23rd June 2021
With so much happening this week in Orlando at the Microsoft Ignite 2019 event, it can feel like information overload as Microsoft announces new product after new product.
We wanted to take the opportunity to separate the hype from the real key information that our customers should be taking on board. So, what are the main “game changing” announcements that we can all get excited about?
Customers have been frustrated that they have not had the tools to manage their hybrid cloud environments from one central place. With Microsoft announcing Azure Arc this will enable management of resources across multiple cloud providers such as AWS and Google Cloud.
This is a key move from Microsoft as it now enables you to stay within Azure for management no matter what cloud systems you are using.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager
For some time Microsoft has had a conflict of products with System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Intune. These products enable management of PCs, mobiles, laptops and tablets as well as deploy applications and operating systems to them. Microsoft has announced an amalgamation of these tools with Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This is an important development as now a single tool can not only perform these tasks but also existing SCCM users can gain access to the modernised functionality that Intune brings.
One large takeaway from this year’s event is the integration of Microsoft AI technology into many of their new and existing products. Project Cortex is a great example of how AI can bring important and relevant knowledge to specific users fingertips across Microsoft products. Cortex effectively uses AI to create “Knowledge Networks” which include files, calendar appointments, videos and much more.
New AI integration into Outlook to boost productivity such as the ability for Cortana to read emails aloud and manage your calendar. This is bringing artificial intelligence in play and will also expand into Teams in the near future.
With Microsoft, Stream Microsoft are also using AI to unlock content in videos, including meeting recordings and help with the creation of short videos from mobile devices and share in Yammer (now in Teams) and PowerApps
Microsoft acquired Mover last month just in time to launch it for Ignite 2019. This is an important acquisition as Microsoft are making it easier to migrate file data to Microsoft 365 which of course also includes Sharepoint. A key feature is the ability to migrate data from 3rd party cloud storage providers including Dropbox, Google Drive and others.
The important AD announcements
Microsoft announced that later this month they will enable Multi-Factor Authentication for free in all new Azure Active Directory tenants for Microsoft 365, Office 365, Dynamics and Azure. This will enable you to use cloud provisioning to sync identities from Windows Server AD forests and Azure AD regardless of where the AD forest is located by using a light-weight agent.
In addition, there is ‘Report only Mode’ for Conditional Access which will allow admins to evaluate potential issues on any new policies before they are rolled out. Azure Monitor will monitor the impact and use the new Conditional Access insights.