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The lowdown on Microsoft Ignite

11 Sep 2018 by Becci Velzian

Are you ready for Microsoft Ignite?

It’s not long until 26,000 of us congregate at the Orange County Convention Center for a week of exciting announcements, great tech talk, and experiences. Microsoft Ignite has over 700 deep-dive sessions on everything from O365, Azure, AI, modern technology and more! You will also be able to get hands-on 100+ expert-led and self-paced workshops available.

And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, anyone who’s been to Ignite knows that the event is so much more than the sessions! Here’s a little lowdown on what we think you should look out for whilst at Ignite 2018.

The App – your go-to tool for the week

The all-new MyIgnite app is designed to help you navigate your way around the event, it will include: recommended sessions, attendees, exhibitors, and most of all an ‘Expert Finder’ feature. This little gem enables you to search speakers and staff all in one place and see who is currently available. For example, if you were to type “migration expert” you would find our very own Paul Robichaux’s fully itemized profile amongst many others. Once you’ve found your expert of choice, you have options to ‘book a meeting’, ‘book a consultation’ or ‘send a message’ – another incredibly useful feature.

Like the Microsoft Teams setup, attendees can message each other, organize meetings and share what they’ll be attending whilst at Ignite from their mobile devices.  This is an awesome and truly contemporary way of networking with new prospects and like-minded people in the industry. It also serves to create a buzz of communication and interaction around the event.

Isn’t it frustrating when you’re at an event and it takes forever to find your favorite sponsors or companies in an exhibition center as enormous as the Orange County Convention Center? From previous experience, our team can attest with a resounding: Yes. Microsoft has clearly thought about this challenge. The Sponsor Directory gives users booth # links to locations on the ‘Campus Map’, so you can easily find your way to your favorite booths, (like Quadrotech Booth 1037! – just saying). To ensure you’re seeing the right sponsors you can filter based on recommended, level, products, solutions, and industry. This is also great if you’ve ‘overdone’ any topics and fancy learning about something new whilst you’re there.

The app is available on desktop and mobiles devices here: and it comes out today!

GDPR & Office 365: Surviving the Aftermath

Now that GDPR has taken full effect, the focus for many organizations has changed from answering the question “how do I comply with GDPR?” to “how do I stay compliant with GDPR?” If this is a question circling around your head, we are presenting a theater session with plenty of tips and advice for ongoing compliance in Office 365.

Breach investigation and notification is one of the most challenging (and unnerving) requirements of the new law. Our session, presented by Paul Robichaux, Microsoft MVP and CTO at Quadrotech, will discuss tools for speeding up breach identification, ways to shorten the timeline required to scope the potential impact of a breach, and basic configuration changes you should make to your Office 365 tenants to help prepare yourself for breach response.

Sounds great, right? Then don’t miss Paul’s session. Head over to ‘THR2243 Office 365 and GDPR: Surviving the Aftermath’ at Expo Theater #3 on Tuesday, September 25th 11:20-11:40.

Keynote Speakers

One of the most highly anticipated parts of Ignite (no we’re not talking about the Universal Studios after-party – well, not just yet) is the keynotes. Don’t miss out on the must-see speakers whilst at Microsoft Ignite. You can find the agenda and speaker details here.

Need to skip a session? Microsoft has got you covered. Many of the speaking sessions will be recorded and available on-demand, so you can still see all the best parts.

The ones to watch

Of course, Satya Nadella will be kicking off the event with Microsoft’s vision keynote, this will be the agenda-setter of the weekend and a rare opportunity to hear the latest from Microsoft’s CEO. It (almost) goes without saying that you’ll want to catch this.

Julia White, the Corporate Vice President of Azure and Security Marketing will be heading up two big sessions this year. One that piqued our interest is “Transforming IT: Embracing the cloud mindset at Scotiabank” where she will be discussing the challenge of integrating a 186-year-old bank with 2018’s modern applications with Justin Arbuckle, Senior Vice President of Platform Organization at Scotiabank. Alternatively, you can also catch Julia White presenting “Transforming IT: Key insights into Microsoft’s own digital transformation with the Chief Digital Officer”. This session will be shared with Kurt DelBene, Chief Digital Officer, and it’s certainly not one to miss if you’re enticed by the future of digital transformation and the vision Microsoft has in store for IT and Operations.

Brad Anderson, the Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Experience & Management Team, will be leading three keynote sessions whilst at Microsoft Ignite. We will definitely try to make it to “How to Shift: Modern Desktop Deployment with Brad Anderson”, a discussion which will be serving real-world and proven deployment recommendations for Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. The session is also a chance to be a part of the Microsoft Mechanics Live audience for filming, where they will be awarding prizes daily!

Orange County Convention Center

If you’ve ever been the Orange County Convention Center (which from now I will refer to as the “OCCC”), you will know how everlasting it is – being the second largest in the USA. Stay ahead of the game and make sure you use the Campus Map on the MyIgnite app to plan your routes around the OCCC.

Here you can expect a lot of walking, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you will be racking up some mileage during this tech conference. Whilst on the topic of attire, although it’ll be warm in Orlando, the air conditioning in the OCCC can be cold, so make sure you bring a few layers to avoid a chill!

If you’re already thinking about travel arrangements, the Center charges $15 for parking regular vehicles and $25 for oversized ones. Alternatively, if you’re staying in a Microsoft Host Hotel then you can catch a ride on one of the many shuttles buses available.

Universal Studios Florida & Universal’s Islands of Adventure

So, how do you top off a week of the latest insights and announcements on all things IT and technology, orchestrated by the world’s biggest leaders in the digital movement? Like you top off most things, with a celebration! Microsoft is throwing a huge party at legendary theme park Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure on Thursday 27th September 7:30 pm onwards. Ignite attendees will have the parks all to themselves, with food and drink provided to fuel you for all the rides and attractions.

The parks are connected by Citywalk, a buzzing entertainment complex containing a: movie theatre, mini-golf, bars, and restaurants. This is particularly great if you don’t fancy being thrashed around on a rollercoaster but still want to be a part of all the fun. If you’re staying in the unique Universal Hotel, shuttles and walking are a thing of the past, as you can enjoy being toured around a scenic route of the parks by boat. We recommend downloading the Universal App to check out the locations, queueing times and opening hours of certain rides.

Top tips for Universal:

  • Start at the ‘back’ of the theme park and work your way forwards towards the exit, this will help you beat some hefty queues on the more popular rides.
  • On busy rides, you can go in a ‘single-rider’ queue which jumps the line – it just means you might have to ride with a stranger. Fingers crossed your eardrums don’t suffer too much if you end up next to a particularly screechy one.
  • When asked for top tips from last year, one of our 2017 attendees advised ‘make sure you eat a Turkey leg before you get in any long queues’. Tackle any ‘hangry’ feelings, and make sure you don’t ride on an empty stomach. You heard it here first.

If being an adrenaline junkie on record-breaking rollercoasters is your thing, or you just want to blow off some steam with a colleague then definitely do not miss this party. Prepare to be totally soaked on one of the many water rides. I urge you not to underestimate the Jurassic Park or Dudley Do-Right’s Rip Saw falls, you might even need an outfit change after these. Then again, you could dry off on the Hulk ride, which quite literally cannon balls you into a whirl of excitement. You could then swing by Skull Island to catch the reign of Kong. Or alternatively, swing in a different direction to The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman but beware of the heights on this one *gulp*.

Finally, if you’re a sucker for a bit of magic, then The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be a truly memorable experience reliving some of the blockbusters biggest scenes. The enchanting area of the park includes “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” a coaster which will send you flying like a golden snitch at a Quidditch match.

See you there!

I hope you’ve found some useful insights into Ignite 2018 in this blog. Don’t forget to stop by Quadrotech’s booth 1037 for some awesome tech chat or demo, a go on our Radar game, an opportunity to win daily prizes in our competition.

Safe travels and we’ll see you in Orlando!