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Sep 25

Ignite 2017 – Day 1

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to swing a trip to Ignite this year which is a real pity as this year there’s been some great announcements already on Day 1, with the real meat of the SharePoint and OneDrive announcements to come during Jeff Teper’s session tomorrow.

Whilst not all of the content is available by stream, the main keynotes where the bulk of announcements are made are available and todays bought a few announcements that I wanted to call out here.

  • Microsoft 365, the new all encompassing license option that covers Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility & Security is being expanded to include the Education Sector with Microsoft 365 Education and also the FirstLine workers with Microsoft 365 F1 to support the typically deskless worker. This announcement also included information about a range of commercial devices running Windows 10S starting at around $275. More information can be found in the blog post here.
  • LinkedIn Profile integration – Following the aquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft last year, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see integration between the various Microsoft services. In Office 365 this is taking the form of the new Contact cards, currently rolling out to First Release tenants.

Modern-workplace-1

 

  • No surprise to anyone who’s been around social media over the last few weeks, Skype for Business is changing with Microsoft Teams providing the main focus for Unified Communications in the cloud. Teams will become the primary client for what Microsoft are dubbing “Intelligent Communications” in Office 365 by building on the existing Voice and Video capabilities with a healthy smattering of Cognitive and Data Services. One of the great demos was meeting recordings, with an intelligent search bar, allowing you to skip to points of the recording where a certain person is talking. (More info can be found here.)
  • The Office 365 Adoption pack is going to hit General availability in early 2018 with a name change. it will be known as “Office 365 Usage Analytics”. Analytics for Microsoft Teams is also starting to appear, with a new card on the Reporting Dashboard. A full roll-out of this will take place during October. One of the big changes that will affect some of my customers, is the announcement of a new Reports Reader Role that can be assigned in the Office 365 Admin portal. Rolling out this week, this change will remove the need to make the people responsible for adoption and reporting Global or Service Admins just so they can access the analytics information in your tenant. This is a big plus and a one of the key asks from my clients that focus on using least privilege security models. (Again more information can be found in this post by Anne Michels.)
  • With a big focus on GDPR in the UK and Europe, it’s no surprise that Microsoft are throwing their hand in with some compliance tool announcements at Ignite, in this case with the Compliance Manager preview program. This program seeks to enable organisations to manage their compliance requirements from one place, performing real time risk assessments on cloud services, providing actionable insights to help improve capabilities and simplifying compliance processes with audit ready reporting tools. (More details and the sign-up link for the preview are here.)
  • Another benefit from the LinkedIn integration is access to a whole load of Office 365 ITPro and Admin training from LinkedIn Training. Links to this will start appearing in the Admin portal soon (or by visiting support.office.com). All you need is an active Office 365 subscription to use the benefit.
  • End Users and power users shouldn’t feel left out though, as there’s also a bunch of training now available from the Office 365 Training Centre. These video titles cover everything from the basic of Office 365 to advance topics like templates in the Office client tools. See the Support.Office.com for more details.

 

Today has been packed full of information from Microsoft and this is only a highlight of the data that’s been broadcast from Orlando, Florida during the US business day today. I’m really looking forward to the SharePoint and OneDrive information that’s coming out tomorrow and will aim to publish my favourites tomorrow evening!

Have fun.

Paul.

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