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Today, we continue to strike a balance between many of our current conditions, where most frontline workers are strained and socially distant, and tomorrow, where there is the possibility of a safe return to the more traditional ways of working. As we continue supporting frontline workers and organizations in this digital transformation balance, we are releasing new enhancements for frontline workers and corporate teams to continue to communicate more effectively, digitize processes and make data and workers more secure no matter the work conditions.
Richer communication and community
Coming soon, Teams for RealWear headsets will make it easier for workers to show what they see – with voice commands for using the device flashlight and adjusting zoom levels with their outgoing video. Learn more about RealWear and Teams here.
For organizations with thousands of employees scattered across different locations, internal communications can grow quite complex. Connect your entire workforce to drive deeper connection and insights across your organization while keeping everyone informed. Now you can share important community announcements for all members of your community and notify them to make sure they see the message, even if it’s outside of their preferred notification settings, with Yammer essential announcements.
Manage and moderate content shared with your entire organization faster with Yammer community insights. These key metrics help admins and corporate teams measure activity, understand engagement, and find valuable insights about how frontline workers are engaging as a community.
Dig deeper and see which conversations and content performs the best. Conversation insights provide real-time visibility into impressions, total views, click-through rate, and a break-down of reactions.
Improve your live events viewership by monitoring attendance, to understand which audience has the greatest viewership, and see where those views are coming from with live events insights in Yammer. All geared to help you optimize your current and future events with your frontline workforce and entire organization.
Finally, improve the sense of community for your frontline workers with new suggested communities on the right rail of the Yammer homepage that will suggest relevant communities for frontline workers to discover and join.
Learn more about all the new features coming to Yammer here.
Automated business workflows
As work conditions continue to fluctuate, it has become increasingly important to make sure repeatable but still critical processes are automated and have the right systems and owners connected to the workflow.
New APIs for Time Clock will notify your organization’s Time & Attendance system and determine if the clock in/out is valid and prevent it if it is not. This helps organizations create rules for how early or late someone can clock-in/out without requiring manager approval. It can also enable new business workflows around clocking in/out such a health screening survey that must be completed before clocking-in for the day. All these clock-ins will be automatically shared to your existing payroll system to provide even more visibility and alignment. Learn more about frontline relevant APIs here.
With the schedule owner permission setting on TeamsShiftsPolicy, the organization can identify which users should be able to modify a Shifts schedule while still protecting the ownership of Teams that they are members of. It allows users who aren’t the owner of a Team to be able to edit and manage Shift schedules, approve swaps and authorize time off requests. This enables users such as managers and supervisors to have schedule ownership without having to be the owners of the entire Teams, reducing instances of accidentally deleting or modifying the Team without realizing the effects it has on other users. Learn more about how to set up Shifts here.
Now available: schedule owner permissions
Approvals are a critical component of how frontline workers get the right permissions for anything from delivering fast customer service to making speedy repair decisions on the factory floor. To streamline workflows, new Approvals templates provide a repeatable structure for common approvals such as when employees are reporting leave, filling out expense reports or requesting overtime. Admins and Team owners can use these as is, customize, or create new templates for their organization and teams.
Often frontline processes need more formal attestation and require the approvers’ signatures in the process. Now, key partners like Adobe Sign, DocuSign, and other 3rd party providers allow teams to create an electronic signature approval natively within the Approvals app. With this new feature, approvers can add their e-signature without leaving Teams, enabling an efficient and faster approval process. Once the approval process is completed, the information is stored in Teams, and you can easily access the approval record and view the eSignatures.
Finally, we have enhanced our task publishing feature in Tasks in Teams so operations and corporate teams can more clearly manage their Task lists and drive alignment with frontline locations. A member of a publishing team can now see separate Drafts, Published, and Unpublished sections to easily see which task lists are at which stage of their lifecycle. We’ve also made it easier to see the impact of publishing tasks at a glance. Teams will see an updated summary that prominently displays the number of tasks and the number of recipient teams, so they can easily confirm that everything looks right. Learn more about task publishing here.
More secure with simple management
Like frontline workers day-to-day job, we know their roles, tasks and devices can vary. Whether your organization empowers workers to bring their own devices or provides shared devices, we have you covered with secure and simple tools to make sure the experience is seamless.
You can now provision shared devices at scale with Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager now a part of a unified management platform known as Microsoft Endpoint Manager. IT admins can choose to enroll their organization’s Android Enterprise (AE) dedicated devices into Microsoft Intune with Azure AD shared mode automatically configured, making it easier to set up and customize how frontline workers use shared devices.
IT admins can now enforce Zero Trust security policies such as device-based Conditional Access, using device compliance to secure corporate data for shift-based frontline users signing in and out of apps on shared devices. These policies enable organizations to secure their frontline workers and organizational data from identity risk with powerful, adaptive risk detection.
Now Available: Identity – Device Based Conditional Access for Shift Workers
Now, IT admins can now use Managed Home Screen to create a customized sign-in and sign-out experience across all apps, including Microsoft Teams, that participate with shared device sign-out. Improve user experience by customizing a single screen for frontline users to easily sign-in, configure a session PIN for the duration of the shift, and configure timers for automatic sign-out for added security during shift handovers. To see the full list of configurations available with Managed Home Screen, see the documentation.
Frontline workers are the backbone of the world’s economy, and in today’s rapidly evolving landscape, yesterday’s tools are often not enough to get today’s job done. Don’t wait for the future with yesterday’s tools, innovate today with Microsoft Teams and bring all the tools your entire workforce needs into one platform.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.