Jim Spignardo and Matt Burcke attended Microsoft Ignite on behalf of iV4 to soak up as much as possible by attending in-depth technical breakout sessions and hands-on labs.
By: Matt Burcke, Senior Technology Consultant at iV4
Microsoft Ignite 2019 is in the books, and it was a fantastic week of learning from the brightest minds at Microsoft. Microsoft Ignite, for those unfamiliar, is Microsoft’s premier technical conference that is held annually in the fall.
One of the most rewarding things about Ignite is that attendees have access to the product managers, developers, and support staff across the gamut of Microsoft technology, from development tools, infrastructure, and cloud solutions. Often, Microsoft saves product announcements for Ignite, which adds to the excitement since attendees are finding out first, and that in turn, allows attendees to ask questions and dive deeper into the just-announced technology solution(s).
It’s extremely beneficial as this allows iV4, with our long-standing partnership, to be at the forefront of Microsoft technologies and to continue to educate our clients on new solutions and changes for the next 12 months and beyond.
In no particular order, here are the top 5 highlights from Ignite:
1. Azure is The ‘World’s Computer’
It was apparent from Satya Nadella’s vision keynote on Monday that Microsoft sees Azure as their path to sustainability. Throughout the week, it was fantastic to see their commitment to the Azure platform exhibited by the multitude of product announcements and their investments in the platform from a footprint and infrastructure standpoint.
From a small beginning in 2010, Azure now has 54 Azure regions across the globe, with 140+ data centers, giving it the largest global reach.
Throughout the week, I saw a major focus on open integration from Microsoft with a rich partner ecosystem. Having been in IT for over 20 years, I’ve seen a paradigm culture shift within the last ten years at Microsoft, a partner-friendly, more open company that wants to solve real-world customer challenges.
I attribute a lot of this to CEO, Satya Nadella’s, vision and execution of the Microsoft strategy. Having attended several VMware on Azure sessions, it’s apparent that they don’t mind what technology workloads run on Azure. Microsoft Azure is their solution stack for any sized customer.
Given what I saw in the last week, I fully expect Microsoft to continue with its strategy of working with partners to bring even more solutions to the Azure platform.
3. Device Management
Device management saw a major rebranding announcement with the launch of Microsoft Endpoint Management (MEM). Endpoint management solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)) and Microsoft Intune are now part of the Microsoft Endpoint Management suite. Modern Management has cloud Intelligence at the core, improves security, and helps IT prioritize. For SCCM customers, they can now use the features of cloud endpoint management from the Intune without having to purchase separate licensing.
I fully expect Intune to make further inroads into all sizes of organizations becoming the default device management solution offering compliance, security, and device configuration.
Security continues to a major focus for a good reason. There were many new announcements, but one session that I attended focused on information protection capabilities in Microsoft Teams.
New announcements such as Information Barrier (IB) segmentation (to prevent information disclosure between departments within regulated industries), information redaction of Teams messages during eDiscovery cases, and policies for filtering out offensive content in instant messaging communication will be a welcome addition for organizations that need to adhere to regulatory requirements.
Also, there was a heavy emphasis this year on including a diverse selection of technical breakout sessions on Azure and Microsoft 365 governance and compliance. It’s evident from their capabilities with solutions such as Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, and continued improvements to both Azure and Microsoft 365 Information Protection.
5. Business Intelligence
Is your organization all-in with cloud-based technology to solve real business challenges? From Business Intelligence based solutions such as the recently announced Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents allow your organization, without dedicated development staff, to easily provision rich business solutions that are customer-facing. The power of the cloud allows dramatic improvements to operational efficiency and alignment of technology solutions to meet real problems.
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) was another major focus from Microsoft for the week with a multitude of dedicated sessions and representation in the exhibit hall (aka The Hub) where many partners proclaimed support for hardware and software-based solutions for WVD from assessments to implementation. Thin clients vendor, IGEL, announced their first-to-market Linux based thin client that natively supports WVD.
Summary: It was a fantastic week at Microsoft Ignite spent with 28,000 other individuals who were all there to learn from the brightest minds at Microsoft, to network with their peers, and take back what they’ve learned to their respective organizations in order to execute on Microsoft’s vision.
Over 20 miles of walking across four days, I can’t wait to get back there next year!
Pictured: Matt Burcke, Senior Technology Consultant, iV4; Jim Spignardo, Cloud & Data Center Team Lead and Senior Technology Consultant, iV4
Pictured: Jim Spignardo, Cloud & Data Center Team Lead and Senior Technology Consultant, iV4; Matt Burcke, Senior Technology Consultant, iV4
By: Matt Burcke, Senior Technology Consultant at iV4
iV4 + Microsoft
iV4 has been delivering Microsoft Cloud Solutions since its inception, with tens of thousands of users successfully migrated to Office 365 and workloads exceeding 200 TB migrated to Azure.
iV4 is a Microsoft Gold Partner, a two-time Microsoft Partner of the Year Winner, and a Top 200 Microsoft Solutions Provider.
We operate with a cloud-first mentality and are proud to be one of Microsoft’s top partners.