Microsoft Ignite 2017 is coming up fast. I’ll be there again this year with the Sharegate team, and if you’re attending too, you’ve probably already started getting your schedule together and wondering which sessions to attend. I know I have!
With over 1,500 sessions, it can be pretty hard to pick among all the great speakers and build an agenda, so I’ve curated a list of some of the ones on SharePoint and Office 365 that I think you should definitely attend. Hopefully it’ll make things a little easier for you.
See you there!
1. Accelerate your digital transformation with SharePoint and OneDrive (Keynote)
If you had to watch only one session at Microsoft Ignite, this is the one. You could say this is the keynote where all the big announcements are made around Office 365 Productivity services, such as SharePoint and OneDrive.
Dan Holme – Director of Product Marketing (SharePoint & Yammer), Microsoft
Jeff Teper – CVP Office, OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
Omar Shahine – OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
2. Embrace Office 365 Groups: Overview and Roadmap
Office 365 Groups are core to the future of all things in Office 365, so it’s important to keep an eye out on its roadmap.
In the past, there’s been a lot of confusion on what Office 365 Groups is, and sessions like these often reveal the direction for other products like SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Now that SharePoint Team Sites are linked to an Office 365 Group automatically, and that almost every product in the suite creates them, be sure to attend this session to learn more.
Christophe Fiessinger – Program Manager, Microsoft
Shilpa Ranganathan – Principal Program Manager, Microsoft
3. OneDrive – Past, Present, and Future
OneDrive for Business had a rough start in Office 365, but it’s picked up a lot of steam since and the updates coming from that team have been both numerous and well-crafted for our end users. This session will help us understand what’s going on with both the experience and the sync engine.
Even if you don’t plan on using OneDrive for Business that much in your organization, I strongly recommend you attend, as these features often make their way to your SharePoint document libraries not too long after.
Stephen Rose – Microsoft
Jason Moore – Partner Group Program Manager, Microsoft
4. Inform and Engage Employees with SharePoint Communication Sites and News
SharePoint Communication sites were announced last year at Microsoft Ignite and have quickly gained momentum in our Office 365 tenants across the world. They provide a quick and easy way to communicate and share information on pages to the rest of your organization.
This session will tell us where they will go from here, now that they’ve made their mark in SharePoint. Will they eventually replace our Intranets? Or will they stay focused on the current business need they are fulfilling?
Andy Haon – Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Mark Kashman – Senior Product Manager, Microsoft
5. Share and Work Together on the Intranet with SharePoint Team Sites
When someone says SharePoint, we automatically think of the famous Team Sites we’ve been using forever. But a lot has changed with our migration from Classic, to Modern SharePoint. A new page authoring model, new web parts, and an overhaul of our document libraries…
Don’t miss this session to find out more about our Team Sites and how we can integrate them in our other tools. The goal is to provide the right information to our end users, regardless of where they are.
Jeremy Mazner – Group Program Manager, SharePoint, Microsoft
Mark Kashman – Senior Product Manager, Microsoft
6. Unleash Office 365 Groups: Deep Dive
As mentioned earlier, Office 365 Groups are what control and centralize almost all of your products in the cloud. They often represent your business units, teams or projects and how they work.
A deep dive can’t hurt if you’re in charge of managing your environment. Make sure your Office 365 Groups are providing a maximum of value to your organization, while limiting the risks.
Mike McLean – Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
Vijay Nelson – Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
7. Harness Collective Knowledge with SharePoint and OneDrive Content Services (ECM)
Sometimes, we just need to collaborate on a few files and move our work forward to the next milestone. But, in many cases, SharePoint has been used in an Enterprise Content Management scenario. This means it was heavily optimized for an organization, to provide a platform that eases some of the complex business processes within an organization. Since SharePoint has delivered the new “Modern” behaviour, it’s no surprise that we’ve start seeing investments towards ECM capabilities at this Microsoft Ignite.
Chris McNulty – Sr. Product Manager, Microsoft
Ian Story – OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
8. Manage SharePoint using the new Sharepoint Admin Center
With Office 365 providing more for organizations than our traditional two server Exchange and SharePoint; managing an environment is becoming a little more challenging. Now, we have to worry about Microsoft Teams, the channels within them, while still maintaining a good directory populated with Office 365 Groups, and of course, the many capabilities SharePoint provides.
The new SharePoint Admin Center was announced and showcased at the SharePoint event last May, this session is likely to show us how it works and when it’ll be in your tenant.
Zohar Raz – OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
9. What’s New and What’s Coming for Branding and Organizing your SharePoint Sites
Branding a SharePoint environment has often been the subject of much controversy. Whether you should or shouldn’t, Microsoft has clearly made the decision to allow the branding of your sites, and has given a way to do it “the right away”.
This session was long awaited and requested. What peaked my interest however, is a short word in their session description: “shared navigation”. Can’t wait to find out more.
Melissa Torres – OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
Denise Trabona – Principal Design Manager, Microsoft
10. Transform Business Process with SharePoint, PowerApps, and Flow for Biz Apps, Forms, and Automation
No more SharePoint Designer. That was a call made at the very first Microsoft Ignite two years ago and since then, we’ve been looking at new solutions. There isn’t any investments in SharePoint Workflows or InfoPath for our forms, and we can see Microsoft Flow and PowerApps positioned to take over this very important role in our SharePoint sites.
Look to this session to see how this part is moving forward in the future to better plan your information architecture and deployment of Office 365 SharePoint.
Chris McNulty – Sr. Product Manager, Microsoft
Robert Burg – Director, Technology Development & Software Integration, NASCAR
Kerem Yuceturk – OneDrive & SharePoint Program Manager, Microsoft
There are so many awesome sessions this year I wasn’t able to only pick 10. Here are two more you can’t miss:
SharePoint Unplugged (Panel)
This is my favorite part of Microsoft Ignite- the SharePoint product team sits in front of their customers and answer any questions thrown at them. It’s not scripted, not prepared, and sometimes it provides us with immense insight into the future of Office 365.
My favorite thing to do in this session is sit back, listen to the questions and especially how the answers are explained. Carefully analyzing the sentence structure… Maybe too much sometimes.
Adam Harmetz – Group Program Manager, SharePoint, Microsoft
Daniel Kogan – Principal GPM (SharePoint), Microsoft
Hani Loza – Principal PM Manager, Microsoft
Zach Rosenfield – OneDrive & SharePoint, Microsoft
Kavita Kamani – Principal PM Manager, Microsoft
Aneetha Jayaraman – Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
Navjot Virk – Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Nestlé’s Office 365 Cultural Transformation – From Silos to Collaboration
It’s always interesting to see how others are doing it. If you get a chance, join this session, as it represents the future for most of us. Regardless of what you plan to use technologically, it’s good to hear how others did it before us. If it’s just to spark off some ideas, or simply to learn from their mistakes. I’m looking forward to this case study.
Thomas Wicker – Principal PM Manager, Microsoft
Juha Ikonen – FastTrack Architect, Microsoft
Clifford Kennedy – Technology Architect, Nestlé
Time for a bit of shameless self promotion! You can also attend my sessions, where I’ll talk about Office 365 external sharing, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, among other things.
- Figuring out Office 365 external sharing in 20 minutes
- Classic vs. modern SharePoint: What’s the difference?
- Microsoft Teams and SharePoint for Every Kind of Teamwork
If ever you want to see what other sessions on SharePoint and Office 365 are available, I’ve listed them here.
- Geek out with the product team on SharePoint lists and libraries
- Transform organizational productivity with Microsoft Workplace Analytics
- Connecting your company with Yammer: Vision and roadmap
- Create and manage sharing and access policies for SharePoint
- Enable external sharing and collaboration with OneDrive and SharePoint
- Build your personalized and social intranet with SharePoint, Yammer, Delve, OneDrive and Teams
- Deep dive: Advanced workflow automation with Microsoft Flow
- Secure your SharePoint and OneDrive content in a new world of work
- Automate workflows and enable modern approvals with Microsoft Flow
- Collaborate in a chat-based workspace with Microsoft Teams
- Build a modern intranet: Real-world planning, information architecture, governance, and adoption
- The secrets to getting the best experience out of SharePoint Online
- Discover SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 and Beyond
Hopefully this has helped you build your conference agenda for Microsoft Ignite 2017. Don’t forget to stop by and say hi at the Sharegate booth (#1719)!