What a year this has been! No, that does not sound right. What a strange year and exceptional this has been. I expected 2020 to be full of wonders and technological leaps while having some fun there as well. I am not mentioning the elephant in the room and due to that many of us missed seeing wonders in different countries and having fun with community friends – and meeting new ones. But we did got
because we had to adapt to the current situation and tech was the enabler for us to do so. Microsoft Teams usage leaped and skyrocketed and product groups in Microsoft made their products and features better in all fronts possible to accommodate to the growing needs people faced everywhere in the world.
Microsoft Teams Product Group got to be very innovative and introduced several great improvements and features to Microsoft Teams like Together Mode to reduce meeting fatique, which just got updated with new scenes, AI noise cancellation to make meetings more enjoyable to everyone and NDI that allows to create virtual stages with Teams. Microsoft Teams as a Platform and additions like Dataverse for Teams enable the quick way to extend Teams to meet different business needs. What about adding applications to meetings and what potential it unleashes on business scenarios AND extending meetings to be more interactive and fun. And I am not even going into details about little robots I like so much and see them as a tool to take load off especially from IT and HR but also to create a chatty interface to various services and backend systems the employees need (Power Virtual Agents & Power Automate). Feel free to browse this blogs different posts about Microsoft Teams to learn more. And looking for the year 2021 the roadmap looks super cool and exciting.
Being in touch with the community ❤
grew in amazing numbers for me. Being part of the Teams Nation (earlier known European Teams User Group and TeamsFest event) has put me to a role where I am the main organizer of Monthly Meetups while also co-organizing Teams Nation Community Conference 26th of May 2021. Yes – put that date to your calendar. Also you want to put in the 25th of January 2021 Monthly meetup event because you will get some exciting news about the Conference in it! Or even better: join our Teams Nation meetup group and stay up to date about our events (+ you can add them to your calendar).
Collaborating and organizing Teams Nation with Chris Hoard, Adam Deltinger and Chris Webb has made us four really good friends. It is kind of a flash back in to 90s and IRC era when – at least I had – friends I didn’t meet until some year later if ever. This time I had the pleasure to meet this bunch and a lot of other people at Microsoft Ignite 2019.
On top of the Teams Nation I am also the main organizer of Teams Community Finland so I calculated I was the organizer or co-organizer in total of 19 monthly community meetings during 2020. Thank you my #TeamsFi co-organizers Matti Paukkonen, Karoliina Kettukari and Hilla Mäntyomena! All these community works are much more fun when you get to do them with other people – in a true teamwork fashion.
Our next Teams Community Finland meeting will be awesome with Microsoft speakers. My Finnish understanding readers- you do want to join this meeting. We will also have some Microsoft Teams SWAG available for lucky attendees who win them in the draw!
During 2020 I also participated in 22 different events to my calculations. I had a total of 53 public speaking occasions!
The only two events I had a pleasure to attend on site were Scottish Summit 2020 in Glasgow and Techdays Finland 2020 in Helsinki.
Those were the days and I am afraid it will be some time before I get to speak in front of the in-person live audience.
To me the audience in virtual events is also live – unless it is of course a pre-recorded session.
But the community is all about people. I had such a pleasure to meet so many new friends in all these different events – first in Glasgow, then in Helsinki and for the rest of year virtually in much much more different events. It would not be fair to start listing people here because the list would be a long one and I would surely miss someone. You know who you are –Thank You all!
You made the year 2020 and this awesome community grew in together in new ways since we “met” each other several times more virtually than we would have in in-person events. If you don’t know who these awesome people are: check out my networks in Twitter and LinkedIn and start collaborating with us.
This blog had love as well
and it was shown in the number of visitors who visited the blog to read my posts. I am glad my posts have been helpful and you have come back again to read new articles. I will keep on posting during next year also to keep you informed about Microsoft Teams and overall Microsoft 365 features – there will be posts about Power Platform now and then since it is very deeply connected to Teams these days and they are more than #BetterTogether.
The “who we shall not name” affected the visitors count in my blog a lot since the need for information started to grow very fast in March when the world switched to the new mode. I am happy I was able to play my part with the information I have in this blog to help out people in the need.
To the year 2021
What is going to happen when the world clock changes one year forward? What is the next year going to be alike? I suspect we will be continuing to see each other virtually for most of the year anyway.
There are already on-site events scheduled for Summer 2021 and I hope they will happen but it is no means assured yet. We will meet virtually at Microsoft Ignite 2020, some of us will meet virtually in the MVP Summit and many of you I hope to meet virtually at the Teams Nation Community Conference (free to attend!) but also in many many other events.
Let’s not give in to the online event fatigue but instead use that opportunity to connect and meet in the virtual lounger, community zone or whatever that space is called in different events. **insert inspirational music in your mind to this one**
Check out my schedule and come to say hi!