Microsoft Ignite September 2017 – Day 1

Ignite day one-01

26 Sep Microsoft Ignite September 2017 – Day 1

As ever, Ignite is massive: tens of thousands of attendees, hundreds of sessions and tens of announcements.

On day one I have attended various sessions and the following are the key takeaways from those sessions:

Vision Keytone

Digital Transformation

Microsoft is aligning to four areas that will deliver four key objectives:

  • Modern workplace
  • Business applications
  • Applications and infrastructure
  • Data and AI

Will deliver the following objectives

  • Empower employees
  • Engage customers
  • Optimise operations
  • Transform products

 Mixed Reality

A demonstration of how Hololens can be used as the way to join a meeting using augmented reality if you are in the primary location and virtual reality if you are remote.  And videos of the meeting will be recorded and stored in Teams, so the whole experience is seamlessly integrated for all members of the Team.

Bing for Business

The ability to integrate Bing with Office 365 allowing users to search content in your intranet and the internet.  Content that can be searched includes people, pages and documents.  Bing for Business will also allow integration with Line of Business applications, with a demo being shown with expenses being displayed through Bing for Business.

LinkedIn Integration

As expected since the purchase of LinkedIn, the graph of users, relationships and events is starting to be integrated into all Office applications, in particular, when you are having a meeting.

Quantum Computing

When you need a PhD to understand the conversations during a vision keynote, it is a sign of big changes in the pipeline.  Those changes are being prepared for through the use of Azure simulations to allow developers to start to learn how to program against Quantum computers.

Empower IT and Developer productivity with Azure

PowerShell in the web

The Azure interface now allows PowerShell commands to be typed in from any device, and they were keen to point out that this includes iOS, so you can use your iPhone to write and execute PowerShell against Azure.

ColumnStore in all editions of SQL 2017

The ability to create ColumnStore indexes against tables in SQL Server is now available in all editions of SQL.  This has previously been an enterprise capability for high volume, high performance workloads.

Azure SQL DB Managed Instances

This capability will allow all on-premises SQL capabilities to be migrated to PaaS SQL, including linked databases and CLR.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning Workbench is a tool that will speed up the preparation of data, design of the model and deployment of the model.  Machine learning models can be created and then deployed to pretty much anywhere using Docker: Azure, AWS, GCP, On Premises or Edge devices.

Cosmos DB

The planet scale database that can be queried with multiple different languages such as SQL and Gremlin is now able to trigger Azure Functions.

Azure Cost Management

New features and functionality to allow the interrogation of costs have been launched in Azure.  This will allow cross-tenant querying and the ability to identify more easily the spikes that cause additional costs.

Yammer Vision and Roadmap

So much was announced in this session!  In short Yammer is not dead, it is being integrated more tightly with SharePoint Online and is being developed to focus on three key scenarios:

  • Organisation
  • Community
  • Initiative

 Local Data

Yammer will be rolling out to local data centres.  This process will be completed by the end of 2018.

SharePoint Integration

Instead of storing files in Yammer, a SharePoint document library can be used instead, based on the Yammer Group being related to an Office 365 Group.


It will be possible to move a conversation from one group to another.  The conversations will support rich text and embedded content such as videos.

Long Term

The next year will bring changes like

  • Scheduled posts
  • Official responses
  • Richer analytics
  • Q & A features such as best answer
  • Archiving of groups

Teams and Skype for Business

New unified admin centre

All features of both products will be managed in one admin centre.  This will allow control over the transition from Skype for Business to Teams through management of the user experience: both, or one.  When users are migrated, their settings in Skype for Business will be imported into Teams so they retain their contacts, and their settings.

So that’s it for day one.

About the author
Alan Eardley

Alan Eardley, ProSci, MCP, CSM, PRINCE2, P-TSP, has nearly 20 years of experience working with web-based, data-driven solutions and brings a wide understanding of the way that solutions can provide benefits to an organisation. Alan has extensive experience of delivering Office 365 and SharePoint solutions, and he has been involved in different types of solutions ranging from public facing branded sites, through to technically challenging Line of Business portal solutions. Alan has a widespread knowledge of database development, configuration, high availability, disaster recovery and business intelligence. In combination with a broad understanding of infrastructure including networking, virtualisation, clustering, load balancing and licencing, Alan can provide a clear view of how Microsoft technologies can be best used to provide tangible business benefits.

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