With 2017 in the rear view mirror, we are excited to see what’s in store for Office 365! There were many major announcements in 2017 from Microsoft across the board for their applications and platforms, but there is always room for improvement. In this article, we explore our 2018 Office 365 Wish List.
Our Top 5 2018 Office 365 Wish List
Office 365 has made large strides towards being mobile responsive. The overall user interface is tightly packed within the Office 365 platform. Office 365, if you were not aware, is made up of various web pages on the internet. As such, we would love the ability to add direct icons to web pages to desktops, iOS and Android devices with a click of a button. Yes, this will encourage certain people to make a mess out of their devices, but the experience wouldn’t be much different than managing ‘Apps’ within smartphones. This would allow users extremely quick access to their favorite aspects within Office 365.
Embedding Photos and Videos
Sticking with the mobile theme, smartphones have almost become synonymous with taking photos and videos for many people. Wouldn’t it be great if those photos and videos could be easily added to Azure or SharePoint applications? Going one step further, how about showing the photo or a video preview within the application itself? Yes, there are ways to accomplish this by using the right types of fields (rich text media) and then browsing to go find the file… and then you need the right layout to see the displayed image or video, but doesn’t that sound like a lot of steps to simply embed photos or videos?
Eliminate Boundaries and Thresholds
The web based world is quickly becoming a boundless arena. Space? Not an issue. Speed? Not an issue. Security? (Mostly) not an issue. There are however a few archaic thresholds and boundaries especially in SharePoint that need to be dragged likely into the 21st century, let alone 2018. You would think looking up user related information would be easy to be used within applications by now. Or that 5,000 items in any list or library would have been dealt with in 1995. No, both of those require some moderately technical adjustments to be dealt with to this day. There are many other offenders, but these two are likely the worst. This may very well be the most important request on our 2018 Office 365 Wish List.
One of the greatest things that is happening in technology is the ability to quickly integrate with other data and applications. Power BI and Flow are both making large strides in how even a junior power user can go get information from other applications as well as interact and automate between them all. With all these great features, why isn’t this being heavily promoted? Flow especially can connect to hundreds of different APIs. We will be showcasing some of these through our own website in 2018, but you would think Microsoft would be showing this to every business user to get them more engaged in Office 365.
Tighter Overall Offering
It’s not secret Office 365 has A LOT of tools now. SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Office 365 Groups and on and on. We wrote a Decision Tree article recently to help everyone out in this area. Microsoft really needs to clean this up and hopefully not introduce even more tools with overlapping functionality. It makes for a very confusing experience and one that is hard to explain. There are good uses for all of them, but why not make one of them the “gold standard” instead of having 5 “silver standards”.
What Will 2018 Really Bring?
The Office 365 Roadmap continues to be very busy! Some of the above is being addressed, but the dates are still TBD. LinkedIn integration with Office 365 will be an eye opener, especially in the Dynamics CRM world. There is a lot in Development that alludes to healthier promotion of integrations and at least knocking down barriers between Office 365 productivity tools to make them even more fluid. We are really hoping our 2018 Office 365 Wish List becomes a reality. A little bit of renaming and better explanations and 2018 looks to be a bright year for Office 365!