The Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference this year was one of the best yet.
The venue, speakers, city, staff, and so much more were just the perfect mix to host this year. Special thanks to all of those who had a chance to stop by our booth and check out the plinko game. Many people won "cold hard cash" and a few won "Franklins" or "Jacksons" — as put by Alan and Kristian, our expert game hosts and contest announcers. We also gave away many "lucky pens" and other Aware swag. We also gave away 500 shirts — and if you wore it to the special drawing, you had a chance to win one of many Aware branded power-bricks or an awesome Phantom 4 Drone!
All of the giveaways aside, some generous conference attendees decided to donate their winnings to help those in need from Hurricane Irma, which was greatly appreciated.
Did you go to Ignite this year? If so, you are probably inundated with information on Teams, Yammer, New Licensing, Microsoft 365 and so much more. It's hard to sift through the treasure trove of data, but here are a few reflections on some of the important announcements that Aware thinks are critical regarding enterprise social collaboration and messaging.
The messaging around how Teams and Yammer work together was the big question leading into the conference. Everyone was curious on how Microsoft would position these two somewhat similar products. Microsoft’s is now positioning Teams as the "Inner Loop" and Yammer as the "Outer Loop". There is some psychology behind these concepts so let’s take a closer look...
The Inner Loop is the concept of working with your immediate team. Those who are on your core team and those who you are most similar to and may collaborate with the most.
The Outer Loop is the concept of working out loud — so that you can tap into the diversity of ideas in your company to get work done. These are the people that you are less or not similar to.
Getting that clarity from Microsoft is helpful and these concepts help give some clarity on how these products work together. While at the Aware booth, we noticed many customers saying they use both Yammer and Teams instead of just one of those products.
Here are a few additional observations while we were at Ignite in Orlando…
The Yammer team continues to make great strides in building new features that make Yammer feature-rich and safer for collaboration. It's great to see the Yammer team focusing on so many great features that people love. To note a few: GDPR, eDiscovery, and some additional security features are on Yammer's roadmap. More integration with SharePoint connected Document libraries, all of which the Aware team is excited to see. The Graph API is also getting some love with information from Yammer being added there as well. Lastly, more API endpoints will be available which will just make the Aware platform much more feature-rich.
There was a lot of talk around Teams and Skype for Business integration as the product shift will see users soon making calls and meetings from within Teams. The Graph API integration for Teams is not yet here, but will be coming soon. For now, this makes getting any information outside of Teams still challenging, unless you utilize a proxy solution (like Aware!!). Finally, there were a lot of excellent sessions to help attendees understand security practices for Teams, governance, how to troubleshoot, and more.
What did you think of Ignite? Any announcements stand out to you? Let us know by commenting below!
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