Microsoft Ignite Review

After two months of reviewing, finally, here is my Microsoft Ignite Review!

This is all the stuff I gleaned from the various slides (over 800) from Microsoft Ignite.   The conference’s overall focus based on all the sessions\slides centered on the following major topics in what I deem to be in order of importance:

  1. Security, Security, Security (AIP, EMS, ATA, Intune, Windows Defender *, etc)
  2. Windows 10 (Deployment, Apps, Management, and obviously…security)
  3. Office 365 (Teams, Groups, Reporting and Analytics)
  4. Data warehousing and ML processing (U-SQL, R, Hadoop, Azure Data Lake)
  5. Azure IoT – device registration, messages\queues wrapped in data warehouse message processing and BI reporting goodness
  6. Azure Stack (hardware partners, capacity planning, billing, security, network topology)
  7. Azure (Scale Sets, New VM Sizes, New Services, automation and devops)
  8. Exchange (Hybrid setup, multi-domain sync scenarios, security)
  9. Log/Application Analytics of anything and everything (Managing assets, productivity, security, apps, etc)
  10. Dynamics 365
  11. Cosmos DB
  12. Office (Outlook, Excel, Access, Add-ins)

Here’s how things eventually broke down (as of the time I downloaded everything).  As you can see out of the total PPTs, I only gave the best of the best nod to 6%, and gave another 18% the “you must see” nod.  This will significantly speed up your review process.

  • Break Out PPTs – 551
  • Theatre PPTS – 360 – I did not review these, but I’m sure there is some good stuff here!
  • Best of the best – 33 (6%)
  • Must see – 100 (18.1%)

You may take a look and wonder, uhh, where is your ranking?  Yeah, I used to rank them all 1-5, but I just didn’t have the time (believe me, some did deserve a 1).  And since I have caused enough fireworks already for 2017, it was better I just ignore the bad ones.  So here ya go…

The best of the best:

If you just don’t have the time to look at even my reduced set of “good” ones, then I simply suggest you take the time to look at these, they represent the top of the technical content in great formats with lots of information you can use or learn from…very simply, they are “the best of the best” from Ignite!

  1. BRK2059 – Your attacker thinks like my attacker – A common threat model to create better defense
  2. BRK2141 – Taming the Beast – How We Secure the World s Largest Enterprise Cloud Service
  3. BRK2151 – Past, present, and future – GPU and AI infrastructure on Microsoft Azure
  4. BRK2175 – Reimagine what is possible with your videos using state-of-the-art AI technologies
  5. BRK2177 – The Microsoft vision for Blockchain
  6. BRK2195 – What s new and what s coming for Actionable Messages in Outlook
  7. BRK2203 – Protect and control your sensitive emails with new Office 365 Message Encryption capabilities
  8. BRK3051 – Get your enterprise network ready for Office 365
  9. BRK3056 – Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 – Next generation networking
  10. BRK3060 – Defending against malware with robust and practical application whitelisting
  11. BRK3069 – Enhance your security posture on Windows 10
  12. BRK3072 – Halt hackers – Do those tricks still work with Windows 10
  13. BRK3086 – Azure Cosmos DB – The globally distributed, multi-model database
  14. BRK3107 – Enterprise Power BI deployments with Microsoft Power BI Solution Templates
  15. BRK3109 – Experience Microsoft SQL Server 2017 – The fast and the furious
  16. BRK3124 – Manage Microsoft Azure at enterprise Scale – The Microsoft Internal Story
  17. BRK3126 – Stay Ahead of the Cyberattacks with Office 365 Threat Intelligence
  18. BRK3130 – Prepare for the GDPR and data privacy compliance with Microsoft SQL technology
  19. BRK3158 – Design your Exchange infrastructure right (or consider moving to Office 365)
  20. BRK3167 – Tips and tricks with Azure Resource Manager
  21. BRK3186 – Running Exchange hybrid over the long term
  22. BRK3217 – Graph extensions in Microsoft SQL Server 2017 and Azure SQL Database
  23. BRK3241 – Secure your data in Azure SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse
  24. BRK3248 – Exchange Online Multi-Geo Capabilities
  25. BRK3283 – Security and identity in ASP.NET Core
  26. BRK3285 – Going underground – Discovering, exploiting, & defending against covert channels in modern computing
  27. BRK3301 – Let s talk about Conversation Design
  28. BRK3309 – Securing virtual workloads in less than 60 minutes – A live guarded fabric deployment
  29. BRK3317 – Implement microservices patterns with .NET Core and Docker containers
  30. BRK3323 – Modernizing ETL with Azure Data Lake – Hyperscale, multi-format, multi-platform, and intelligent
  31. BRK3354 – Using custom themes and designs to standardize the creation of clean, functional SharePoint sites
  32. BRK4014 – Deep Dive on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Internals (WARNING – highly-technical)
  33. BRK4033 – Deep dive with Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (WARNING – highly technical but oh soo good!)

The best technical session powerpoints that you MUST review are the following:

  1. BRK1023 – System Center for the modern datacenter – First look at advancements coming this year
    1. This has everything in it and the kitchen sink!
  2. BRK1032 – Learn all about running multi-terabyte SAP HANA infrastructure on Microsoft Azure
    1. The size and scale of these systems is just INSANE!
  3. BRK2000 – All about how security keys work in Office 365\Azure Key Vault (Microsoft Managed, BYOK, HYOK)
  4. BRK2015 – Mobile device and app management overview with Microsoft Intune
  5. BRK2018 – Share corporate resources with your partners using Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration
  6. BRK2019 – Productivity and protection for your employees, partners, and customers with Azure Active Directory
  7. BRK2021 – Learn About Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Futures
  8. BRK2039 – Understand how your users are using Office 365 – Introducing Advanced usage reporting tools
  9. BRK2045 – Dive into Office 365 for the US government and defense industry
    1. Everything you wanted to know about government and the cloud!
  10. BRK2053 – Low investment, high reach enterprise experiences using bots and Adaptive Cards
  11. BRK2060 – How Microsoft uses Windows Defender ATP – Welcome to a SecOps world!
  12. BRK2064 – How Microsoft uses a data-driven defense
  13. BRK2074 – Deploying and managing Windows Information Protection (WIP) with Azure Information Protection
  14. BRK2075\BRK2076 – Extending Windows Hello with trusted signals
  15. BRK2077 – Credential protection in Windows – An overview
  16. BRK2084 – Windows Defender Exploit Guard – Reducing the Attack Surface while balancing productivity & security
  17. BRK2108 – Digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack
  18. BRK2109 – Discover whats new with Windows Server management experiences (aka project Honolulu)
  19. BRK2130 – Getting 99.999% availability for my IaaS Service – Running highly available Azure VMs
  20. BRK2143 – Lessons learned from the Azure Stack Early Adoption Initiative
  21. BRK2156 – Self-service BI and enterprise reporting on-premises with Power BI Report Server
  22. BRK2165 – Mars putting Yammer on rocket fuel with bots, AI and analytics
  23. BRK2180 – Delivering simple and powerful serverless business applications
  24. BRK2181 – Accelerate productivity with search and discovery in SharePoint and Office 365
  25. BRK2182 – Take Control of Your Data Protection and Compliance Posture with New Microsoft Compliance Solutions
  26. BRK2186 – Azure API Management – Why, what, how, and what s next
  27. BRK2187 – An overview of Web Apps for Containers on Linux
  28. BRK2188 – Enterprise integration with Microsoft Azure Logic Apps
  29. BRK2190 – Orchestrating one million containers with Azure Service Fabric
  30. BRK2199 – Infrastructure as code – Leverage Ansible and Terraform on Microsoft Azure
  31. BRK2208 – Introduction to Windows IoT
  32. BRK2211 – Azure Media Services and video AI – Building next generation cloud video applications
  33. BRK2212 – Gain visibility into network performance and availability with network monitoring solutions in Azure
  34. BRK2217 – Modernize your on-premises applications with SQL Database Managed Instances
  35. BRK2293 – Understanding big data on Azure – structured, unstructured and streaming
  36. BRK2301 – Configuring Calling Plans in Microsoft Office 365
  37. BRK2317 – Modernizing your remote access – the choices and options available
  38. BRK2319 – It s here, and customers LOVE it! The Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack
  39. BRK2374 – Stop data exfiltration and advanced threats in Microsoft Office 365 and Azure
  40. BRK2394 – How to achieve stress-free OSD with Windows 10 and Microsoft System Center
    1. Gotta admit I had never heard of this company before now.  Migration to Windows 10 is a must as its just so amazing.  This peer to peer migration strategy is very intriguing!
  41. BRK2396 – Protect Azure IaaS deployments using Microsoft Azure Security Center
  42. BRK2425 – Edge functionality gains, security improvements and enterprise compatibility with IE enterprise mode
  43. BRK3002 – Virtualize Office 365 ProPlus
    1. Gotta give kudos to this presentation, information rich, understanding of the topic and lots of links for people who don’t watch the video.
  44. BRK3007 – Decipher delegation – Nine things you should know
    1. Wow would have thought skype delegation was so complex!?!
  45. BRK3008 – Microsoft Cloud App Security deep dive – Learn how to deploy and manage
  46. BRK3011 – Manage and secure Android, iOS, and MacOS devices and apps with Microsoft Intune
  47. BRK3015 – Deep-dive – Azure Active Directory Authentication and Single-Sign-On
  48. BRK3016 – Shut the door to cybercrime with Azure Active Directory risk-based identity protection
  49. BRK3035 – Plan and configure Hybrid Voice in Skype for Business and Office 365
  50. BRK3036 – Understanding Call Queues and Auto Attendant
  51. BRK3053 – Troubleshooting Office 365 identity – How modern authentication works and what to do when it doesn t
  52. BRK3054 – Unleash Office 365 Groups – Deep dive – really best of the best around organization and information for Office 365 groups!
  53. BRK3087 – Azure SQL Database – The world s first intelligent cloud database service
  54. BRK3090 – Microsoft Azure Stack usage and billing
  55. BRK3110 – Globally distributed, secure MongoDB with Azure Cosmos DB
  56. BRK3111 – Keeping your sensitive data secure in Office 365 with Data Loss Prevention
  57. BRK3116 – Integrating Azure Stack into your Datacenter
  58. BRK3118 – Keeping your on-premises data up to date with the on-premises data gateway
  59. BRK3119 – Learn how to use Microsoft Intune with the new admin console and Microsoft Graph API
  60. BRK3121 – Leverage intelligent video to power a collaborative organization with Microsoft Stream
  61. BRK3125 – Advanced Threat Protection for your Office Environment
  62. BRK3129 – Manage hybrid cloud and transform your workplace with PowerShell and Azure Automation
  63. BRK3133 – Quickly find what s relevant and reduce risk with intelligent eDiscovery in Office 365
  64. BRK3134 – Real time data-science with Azure Cosmos DB
  65. BRK3139 – Respond quickly to threats with next-generation security operation, and investigation
  66. BRK3144 – Storage Spaces Direct – Be an IT hero with software-defined storage!
  67. BRK3147 – Kubernetes on Windows
  68. BRK3149 – Understanding Azure Stack architecture and how to capacity plan solution purchases
  69. BRK3185 – Improvements and innovations in calendaring with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange
  70. BRK3189 – Modernizing existing .NET applications with Windows Containers and Azure cloud
  71. BRK3197 – Entity Framework Core 2.0 – Data on server, cloud, mobile, and more
  72. BRK3198 – Monitor and investigate actions on your user and data with alerts, insights and reports
  73. BRK3202 – Modern business processes with Microsoft Graph and Azure Functions
  74. BRK3204 – Azure App Service inside your virtual network
  75. BRK3206 – Accelerating Blockchain application development on Microsoft Azure
  76. BRK3208 – Azure Service Fabric overview and the road ahead
  77. BRK3211 – Microsoft System Center 2016 in action – Customer use cases to implement today
  78. BRK3219 – Meet the most demanding HPC customer needs on Azure with Cycle Computing and Batch
  79. BRK3220 – Microsoft Azure virtual machine infrastructure innovation and automation
  80. BRK3236 – Multi-Geo Capabilities in OneDrive and SharePoint Online
  81. BRK3243 – Migrating to Azure using Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery
  82. BRK3252 – Geek out with the product team on SharePoint lists and libraries
  83. BRK3263 – Secure Exchange on-premises as well as Microsoft secures Exchange Online
  84. BRK3268 – Troubleshooting processes with Process Explorer and Process Monitor – unfortunately you do have to watch the video for this
  85. BRK3274 – Supercharge Your Debugging in Visual Studio – another gotta watch the video one
  86. BRK3277 – DevOps for data science
  87. BRK3293 – How the Portland Trail Blazers use personalization and Acxiom data to target customers
  88. BRK3295 – What s new in Azure Active Directory Domain Services
  89. BRK3300 – Patterns, Architecture, & Best Practices – Scaling Machine Learning Algorithms with Azure HDInsight
  90. BRK3313 – Plan, orchestrate, and tune large resource deployments on Azure IaaS
  91. BRK3316 – Operationalizing Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit and TensorFlow models with HDInsight Spark
  92. BRK3320 – Streaming Big Data on Azure with HDInsight Kafka, Storm and Spark
  93. BRK3336 – From source to production – The latest in open source container dev tools
  94. BRK3375 – Windows Defender ATP machine learning – Detecting new and unusual breach activity
  95. BRK4016 – Getting peak performance from your SQL Data Warehouse column store
  96. BRK4029 – Inside Exchange Online
  97. BRK4040 – Deep dive – Advanced workflow automation with Microsoft Flow
  98. BRK4022 – Exchange High Availability and Storage for Insiders
  99. BRK4023 – Azure ExpressRoute new features, best practices, and customer experiences
  100. BRK4036 – Bot Framework patterns and practices straight from our customer

“Odd and interesting” mentions:

  • BRK1070 – Pretty sweet set of slides and content flow.  Probably not something you will buy or use, but pretty sweet none-the-less.
  • BRK2034 – Succeed with app compat for Windows as a service
  • BRK2136 – Solving your printing problems with Windows Server and Microsoft Azure
    • Didn’t realize printing needed extra configuration in hybrid environment
  • BRK2140 – Yammer as a Platform for Digital Transformation
    • Some interesting slides here
  • BRK2314 – Most apps are not designed this way, but its the next logical evolution for them.  Being able to move your session from one device to another without losing state or data context.
  • BRK2403 – I’m not sure why we need yet another search platform introduced into the Office 365 mix.  I think Ceres works just fine in the context of the Graph APIs…not sure the strategy here.
  • BRK2414 – Extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
  • BRK2415 & BRK2319 – Cisco and Lenovo show off their platform plays for Azure Stack.  They promote these as everything you need to run and get going with Azure Stack.
  • BRK3003 – Moving to a hybrid Unified Communications environment – Based on these slides, I don’t envy someone that has to manage a forest and trying to go hybrid with Skype for Business.  Lots of moving parts!
  • BRK2394 vs BRK3005 – Interesting that you have a Microsoft product for Office deployment, then a vendor presentation that says that they have a better way.  I do gotta admit, I like their way (P2P) better.
  • BRK3063 – Next-Gen AV – Windows Defender Antivirus unleashed – has some interesting stats in here about antivirus and some Gartner comments
  • BRK3077 – Next gen packaging and deployment of Windows apps in the enterprise
  • BRK3083 – Practical data science for a DBA with SQL Server 2017 and Cortana Intelligence – worth checking out if you do any big data style processing
  • BRK3102 – How Microsoft Legal drives down eDiscovery costs with machine learning in Office 365 – You really need an E5 tenant in order to do most of this…
  • BRK3260 – Manage Windows devices in the complex hybrid cloud world of today – not terribly deep, but I gotta say that this was the most well put together, concise and to the point of all the Intune/SCCM/Windows 10/EMS prezos
  • BRK3331 – Azure Service Fabric for Linux
  • BRK3361 – Veeam for the Microsoft Cloud
  • BRK3376 – Managing ongoing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus client health and applications compatibility – check out the readiness toolkit, its actually pretty amazing!
  • BRK4006 – Dig deeply into BranchCache – Learning from the experts – this was soooo funny, I wish I had been there to see this in person!
  • BRK4008 – Azure Cosmos DB, design patterns and case studies for globally distributed applications – what a simple and straight forward view of comosDB use case and micro services of a real life customer

Here are product focused items with various announcements:

  • Office 365
    • BRK1005 – Lots of enhancements in the routes and networking between Office 365 data centers
    • BRK1008 – Enhancements around reports and reporting data, many more data points for analysis.  Service notices that are translated to user target languages. Scoped Admin Roles (Azure Active Directory Administrative Units)
    • BRK1009, BRK2011 – (2011 is the better one), New Roles introduced for Office 365 (Reporting).  Team and Groups reporting in Usage Analytics.  Reporting Graph API.
    • BRK1006, BRK1010 – Office 365 is probably the most accessible (disabilities) cloud based platform on the planet
    • BRK1074 – All about groups.
    • BRK2132 – Love this take on Office 365 Adoption, very well done
    • BRK2181 – Slides 14, 21 and 31 are the best.  Image text extraction, Multi-geo search and Visual Intelligence
    • BRK3133 – Slide 23 tells you about the increase in the limits for indexed Exchange Online and SPO (10 to 250 attachments is exciting)
    • BRK3237 – Create and manage sharing and access policies for SharePoint – check out slide 43 for some feature coming for sharing and access policies
    • BRK3239 – Manage SharePoint using the new Sharepoint Admin Center – slide 25 on the new and coming Admin Center for SharePoint online
    • BRK3248 – Exchange Online Multi-Geo Capabilities – check out all the new cmdlets for the geo default preferred location.  Supposed to be available on 3/2018 – slide 33
    • BRK3359 – Deep dive – Compare SharePoint Designer and Microsoft Flow scenarios – check out slides 36 and 38
  • Office
    • BRK2062 – All about Office Add-Ins.  Excel 1.7 APIS, Custom Functions in Excel, Centralized Deployment for Outlook, Single Sign On for Word, Excel and PowerPoint coming
    • BRK2127 – Interesting tidbits on LinkedIn integration with your profile card(s) – slide 13
    • BRK3182 – =YOUASKED.WELISTENED() join us to learn what s next for Excel add-ins – custom functions are part of the add-ins architecture, pretty cool stuff!
    • BRK3184 – Deploying and using Outlook mobile in the Enterprise – slide 48 has the new stuff coming to Outlook mobile apps
    • BRK3185 – Improvements and innovations in calendaring with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange – this has so much in it it is crazy!!!
    • BRK3216 – How Graph powers intelligent experiences in SharePoint and Office 365 – Check out slide 47 for the upcoming new Graph endpoints
    • BRK3231 – Deploy Microsoft OneDrive across users and devices – Deep dive with the product team – check out slide 4 and 5 for future of OneDrive features adds
  • OneNote
    • BRK1019 – Better consistency across devices. 100+ new features added to OneNote (Insert Meeting Details, Version History, Multiple Windows, Customization Pens, Solve & Graph Math, Ink Effects)
  • FastTrack – basically use it…its free.  Funny thing is that eventually this service will need to scale down and there will be a mass layoff\reorg once you have hit critical mass
    • BRK1036 – Dynamics CRM FastTrack seems to be REALLY hot
  • Azure
    • BRK2130 – So we have moved from just using one cloud to leveraging the cloud for much more advanced availability scenarios.  This really outlines everything you need to know about Azure Availability Sets.
    • BRK2180 – This is a great review of the serverless architecture of new app development.  Information on Functions and Logic Apps
    • BRK2190 – Why you should use Service Fabric and not try to do it on your own
    • BRK3243 – Migrating to Azure using Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery – some pretty cool tools for discovery your on-premises resources and prepping for migration to Azure,  check out slide 41 on UEFI VM migration!
    • BRK3295 – What s new in Azure Active Directory Domain Services – check out slide 45 for what they are “considering” adding to AADDS.
  • Azure Stack
    • BRK2106 – slide 57 has updates on the App Server in Azure Stack Preview 2
  • LogicApps
    • BRK2188 – Nice review of logic apps.  Slide 20 has the Logic Apps roadmap
  • IOT
    • BRK2208 – Really great mapping of Azure security features and some solely targeted at IoT technologies
  • Dynamics
  • Windows Server
    • BRK1038 – Container optimized Nano Server.  .NET Core 2.0 and SMB Support for containers.  Linux containers with HyperV isolation. Windows subsystem for Linux
  • Skype
    • BRK2004 – Some pretty interesting sets of use cases for people moving PBX to Skype For Business
    • BRK2010 – Very interesting information on Skype Call Quality Dashboard reporting and the roles
  • System Center
    • BRK1023 – Hybrid is the name of the game (monitor your cloud resources).  Alerts Management (Intelligent Correlation), Workload Insights (Azure IaaS OS and workflow monitoring), Situation Management future focus.  Azure security.  Nano Server is 78MB, 107MB with .NET compressed!
  • Operations Manager
    • BRK1023 – Web site is HTML 5.0.  MP Updates, 3rd Party MPs (like Solarwinds).  Linux Kerberos support.
  • Data Protection Manager
    • BRK2013 – Instant Restore of cloud recovery points.
  • Virtual Machine Manager
    • BRK2013 – Enhance Storage QOS, enhanced console session. Linux shielded VMs.
  • Yammer
    • BRK2103 – slides 23 and 24 have some good stuff about new features added to Yammer recently.  It’s not dead yet…
    • BRK2165 – interesting usage of yammer data to feed a bot and vice versa
  • SharePoint
    • BRK2422 – Feature Pack 2 brings SPFx to your on-premises farm!
  •  StaffHub
    • BRK2042 – Slide 22, Integration with flow
  • SQL Server
    • BRK3241 – Secure your data in Azure SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse – slide 22, support for MFA at SQL tooling level and definitely check out slide 26
  •  PowerBI
    • BRK3152 – Slide 37, custom visual improvements, filter API for slicers
  •  Security
    • BRK1051 – Some simple best practices when using Azure\Office 365
    • BRK1056 – This thing is a plethora of “oh my god, what do I need to manage” type of view.
    • BRK2001 – A typical anatomy of a security attack
    • BRK2012 – A lot of information about EMS and how Microsoft is securing your cloud apps
    • BRK2015 – Lots of information on Intune.  The coolest slide is #25 where they talk about GeoFencing assets.  Runs through some of the top requests for Intune and when they will be released.
    • BRK2018 – Slide 46 is pretty interesting, type 1,2,3 support of sharing (JIT AAD, JIT MSA)
    • BRK2019 – Slide 9 shows 3rd party apps and Azure AD usage (Google Apps is #1).  Slide 25 shoes RSA, DUO and TruSona are new MultiFactor Auth partners.  Governance partners are Omada, SailPoint, Saviynt.
    • BRK2020 – Slide 10 shows future features for AIP.  Office 365 message encryption (GA). Azure Information Protection convergence to 80+ sensitive information types used in Office 365. Azure Information Protection scanner for on-premises file shares (preview). Microsoft Cloud App Security label and protect Office files in cloud apps (preview). Native labeling experience in Word, PowerPoint & Excel on Mac, iOS, Android and web apps. Native labeling in Outlook on Mac, iOS, Android and web apps. DLP triggers based on labels.
    • BRK2064 – This is probably one of the better takes on implementing security in a Microsoft world presentations that I have ever seen
    • BRK2077 – no real announcements, but really interesting reading of Credential Guard and what it does and does not protect
    • BRK2079 – Really good introduction to Intune, Azure AD and SCCM interconnectivty
    • BRK2129 – Nice high level overview of the various privacy and compliance features in Office 365 (not very deep technically).  The GDPR slides are pretty sweet (39+)
    • BRK2141 – Probably one of the best sessions of Ignite!
    • BRK2182 – The Compliance Manager will be very popular!  Coming in November!
    • BRK3008 – Really great information on using Cloud App Security!  Best prezo on this topic\product!
    • BRK3011 – This was a really indepth session about the future of Intune and IOS and Mac devices.  Must read for anyone that has Mac devices.
    • BRK3012 – Somewhat medium level depth session on conditional access via EMS
    • BRK3013 – The “Access Review” feature is a great new addition!
    • BRK3014 – Some really good stuff in here…definitely take a look
    • BRK3015 – This had to be one of the more in-depth Azure AD auth sessions of the entire Ignite, very well done.
    • BRK3016 – This has some really juicy stats in it as far as hacked accounts\passwords go.  A must read/review.

Things that WERE great:

More Product Engineering Group (PEG) vs Product Marketing Group (PMG)presentations.  You can see this based on presenter titles Program Manager vs Product Manager.  This can be a good and a bad thing, PEG sessions tend to be very technical, but lacking in the presentation skills, whereas PMG is the opposite (with a few notable exceptions).  This year, the PEG presenters were on their game and only a couple sessions showed the lack of presentation skills.  This shows that Ignite was highly technical in nature this year vs highly marketing based in the past.

I love to see MVPs have the oppty to present (real world consulting is way better than just a simple technical presentation any day), and there were certainly a few that got on stage for break outs, but this year had a few small set.  Most seemed to fall into the Theatre sessions, which makes sense.

Things that weren’t that great:

  • The Windows 10 security powerpoints all started off with the same 10 slides, seemed like there was only really 4 slides difference between about 5 sessions.  I’m guessing those could have been consolidated easily and more room made for other content areas
  • Yeah, Windows 10 is awesome, but Ignite went overboard on the number of sessions around Windows 10 deployment…way too many!
  • There were two too many Intune sessions with the same content.
  • Same goes for several of the Azure Stack sessions.  The only you really need to watch\read is the one by Snover and Russinovich!
  • BRK2134 – Having a partner join you on stage that has no idea what they are doing, well, speaks for itself.  This was a disappointment on many fronts especially having a 3rd party vendor join in the session that should not have been there.

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