COVID-19 has taught us a lot. From a business perspective, it has taught managers to collaborate with employees and work remotely when they had not even thought of it in their entire career! Nevertheless, the lessons learned are for good. Here is a compilation of Top 5 trends changing the post-COVID-19 workplace environment.
- Increased remote working:
You never know when you’d have to make the shift to a remote working policy again. So it is better to be prepared for the rainy days.
- Design for resilience:
The post-COVID workplace requires designs that are sustainable. Whether it is application programs, designing structures, or networks, resilience is now is of foremost importance.
- The decrease in Organization complexity:
A complex organization structure can’t be handled easily. A decrease in complexity must be targeted in the post COVID environment.
- Communication in the Cloud:
With a stable communication system in the cloud, the business Phone can still be operational, thereby keeping the workforce and customers connected in tough times.
- A feature-rich Workplace:
Collaboration and remote connections are the building blocks of a modern workplace.
The discovery of phishing attacks recently on Azure AD and Microsoft 365 sign-in pages has brought Microsoft Experts under the weather. In the realm of modern Microsoft technologies, Microsoft this comes out as a surprise for Microsoft users out there (and experts too!)
The news has come with a big blow to Microsoft Experts and developers. Microsoft, being a Tech Giant in the industry, offers secured systems and updates with the most advanced security protocols and development procedures to combat cyber-attacks like phishing and eavesdropping from its applications.
However, recently, Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) showed results that phishing and spoofing attempts have been successfully carried out through the new Azure AD sign-in page.
The new Sign-in Page was rolled out three months ago and the initial release dates back to the first week of April this year. Major changes that Microsoft made to the old Azure AD sign-in page include bandwidth requirements for the new updates. The attackers found a vulnerability in the new page and got their hands on the phishing tools to carry out the attack.
The phishing emails are impersonated as official emails by adding subject titles like: ‘Business Document Received’ with a PDF attachment which is a malicious attachment. The attachment asks the recipients to get access to the Document via the Access Document button. Clicking on this button directs the recipient of the email to a sign-in page (similar in design to the Azure AD sign-in page) so that the users enter sensitive information which is stored at the hackers’ systems.
In a recent announcement, Microsoft and Finastra are in a strategic agreement to accelerate development of modern financial services. The joint venture aims to facilitate people and business with latest financial and services and solutions to cater for increasing financial needs and improved financial experience.
The idea is to develop Finastra’s open developer platform on Azure for an increased collaboration and exploring new ways to improve financial services available to people. Features such as e-signatory and e-notary will be highly available and easily extendable by Finastra. Since the company is making the shift to the cloud, Azure proves to be a secured and reliable platform needed by financial services in the cloud.
With Azure by their side, people at Finastra are ready to open an innovation platform to foster co-innovation of the next Gen financial services applications. For a digital-first mindset, Microsoft Workplace Analytics capabilities are also employed for better decision-making.
Like all the gamers out there, Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Gaming at Microsoft, is also eager for better transformation of the future of gaming to make it more exciting.
In a recent blog, he mentions that the future of gaming would consist of more deep and interactive games across the Xbox console, mobile devices and PCs. Better technology to reduce hate speech is also aimed to be a part of future gaming. The latest commitments also include the introduction of a Smart Delivery technology.
With Xbox Play Anywhere, digital titles can be bought once and played on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox consoles. A future is imagined where there is increased value from games and where there is something for everyone coming from different backgrounds.
The new Xbox Series X will provide a great gaming experience on the latest console whether the games come from Xbox Game Studios, publisher and developer partners.
With an increase in collaboration demands for business, especially since the pandemic days, Microsoft has focused its OneDrive features to make it more aligned with the latest business demands. Here are a few new features that Microsoft has announced for OneDrive:
With this, you can easily add shortcuts within OneDrive with a few clicks.
- Tight integration with Teams:
This feature fosters better collaboration while on Teams with files residing in OneDrive. Teams file sharing feature also allows for creating shareable links with customized permissions.
With this feature, you can simply copy the URL of a file for sharing right from the address bar.
This is another business feature for better user experience.
An increase in upload limit for OneDrive is provided from 15 GB to 100 GB
Everyone’s storage requirements are increasing in business. Microsoft is now committed to improving OneDrive for a natural and easy collaboration across the company and via Teams.
During the course of the pandemic, there have been days when there was a drastic need for ventilators each day. To cater to the merging needs of the pandemic, we have seen many rival companies come together while their higher management personnel remained cool-headed under crises.
Companies like Ford, BAE, McLaren, Unilever, GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, and Airbus came together to integrate their technology and expertise together to cater for the merging needs of making ventilators for the NHS.
For better collaboration amongst the rival companies, Microsoft Teams has played its part during this pandemic. According to Leila Martine, Product Marketing Director for Mixed Reality at Microsoft, apart from Teams other Microsoft Technologies utilized for building ventilators were the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft HoloLens, Dynamics 365 and Power BI to the consortium.”
Each tool had a set of features to cater to fast-paced communication including hands-free video-calls, virtual screens, live streaming while approaching ventilator experts from around the world.
In all these months during the pandemic, Communication and better decision making was the key to achieve accurate targets.
With the wide-spread pandemic COVID-19 all over the news, healthcare providers are figuring out ways to find a cure to the disease. Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced that they will utilize their partnership together to work towards an advanced solution that caters for population-wide adaptive immune responses. This is done to promote the treatment and prevention of the disease and on-going research on the biology of the virus.
In a virtual clinic, managed by Covance, immune response data is generated by collecting de-identified blood samples from people diagnosed with COVID-19 via LabCorp-enabled mobile phlebotomy service. Both the companies are seeking additional participation from other research labs and groups to further enhance the research and carry out studies on an extended data set.
Ultimately, the solution to COVID-19 problems is not likely to come from one person or group. Several labs and research groups powered by companies like Microsoft have to work together to find the solution to COVID-19 testing needs.
To facilitate first-line workers, Microsoft has been eager in introducing new Microsoft 365 plans. With the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, Firstline workers have been facilitated from various ends in order to pave their way through any hurdles while at work.
The New Microsoft 365 plan for Frontline workers, called Microsoft 365 F1, was rolled out on the First of April 2020. The following products are included in this plan:
- Microsoft Teams
- Enterprise Security + Management
The plan costs $4 per user for a month. This plan brings forward secure and integrated experience for Firstline Workers making them collaborate better. With a Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, the Firstline Workers are kept secure with the collaborative solutions effectively.
The Microsoft 365 F3 updated plan for first-line workers
Microsoft 365 F3 is also an updated version of the previously mentioned F1 plan. With this plan, the workers can get additional capabilities of Forms, Power Automate/Power Apps, and take advantage of Windows 10 E3 with only $10 per month per user.
Earlier this year, Microsoft Announced that it’s unified Office 365 App is now available for iOS platform. The integrated app brings together Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for seamless flow of work. With this app, working with documents get easier since all of the major third party cloud storage is well reachable within Office 365 like Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and iCloud. There are two main features that will be announced real soon.
The Cards View
With this view, users can edit rows in Excel in the form of cards. Keeping in mind the screens size of the phones, this feature was introduced to make the user look at the entire row on the vertical screen so they do not have to scroll the entire dataset on screen.
PowerPoint’s Designer feature
With this feature, users can easily make PowerPoint slides with bullet points and relevant formatting. In this way, users can make or edit PowerPoint presentations on the go!
With the existing version of the app, users of iPhone and Android both can create templates, scan tables and seamlessly switch working between Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft has reveled in a news recently that a total of $33.1 billion (£25.7bn) of revenue by focusing on Ai technology. With distributed computing on the rise, Microsoft has assisted organizations with its Azure services and has invested more on Azure platform.
Most fortune companies are on a journey towards cloud migration and Microsoft is assisting them to utilize its Azure platform to ease their cloud transformation journey. Microsoft’s, once termed as, productivity suite is now the productivity cloud comprising of powerful Office 365 features and assisting companies with Ai based approach to a better digital transformation journey. Microsoft is taking further steps to make revenue growth form Windows commercial products as reported by ZDnet. To cater for real world and changing business needs, Microsoft is focusing on service provision along with revenue expansion both for the company and its clients.
Microsoft has expanded its cloud centers towards Germany and Switzerland and taking further steps to enhance cloud-first move for organizations.