Microsoft Ignite 2021: My Sessions, 10 for Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

Written: 27/02/2021 | Updated: N/A

Microsoft Ignite is back. It’s been 6 months since the last one – and if I am being honest, it feels like the last one only took place last weekend. Of course, in many ways the last one was really the first – the first in lockdown, the first where it wasn’t possible for us to attend in person – but it was also the first to surpass 70,000 attendees as the remote experience opened it up to a much larger audience who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend. But whether this one constitutes ‘Ignite Part 2’ or is a singular replacement for Ignite the Tour, we all find ourselves returning to the biggest IT pro event of the year at a different time: both in terms of the calendar and in terms of more optimism as we may begin to see a return to a degree of normal life as we know it this year. I, for one, am very interested to see Microsoft’s take on the state of things. Last year, see heard a lot about resilience, about being digital responders and we saw narratives such as accelerating digital transformation to the cloud for business continuity and supporting remote workers as they deal with a spectrum of challenges, including emotional and mental well being. Will we see a continuation of these narratives or will we see a pivoting of this? Jared Spatero’s session The Hybrid Workplace suggests we will and where Microsoft think we will all be operating post pandemic. But what is intriguing is Satya Nadella’s keynote which will be held on AltspaceVR. As much as showing the power of technology and mixed reality, how does this feed into the narrative, and like AI, how in the years to come will we all be using mixed reality day to day within our hybrid workplaces to connect, and get work done. What’s clear from the last year, is we no longer have to be there, and so doing, we ultimately – if we are true to ourselves, may find it is even better than the real thing.

MY SESSIONS AT MICROSOFT IGNITE

Like last year, Ignite is a 3 day rather than the traditional 5. I’m in 9 sessions overall this time around, 1 up from 2020. 2 of these are with Microsoft Learning as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and 7 of these are Featured/Ask The Expert (ATE) sessions which I applied for as a Teams MVP. I am also supplementing with roundtables and a Tech Community blog for Jared Spatero’s session The Hybrid Workplace which I am excited to be writing on after covering Anne Michels back in 2019. I didn’t apply to the Table Talks this time as I had a feeling I’d be in a lot of ATE sessions

I really hope you enjoy all the sessions I am working on and look forward to hearing from you about them

LRN250 | Defend against threats in Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

FS192: The latest innovations with Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

ATE-FS189: Easy, intuitive webinars with Microsoft Teams: Virtual engagement in the age of remote work
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

ATE138-R1: Ask the Experts: Microsoft Certifications
Link: Here
Role: Speaker

ATE-FS192-R1: Ask the Experts: The latest innovations with Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator/Speaker

FS191: Secure and compliant collaboration with Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

ATE-FS191: Ask the Experts: Microsoft Teams Manageability
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

FS191-R1: Secure and compliant collaboration with Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Speaker

ATE-FS191-R1: Ask the Experts: Microsoft Teams Security and Compliance
Link: Here
Role: Speaker (Host)

10 TEAMS SESSIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR AT IGNITE

Unlike previous years, Microsoft Teams is going to have a smaller presence this year at Ignite. Whilst I am speaking and moderating I am also going to be attending most of the sessions on Teams to keep up to speed with the latest developments. Here are the ones which I have got on my schedule which I would recommend to anyone looking to get to know more about Teams. You can also have a deeper look at the sessions in the Ignite Teams Brochure at https://aka.ms/TeamsSessions

The Hybrid Workplace

The Latest Innovations with Microsoft Teams

Easy, intuitive webinars with Microsoft Teams: Virtual engagement in the age of remote work

Meet Microsoft Viva: A new kind of employee experience

Secure and compliant collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Voices matter: Reconnect with Microsoft Teams Calling

Get the most out of Microsoft Teams by integrating your apps and processes

One place for IT Pros to manage Microsoft Teams efficiently

Drive a data culture with Power BI and Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams meeting updates | Deep dive on new presenter and attendee experiences

OTHER SESSIONS I AM CALLING OUT

Whilst my principle focus at Ignite is on Teams, I am professionally interested in pretty much the whole Microsoft 365 stack. Here are some other sessions which I will watch throughout the conference, or be putting into the backpack to roll at a later date

Manage risk and secure information across your environment

Power Automate Empowering the Democratization of Automation

Taking identity and privacy to a new level | Verifiable Credentials with decentralized identity using blockchain

Updates to Microsoft 365 experiences in Teams, Lists, OneDrive, Stream and more

What’s new and what’s next for the Microsoft Power Platform​ ​

FOR MCT’s

Being an MCT Regional Lead it’s really important to flag opportunities for learning. There are 10 Learn Live Sessions which can be found here on everything from Power Apps to Azure Sentinel

Learn Live Sessions

There is also over a dozen intro to technical skills sessions in the catalogue to choose from which can be watched on demand. In addition, you can earn yourself a free Microsoft Exam at Ignite if you decide to take on the Cloud Skills Challenge. The Cloud Skills Challenge can be found alongside more information on the Intro to Tech Skills and Learn Workshops in the Learning Zone here

LAST RECOMMENDATIONS

I would like to wish you all the best for a great Ignite experience! A few tips which may help during the three days given the last one

  • There are a lot of sessions and it isn’t going to be possible to view them all during the conference. There will be conflicts. Use the backpack in order to go back and watch sessions you missed
  • Most sessions have repeats so look at all times as one could be better suited for your schedule
  • Sessions which are prerecorded can be watched anytime, prioritise live
  • Take regular breaks. You would take regular breaks at an in person conference. Stay hydrated and well fed and get away from the screen and stretch your legs
  • Get provisions in terms of eating, drinking and anything else you need so you are well prepared logistically
  • Ultimately, most things will be recorded so if you miss something you can always catch up. Don’t underprioritise family and friends!
  • Try and mix it up! There is a wide range of formats including Sessions, Learn Workshops and Table Talks. It could be more enjoyable to get involved in different sessions as opposed to just breakouts
  • Try to book a least a few sessions in every day, whilst you don’t want to take the spontaneity out of the event, having a few booked in will at least give you some structure throughout
  • Table Talks and Learn workshops are RSVP – book now to avoid disappointment
  • If a session is good, call out the session and the speaker on social and give them a boost for a job well done
  • Keep the conversations positive! We are all hear to have a great time and be together
  • Do technical checks early on Tuesday to ensure you are good to go for the keynote. Remember that the keynote is in AltspaceVR this time around so it’s important to follow the instructions and download it before otherwise you may have issues and miss the keynote
  • Stay in touch with colleagues and friends in Teams and even watch sessions together

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