Microsoft Ignite: Guide to November 2021 edition aka What to watch / join, how to connect with people and also to have fun

It is this time of the year again: Microsoft Ignite registration and session scheduler are open! The #MSIgnite event is again digital and free to attend, which makes it a really good opportunity for business decision makers, CIOs, CTOs, CEOs and IT experts & technology consultants to catch up with latest in the Microsoft Cloud and how this tech can be used to drive growth, engagement and resiliency to your business. I am extremely happy that I am again listed as a speaker at this huge Microsoft event.

The latest, natural and expected, twist in attendee engagement are AltSpace VR conversation spaces. I am one of the conversation leads in Optimizing Microsoft Teams for Hybrid Work: Collaboration. When you open the session page you can RVSP to the session and see the timing in your own timezone. If this interests you: act quickly because the space is limited.

This “session” is about conversations and making attendee mix, mingle and engagement in the modern way. Join us to share challenges, successes, best practices and let’s have a conversation about our experiences. You don’t get a presentation or any slides in these sessions.

It is good to know that you don’t need a VR headset to attend. AltSpace VR is available also as a Windows application, so you can join the Virtual Reality easily. Last time (March 2021) Ignite keynote was also presented in AltSpace VR space. So far Microsoft hasn’t announced they same option for this time but I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that would be repeated. Check out more details from AltSpace VR site and their How to get to get started “Beginners Guide”.

Make sure you watch Satya Nadella’s Ignite Opening keynote. This one is added automatically to your schedule once you register to the event.

Microsoft Viva is going to be a big thing at the Ignite. Microsoft Viva Learning is scheduled to GA during mid-November and there is a lots of good hype around Microsoft Viva overall.

Check out my guest blog post to AvePoint about Microsoft Viva Learning The Power of Microsoft Viva Learning for Achieving Your Business Goals, that was published just this week! In the post I bring insight about what challenges Viva Learning is answering to and also how it empowers business to make continuous and social learning to drive their growth. In short Viva Learning is one place for all learning, collecting learning content from various sources into one, simple to use, user interface.

Hybrid Work and Microsoft Viva Sessions at Ignite

There are a few sessions (keynotes and breakouts) related to the Hybrid Work you want to make sure they are in your schedule. Hybrid Work and Microsoft Viva are deeply connected to Microsoft Teams so these are sessions you are interested about.

Empower everyone for a new world of hybrid work | Jared Spataro
Microsoft Teams: Thrive with hybrid work | Nicole Herskowitz
Microsoft Viva: Latest innovations and roadmap for the new digital employee experience | Chuck Friedman, Sunita Khatri, Abe Lubetkin, Seth Patton and Geeta Ramakrishnan
Rich, secure content and collaboration for hybrid work | Jeff Teper, Yina Arenas, Lincoln DeMaris, Cathy Dew, Naomi Moneypenny, Ian Todd and Navjot Virk
Microsoft Into Focus: Modern Work | Karuana Gatimu, Amisha Bhatia, Christiaan Brinkhoff, Joshua Leporadi
Enabling inclusive hybrid meetings with Microsoft Teams and Teams devices | Ilya Bukshteyn, Caroline Stanford, Amber Waisanen
Optimizing Microsoft Teams for Hybrid Work: Collaboration.Yes, just want to make sure you don’t miss our conversation in AltSpace VR
How Microsoft Viva Insights fosters wellbeing and productivity across a hybrid work culture | Ekta Aggarwal
Three steps to manage your frontline workforce for the hybrid world | Zoe Hawtof, Tulsi Keshkamat
Culture and communications: Explore Viva Connections, SharePoint, and Yammer | Dan Holme, Andy Haon, Steve Nguyen

It will be very interesting to hear latest news about Microsoft Mesh. Today I discovered that in this September Microsoft Teams innovations designed for hybrid work -video had interesting few seconds included. They are maybe just design videos, but I love the way it is a step towards the Microsoft Teams + Microsoft Mesh vision I wrote in spring 2021. I hope this design becomes reality sooner than later.

Digital Transformation and lowcode: Power Platform

I have also added these sessions to my schedule. As can be noticed Microsoft Teams is here strongly present. Power Platform and Teams are deeply connected these days and Power Platform is one of key elements using Teams as a Platform and business process enabler so these should be very interesting if you plan to drive business growth, productivity, agility and resiliency in your organization.

Reimagine a new era of business | Charles Lamanna, Alysa Taylor
The future of business is seamless collaboration – how Teams + Power Platform engage your entire workforce | Ryan Cunningham
Microsoft Into Focus: Business Applications | Charles Lamanna, James Philips, Arun Ulagaratchagan, Ryan Cunningham, Heather Newman, Stephen Siciliano and many others.
Take an in-depth tour of all the new announcements for Power Apps at Ignite | Clay Wesener

This list of Power Platform sessions isn’t the complete one – just the ones to catch my attentions on my round #1. Go ahead and search for Power Platform, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and Power BI in the scheduler to find more that interest you.

A few more Microsoft Teams sessions

These are other Microsoft Teams related sessions you want to be interested about.

Seamless external collaboration with Teams Connect, shared channels | Arun Das, Roshin Lal Ramesan.
Intro to Microsoft Teams Administration & Management | John Gruszczyk
What’s new in Microsoft Teams management and security | Ronit Ben Sheffer, John Gruszczyk

There are also Ask the Experts-sessions about Microsoft Teams. Search for those in the schedule and book ones fitting to your time best to your agenda.

Of course Microsoft Ignite is all about Microsoft Cloud. So check out the offering for Azure, Security, Information Protection, SharePoint, Dynamics and other topics that interest you. In this post I decided to focus on Microsoft Teams + Microsoft Viva + Power Platform especially with Hybrid and Modern work angle.

Overall Microsoft Ignite seems to be interesting than before. More sessions are delivered on-demand and there are more “meeting” conversations (Table Topics, yes those conversations in AltSpace VR) and also smaller group sessions like Roundtables.

It is a good that the schedule isn’t replicating on-site Ignite with lots of simultaneous keynotes and breakout sessions. I noticed earlier it was easy to try to watch multiple sessions at the same time – that with long period only leads to meeting fatigue and exhaustion. On-demand makes it possible to pace the Ignite experience to your schedule and energy.

Connection Zone: Connecting with others

Connection Zone is the side we often in digital events: connecting with speakers, experts and each other. Microsoft Ignite Connection Zone gives you that opportunity. It is not the real deal (meeting in person) but does the best for you to engage with like-minded people and even have some fun. And yes, those Conversations in AltSpace VR are part of Connection Zone (Table Topics) as well as Product Roundtables.

And have fun at Create Zone!

Create Zone is the new are in Microsoft Ignite. In here you can easily create short videos that you can share in social network. You can ask questions from the community, share your fun and joy or just create amazing gifs! You can do all these easily in a browser.

I was naturally very surprised to see my early phase video being featured in the Create Zone front page!

I had some extra fun when making that video, using a Virtual Glass Whiteboard, PowerPoint and OBS to create out of ordinary experience. You don’t have to see all that trouble, as can be seen in other videos: just record and share it!

Naturally, I create a few more when I had all my OBS setup done.

Digital Swag

Yes, there are Digital Swag available at the Create Zone too! From that package you can get Microsoft Teams background, desktop wallpapers and social stickers.

Tips for attending Microsoft Ignite “Survival guide to Ignite”

  1. Register and start to build your schedule
  2. Choose sessions you want to see live, for example to ask questions
  3. There are Ask the Experts and Product Roundtables sessions: these are the ones you need to attend live to ask questions
  4. Check out other engagement activities like Conversations in AltSpace VR where you can engage with experts and other attendees
  5. Don’t worry if you have overlapping sessions: they will be recorded. Put ones you plan to watch later to your backpack.
  6. Some of sessions are only available on-demand. Add these to your backpack.
  7. Connect with people in Connection Zone
  8. Have some fun at Create Zone
  9. Reserve time from your calendar to watch sessions on-demand. Otherwise it will be easy to miss.
  10. Stay hydrated and enjoy your time at the Digital Microsoft Ignite!

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Ignite: Guide to November 2021 edition aka What to watch / join, how to connect with people and also to have fun

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