May 6, 2015

MS Ignite Day 2 Recap

The second day of Microsoft Ignite was filled with a great amount of summary and some detailed sessions. I've been told that the tech gloves come off on Wednesday so looking forward to some more deep dives! Here's a highlight of the things that I learned yesterday:

Groups Groups Groups! The slightly premature release of Office 365 Groups has received an incredible roadmap, commitment from Microsoft and, very soon, massive wave of new features. Collaboration is about to get so much more easy and unified! Starting with Outlook 2016 with native Groups integration, I get a single pane of glass that shows threaded conversations, calendaring, OneDrive for Business files, and more. What could be better than that? How about group management from right inside Outlook? How about direct, native integration with Dynamics CRM? Powershell management? DLP/RMS? Mobile device support? Third party extensibility endpoints (hook it up to Salesforce) via the Office Graph? A new unified interface based on Delve? How about EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE!
Exchange 2016 - huge standing room only crowd for the announcement of Exchange 2016 in one of the bigger (and slightly dank) theatres I've ever been in - had a box seat for this one :) The session showed that for our on premise customers, Exchange is getting all of the key features we've grown to love with O365 like Groups, SharePoint document integration, better inbox management, searching and more.
OneDrive for Business - I remember not too long ago an internal session where MSFT talked about how they have started investing huge amounts of resources into making sure they get this right. To that end, the new OD4B sync client is going where we all hoped it would - and quickly. All of the great sync experiences we know from the public OneDrive sync client, but adding in things like Encryption, RMS, DLP, auditing and tracking, compliance and remediation and more. It makes sense why they had to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this. The very aggressive timeline for feature release cadence paired with silent upgrade support that we've been learning about with Office 2016 in general means this will be quite a summer for ardent OD4B customers. Hang in there - big things coming very soon.
I also had the great fortune to spend some time with the Hands on Labs learning about some semi-related topics like what's new in Visual Studio 2015 and the language features. One thing that struck me - the emphasis on modern app dev patterns (I can't even remember all the names but nuget was just one small part) is pretty impressive if that is your thing. It's only my thing insofar as the TFS or Git server you might use is VS Online, powered by Azure!

Later in the evening, I was honored to have several clients present at a Slalom party. Was great to connect with so many familiar faces and really enjoyed their company - so shout out to them - you know who you are!

Another fun day in store for tomorrow - stay tuned!