May 5, 2015

MS Ignite Day 1 Recap

Slalom is proud to have almost 40 people present at this year’s Ignite Conference in Chicago. At the end of each day of the conference, one of our Practice Area Leads, Derek Martin from Dallas will post a recap of the latest and greatest things he’s thinking about as he interacts with Microsoft, other Partners and Customers.

This is definitely not the Microsoft I grew up with! I am so impressed with the general attitude of Microsoft since Satya took the helm. As an avid Microsoft solution architect, I historically felt uber nerd about being the cheerleader that I am. No longer! Whether it is Microsoft’s partnerships in the open source community, Android and Apple with Application and Mobile Development, Salesforce in the cloud software space or…get this…Amazon in Infrastructure as a Service, I am so proud to work with such a resurgent partner in Microsoft. Here are some of the highlights I captured today in the keynote and sessions I attended.

  1. The Core of the Enterprise is Mobility – and the core of Mobility is Azure Active Directory – this stood out so much in everything that Microsoft talked about today and echoes what Slalom has been working with its customers for the previous year on. In order for your workforce to succeed, you must enable your information workers to work wherever they are, on whatever device they have. And that work must be controlled, auditable and secure.
  2. Assume You Have Been Breached – my old adage rings true here that there are two types of companies in the world – those that have been breached, and those that haven’t realized it yet. Microsoft offers great new features to protect the device, the application, and, most importantly, the data. Slalom’s Security Solutions lead with protecting your data, wherever it is and on whatever device it resides. This was shown during the keynote today with the new Azure RMS auditing, compliance and tracking service – with native Windows 10 integration right in File Explorer and Office 2016.
  3. Microsoft wants to empower you to manage your cloud on your terms. This stood out in Mark Russinovich’s presentation this afternoon where he and his colleagues spoke about how the same Azure Fabric and management tools used in the public Azure space would now become available to the on premise ecosystem – known as Azure Stack. Additionally, these management tools, collectively known as System Center 2016, bring unprecedented capabilities to manage your private cloud, your hybrid cloud, your public cloud and your hosted cloud from a single pain of glass – a lofty and impressive goal! What made mouths drop to the floor, however was this: Microsoft has partnered with Amazon Web Services to enable this unified management framework!

There are so many technical nuances that I am still processing, but all in all, today was a great day for those that are constantly on the lookout for what we can learn and do better for our customers. Tomorrow will be another exciting day of announcements and learning – but for now, my brain is about to explode so I’m going to give it a needed break!