Dux Quax: Azure, Microsoft 365, and More with Michael Kophs

Hey y’all! Dux here with another edition of Dux Quax from Microsoft Tech Summit Sydney. This time, I chatted with my buddy Michael Kophs, Senior Product Manager for Microsoft. Watch or read below to hear what he had to say about Tech Summit, Azure, Microsoft 365, and more!

Dux: Hey, everyone! We’re, what? Halfway through Tech Summit, pretty much, Michael?

Michael: Halfway through day one, yeah.

Dux: How’s day one been?

Michael: It’s been fantastic. Huge turnout. I think we had over 2,500 people. We had two back-to-back keynotes. That’s the first time we broke our… Last year, we had a main keynote. We broke it up into focus keynotes, one on Microsoft 365, one on Azure. Well-attended, couldn’t be happier.

Dux: The keynote room was packed. The one that Rob did on modern workplace, and then Julia on Azure. The demos were just phenomenal.

Michael: We try to make them demo-heavy. These are IT pros in the audience. You can only get so far with slides. At least half the content was demos, and it was a demo of new stuff, new features and functionalities. I think they left pretty happy.

Dux: Any trends you’re seeing in terms of what sessions people are attending, what are the most on-demand content people look for?

Michael: It’s still pretty early, but as you know, the Tech Summit is really focused on two big things. Driving customers to Azure, and really demystifying Azure in picking up a lot of the new IAS and the new platform offerings, and then Microsoft 365. This is a new concept, newer concept, for a lot of people.

So, they’re used to going to separate Office sessions. Window EMS, we’re trying to tie it together with some tracks. For example, we have three Microsoft 365 workshops. These are half-day workshops, where it covers deployment across Windows EMS, Office 365, all in one workshop. That’s going on upstairs right now.

Think of the breakout sessions as roadmap features, and introductory sessions that define CTAs. The workshops are actually where you work on the CTAs, and you roll up your sleeves, you do labs, and you spend a half day doing stuff. We’re really excited about it.

Dux: That’s great. It’s pretty hands-on. People can experience it. People can try it out, and it’s not just all the theoretical slideware that people see.

Michael: At Tech Summit, we try. We know that people these days, they like to learn in a lot of different ways. It used to be, we go to an event, and it’s all 60-minute breakouts, kind of like high school. Everyone comes out of the room. Everyone goes back in. Now, we have things like our expo or hub area with Azure essentials.

Microsoft 365 booth, you can take an IT pro challenge. Then, we have an expert center. If you look at that, over there, hugely crowded. Tons of people queuing up to talk to our speakers. Then we have, of course, our breakout sessions. We have workshops, and then over this direction you’ll have labs. As an IT pro, it’s not just about consuming content in a session. We have all these different formats. That’s basically what the audience is telling us.

Dux: Even after this, all the sessions are available on-demand on Tech Community, which is great.

Microsoft Tech Community

Michael: And on Tech Community, yep. You’ll get recordings of the sessions. You get the decks, and then, you could pose questions, and the speakers are engaged, and they’ll answer your questions. Keep the dialogue going. We don’t want events to be point-in-time, like, “Okay, I went to event.” That’s my only engagement with Microsoft. You come to the event. Then, you get this long list of CTAs. You keep the conversation going through Tech Community. Leverage speakers, MVPs, and colleagues, to get answers, other IT pros.

Dux: Speaking of going to events, this is the first of many Tech Summits, right? There’s a bunch more coming, so make sure you check out all the Tech Summits. I’m sure it’s coming to your local city.

Michael: This is one of 14. 2017 and 2018, we have four more before the holiday, or three more before the holidays. Next up, Tel Aviv, then São Paulo.

Dux: Toronto.

Michael: Then, Toronto, and then a bunch of other cities in H2.

Dux: There you go. Check out techsummit.microsoft.com.

Michael: Yep! That’ll get you there, absolutely.

Dux: Thanks, Michael, and see you in all the other cities.

Michael: All right, Dux, thanks!