Microsoft Ignite 2018 Recap
Sep 27, 2018
It’s been a busy 2 days! Lots of info, people, experiences, and WALKING! This place is HUGE! 2nd largest Convention Center in the country, spread between 2 buildings and the connected Hyatt. The smaller building is roughly the size of the Morial Convention Center in NOLA. The 2nd building is at least twice that. 7 million square feet. It was literally a half mile walk from the desk where I picked up my name badge, to the desk where I picked up the rest of my packet info and bag.
Started at 6:30 AM local time with busing and breakfast for the 30K attendees. The 4 cafeterias are spread between all 3 buildings.
- The Primary Keynote with Satya (Microsoft CEO) was the “BigDeal” of the day, with the previously mentioned announcement about a data collaboration between Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP, to create a standard cloud platform by which customer data is in a standard format and easily shareable between the various platforms, as well as any other developers who want to join the new standard.
- The 2nd big announcement is the huge push to AI(Artificial Intelligence) in almost every aspect of Azure and Office365. We’ll need to seriously ramp up our Office App classes once course ware becomes available for these features. The 2nd Keynote of the day went fairly deep into this direction with demos. Very cool stuff.
- Spent the afternoon in the main building, bouncing around the convention floor and the 100+ vendor booths (Dell, Intel, Lenovo,etc). Even passed by the New Horizons booth where they tried to give me a t-shirt. LOL
- Had a negative experience here, as they have setup around 8 Expo stages, where they run 30-45 minute sessions throughout the day. The problem is it on the convention floor (NOISE) and they only have seating for maybe 30-50 people, and 300 show up for each session. So, if you don’t arrive an hour early to a session, you’re 10 deep in the back and can’t hear shit.
- Had my first Breakout session in a separate auditorium at 5:00 PM yesterday on What’s New in Exchange 2019.
- Only available for large Enterprise clients through Volume Licensing. All other customers are being driven to Exchange365 in the cloud.
- Will only run on Server 2019, which releases in October
- Exchange 2019 will release by the end of the year.
- I have a bunch of other tech details about the changes to the product, but my gut feeling is we may not be teaching many more Exchange classes. It’s been falling off for a couple of years now as Microsoft pushes Office365 to all but the largest clients.
Spent all day going through Office365 and Windows 10 sessions. These 2 products together makeup what Microsoft calls “Microsoft 365”. This is the driving force and primary direction that the company is wrapping everything around, using the Azure cloud to provide the computing horsepower to run it for any and all customers of any size and need. I had breakfast on Monday with an MCT from Nottingham, England, and a Microsoft Technical Sales rep who works with Defense contractors(Northrup-Gruman) in DC. I sat back and let them talk about their experiences with Azure and Office365. Microsoft has created multiple tiers of Office365 for the Federal Government, DOD, and even a TopSecret silo for DOD.
- First Session today was about the new ways to deploy Office365 ProPlus, which comes with the Enterprise versions of Office365. For each user license, the user can install up to 5 copies of ProPlus on their various desktop/laptop/mobile devices, or use the product fully from a web browser. This is now one of my top priority, front burner projects to plan for us. As a Silver partner, we get 25 licenses at the E3 level. https://products.office.com/en-us/business/compare-more-office-365-for-business-plans
- 2nd Session was a 45 minute fictitious demo of how 2 or more office users would use various devices, from an iPhone, Android tablet, or Windows 10
desktop with Office365 to collaborate on various documents, setup meetings, and overall just do their daily work super efficiently. It was amazing
to watch, and all of these features and tools are available right now.
- 3rd Session was similar, but run by the head of Office Development at Microsoft, Disha Rustogi. Talked about new features of the office
apps, and how collaboration has been enhanced.
- BIG announcement here is that Office 2019 was released yesterday!
- Office 2019 is the latest version of office for non-cloud customers, but will not be the latest version. Office365 will always be latest version as it always gets the newest features and changes, which are constantly being developed and rolled out
- 4th Session today was about what Microsoft has done to address the issues surrounding the constant and fairly painful update/upgrade
process for Windows 10, which they consider SoftwareAsAService, therefore ever changing and upgrading.
- Session focused on best practices for controlling and troubleshooting the update process for Windows 10 computers, and new tools developed
for those processes.
- Spent a decent amount of time talking about how to leverage SCCM to help control the process.
- Session focused on best practices for controlling and troubleshooting the update process for Windows 10 computers, and new tools developed for those processes.
So far, I’ve gathered a ton of info to share with students in Office365, Windows 10 and SCCM classes. Also, I’m going to put together some of this info on Office365 AI so our App instructors can be up to date on this stuff. It’s freaking MAGIC!
I’ve attached a few more pictures, trying to show the scale of the place and the effort Microsoft puts forth to brand its image. Pretty amazing. 14 bus
lines running to and from the Convention Center, each line going to 4-5 hotels in the area. Not including the two hotels connected to the Center.
Overall, walking 5-6 miles a day, tired a hell when I get back to the room, and my brain hurts from the barrage of info. Good Stuff!
I truly wish you all could be here to see, hear and experience this event.