Out of the 1000+ speakers and 1600+ sessions currently assigned to Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this week, it’d be arrogant for anyone to claim that they have the inside secret on the top 8 slots! But while you stare at the massive agenda to plan your days – remember that your company sent you as an ambassador to learn and absorb the best strategies to put in place when you return. This isn’t about personal education – this is about coming away with practical advice you can implement!
This list represents my personal bias toward Office 365 adoption, next-gen SharePoint and Office 365, and Information Protection – many of the topics you’d want to approach first if you’re getting started with the Office 365 or looking to aid in a new implementation. These are also topics that are often hard to get a handle on early, so I’ve geared this toward the more practical sessions.
Information Protection and Security
Accelerate Azure information protection deployment and adoption
Speakers: Eyal Manor, Tom Moser, Anthony Roman
The top of everyone’s list when it comes to protecting your enterprise content should be putting controls around documents and how they are shared. There’s an intimidating learning curve to deploying Information Protection: coming up with the best labels for your organization, making sure those map to retention policies you own, coming up with security templates to determine the sharing reach of each implementation type, determining the best path of escalation to letting users bypass these controls, proactively suggesting tags vs. letting users decide – I definitely recommend hearing their practical tips and tricks to getting this solution deployed.
Discover what’s new in Azure Information Protection and learn about the roadmap and strategy
Speakers: Adam Hall, Eyal Manor
Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Secure Islands, this has been an exciting product group to watch. While we all may have had frustrations deploying Rights Management Services (RMS) in the past, implementing a Classification, Labeling, and Protection strategy has now become much easier thanks to this team’s help. We’re excited to see how this upcoming strategy is going to help expand the reach of RMS and make this platform easier to roll out to protect data.
Encryption key management strategies for compliance
Speakers: Gagan Gulati, Aashish Ramdas
I’ve helped plenty of customers during their transition to Office 365 understand this concept: if you don’t control your encryption keys, you don’t truly own your data. As a company that provides software for managing Office 365, we protect all data with customer-provided encryption keys for maximum protection. This is a service that everyone should be familiar with before deploying Office 365, Azure Information Protection, or other 3rd party tools.
Understanding advanced concepts in getting the most out of Office 365 Data Loss Prevention
Speaker: Mas Libman
Microsoft has made great strides in sensitive content detection in Office 365. Once you’ve protected and labeled your content with the strategies in the Information Protection sessions above, I strongly recommend taking a look at what Microsoft is doing to prevent oversharing of information through their advanced session (basic session here).
Office 365 Deployment Planning and Governance
Lions and tigers and Teams, oh my! Sorting through the options to connect and collaborate
Speaker: Sue Hanley
Sue Hanley has been a voice of reason in the Microsoft community for a long time. When it comes to practical strategies for collaboration and guidance on how to measure success , she is one of the best advisors. At a time when most end-users are feeling overwhelmed with the choices for work in Office 365, this is going to be a much-needed session to take back home to your organization!
Embrace Office 365 Groups: Overview and roadmap
Speakers: Christophe Fiessinger, Shilpa Ranganathan
Groups are now fundamental to everything that happens in Office 365. If you don’t have a strategy yet for governing how they’re created, whether they are public or not, how they are classified, and what your retention policies are, you’re likely setting yourself up for some serious sprawl issues in the coming months. This product team will definitely be highlighting practical steps you’ll need to get started on managing Office 365 groups.
(Side plug – AvePoint is running a session called “Groups, and Teams, and Sites! Oh my! The ultimate Office 365 Groups teardown”, Speaker: John Peluso, that provides a full breakdown of where and how groups stores and processes data).
Governance and compliance with Office 365 Groups
Speakers: Maithili Dandige, Nishan DeSilva
As a marriage between the information protection sessions recommended above and Office 365, I definitely recommend seeing the presentations from this group on how information governance will make its way into the Office 365 Group framework.
Keep what you need, but don’t horde everything, with intelligent data governance in Office 365
Speakers: Dheepak Ramaswamy, Nishan DeSilva
I have aided numerous customers in their migrations over the years, so I can declare with confidence: People are hoarders by nature. Even when prompted, most users will elect to keep everything “just-in-case”, even to the point of introducing liability to the company. Many of our Office 365 deployments lack even the basic mechanisms to prompt users of expired content, implement information lifecycles, or even label documents for the right expiration. This product team is at the forefront of rolling this out in Office 365, definitely a session you don’t want to miss!
In case you’re unable to catch the best of these sessions – keep in mind that your ignite portal often gets you access to these recorded sessions after the fact. My commute always benefits in the months following Ignite, this year will be no exception!