Artificial Intelligence

Discover the Newest Improvements to your Retail Employees with Microsoft Groups

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As we ring within the begin of 2024, we’re gearing as much as showcase a number of latest improvements throughout Microsoft Groups on the annual Nationwide Retail Federation (NRF) convention, happening January 14th – January sixteenth in New York Metropolis.

We’re saying new options designed to allow retailer groups to effectively meet clients’ expectations and enhance the retail expertise on this new period of AI.

Hold studying beneath for the newest product and have capabilities coming to Groups to assist simplify operations and allow first-class retail experiences for all retail staff – together with the frontline.

Enhanced Retailer Staff Communication and Collaboration

Route bulletins to frontline groups by location, division, and function
Goal vital bulletins to the proper frontline workers based mostly on location, division, and job function info. Focused bulletins will floor on the Groups house expertise so your frontline workers won’t ever miss an vital communication. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable in March 2024. Study extra


Enhance frontline teamwork with auto-generated function and division tagging
Attain the proper particular person on the proper time with computerized tags to your frontline groups. Tags for division and job roles could be configured and created mechanically to your frontline staff within the Groups Admin Heart. Frontline workers can leverage these computerized tags of their frontline groups to attach with the proper particular person each time. This characteristic will probably be in public preview in February 2024. Study extra.


Carry solutions to communities for simpler info sharing
In Viva Interact in Groups, solutions from Q&A conversations will now be obtainable in communities, higher enabling frontline staff to simply supply wanted info. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable January 2024.

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Monitor how worker engagement drives enterprise efficiency
Additionally coming to Viva Interact in Groups, community analytics will deliver AI-powered theme extraction and worker retention metrics to customers to assist improve insights into workforce dynamics and assist drive knowledgeable choice making. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable in February 2024. Study extra.

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Mechanically hear push-to-talk transmissions from a number of channels
Frontline staff utilizing Walkie Talkie in Groups now have the choice to mechanically hear incoming transmissions from any of their pinned favourite Groups channels. With this new characteristic, customers can keep higher linked to a number of channels while not having to change channels manually. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable by finish of month. Study extra on get began.

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Use any generic wired (USB-C and three.5mm) headset for immediate group communication on Android
Frontline staff typically must immediately talk with one another even when their telephones are locked. We built-in Walkie Talkie in Groups with audio equipment companions to make this expertise attainable with the devoted push-to-talk (PTT) button on headsets, which immediately brings up walkie talkie for clear and safe voice communication. Along with choose specialised headsets, we’re excited to announce that Walkie Talkie in Groups will now work with any generic wired (USB-C and three.5mm) headsets on Android. So long as the generic headsets have a management button to play/pause or to simply accept/decline calls, frontline staff can faucet the button to start out and cease transmissions on walkie talkie. Frontline organizations will be capable of simply begin utilizing walkie talkie with lower-cost generic headsets. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable beginning February 2024. Study extra.


Streamline Retail Retailer Operations

Permit frontline groups to set their shift availability for particular dates
Frontline staff will now have the pliability to set their availability preferences on particular dates, enhancing their skill to handle distinctive scheduling wants. This added characteristic enhances current choices for recurring weekly availability. This characteristic is obtainable in January 2024. To study extra about latest enhancements to Shifts in Groups, learn the newest weblog – Uncover the newest enhancements in Microsoft Shifts.

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Simply deploy shifts at scale to your frontline
Groups admins can now standardize Shifts settings throughout all frontline groups and handle them centrally by deploying Shifts to frontline groups at scale within the Groups admin heart. You possibly can choose which capabilities to activate or off like (exhibiting open shifts, swap shift requests, provide shift requests, day off requests, and time clock.)


Admins also can determine schedule house owners and create scheduling teams uniformly for all frontline groups on the tenant stage and create schedule teams and time-off causes that will probably be set uniformly throughout all frontline groups. Your frontline managers are capable of begin utilizing Shifts straight out-of-the-box with minimal setup required. This characteristic is at the moment in public preview and will probably be typically obtainable in March 2024. Study extra.
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Streamline Groups deployment to your frontline and handle at scale
Whether or not on account of seasonality or the pure turnover seen on the frontline in retail, simplifying person membership is essential to easing administration wants. Now typically obtainable, Microsoft has added new capabilities within the Groups Admin Heart to deploy frontline dynamic groups at scale to your complete frontline workforce. Via the facility of dynamic groups, group membership is mechanically managed and at all times updated with the proper customers as folks enter, transfer inside, or go away the group utilizing dynamic teams from Entra ID.


This deployment instrument streamlines the admin expertise to create a Groups construction that maps the frontline workforces’ real-world into digital world and makes it straightforward to arrange a constant channel construction to optimize for robust frontline collaboration on day one. Accessible in February, clients can use customized person attributes in Entra ID to outline frontline and placement attributes, with extra enhancements that make it simpler to assign group house owners by including a folks picker to the setup wizard.

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Map your operational hierarchy to frontline groups
Admins will be capable of arrange their frontline operational hierarchy to map their group’s construction of frontline areas and groups to a hierarchy within the Groups Admin Heart. Admins also can outline attributes for his or her groups that vary from division info to model info. The operational hierarchy coupled with this added metadata will allow frontline apps and experiences sooner or later like job publishing. This characteristic will probably be in public preview in January 2024. Study extra.

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Leverage generative AI to streamline in-store shift administration
Retailer managers also can determine gadgets comparable to open shifts, day off, and current shifts with a brand new Shifts plug-in for Microsoft 365 Copilot. Microsoft 365 Copilot can now floor prompts and retrieve insights for frontline managers leveraging knowledge from the Shifts app along with person and firm knowledge it has entry to comparable to Groups chat historical past, SharePoint, emails, and extra.  This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable February 2024. 

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Automate and simplify company to retailer job publishing
With job publishing, now you can create an inventory of duties and schedule them to be mechanically revealed to your frontline groups on a daily cadence, comparable to each month on the fifteenth. When you publish an inventory, the duty publishing characteristic will deal with the scheduling and be certain that the record is revealed on the desired cadence. This characteristic is beneficial for duties that must be executed frequently, comparable to retailer opening and shutting processes or conducting periodic inspections and compliance checks. This characteristic will probably be typically obtainable in March 2024.

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Publish a job that everybody within the group should full
This new functionality gives the choice to create a job that each member of the recipient group should full. Organizations can assign duties like full coaching or evaluate a brand new coverage to all or a particular set of frontline staff. The duty will probably be created for every employee on the designated location. This characteristic will turn into typically obtainable in March 2024.


Require extra completion necessities for submitting duties
Whenever you create a job inside the job publishing characteristic, you could have the choice to request a kind and/or picture completion. Whenever you publish that job, every recipient group will probably be unable to mark the duty full till the shape is submitted by a member of the group. This ensures that the duty is accomplished correctly by every group member.

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Moreover, with approval completion necessities, organizations can maintain frontline managers and their groups accountable for verifying the work was executed to plain earlier than reflecting that work as accomplished. This enables a company to extend consideration to element and accountability for vital duties. These options will turn into typically obtainable in March 2024.|

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Safe and Handle your Enterprise

Simplify authentication with domain-less sign-in
Since a single gadget is commonly shared amongst a number of frontline staff, they should sign-in and out a number of occasions a day all through a shift or throughout shifts. Typing out lengthy person names with a website is susceptible to errors and could be time consuming. With domain-less sign-in, frontline staff can now sign-in to Groups faster utilizing solely the primary a part of their username (i.e., with out the area), then enter the password to entry Groups on shared and corporate-managed gadgets. For instance, if the username is or, customers can now check in with solely “123456” or “alland”, respectively. Thiis characteristic will probably be in public preview in January 2024. 

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We’re excited to share extra updates and new options all through the calendar yr. To study extra about how Microsoft Groups empowers frontline staff, please go to our webpage to learn the way.


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