Ignite 2017; It has been a wild ride

Ignite 2017 was held in the OCCC at Orlando, Florida from 25 September till 29 September. First off thumbs up to Microsoft for the organization of this event, this has been the best organized event we’ve ever attended. Obviously the IT part was excellent, but everything else went smoothly and the end celebration was amazing. With this Ignite Microsoft has shown they can create a world class event where technology and networking come together.

More than 25.000 IT professionals, spread out over three huge areas in the OCCC, gathered to get the latest news on innovations of Microsoft products. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, opened Ignite with a Vision keynote. The common thread in this keynote was the intelligent cloud; with intelligent cloud Microsoft is emphasizing the possibilities of artificial intelligence, modern workspace, speech recognition, and quantum computing. On stage there were demo’s on mixed reality, the integration of LinkedIn Graph, and Bing for Business.

In the mixed reality demo the new development process for Ford cars was shown. Instead of having to move around a real life size model the car was presented to employees in augmented reality using HoloLens with Microsoft Teams. The demo showed different teams from different locations working together to contribute on the process in real time, saving on production cost for life-size models and speeding up the development process.

Next up was a demo on the integration of the LinkedIn Graph with the Microsoft Graph which shows the LinkedIn profile of co-worker in the Outlook web interface. By using the LinkedIn integration it is easy to interact and expand you professional network.

The last demo showed the new search functionality, based on deep learning, and the integration with Bing for Business. Based on the search term that the user inputs into the search bar information from the Office 365 tenant will pop up within Bing search results. By searching for expenses, a collection of documents and information from SharePoint was shown to the user, making it easier to find your relevant information without having to use several programs to collate it yourself. Bing is starting to grow up!

In the final part of the keynote, Satya was joined by a panel of researchers composed of a mathematician, physicists and a software engineer. This panel discussed with Satya the future and possibilities of quantum computing. There was a in depth explanation of quantum computing and Satya received a prototype of Microsoft’s new topological approach to read Majorana fermions. Azure will now also provide a simulator for developing on a quantum computer, giving developers the chance to hop on board with this exciting new technology without needing access to a real life quantum computer.

After the Vision Keynote there were three technical keynotes, one for each of Microsoft pillars (Office 356,  Azure and Business application and platforms). These talked about the new features on each of their respective subjects, we highly recommend watching the keynote in your respective field.


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