Dynamics 365 in Microsoft Teams


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another announcement at Microsoft Inspire is that soon users will be able to view and interact with Dynamics 365 records and data directly inside Microsoft Teams – without requiring additional licensing.

In a blog post, Microsoft state that they are “eliminating the licensing tax” that has previously prevented organisations from integrating Dynamics 365 & Microsoft Teams. There isn’t a huge amount of additional information available yet so the specific questions as to what data can be shared and what can be done to it etc. will have to wait for another day. This blog from Jukka Niiranen attempts to uncover some potential insights from the Microsoft demo video that’s available.

However, it is clear that this is (another) shot at Salesforce in Microsoft’s efforts to make Dynamics 365 the #1 CRM system out there. It also serves to further Teams’ growing position as the central hub for users throughout their work day, where they’re able to do most things at this point (but no email).

Further Reading

MS announcement

MS site (with demo video)

Jukka Niiranen blog

Microsoft Visio comes to Teams for free


Bringing Visio to Microsoft 365: Diagramming for everyone | Microsoft 365 Blog

Microsoft are adding a cut down version of Visio directly into Teams, enabling users to create, edit, and share diagrams without leaving the ever growing central location for productivity. The new app will be available to users with the following licenses:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for business
  • Office 365 E1
  • Office 365 E3
  • Office 365 E5
  • Office 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 F3 (includes Office 365 F3)
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (includes Office 365 E3)
  • Microsoft 365 E5 (includes Office 365 E5)
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise
  • Office 365 A1
  • Office 365 A3
  • Office 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 A1 (one-time, per-device license with free Office 365 A1 per user licenses)
  • Microsoft 365 A3 (includes Office 365 A3)
  • Microsoft 365 A5 (includes Office 365 A5)

You can see more info, and sign up for early access (not EU), here.

Microsoft add webinars to Teams


Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

It was announced a while back that webinar functionality would be coming to Microsoft Teams and details have been released at this week’s Microsoft Ignite conference – including the required licenses.

Features

Organisations will be able to add a customisable registration page to webinars – an example of which you can see below:

Source: Microsoft – https://cdn.techcommunity.microsoft.com/assets/MicrosoftTeams/Attendee%20Registration%20%26%20Email%20Confirmations.gif

Fully interactive webinars will be able to handle up to 1,000 (one thousand) participants with moderation available to control audio/video etc. and, should you need it, Teams can scale up to 10,000 participant “view-only” sessions. Microsoft are, for now, increasing that limit to 20,000.

You will also be able to download an attendee report showing attendance, participation etc. which is key for follow up. More reporting features are being rolled out over the coming months.

How is it licensed?

These new capabilities will be fully available as part of:

  • Microsoft 365 E3/A3/G3
  • Microsoft 365 E5/A5/G5

and will also be available in:

  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium

for up to 300 users.

I’m pleasantly surprised that this doesn’t require an add-on license – it’s quite possibly been done as in-built functionality to give them the best chance of fighting off the threat from Zoom et. al. If you have to pay extra to Microsoft, you might as well just stick with your existing provider but if it’s “free”…that likely changes matters for a lot of organisations.

Further Reading

You can see more info on these, and dozens of other new features coming to Teams, here.

Microsoft Product Terms – October 2020


Teams Rooms Standard & Premium Device subscription licenses have been added.

SharePoint Syntex is added. This is “trainable AI” that can help process corporate data and automate some of the tasks involved. See more info on what it is and how it’s licensed here.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations added. As sure as night turns to day, there’s a new D365 SKU 😂 This is a replacement for Project Service Automation (PSA).

The snappily named “Audio Conferencing Extended Dial-out minutes to USA/CAN” is added. This add-on license gives “virtually unlimited” US & Canada dial-out minutes, although there is a “fair use” policy.

The new “Extra Graph Connector Capacity” license enables additional indexing using Microsoft Graph connectors. Graph being Microsoft’s evolving connective layer between various MS products that we will continue to see pop up over the coming months for sure. In my opinion, this is another example of Microsoft moving towards a licensing model reminiscent of IBM/SAP/Salesforce where there are 100s of odd, obscure metrics based around quantity and usage – making them easy to exceed and difficult to track.

None of the recently announced security name changes have been updated though…

Microsoft Teams customer promotions


To help drive adoption of Teams, Microsoft have announced a couple of customer promotions:

Audio Conferencing for free

For Enterprise Agreement customers, the offer is available immediately until January 21, 2021 and licenses are free until the end of your enrolment.

For purchases via partners and the web portal, you get the licenses free for 12 months. Offer starts October 1, 2020 and ends March 31, 2021 and isn’t available in China or India.

35% off Teams Advanced Communications

Available now for Enterprise Agreement customers (ends January 31, 2021) and “coming soon” if you buy via partners or the web portal. This is available worldwide.

See Microsoft’s post here.

Microsoft Product Terms: August 2020


Nothing too major this month, as expected:

  • The Teams Advanced Communications SKU has been added
  • There are a few updates to SQL Hybrid Benefit info for Server Subscriptions
  • Added extra Power Platforms info covering:
    • Purchase minimums
    • Extended Use Rights for Portals
    • Additional pre-requisites

Nothing new for Power Platform, really just moving key info from the licensing guide to the Product Terms – which is the way it should be.

Microsoft Teams Advanced Communications SKU


Announced during Microsoft Inspire, August 1, 2020 will see a new add-on SKU for Microsoft Teams – “Advanced Communications”. Sitting as an add-on to any SKU that includes Teams it will give a range of features including:

  • Larger meetings
  • Customized lobbies
  • Compliance recording

although it seems not all features will be available immediately. It’s an interesting move…it seems quite a narrow set of features to put into a chargeable SKU – especially at $12 per user per month – so I’m keen to see how well this takes off. Perhaps it will be one of Microsoft’s semi-regular u-turns where they decide not to charge in the end?

Props to Matt Landis who spotted this first – he has more info on his blog too.