Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Microsoft Ignite 2015 (Event) recap

Last week I attended the first Microsoft Ignite event in history. With 23.000 attendees the event was SOLD OUT and hugh! Instead of TechEd and Management Summit (MMS) before, Microsoft want to bring all IT Pro's to one single event. Therefore focus on Azure/Cloud, Server/Client, System Center/Intune, SQL/Visual Studio, Exchange/ Office 365 and SharePoint could all be found on one event. Personally I don't like the idea to have all those people on a single event, because networking will be more difficult that way. Let's have a look at announcements done and some pro's & con's on the Ignite event.

During the keynote an impressive line-up on speakers went on-stage: Satya Nadella (Global), Joe Belfiore (Windows 10), Gurdeep Singh Pall (Office/Skype), Julia White (Office/Skype) and Brad Anderson (Cloud/ System Center). Some other speakers went on stage as well.

Let's have a look at the announcements first:
-Windows Server 2016 (next preview) – available now
-System Center 2016 (next preview) - available this week
-SQL Server 2016 – in preview this summer
-Microsoft Azure Stack – available in preview this summer (demo)
-System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview for managing Windows 10
-Outlook conditional access and MAM with Microsoft Intune will be enabled in Q2 (demo)
-Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) - Announcing availability (demo)
-Azure RMS Document Tracking - Public preview (demo)
-Azure AD Cloud App Discovery - General available (demo)
-Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) - Public preview (demo)
-Azure AD Privileged Identity Management - Public Preview

Let's have a look at my personal pro's on the event:
Microsoft did a good job on organization, having a first event with 23.000 attendees is not that easy. A lot of things went fine after all.
-Picking up name badge and bag before the event is handy
-Pre-conf sessions seems to be great (I did not attend myself)
-Keynote was awesome on speakers and announcements
-Location was great, Chicago is a perfect city for an event like this
-Expo hall was really big and a lot of interesting stuff there
-Shuttles between hotel and conference location was easy to use
-Closing party was really nice to attend, great food and music
-Next year Microsoft Ignite will be held in Chicago again!

Now let's have a look at my personal con's on the event:
Beside Microsoft did a great job on some parts, there are parts that can be better. Lot's of people are complaining about the same stuff.
-Food on the event was really bad, no normal food to find here
-Security people where shouting a lot, especially during lunch
-Technical level on sessions was to be ashamed of, level 300 sessions where most of time between 50-200 and contains almost no new stuff. I skipped more sessions then I ever did on MMS (attended 3 times)
-Almost all content on keynote and sessions-on-demand are global available, given the fact that you can better stay at home and watch it from there? (or watch them at a later moment)
-No roundtable sessions like on MMS before, where you have open discussion sessions and more room for networking and knowledge sharing (evening sessions anyone?)
-Sometimes sessions where overbooked 20 minutes before start, given annoying situations. Why not use the same on MMS before, where you can book a session, and claim a seat till the session starts?
-The only hands-on lab I did, was not working and contains markups

Hope that Microsoft will listen to all feedback mentioned, so next year it will be even better. Personally I hope there will be a System Center event again somewhere in future, or choose an event like Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NIC), System Center Universe (SCU) or Midwest Management Summit (MMS) instead. My '2 cents' :-)

More blogposts on Microsoft Ignite:
Microsoft Ignite general attendee registration is SOLD OUT!
My scheduled sessions and product focus on Microsoft Ignite
Microsoft Ignite day 1 (Keynote) recap
Microsoft Ignite day 2 (Breakout) recap
Microsoft Ignite day 3 and 4 (Session) recap

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