Microsoft Ignite 2016 Experience

Last week I attended Microsoft Ignite 2016 here in Atlanta. It was nice to have this event in my own back yard as its always a bonus to sleep in your own bed at night!  This was the first Microsoft Ignite/TechEd I’ve been to in a while and here are a couple things that I found motivating… 

Here come the Women!!

I have never seen so many women in attendance at a IT convention, not saying I have been to all of them, but I was encouraged to see so many women participating and attending infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud native sessions. Yes, we still had long restroom lines, but it was clear we weren’t alone. I don’t know the percentages, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that at least 10% of the attendees were women! I find this extremely encouraging as this industry definitely needs a better balance! 

The new Microsoft – 

With 23k plus at Ignite, it was noticeable that the new Microsoft (under Satya Nadella) has some new faces under the cloud native umbrella. It was also evident that a lot of the old faces of Microsoft’s yester-year were present. Microsoft knows that it has a lot to do to convince and educate those that are resistant or reluctant to change. For example, there were a few sessions that were geared to organizational change and digital transformation to the cloud. Not only were the sessions introductory, but educational in hopes to ease fears of the public cloud.  

Since Microsoft has such a wide base of traditional applications and is deeply engrained into on-premises infrastructures, this obviously creates a unique challenge but also provides an opportunity for Microsoft in the new era of cloud. 

Introducing the opportunity: Azure Stack. I believe Azure Stack has the potential to not only put Microsoft on top of cloud revenues but change the competitive direction of AWS and GCP. However, with a longer than planned delays and/or technical missteps Microsoft could leave enough room and time for competitive challengers to enter this new product category. 

Stay tuned for my next post on the Azure Stack architecture, and why I think this new product could accelerate the move to cloud native applications. There are some exciting and noteworthy architectural features that I think will surprise you!  

Great job Microsoft on a well organized event this year? I'm looking forward to attending next year in Orlando, FL.