9.20.Paragon.Mircosoft.Ignite.2016.jpgAs my colleague Stephen O’Conner so eloquently states in his blog article On the Road to Microsoft Ignite 2016, Microsoft IGNITE 2016 is coming up quickly. Stephen and I and Geoff Lewis from Paragon Solutions will be attending this year. We will learn more about Microsoft’s ecosystem and ongoing strategies going forward.

From my perspective, I’m especially interested in a handful of topics:

  • Anything Office 365 relative to how business teams can best take advantage of newer features and functions.
  • The concept of “Groups” and how to drive collaboration and knowledge sharing through groups.
  • Microsoft’s vision for the Internet of Things (IoT) and what that actually means
  • Delve (as usual) and Microsoft Sway – I’m looking for real life examples and best practices.
  • How the Microsoft stack can support knowledge management, the flow and stewardship of knowledge, and life cycle of knowledge.

I admit I shy away from the overly technical sessions, as I’m more interested in business uses, business applications, and innovative ways to connect people to people, and people to knowledge. There are a number of features in SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 that just have not seen the uptake as expected and I’d like to understand those better to see how these features can be used more effectively (Delve, Sway, Office Graph, integration with Outlook, etc.

zzzdelve2.jpgI’m looking forward to presentations on Delve, Groups and Sway for this reason. In fact, several session abstracts caught my eye, especially the following.
  • Microsoft Office 365 Groups uses the best of breed functionality of many Office 365 services like e-mail and calendars from Outlook, files and OneNote from Microsoft SharePoint and tasks from Planner. With all this functionality, where should you start and how can Office 365 Groups help your business? The session gives an overview of what Office 365 Groups are, and covers and demonstrates use cases like event handling, marketing planning, educational use as well as social media handling, where Office 365 Groups can be a good fit for your organization.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is experiencing exponential growth fueled by ubiquitous connectivity and the rise of cloud computing. In a world of disrupt or be disrupted, is your organization ready to embrace IoT? In this informative session, we explore the IoT opportunity for enterprises and the critical role of the ecosystem and platforms in IoT implementations. We bring it to life with real-world solutions and case studies spanning multiple industries. The examples we feature are all powered by Accenture's Connected Platforms as a Service, an open and broadly deployed IoT platform architecture, integrated with and optimized for the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite.

If you have not looked at the session list, please do and send us a comment or observation about what you are interested in hearing about during Ignite. Visit https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions.  Our team will provide post-ignite blogs and other messaging to highlight key announcements and interesting things we have learned. Stay tuned!