Microsoft Ignite 2018 – Day 4+5

All over, what an experience, I can’t explain it, so you’ll just have to come here and see for yourself next year.

I haven’t been capturing every session or breakout I attended in this series, just the most notable or interesting topics. I’ve steered away from simply repeating the content since this year all of the sessions were streamed live and most were also available on-demand within minutes of the session ending. An incredible technological feat considering the sheer amount of sessions scheduled at Ignite.

The down-side – I’ve walked just over 9km per day average.

The up-side – I managed to meet most of my ‘online friends’ for the first time in many years of knowing them. And also made some new friends too.

A special mention to the following people for making me feel welcome in this strange land, from the first night out on Saturday in Orlando before Ignite, or joining together on Sunday to shoot stormtroopers, and throughout the week either with a nod as we pass in the hallways as we both hurry to different sessions, or invites to parties and gatherings after-hours, all taking the time to catch up and introduce me to loads more of their friends from around the world.

  • Jonathan McKinney
  • Pat Richard
  • James Arber
  • Justin O’Meara
  • Sean Werner
  • Carolyn Blanding
  • and the guys from TE-Systems

And so many more people I met along the way. Thank you all.

Day 4

As the week comes to an end and things start to wind down, the last day of the Expo Hall (Thursday) seems to be the busiest day so far, with people wanting to get the latest vendor updates and hints at new products on the last day as people get tired and no doubt a few NDA items slip out.

Back to the sessions…

Since most of the big headline announcements were made on Monday, with a few more trickling out Tuesday and Wednesday, but the last two days of Ignite is where the tech details comes out. With more level 300 and 400 session from the experts.

Microsoft Teams Architecture Update

Working with Microsoft Teams, as a cloud service, can feel a lot like you’re out of the loop, you really don’t need to know how things work, you just turn it on and use it. If it doesn’t work, there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

Although understanding how all the components of the various services hang together is really valuable to gain that level of understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. If you’re the type of person with a curious mind, then this session would be great to watch – unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available on-demand – and there are a few comments suggesting there was problems streaming it too. Hopefully that will get resolved and uploaded along with the slide-deck soon.

Building a community-led tech event using Microsoft Teams

This was a really interesting session, about the real-world usage of Microsoft Teams and how it enabled 4 individuals from different companies to come together and collaborate on all things towards creating a community-led conference… “Comms vNext”

With Josh Blalock (@GetCsJosh) presenting and talking to his co-founders Pat Richard (@PatRichard), Jonathan McKinney @UComsGeek, and Adam Ball (@AdamCBall) about all the various features in Teams that they found useful, and which functionality was less than ideal but how they managed, for example, when they started this process Planner didn’t support guest access, it was still a useful tool (guest access is supported now b.t.w.)

It was a real journey of passion for those guys starting from absolute zero experience in community-led events management (their own admission), to having around 100 attendees maxing out the rooms they had arranged. I’d call that a success.

Next year they have bigger plans, and they’re still using Microsoft Teams to oragnise it all.

Understanding Yammer and Teams

As I said in my previous blog post, this topic is the ‘next big thing’ since Microsoft announced that Teams would be replacing Skype for Business Online. although last time around there was very light fight. This time it seems there is much more guidance published around the use-cases – although the final answer on which should be used is basically “it depends”. The first question is around the size of the organisation, if it’s more than 2500 – then the answer for enterprise social is Yammer. Below 2500 and there are more questions, especially with the highlighted roadmap announced.

This session was presented by Jason Wynn in the Expo Hall, a short 20-minute thought-provoking session looking at the high-level difference between the two platforms, and expanding on the inner and outer loop analogy with the statement “Yammer gives you the wide-angle lens, and Teams lets you focus on the centre”. But, again, no conclusion either way, it’s not a decision that can be made without knowing your particular organisation or business needs.


Microsoft booked out the entire Universal Studios and Adventure Land resorts just for the Microsoft Ignite attendees on Thursday night from 7pm until midnight. But that didn’t mean the place was empty, it was probably just as packed as any other day, but no kids in sight! Although the excited screams of 30,000 geeks was still something special to behold.

Day 5

Friday was a short day, with the last sessions ending around 2pm.

Deep Dive on Office 365 Direct Routing

This session had a great level of detail for the more tech-focussed people, and covered every scenario including how combining Direct Routing and Calling Plans on the same account works.

Ignite and Microsoft Teams News

A news-style round-up of the week’s news delivered by Tom Arbuthnot, Josh Blalock, Pat Richard, and Ståle Hansen. Recapping on the new announcements and highlights from this year’s Ignite as it relates to Microsoft Teams.

Troubleshooting Microsoft Teams

I have worked with Carolyn Blanding quite a lot this year, and I have been looking forward to this session. Carolyn and Bryon provided a tongue-in-cheek role-play through various end-user issues and how to go about troubleshooting them and using the various logs and other sources of information to pin-point what the issue is.

Ignite on Tour!

Also announced was Ignite on Tour! Offering 100+ deep-dive sessions and workshops over 2 days per location.

Mini-Ignite will be visiting the following cities around the world.

  • Berlin – December 6-7th 2018
  • São Paulo – December 11-12th 2019
  • Toronto – January 10-11th 2019
  • Singapore – January 16-17th 2019
  • Tell Aviv – January 22-23rd 2019
  • Johannesburg – January 28-29th 2019
  • Milan – January 31-Febuary 1st 2019
  • Washington, D.C.- Feburary 4-5th 2019
  • Sydney – Feburary 13-14th 2019
  • Hong Kong – Feburary 20-21st 2019
  • London – Febuary 26-27th 2019
  • Amsterdam – March 20-21st 2019
  • Dubai – March 27-28th 2019
  • Seoul – April 3-4th 2019
  • Mexico City – April 10-11th 2019
  • Stockholm – April 24-25th 2019
  • Mumbai – May 22-23rd 2019

That’s going to be some huge airfare and hotel bills for a whole bunch of travelling MVPs!!!

Hopefully I’ll get the chance to visit the London one at least.

That’s all folks!

Oh wait, that’s Warner Brothers, and not Disney. Anyway, Ignite is over for 2018. The good news is that next year, Ignite will be held in the same location in Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida on November 4th till 8th 2019.

Thanks for reading…

One Comment

  1. Oh Hai!
    Glad we made you feel welcome.
    People that spell colour correctly have to band together you know.

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