Microsoft Places Uses AI to Enhance Workplace Coordination

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Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft Places, a new AI-powered application, facilitates seamless coordination of in-office schedules by leveraging data from Microsoft Teams and Outlook.
  • The new Places app offers various features to help employees efficiently manage their in-office time and connect with colleagues.
  • The upcoming integration with Microsoft Copilot promises further optimization by enabling automatic booking of shared desks and meeting rooms.

Microsoft has announced the public preview of a new application called Microsoft Places. This new AI-powered app leverages insights from Microsoft Teams and Outlook to help employees synchronize their in-office time.

Microsoft first unveiled the new Places app during its Ignite conference in October 2022. With Microsoft Places, users can specify their office hours and locations, and coordinate schedules with colleagues seamlessly. This feature works like the “set your work location” functionality available in Google Calendar.

“AI innovation is already improving how you work; improving where you work is the next opportunity, “ said Jared Spataro, CVP for AI at Work. With Microsoft Places, an app that reimagines flexible work, AI can make coordinating in-office time and connecting with coworkers even easier. In addition to fostering improved coordination and connection, Places optimizes the effectiveness and engagement of the workplace.”

Microsoft Places Uses AI for Enhanced Workplace Coordination
Microsoft Places location plan (Image Credits: Microsoft)

Microsoft Places includes a location planning section that allows employees to set and monitor their own and their colleagues’ location schedules. Additionally, the team guidance feature lets managers designate priority days for in-office activities. All location information seamlessly syncs with Outlook calendars to help employees keep track of office events.

In Microsoft Teams group chats, users can easily view the location of their colleagues. Moreover, they can simply type “@nearby” to promptly inform coworkers of any updates or changes in meeting rooms. Microsoft notes that IT administrators have opt-in/opt-out controls to manage presence information, which specifically pertains to in-office locations.

Microsoft Places to get new Copilot integration

Later this year, Microsoft plans to integrate this new Places experience into Microsoft Copilot. This new feature will let users ask the AI assistant to automatically find and book shared desks and meeting rooms. This capability should help to reduce the administrative work in hybrid environments.

Microsoft Places Uses AI for Enhanced Workplace Coordination
Copilot integration in Microsoft Places (Image Credits: Microsoft)

It’s important to note that the new Places app will be available for commercial customers as a part of Microsoft Teams Premium. The subscription is priced at $10 per user per month, with a current promotional offer of $7 per month for new customers available until June 30, 2024.

The launch of Microsoft Places is a part of the company’s efforts aimed at helping organizations adapt to the new hybrid work era. The upcoming Copilot integration, slated for release in the second half of 2024, promises to enhance the app’s utility for businesses even further. Microsoft invites customers to enroll in the Microsoft Places Preview Program via this page.