Looking Forward to Ignite 2018


Off to Orlando

Any Ignite conference is a mixture of naked hyperbole, grand announcements, and gallons of Microsoft Kool-Aid pumped out in an incessant feed of information directed at the 26,000 attendees. People can listen in around the world to the live-streamed sessions, but there’s nothing quite like being at Ignite. It’s not just the conference sessions or the carefully-scripted Microsoft keynotes; it’s the noise and bright lights of the technical exhibition, the people in the community area, the contacts who you’ve lost touch with only to meet again outside a session room, and the parties. All the parties hosted up and down International Avenue from Monday to Friday, where free drink and food is paid for by Microsoft and other companies eager to make your acquaintance. Overall, Ignite is a blast.

This year’s event takes place next week at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando. According to Microsoft, 57% of the attendees are IT Pros and 10% are developers. The rest are managers, other IT professionals, and the like. Apart from the Satya Nadella keynote, the event is concentrated in the West building of the OCCC. This will make it much easier to get between sessions and other important gatherings, like Community Central.

Today’s Petri.com article covers the Office 365 sessions. I could be accused of being too hard on Yammer, but my perspective is that you can run an Office 365 tenant without Yammer and not miss the technology, but it’s bloody hard to run a successful Office 365 deployment without Exchange Online. In any case, we’ll see what news is released at Ignite about all the Office 365 workloads and report back here as we integrate updated information into the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

Wait Before Writing

Don’t expect to see everything announced by Microsoft at Ignite 2018 turn up in the next update for the book. We have been bitten too often by the excitement generated by a grand announcement about new technology, so we will wait and see features turn up in our tenants before we will document anything.

In fact, we’re still waiting for some of the features announced last year to turn up, like the LinkedIn Integration with Office 365 (deployed to a small percentage of tenants). There have been other “big bets” that fizzled out, like the Knowledge Management Portal announced at Ignite 2015. The old adage of “one bitten, twice shy” makes us cautious when we hear about new technology, so we will take our time to assess, understand, and then document new features.

If you’re in Orlando, please be sure to come along and talk to the Office 365 for IT Pros team. We can guarantee that we’ll turn up to speak at our sessions, but aside from that, who knows where we will turn up.

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