Microsoft Ignite is Tech on Tour. An incredible opportunity to tap into the latest developer tools and cloud technologies. It’s a place for developers and tech professionals to connect and learn, and remind ourselves we are part of a global community.
This years’ Ignite on Tour travels to Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul and Mumbai – most recently landing in Sydney. We sent Stuart Moore, Insync Technology Director of Sales and Marketing, and Nathan Belling, Insync CEO, along with five of our tech team to check it out and report back. With over 100 deep dive sessions and workshops they were spoiled for choice and came back with a few absolute gems about where we’re at and where things are heading.
The word on the MSFT scene
It’s been confirmed: on-premises deployments are dead and the mad dash to the cloud continues. Of course, in reality plenty of organisations still deploy on-premises or hybrid solutions. If this is you then you should definitely be looking into Windows Admin Centre as your server management portal. It provides a wide-angle lens on IT assets across cloud and on-premises.
Azure Automation is dominating Azure infrastructure deployments. And the push for serverless solutions is ongoing.
In terms of apps, Microsoft Graph is the whole story for the Microsoft Public Cloud, enabling massive customisation, configurability and programmability for modern workplace tasks. And Windows Autopilot is the foundation for any modern desktop deployment.
The current hot button issue is (as ever) security, with multi-factor authentication and biometrics getting wider adoption across platforms over traditional user and password options.
Upcoming tech to whet your whistle
We are always on the lookout for the newest tech that will make a significant impact in the Modern Workplace. There were three areas to note at Ignite that we want to draw your attention to:
- Video conferencing getting smarter and simpler
It’s always tricky maximising spaces so video conference users can use any device and connect from anywhere. Look out for Logitech Tap and Crestron Flex and how they’ll simplify deployment, management and analytics for any conferencing app including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and others.
- Advances in remote deployment
Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure is looking very promising for its potential to solve a number of issues in this space. Organisations with older operating systems will benefit from Win10 modern desktop and insights from the cloud.
- Hot solutions for analytics and bot integration
Number one is Graph API. It’s everywhere and will soon be mandatory for all analytics, web hook and bot integration. It’s a super exciting space as Microsoft Teams beta APIs are also looking very good for templated deployments.
The good oil from some great conversations
Quality insights: Stuart and Nathan had a lot of good conversations with our core vendors about improving the employee engagement experience with new innovations. With demonstrated positive links between employee experience flowing through to a customer experience, this is such a key area for our customers and it was great to get some up to the minute insights to ensure we are delivering quality physical and virtual workplace solutions in this space.
Hidden secret: A lot of IT professionals are not taking advantage of PowerShell when they could and should be for their day to day practices and business as usual tasks.
Missed opportunities: A surprising number of IT professionals aren’t leveraging the full capabilities of their licensing. This seems particularly in case in terms of fairly simple but crucial things such as setting up Conditional Access, simple password blocking and setting up alerts via Azure Security Centre. Get on it people! Use what you have to your full benefit.
Top three takeaways
There was a stack of interesting and useful information to be found at Ignite. Hard as it was, we made Stuart and Nathan choose (and then agree on) their top three takeaways to pass on.
- Automation: Start using Azure DevOps with Microsoft Graph API for reproducible and change documented deployments using build pipelines.
- Security: Identity as a Control Plane is huge and growing in focus. Deploy Windows Admin Centre and Windows Server 2019 for customers for total visibility over on-premises and cloud assets.
- Communications: Hosted Direct Routing is starting to be a good viable alternative to Telstra Calling for Office 365, particularly for global operations across different countries.
It’s all about the Modern Workplace
The biggest takeaway of all was just how intense and exciting this space of the Modern Workplace is right now.
It’s absolutely being driven by employee experience and how this also flows onto customer experience.
From compliance to identity driven security, physical workspaces through to digital workplace technology there is so much on offer and so much being made possible via the Microsoft product suite.
Get in touch if you want to know more about to accelerate solutions at your modern workplace Microsoft.