A brave new world: the latest Office 365 AI updates

Enterprise cloud computing is growing rapidly. By 2020, cloud-specific spending is expected to grow more than six times the rate of general IT spending. This investment in cloud technologies has meant that once-distant capabilities are now available for business use. Suddenly, things like artificial intelligence are a workplace norm.

For example, for cloud applications like Office 365, there have been multiple AI deployments that work to help people operate more collaboratively and efficiently, without the need to donate more time.

Here are four Office 365 AI updates you ought to know about:

MyAnalytics for Office 365

For increased productivity, Microsoft has deployed MyAnalytics in Office 365 to help you visualise and interpret data in a more digestible way. It uses AI and machine learning to pull data together, which is generated based on your behaviour across the Office 365 suite.

Previously called Delve Analytics, this new AI update helps you and your teams understand insights into how you’re working. As a result, you can recognise how you spend time at work; across meetings; answering emails; the time you designate as ‘focus time’ and time spent ‘after-hours’. It all helps you become more productive.

Ideas in Excel

Ideas is a recent AI update for Excel. In short, it lets you understand your data through the use of visual summaries, trends and patterns. To use Ideas in Excel, you can highlight specific data points and click on the ‘ideas’ button, which will then use AI to analyse your data and show you interesting visual summaries.

This is a great way of understanding areas of data you might not have considered to be valuable. Perhaps there’s a correlation between two data points you haven’t spotted, or you didn’t take note of important outliers. Ideas will help you understand how your data is connected.

Language translations in Word for Mac

Microsoft recently published a series of Office 365 updates on their website, one of which was new AI capabilities in Word for Mac.

Mac users can now translate portions of text or entire documents into more than 60 different languages, including 11 neural machine translations, which use machine learning to translate a word like a human would, so your sentence doesn’t lose context.

Word for Mac also comes with Resume Assistant (CV Assistant for us Brits), which helps you create more engaging CVs using personalised insights on LinkedIn.

Draft Sync

Microsoft has released an AI update that lets you sync your email drafts between multiple devices automatically, reducing your need to rewrite emails.

Given that more than half of the UKs workforce will be remote working by 2020, Draft Sync means you can pick up where you left off from on your mobile, for example, so you can continue to work while you’re out and about, without having to start again.

A brave new world

Understanding how to make the most of these AI updates in Office 365 can be a daunting task. Quite often, new updates can have you feeling like your elderly grandmother at a computer – overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.

With Cloud Direct, however, we’ll show you the ropes, so you can get the most out of these updates. With a little help, you can work smarter and harder without having to sacrifice any of the precious time you need to drive the business forward.

‘Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today.’
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.