I’ve been banging on about the sub-par contacts management experiences in Microsoft 365 for a while now – You could say its a bit of a pet project for me. I have always felt that the Skype for Business and Teams contact experience could be so much more. I wrote this wish list a while back on user voice – please vote if you agree.
This week it’s Ignite 2019, and I made it my mission to hunt out anything I could find that related to contacts. I managed to find a couple of gold nuggets, and I am impressed by what I see:
- Introducing intelligent new people experiences powered by Microsoft and LinkedIn graphs
- Contact management in Microsoft Outlook
Neither of these relate specifically to Microsoft Teams, however it was stated that the so called ‘People’ service is abstracted out so that all of Microsoft 365 can leverage it. There was also a slide indicating ‘coming soon’ to Microsoft Teams:
So as you can imagine I’m pretty excited right about now! (is that sad?)
Whats cool about People?
1. Tight integration with LinkedIn
LinkedIn information is surfaced cross-app directly in the contact card.
2. Detailed Contact Card
A detailed contact card experience is available that provides all the information you might need about a contact including:
- Typical contact information you’d expect
- Organisation chart
- Files that have been worked on recently
- Recent emails
- LinkedIn profile information
- ‘Topics’ allow users to add things they specialise in or are working on so others can find them e.g. a project or subject matter they have experience in
Here’s an example from Outlook:
Expanded view of the same contact card:
3. Pulls contact information from signatures & LinkedIn!
The contact card will pull information about the user from LinkedIn and information found in their signature – mind blown! The example below is a person you don’t know and have no previous information on, yet the contact card is still very rich with information:
4. Centralised Contacts
The People experience will ultimately make your contacts available across all your devices and apps in a consistent fashion – woo hoo!
5. Support for custom properties
The People service will support tenant level custom properties – that means you can add a custom field that can be surfaced in all contact cards no matter the device or app.
For example you might want to add Cost Centre and Employee ID as the example below shows:
Here’s an overview of some of the above and the targeted release:
Wrapping things up
People are at the centre of everything we do, so I think its about time for people and contacts management shine. Looking forward to this being released, and I hope it comes to Microsoft Teams sooner rather than later.
P.S. Apologies for the poor image quality – best I could screen shot from the Ignite session videos