Business Computers & Software Technology

Microsoft Teams Now Empowering Users to Edit Excel Spreadsheets in Real-time; User Productivity Expected to Improve

The software giant Microsoft is reportedly bringing Excel directly into Teams. With the new update, multiple users can collaborate in real-time on a single spreadsheet through Excel Live while in a Teams meeting.

The new Excel Live version will allow users to make edits or update data during a Teams call, and the changes will be reflected in the spreadsheet in real-time, according to techradar.

“Until now, sharing spreadsheets within a Microsoft Teams meeting has been a fairly one-sided experience. You share your screen, and everyone else watches while you navigate through the workbook and update the content. But what if your group could use that meeting time more efficiently to get the work done together? Building on what we’ve learned and the evolving needs of today’s workplace, we’ve created an enhanced collaboration solution for working on Microsoft Excel workbooks—Excel Live—empowering your group to collaborate in real-time within your Teams meetings,” explained a member from Microsoft’s Tech Community.

Excel Live in Teams

Excel Live is built on top of the Live Share feature of Microsoft, described by the company at its Build 2022 developer conference.

Previously, meeting attendees were required to open Excel documents and share their screens. However, this process creates conflict, thus negatively impacting users’ productivity.

The new update of Excel Live will allow owners to choose the workbook file they want to share with others and edit directly while on a Teams call. Upon sharing the file, they can grant editing permission to specific meeting attendees or allow all participants to edit the workbook from the Teams meeting interface.

Microsoft expects the new update of Excel Live will make collaboration on Teams meetings seamless, delivering a frictionless co-working experience. 

In addition, by enabling users to co-edit Excel spreadsheets right from within the meeting window, this new Teams feature will eliminate the need to switch between multiple windows, thus saving time in consolidating content after the call.

The new update has a scheduled rollout date of April 2023 and will be available on PC, iOS, and Android devices. 

Microsoft Striving to Fortify Customer Experience

Microsoft has been working on updating Excel and Teams as part of its effort to fortify customer experience. 

For example, it has recently added a new “@mentions” expansion which is expected to enable users to tag their co-workers, both within their company and outside. 

On top of that, by releasing the spreadsheet software update last year, Microsoft has rectified an obvious drawback dating back several years: Excel users can now drop hyperlinks into comments added to spreadsheets.

To make presentations more accessible, Microsoft has recently introduced the Closed Captions feature with PowerPoint Live for Teams meetings. 

Moreover, Microsoft is poised to give Excel a deep AI boost by bringing out an assistive AI system, FLAME AI. An AI developed for Excel-specific tasks, FLAME is expected to make automation in the Excel app more efficient.

Excel charts have now become the go-to choice for many when it comes to making a large volume of datasets easily comprehensible. By recapitulating massive troves of data in visual form, Excel charts help professionals assess key trends, evaluate key values at a glance, and more. 

However, despite releasing a number of updates, the built-in Excel charts and graphs are still overwhelming to work with. 

For example, formatting functionalities are limited with some types of Excel charts, which make the process of creating professional-looking PowerPoint presentations arduous and time-consuming. 

For professionals who are often required to make PowerPoint presentations with great-looking charts, investing in high-quality add-ins such as think-cell is a sensible decision.

With less formatting and fewer clicks, PowerPoint add-ins enable users to create charts directly in PowerPoint, thus significantly saving working hours. 

Wrapping Up

Microsoft expects the new Excel Live feature in Teams will allow users to collaboratively edit Excel spreadsheets while making file sharing in meetings more seamless than ever before.

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Community Health Systems Completes Divestiture of its Last Hospital in West Virginia for $92M

Tennessee-based healthcare giant, Community Health Systems (CHS), has reportedly divested its 25-bed Plateau Medical Center (PMC) in Oak Hill, West Virginia, to the affiliates of Vandalia Health. Vandalia Health is the parent company of Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC).

The transaction, according to businesswire, was put into effect on April 1, 2023.

Details of the Divestiture

Closed on April 3rd, 2023, the sale of Plateau Medical Center is worth roughly $92M. Besides the medical center, the sell-off includes PMC’s outpatient services, physician clinic operations, and respective assets.

The agreement for the Plateau Medical Center acquisition was inked earlier this year.

“As a critical access hospital, Plateau Medical Center plays an important role in the Oak Hill community and beyond,” said David Ramsey, president and CEO of Vandalia Health and CAMC. “We are excited they are joining CAMC and Vandalia.”

Now that the transaction is finalised, CAMC is about to hold sway over the hospital operations and work with the medical staffers as part of its effort to deliver proactive services to the region. 

“The staff is terrific,” Ramsey stated. “They do a great job of taking care of the community and the patients that come to them.”

Plateau Medical Center

Previously a for-profit hospital, Plateau Medical Center is a certified 25-bed hospital with more than 315 staff on the Oak Hill campus and in nearby clinics. The specialised services it offers are paediatrics, family practice, emergency medicine, cardiology, internal medicine, and general surgery.

CAMC is a not-for-profit organisation; funds raised from the hospital will be used for the betterment of the state and the people of the Oak Hill area.

CHS Continues with Hospital Sell-off

The divestiture of Plateau Medical Center is one of the potential sell-offs CHS detailed on its final quarter and fiscal year-end 2022 earnings call.

With this transaction, CHS has ceased its services in West Virginia. 

The agreement to sell the PCM took shape over two years after CHS had completed the massive divestiture of a hospital program that dropped its hospital count to 79 from its peak at 206.

The CHS now runs 78 acute-care hospitals and around 1,000+ other healthcare sites, including emergency care centres, imaging centres, physician practices, cancer centres, freestanding emergency departments, occupational medicine clinics, and ambulatory surgery centres.

On January 1, 2023, CHS sold Greenbrier Valley Medical Center — a 122-bed healthcare facility based in Ronceverte, W.Va. — to Vandalia Health for a cash consideration of around $85M.

CHS has been selling hospitals recently as part of its effort to improve its financial position while also reducing its heavy debt load.

The hospital giant has encountered significant losses over the past several years, including a $2B loss in the final quarter of 2017. 

Overcoming Divestiture Challenges

Whether it’s a spin-off or an equity carve-out, divesting a business asset is a complex transaction that comes with strict time constraints. 

For businesses undergoing a divestiture, investing in a high-end carve-out consulting service like Fission Consulting is a sensible business decision.

Industry-leading IT transformation services can mitigate investment risk and help businesses make more informed decisions while significantly accelerating the overall separation timeline.

Wrapping Up

Community Health Systems, one of the largest publicly traded hospital companies in the U.S., continues hospital sell-off with the divestment of Plateau Medical Center. With this divestiture, CHS has no remaining hospital in West Virginia.