Last week at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, tens of thousands of IT professionals gathered as Microsoft unveiled over 150 new announcements. From the multiple updates for existing platforms to the new and impressive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities, Microsoft impressed the masses with their efforts towards enhancing workflow and optimizing productivity in the workplace. In our post event regroup, we selected several key highlights and takeaways from MS Ignite.
#1: Continued Focus on Cloud
With the introduction of Microsoft’s Azure Arc, arguably one of the event’s biggest announcements, customers will soon be able to realize the benefits of a hybrid cloud platform. This means that all of your Azure data services will be able to run and be managed on-premises, at the edge, and in your multi-cloud environments. From anywhere, at any time, customers can use Azure to manage and control their resources across multiple environments. This is especially key for software developers, IT administrators, and cloud architects.
#2: New Tricks for Teams
Customers have asked, and Microsoft is delivering. Teams will soon be rolling out a myriad of new features that will help enhance general User Interface (UI). Just like the features in Skype for Business, users will soon be able to double click on any chat window to pop it out to a separate window. This feature that has been missed greatly by customers who have made the switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, and is now happily making its return. MS Teams will also now allow private channels to exist within individual Teams. This means that not everyone within the team will have access to certain channels, but that they can still exist in the same team environment. Another exciting feature to launch soon is Virtual Consult. Just like when you visit the doctor’s office or an insurance adjust or for a consultation, you will now be able to have a virtual consultation with an IT professional, while using Teams as the backend.
#3: Creating New Business Solutions with AI & ML
Microsoft has announced many new features for their digital assistant, Cortana. Yes, Cortana has the new ability to speak with a male voice, but more importantly, it can now act as your own personal voice assistant. This is especially exciting for commuters that like to stay up to date while on-the-go. Want to listen to your emails on your morning metro ride into the office? Cortana can read them to you. Want to take it step further and respond to those emails on your drive home? Cortana can write while you dictate. The application can also flag and delete emails, as well as give you a summary of events on your calendar.
Another announcement that received a notable amount of attention was Project Cortex, the first new service launched in Microsoft 365 since Microsoft Teams. This service will use advanced Artificial Intelligence to deliver expertise and insights into the applications that you use every day. It will provide a simple way for you to search across a lot of different content that you’re creating and storing in the Microsoft ecosystem. No matter where your content is stored, Project Cortex will allow you to search in one place for all related information. It will also gather related content to create one big knowledge “hub”. Essentially, it optimizes your ability to search for content, saving you time and enhancing your results. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in his keynote, this is “putting your data to work for you.”
SoftwareONE at Ignite 2019
Even through the busy week that was Ignite 2019, it quickly became obvious that we are in for some exciting changes in 2020. And while Microsoft was busy unveiling some pretty big announcements, SoftwareONE was sharing our own with the thousands of attendees that visited our booth, attended our expert sessions, and experienced our live demo’s.
Microsoft is encouraging transformation by guiding customers to the cloud, introducing plenty of opportunities and areas for growth. For SoftwareONE, this means delivering on and evolving a services practice that has been developing for over 30 years. Our biggest takeaway from Ignite 2019 was realizing that we are the best partner for organizations embarking on their digital journeys. Our solutions and services are already in place to help customers remain as agile as Microsoft’s overall strategy.
We look forward to the months ahead and can’t wait to see you at Microsoft Ignite 2020!
Announcements Impacting Education from Microsoft Ignite 2019
With innovation and security being hot topics in the education arena, we were confident that Microsoft was going to release some news around product updates for the education field, to which they delivered. To review these announcements and learn how they could impact your school, register to join our webinar on Friday, November 22nd.
We want you to be aware of the newest releases as you begin to plan for the upcoming year!