First of all, what an amazing experience to attend Microsoft Ignite 2018 in Orlando. All started off with a keynote by Satya Nadella followed by general announcement sessions and technical deep dive sessions. The key message was about “Tech Intensity”. This is described by changing your cultural mindset and your processes. Ultimately leading to a better digital transformation by tearing down silos in your organization and bringing teams and technology closer together. Creating close feedback loops to generate advantage of valuable insights. Technology will cover every aspect of our life sometime and it is time now to start to align yourself to this. Time to disrupt yourself, modernize your own business model. Everyone has to find ways to leverage technology to optimize their businesses otherwise others will have a significant advantage in a short amount of time. It’s time for a culture of adoption.
The biggest announcement for me as an Enterprise Mobility MVP is by far the Win32 app support in Microsoft Intune.
Microsoft delivers the functionality to wrap your apps (all kind of installers like setup.exe etc) in a container (zip) format and allows distribution via Intune. This is a game changer for Microsoft Intune as it was one of the missing parts and blocker for customers to fully adopted the modern management approach. Customers who are wiling to modernize and are going for a full modern management approach are now able to install their Line-of-business applications directly via Intune. This functionality is powered by the Microsoft Management Extension (see my deep dives Part 1 and Part 2) which was used for PowerShell script execution with Intune already in the past. I will provide some technical deep dive insights into the Win32 capabilities in the following days.
For Windows Autopilot they announced Hybrid Azure AD join and the capability to harvest Autopilot data. The Hybrid Azure AD join might be good for some people but I really encourage everyone to check out Azure AD join as it also supports accessing local AD resources with Kerberos authentication. Harvesting Autopilot information of existing devices in an easy way is great and simplifies the steps to a modern infrastructure where all devices even in a reinstall/reset scenario are using a simplified setup powered by Windows Autopilot. For Intune they delivered great Sessions regarding the availability of Intune Security Baselines and Desktop Analytics. The Intune Security Baselines are provided to fill configuration gaps which companies currently see when transitioning from a local AD and Group Policy environment to a Azure AD/MDM environment. The goal is to have all required security settings available in the MDM environment to easily transition. In addition to the Security Baseline settings, Intune gets support for Administrative Templates to further simplify the configurations of policy settings for Office and Windows. It frees us to handle the complex way of admx ingestion by providing the most needed settings in the portal. Not only the settings administration is made simple they also released the Intune PowerShell SDK to easily automate tasks within Intune. With Desktop Analytics we get tighter integration of the telemetry data from Windows Analytics into Intune to build piloting rings based on telemetry to ensure good coverage of your LOB apps in the piloting rings.
A lot of changes happening in the IT world right now and Microsoft builds out his platforms to be even more mature to support us in every aspect. This starts with the Microsoft 365 story by bringing real cross platform functionality like Information Protection availability in every product like Outlook, Word etc. for Windows, iOS/macOS, and Android. They also announced the OneDrive feature “Files on Demand” for macOS now. There is a very big focus on Security on everything what Microsoft is doing right now. More than 3500 full time security professionals are working at Microsoft to power the security platforms also with the help of AI to generate insights for the Intelligent Security Graph. To fight the world of passwords they announced Azure AD password less sign-in. A very good simplification of the portals is coming up also to provide consistency in the handling. This simplification includes a common URL scheme like devicemanagement.microsoft.com, admin.microsoft.com, security.microsoft.com, or compliance.microsoft.com. Even a Windows Virtual Desktop in the cloud was announced. Another highlight to mention is that Microsoft will bring up a new offer called Microsoft Managed Desktop where Microsoft will completely manage your devices. In the Office world we got Microsoft Ideas which helps you to find great layouts and even the interesting data in your Excel spreadsheet powered by AI.
Beside these great announcements I’ve taken the chance to meet with a lot of the Product Group members and had great conversations with them. Also I met a lot of my fellow MVPs which was a great experience. Really looking forward for the next one in Orlando at November 4-8. If you like to pre-register follow this link.
See you in Orlando next time! 👍