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Microsoft Announces New Ways to Empower Firstline Workers With Office 365

On January 9, 2020, Microsoft announced new ways to empower firstline workers using Office 365. Key takeaways include:

  • Walkie Talkie in Teams: Enables instant and secure voice communication over the cloud, reducing the number of devices firstline workers must carry.
  • Tasks in Teams: Task lists can be targeted to specific locations, from which leadership can track progress with real-time reports.
  • Workforce Management Integrations: Workforce management systems can now begin integrating with Shifts via Shifts Graph APIs and SDK.
  • SMS Sign-In: Firstline workers will be able to sign into their Azure AD account using one-time SMS codes, reducing need for usernames and passwords.
  • Shared Device Sign-Out: Firstline workers will be able to log out of all Office 365 applications with one click at the end of their shift.
  • Off-Shift Access Controls for Teams App: Teams can be configured to limit employees’ access to their app outside of working hours.
  • Delegated User Management: Employees can be enabled to use their phone numbers for SMS sign-in via a portal for firstline managers.
  • Inbound Provisioning from SAP SuccessFactors to Azure: Azure AD now integrates with SAP SuccessFactors, enabling onboarding and managing of firstline workers’ identities at scale.

Source: Microsoft Teams Scorecard at SoftwareReviews. Accessed January 13, 2020.

Our Take

Microsoft continues their investment and support into their Teams offering. In this instance, making Teams appealing to firstline workers shows how central this app is becoming to Microsoft’s Office 365 suite. Teams is no longer merely an instant messaging or web conferencing app. Its broad and growing range of capabilities can be applied to different use cases.

Yet the danger of being too broad in capabilities is that Microsoft Teams will suffer reduced specialization in certain areas. However, establishing a stronghold with firstline workers clearly demonstrates Teams’ usefulness beyond the scope of an office’s four walls. Of course, it is likely that the Walkie Talkie capability will be enjoyed just as much within those walls as outside of them.


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Microsoft Teams Scorecard at SoftwareReviews