Chris Stegh / / Categories: Partner & Customer Updates, Microsoft Ignite

Ignite at a Glance:

An abundance of information dropped during Ignite on Sept 22-24. Here is the pertinent news about all three clouds, with links to info and release dates. For more, see the Book of News.


  1. Ever heard of Twilio? Microsoft is entering the category with Azure Communication Services. The pay-as-you-go service allows you to use simple code to light up your mobile apps, desktop applications and websites with voice and video calling, chat, and SMS text messaging. Learn more.
  2. Thinking about Windows Virtual Desktop as a secure remote access solution? The Azure Migration Program recently expanded support for WVD to help companies simplify the journey to a secure, remote desktop experience. Also, FastTrack for Azure recently expanded to accelerate WVD rollouts.
  3. Speaking of WVD, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (aka Intune) will support Windows 10 multisession to provide IT admins with the ability to manage and secure virtual desktops the same way as physical devices. Read about the public preview.
  4. Want to publish your org’s preapproved solutions for your employees in a private marketplace? Azure Private Marketplace is in private preview.
  5. If you run mission-critical apps on VMs in Azure that you must completely control, Azure Dedicated Host allows customers to schedule host maintenance operations on hosts and isolated VMs and control timing of guest OS image updates. Learn more.

Power Platform and Dynamics 

  1. The aforementioned Azure Communications Services will bring voice to Dynamics. This is Microsoft’s first step in bringing the concept of a contact center into their solution set. D365 Customer Service currently has Omnichannel add-ons that allow customer service agents to better create and manage cases. The concept behind Omnichannel by tying in Power Virtual Agents, AI bots can initiate a conversation, roll into either chat or SMS with a live agent, which can then transition to a voice call as desired.
  1. Project Oakdale, a new built-in low-code data platform for Teams that exposes relational datastores with rich data types to Teams users, is now in public preview. This provides the ability to add an app within the Teams side panel for Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Virtual agents.  By using Power Apps directly within Teams, you are able to create an app, create a table, and tie into automation using Power Automate.  This “free” access to the Power Platform within Teams is at a smaller level than what you have access to via Dynamics 365 or a standalone Power Platform license, but does still allow for automation and app development. 

Microsoft 365

  1. Productivity Score, will be generally available by the end of October to help organizations understand and empower great work with technology. Productivity Score provides visibility into how your organization works, insights to identify where you can make improvements, and actions you can take to update skills and systems so everyone can do their best work.
  2. Drive more safely with Outlook Mobile, where users can listen and respond hands-free to what’s new in their inbox using Cortana Play My Emails. Cortana can now read out emails from specific people, time frame and topics in iOS. Read more, and save your fingers!
  3. Microsoft Stream is getting a much needed rebuild (target 4Q20). The new experience builds on the rich content management features of SharePoint including external and anonymous sharing, integration with Microsoft Search, enhanced analytics, improved transcript quality, and new controls for security and compliance. Learn more.
  4. Microsoft Teams will get several updates:

Custom layouts to allow presenters to customize how meeting content shows up for participants during the meeting.

Live captions with speaker attribution is now generally available. And meeting recap will provide the recording, transcript, chat, and shared files for participants in the Chat tab for each meeting.

Teams meetings will support up to 1,000 participants with the full meeting experience. For larger meetings and events that require additional control, Teams Live Events scales to 20,000 participants in a view-only meeting experience. These new capabilities are available to users / hosts with the new Advanced Communications plan.

There were several other announcements, if you’d like to read more.

  1. Microsoft 365 Security services are being renamed. Read more.

Microsoft 365 Defender (previously Microsoft Threat Protection).

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (previously Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection).

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (previously Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection).

Microsoft Defender for Identity (previously Azure Advanced Threat Protection).

  1. Want your iOS and Android devices to connect to on-premises apps and resources through a secure remote tunnel? Microsoft Tunnel, a remote access solution integrated with Microsoft Endpoint Manager supports full-device and per-app virtual private networks (VPN) and split tunneling, and ties into Conditional Access to help ensure your devices are compliant with policy before allowing access to your network. Available in public preview. 
  1. Microsoft Edge on Linux, requested by IT pros and developers to help with testing websites, is expected to be available in public preview in October.


Work with our team of Cloud Computing Consultants who have done this so many times they know all of the “minefields” to prevent missteps.