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Microsoft 365

From new capabilities in Viva Goals to Loop—here’s what’s new in Microsoft 365

We’re innovating across Microsoft 365 to help organizations adapt flexible work, reduce costs, and do more with less. This month, we’re introducing updates to Microsoft Viva Goals that let you share objectives and key results (OKRs) right within the flow of work in Microsoft Teams. We’re also introducing Microsoft Loop components in Outlook, customizable templates for Whiteboard, and enhanced polling in Teams. And, to complement our new and existing capabilities, and help you more quickly understand and optimize your Microsoft 365 apps, we’re also introducing new advanced deployment guides that let you understand which tools are right for you and your business.

Let’s dive in.

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New Viva Goals capabilities drive clarity and alignment

Viva Goals is making it easier than ever to keep everyone in the organization aligned on the most important priorities to drive business outcomes with new integrations in Teams. Now, you can create, edit, update, and share OKRs with teammates and across the wider organization right in a Teams chat, while staying in the flow of work.

The new Viva Goals integration in Teams makes the connection between goals and daily work easier than ever.

New, richer analytics capabilities in Viva Goals now enable organization administrators to view OKR adoption metrics across the organization. With just a quick glance you can see active users and the total number of users who are working with the tool and measure the progress your team is making toward its goals.

We’re also making it easier than ever to get started with Viva Goals with new capabilities to create and set goals. If you’re standing up a different kind of goal or starting a new team and don’t have baseline metrics to shoot for, you can use the Phased Target feature. This new capability—broadly available this quarter—gives leaders flexibility to adjust their goals as new data becomes available. For more specifics about all the integrations and features Viva Goals just announced, check out the Tech Community announcement.

Collaborate more easily in Outlook, Whiteboard, and Teams

Updates to Outlook, Whiteboard, and Teams enable people to work together in real-time across apps, sharing ideas, and collaborating more effectively in a flexible work world. Let’s drill down:

Microsoft Outlook

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Loop components in Teams chat is now available in Outlook for Windows and the web. You will be able to make changes in Loop directly in the body of an email and have these updates stay in sync across Outlook and Teams chat. This means any @mentions or shared Loop components will be shared with you through email, and you can add your edits directly in Outlook without having to open another app.  

A Q&A Loop component shared through email and updated with the team.

Saving and sharing templates in Microsoft Whiteboard now allows you to create and save customized layouts and content that can be used to create new whiteboards quickly and efficiently. This new capability can be especially useful if you frequently use the same types of whiteboards or have a specific layout that you want to use as a starting point for new whiteboards. Users can share that template with other individual users and distribution lists. Save and share customizable templates in Whiteboard will be generally available soon for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers..

A Microsoft Whiteboard template customized by a user, and saved onto the “My templates” section in the Whiteboard app.

Microsoft Teams

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Polls for Teams meetings is evolving to increase connections among meeting attendees and to let managers more efficiently gauge employee sentiment. With Polls for Teams meetings, you can engage with meeting participants in a variety of ways, make decisions quickly within the meeting, and encourage interactivity to keep the momentum going. The new multi-question poll allows team members to ask numerous questions with just one click, while the instant poll lets you get immediate feedback—no writing or prep needed. Images can now be added to all question types including word cloud, quiz, rating, and ranking polls.

These new polling capabilities are now available. Download the Polls app in Teams meeting today.

Optimize your Microsoft toolkit with advanced deployment guides

Finally, the quicker admins can understand what each employee needs to thrive in their role, the faster they—and the employees they’re supporting—can get to work. Now Microsoft 365 offers guidelines to make this process more efficient.

Microsoft 365 advanced deployment guides on Microsoft 365 Setup (a companion to similar deployment guides in the Microsoft 365 admin center) are self-service tools that help customers successfully plan, deploy, and manage Microsoft 365. Based on Microsoft 365 deployment best practices, the guides help organizations accelerate time to value, minimize deployment time, and free up admins to focus on other tasks. The experiences include a series of setup guides or wizards that provide customized advice for evaluating, planning, and deploying cloud services as well as built-in automation to configure the services.

The updated design of the site with new areas to find guides by product or scenario.

The advanced deployment guides are available now.

Looking ahead

We will continue to innovate and introduce new capabilities across Microsoft 365 to help everyone stay connected, productive, and aligned on the most important work while reducing cost and complexity for IT professionals.