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection TAB capabilities with minimal disruption to their business.
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central continues to improve the reporting capabilities for customers, including new report datasets for Excel and improvements to the Microsoft Power BI reports which now will support dimensions.
  • The Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Automate integration offer new capabilities for low-code development.
  • The application will get several improvements like: helping users do reverse entries in the payment reconciliation journal and several improvements to the supply chain functionality.
  • There are steps to scale productivity via more efficient and performant tooling for development and administration.
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights continues to invest in accelerating customer understanding by enhancing time to value with quicker out-of-the-box insights, predictions, segments, and measures with limitless extensibility across technology ecosystems.
  • New features will power personalized experiences with real-time insights, analytics, and activations to deliver industry-leading personalization and moments-based marketing.
  • New features also enable ubiquitous insights for an integrated data flow across Microsoft Dataverse, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform for seamless workflows.
  • Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces now supports alerts and notifications via Teams or Outlook when business AI-skills detect actionable patterns within a physical space.
  • Customers can now use Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces in Germany (besides US and UK) and connect up to 10 cameras for each Azure Stack Edge device maximizing their existing investments in expanding Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces across their physical footprint.
  • Customers can also leverage the Azure Stack Edge Pro 2 device for configuring Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces at the edge in addition to the existing Pro 1 devices.

Power Apps April release wave 1 2022 for Model-driven apps

March 12th, 2022

The Power Apps April release wave 1 for Model-driven apps is now available for you to take advantage of. In this release wave you can take advantage of cohesive and modern experiences while collaborating with team members in Power Apps.

Collaboration with colleagues and task productivity is more important than ever before for business users.   These are two main focuses of the Wave 1 release, and we have several features you can opt into in order to streamline productivity.

Task productivity updates include:

  • Modern Power Apps grid and view pages have been enhanced and will be auto enabled during this wave

Opt-In Updates:

  • Modern Advanced Find allows users to access any table and use advanced filters to explore data
  • Users can be alerted to key items to address, which makes them more likely to be successful leveraging In App Notifications

Collaboration opt-in updates include:

  • See colleagues who are currently working on the record and easily start chats with them
  • See on-line status of colleagues in-app and easily start chats with them via improved people card
  • Easily share links to records with colleagues

Task Productivity

Power Apps grid

Model-driven apps are first to feature the new Power Apps grid, a new read-only grid control, both inside the view page and inside forms (sub-grids). The new grid control follows Microsoft Accessibility Standard and will be auto enabled as part of this wave release.

In addition to improved performance, the new control supports:

  • Remembering grid view settings across the session
  • Ability to resize columns
  • Ability to reorder columns (via column options UI)

The grid view page in Model-driven apps now features column options settings that let app users customize which columns are shown in the grid. Additional text make sit easy for your end users to discover this capability.

With this feature, users can:

  • Add new columns, from current or related tables.
  • Remove columns.
  • Change the order of columns in the grid

When the grid is auto enabled with this release, the classic jump bar experience is disabled by default, but can be enabled.  Infinite scrolling will be an option in future waves. To opt out of the new Power Apps read-only grid control, the Power Platform Admin Center to toggle the “Enable the modern-read only grid experience” switch under the “Grids and views” section.

Modern Advanced Find

With modern advanced find, you can access any table in a model-driven app through search and use advanced filters to explore the data easily. The new view management experience will provide you with options to share views so you can collaborate with your team easily. Managing views is simpler with personalization options to build your own set of views.

In App Notifications are Generally Available starting in April 2022

The in-app notification feature that was announced for public preview July 2021 with Model-driven app adds in-app notifications will reach general availability in April 2022. A maker can opt-in to this feature using the modern app designer preview.  Open the settings > Upcoming features and then enable “In-app notifications”.

Multiplayer App Collaboration

Co-presence in records and Owner field online presence

Now you can see who’s currently working on a record including their online status. You can also start a chat or send them an email and take collaboration to the next level.  This feature is currently available on the Account, Case, Opportunity, and Contact tables.

Avatar and on-line availability of colleagues is immediately obvious in the UI with the new persona card shown in the form owner field, lookups and grids. Click on the avatar to expose the improved contact card to start a chat or email.

Easy record sharing

Share records as easy as Office documents. Use the new share button to email a link or copy the link and share it with someone else. A link to the record can only be shared with users who have permissions to access the record currently, but we are working on expanding this in the future.

Get started today by opting your environment into the 2022 April Release Wave 1, learn how ( https://docs.microsoft.com/power-platform/admin/opt-in-early-access-updates  ).

Attackers compromising Microsoft Teams

February 19th, 2022

Security researchers at Avanan, a cyber security company warns that attackers are compromising Microsoft Teams accounts to slip into chats and to spread malicious programs to participants in the conversation.

Since January, hackers have accessed compromised accounts and shared executable files titled ‘User Centric’.

The file is a Trojan malware that can eventually take control of a user’s computer should a user click on it. The virus is usually hidden as an attachment in an email or a free-to-download file, then transfers onto the user’s device

Most users trust Microsoft Teams implicitly. However, Microsoft Teams is used both by professionals working from home for sharing files, or with invited external users, so users may click on files attachments with less regard to question the authenticity. 

Microsoft Teams surpassed 270 million monthly active users last month. The number of daily active users of Microsoft Teams have almost doubled the past year, increasing from 75 million users in April 2020 to 145 million as of the second quarter of 2021.

When working outside your secure corporate network on your own device you still need an antivirus program that scans and inspects files for malicious content.

Sr its an email or inside Microsoft Teams if are get sent a file, then before clicking on it make sure you carefully read the name of the file and file extension , and the details of who sent it . Contact your workplace’s IT department if you receive any strange files.

If you need to improv your security then ask Synergy Software Systems about Microsoft Defender and other tools like Kasperksy. Data security and data privacy is of increasing concern , and compliance with legislation is increasingly import for example for data privacy.

With Microsoft Defender for Oce 365 you are also protected within SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams helps detect and block existing files that are identified as malicious in team sites and document libraries by locking them and preventing users from accessing such files.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/business/threat-protection/office-365-defender

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-defender-for-office/introducing-the-microsoft-defender-for-office-365-migration/ba-p/2952369

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/security/office-365-security/migrate-to-defender-for-office-365?view=o365-worldwide

call: 0097143365589

New Commerce experience – ask Synergy Software Systems

February 15th, 2022

Microsoft is making major changes in its approach to its licensing. The wide-reaching changes are coming in under the title of the new commerce experience.

While many organisations will be focused on how this will impact on their Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licensing, changes have the potential to impact the pricing of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform for organisations.

What Is The New Commerce Experience?

The new commerce experience is an attempt, Microsoft says, to simplify its many licensing models.

Subscription licensing for Microsoft products has now existed for over a decade. Over this time, both the supplier model and licensing structures have sprawled as more and more products have been brought in to the model. As such, the new commerce experience is said to offer “a consistent, simplified, and flexible purchase experience for customers and partners”.

The new commerce experience is already in place for Azure services. However, the application of this approach to wider licensing will come at an additional cost to some organisations

Changes To Partner Models

In terms of the provision of licensing, most organisations purchase licensing from organisations linked to the Cloud Solution Provider programme (CSP). But in fact, there are actually six partner licence supply models at present.

This will now be folded into just three retail models:

Breadth motion – Designed for the SME market, this will span the bulk of the current CSP model.

Enterprise motion – Large organisations will now be able to purchase licensing from a Microsoft account manager.

Self-service motion – For organisations wishing to purchase their own licences.

These changes will simplify the overly complex partner model, though some partners will now find their enterprise customers will now transact with Microsoft directly.

Customer Licensing Subscriptions

For customers, the new commerce experience will see the emergence of three subscription models:

Monthly subscription:

  • Under this model, seats can be increased or decreased each month to meet the organisation’s needs.
  • However, the flexibility of this model will carry a 20% price premium.
  • Organisations would also not be protected from any future licence price rises.

12-month subscription:

Under this option, organisations commit to licences on a 12-month term.

Licences can’t be cancelled after the first 72 hours, and can only be terminated at the end of the 12 month term.

Licence numbers can be increased during the 12-month term (with pro-rata billing), but not decreased.

Organisations will not be exposed to price rises during their 12-month term.

36-month subscription:

This option commits customers to a 36-month term, with cancellation only available in the first 72 hours. Licences will be able to be reassigned, however.

Licence numbers can be increased on a pro-rata rate during the term, but not decreased.

Organisations will receive price protection from cost increases for the full 36-months.

Organisations will be able to mix and match licensing based on their requirements. However, the changes will mean that any organisation previously trying to operate on a flexible model will have to pay more for the benefit.

When Will The New Commerce Experience Come Into Effect?

Organisations can purchase licences from the new commerce experience now, but the new model will come into full effect from March 2022.

Any licencing purchased at or after this time is subject to the new model.

Any existing Microsoft licences will move over to the new model at their point of expiry. This is expected to be complete by February 2023.

In addition to the NCE, there will be a price increase that will take effect from 1st March 2022 for the following licences: 

  • Office 365 Business Basic – 20%
  • Office 365 Business Premium – 10%
  • Office 365 E1 – 25%
  • Office 365 E3 – 15%
  • Office 365 E5 – 8.5%
  • Microsoft 365 E3 – 12.5%

Microsoft is offering a 5% discount for annual Microsoft 365 commitments. The annual discount will be available until the end of March 2022. Committing to your licences before the end of March 2022 will not only allow you to benefit from the discount, but also avoid the price increase. 

To discuss your renewals or licensing options call us: 0097143365589

Teams meetings with chat bubbles

January 3rd, 2022

With covid omicron rampaging across the globe wishing you all a Happy New Year sounds a somewhat hollow message. So let me pass on some good news.

Microsoft is working on a new update for Teams, for users to see both the messages in chat and the participants in a video call at the same time.

Last year Microsoft , added chat bubbles   so that users don’t miss private messages sent during a video call. Similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, chat bubbles display a floating notification on your screen.

You may not find don’t this is an improvement if it distracts you from the important content discussed in the meeting. It forces you to constantly look around the screen to find and quickly the chat bubbles as they appear and before they disappear.

To turn off the chat bubbles and return to the previous behavior of opening the chat pane, click on the three dots in the control bar to open the menu. Click on the Don’t show chat bubbles item to turn off chat bubbles, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkR8T8pZfyU)

Using chat bubbles is a personal choice and it doesn’t replace the regular chat window. Microsoft says that chat bubbles make chat more central to a conversation, but it really depends on the type of meeting, the topic being discussed, and the number of participants

Microsoft is now planning to make chat bubbles available for group chats so that everyone can simaltaneously see the conversations happening via text as well as the participants in a video call .

Microsoft soft Teams rooms i was previously called Skype Rooms. With a Teams Rooms display set up in a meeting or conference room, the in-person attendees can focus on one screen rather than have to each stare down at their individual laptop.

With chat bubbles on a Teams Room display, remote workers will also be able to add to the conversation in a meeting room and attendees will see their messages in chat alongside a meeting’s video feed.

This new feature is set to roll out in April of next year and will l be a welcome addition for organizations that have implemented hybrid work practices.