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Microsoft Ignite Keynotes and News: What We’ve Learned So Far

It’s only day two, but Microsoft Ignite 2016 is already running hot in Atlanta. By now, nearly 23,000 attendees have already taken in dozens of sessions on what’s new from Microsoft and how to navigate the era of digital transformation. There are still plenty to come, but here’s a quick recap of the event so far.

The Keynotes

To kick off the conference in earnest yesterday, we got not just one, but TWO keynotes from the Microsoft team. Similar to Worldwide Partner Conference, the overarching theme of both presentations was digital transformation and how the cloud is enabling organizations of all sizes and industries to climb to new heights in productivity even faster. There was plenty of dazzle with demonstrations of products like HoloLens, but we also saw some exciting new updates for old, reliable friends like Word and Outlook. We even got a brief cameo from former professional football AND baseball player – not to mention all-time legend of Atlanta sports – “Neon” Deion Sanders.

microsoft ignite keynote innovation

Hosted by Microsoft Corporate Vice President Julia White, the first keynote featured presentations by Microsoft EVP, Cloud + Enterprise Scott Guthrie and Microsoft Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi. The second keynote – titled the “Innovation Keynote” – was all Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella focusing on how Microsoft aims to “democratize AI” through continued advancements in its cloud offerings. Here are some highlights from both keynotes along with links to articles where you can learn more:

  • Adobe chooses Microsoft: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen onstage to announce that Adobe has chosen Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider – with Azure acting as the preferred platform for Adobe Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud, and Document Cloud. They also announced that Adobe Marketing Cloud will be the preferred marketing service for Dynamics Enterprise 365 with future integrations to come.
  • Azure is wide reaching – and growing: With recent additions in Germany, Guthrie noted that Azure currently has 34 Azure regions worldwide – which is twice as many as Amazon Web Services (AWS), making it easier and faster for customers worldwide to take advantage of the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft is also able to tout more compliance certifications than any other cloud vendor.
  • Microsoft is here for hybrid customers: With announcements around the general availability of Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016, and Azure Stack, much of the conversation focused around the products’ new capabilities to monitor existing on-premises investments in addition to public cloud environments from one dashboard.
  • Continued updates to Office 365 around productivity and security: With tools like Office 365 ATP and Office 365 Threat Intelligence, Microsoft is continually expanding the security functionality of its cloud productivity platform to help organizations monitor endpoints for threats and malicious files. Meanwhile, features like Tap for Outlook and Word utilize the Office Graph to surface relevant content based on your own documents and email activity.
  • Microsoft is making major investments in AI: With upcoming improvements to the Cortana Intelligence Suite – including health monitoring abilities – as well as built-in AI assistants in Dynamics 365 and a seriously powerful bot framework, Nadella showed commitment to building a more intelligent cloud through significant new innovations.
  • HoloLens can help you remodel your kitchen: What would a keynote be without a bit of mixed reality? Microsoft showcased a new partnership with Loews and Pinterest that will actually allow you to use HoloLens to plan out your next home renovation project. You no longer need to imagine – you can now see what that living room paint color or kitchen countertop material will look like right in front of your very eyes.

microsoft ignite keynote hololens lowe's demo

The SharePoint News

While it didn’t feature heavily in either keynote, there was no shortage of big news about SharePoint. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper led a session on Tuesday with some significant announcements for Microsoft’s collaboration platform that customers on premises, in the cloud, and in hybrid environments you will want to read up on – including the first feature pack for SharePoint 2016, new mobile apps, and enhanced sync and share capabilities in OneDrive for Business.

You can read all about what’s new in these articles on the SharePoint blog:

News from AvePoint

Of course, Microsoft isn’t the only one making big announcements. We’ve announced enhancements to our migration, management, and protection solutions for Office 365 and SharePoint – with more to come! Check out what’s new below:

Stay tuned for more updates from Ignite – and if you’re in Atlanta, be sure to stop by booth #1104 to see what’s new!

microsoft ignite 2016 webinar

Franklin T.
Franklin T.
In his former role as Director of Communications, Franklin was responsible for increasing brand awareness across all AvePoint's digital properties.

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