2017 was a record-breaking year with awesome features released by the Office 365 team. Everyone, whether in the SMB or enterprise segment of Office 365, is amazed to see the capabilities made available in the cloud service of Microsoft.
The way Microsoft presented the services and integration capabilities in Office 365 last year raised the bar on Microsoft expectations in 2018.
Many businesses use Office 365 and its capabilities along with heterogeneous systems. It is important for businesses to ensure the automation process works across systems to create the most efficiency. Based on my experience and focus area, I like to split the Office 365 capabilities in two parts – the business side of features and the underpinned developer capabilities to deliver those features.
I’m lucky to deal with both sides of the Office 365 features. For 2018, my top expectations from the Office 365 platform are:
Business Features –
As I talk to customers and help them realize the potential of Office 365, I believe Microsoft can strengthen Office 365 with more features that help customers across all verticals and sizes use the service more efficiently and effectively.
More AI + intelligence in services
Microsoft has integrated AI + intelligence capabilities with Office 365 including text from image, excel flash fill, and more. These services will improve the way information is accessed and used to collaborate and help us make better and quicker decisions.
Continue improving team collaboration
With Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has started a new era of communication and collaboration. It helped teams focus on working together and collaborating faster to deliver excellent customer service. I would like to see more tools and services integration that improves team collaboration across boundaries.
Make modern tools more accessible
New efforts to create modern web technologies with accessibility features, and at the same time offer these tools on desktop and mobile devices, makes life easy for everyone. I hope Microsoft continues to do that.
Provide clarification for customers
Microsoft has released products with similar functionalities but for different purposes, which can be confusing to customers. I hope Microsoft can release target audience samples for the products to remove these ambiguous states.
More services in the bucket
Based on last year, Microsoft published various useful services in Office 365. I am hoping that Microsoft will continue the trend and will provide more services through the year.
Developer Features –
As Microsoft is investing and making the Office 365 developer platform available to all developers, I would also like to see a few changes in the approach and support for developers:
Improved Office 365 and Azure services integration
Azure and O365 are two side of same coin. Thus, providing more integration on services, and better service communication between the two will help developers build better enterprise grade applications. Microsoft should continue to provide new and improved services in this area.
More API end points in Microsoft Graph API
Microsoft Graph API has been ruling the world since its launch. It will be no surprise if this becomes the only supported API in the Office 365 world.
Support for Office 365 development in Visual Studio
Currently, Microsoft supports various tools to build the Office 365 application. It will be great if Microsoft can continue to support the traditional Visual Studio for its developers.
Improved documentation and samples
As Office 365 and Azure gel well together, they create numerous opportunities for developers to build applications. Thus, it is important to provide information and samples for getting started.
Note: These are my personal views and do not represent thoughts of my employer or of Microsoft.
The above points are my wish list for Office 365 in 2018. Have you heard common feature requests across customers? What’s your wish list for Office 365 this year? What would you like to see happening in cloud world? Please share your comments.