Well that was intense! 4 days of solid conferencing, workshopping, and breakouts have left me begging Microsoft for more. I don’t want to bore any of you, so let’s get to it shall we?
1. Satya Nadella is the RIGHT leader for Microsoft.
Satya focused on discussing Digital Transformations, the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge, but for me it is he who has transformed Microsoft.They have gone from a revenue led, disjointed company to one that is becoming agile. They are listening to partners and making changes. Microsoft is now about enablement, the ecosystem is humming and innovation is completely apparent across many of the platforms I looked at.
2. Security, Security, Security.
Microsoft is now leveraging the Intelligent Security Graph. A huge telemetry and analysis framework which would have been more at home in Tom Cruise’s The Minority Report. Millions of devices reporting data, usage and patterns back to the centralized cloud service every minute.
I won’t do this justice so please watch this video…
3. Did I mention Security?
I heard a Senior Product Manager say the words – “You cannot shoot down a Stealth Fighter with a 19th Century Canon”.
This resonated with me because so many of the networks I have the pleasure of connecting with are using legacy defenses against such sophisticated modern attacks. It’s time for us to work together to posture security as the Number 1 priority. Everything else will fall in line. We cannot win this game using 10 year old Operating Systems, or indeed with Anti-Virus protection written 3 years ago when modern tactics have already destroyed those systems and exploits have been thoroughly documented worldwide. We need to commit together to being more agile, to take action quickly and to review security holistically.
Embracing the Microsoft Stack can reduce the number of overall solutions needed to posture correctly with services like Advanced Threat Analytics, Defender ATP, Identity Protection, Multi-Factor Authentication, Conditional Access, Privileged Identity Management, Information Protection and Cloud App Security.
There is more, but I prefer not to babble.
4. Microsoft 365 Enterprise.
One of the bigger announcements was the unveiling of Microsoft 365 (not Office 365.) Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Business packages have grouped Office 365 with EMS and Windows 10 Enterprise. If you are one of the many clients we performed an EMS workshop with over the last 6 months, you will know how near and dear to my heart this is. The fact that we can bundle those platforms now is just another indication of how strongly integrated Productivity, Collaboration and Security have become. We should see more adoption which means everyone wins.
Ok – this one isn’t groundbreaking, but I loved it. With the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10, Windows Hello (face recognition) will be baked into the OS and from what I understand, will not be exclusive to the Surface or Surface Book. While we are on the Win 10 subject, the other feature that will change everything in the E5 offering is Defender ATP, a baked in, not bolted on Anti-Virus solution that goes far beyond Windows Defender and puts Microsoft at the very least on par with the best AV products on the planet. This has never been true before. Defender ATP is included with Win 10 Enterprise E5 and leverages the Intelligent Security Graph to protect against Zero Day threats from a global analysis and protection vector. The product is able to detect, containerize and shut down malicious software before it can wreak havoc on your systems and network.
Windows 10 is going to support transferring live “sessions” to other devices so you can pick up where you left off. Another feature Timeline allows us to go back in time, 2 hours or 2 months to see what state our files and applications were in. Too much to discuss here!!
Please note - I’ve purposefully excluded discussing Azure Stack here in lieu of a dedicated blog.
The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is in Vegas next year and it just might take that long for my Microsoft love to evaporate enough to require replenishment. Suffice to say, you can count on me attending.