Microsoft Ignite September 2018 was an incredible event with over 26,000 attendees, loads of announcements with useful technical content.
Below are the key takeaways, for me as someone working in the BizApps space and involved with training.
Microsoft recognize there an existing and growing skills gap in a cloud-based world and have created a new learning platform, Microsoft Learn, where you can gain training free with tutorials, videos, hands-on experiences and validation tests. This training is bite-sized aka microlearning.
There are already over 80 hours of material covering Azure but also PowerApps and Flow. I can see us using this material in pre-reading for our courses and in exercises.
Microsoft Virtual Academy, Imagine Academy and Dynamics Learning Portal content will be migrated to Microsoft Learn.
Sign up at http://aka.ms/learn
In the past certifications have been very product focused and students have often had to learn additional topics just to pass their exams. Microsoft have completely rethought certification and training.
Microsoft have undertaken a huge consultative exercise and have come up with several job roles and then defined through Job Task Analysis the skills and tasks needed to perform these roles
From these job roles, all training resources, books and exams will be created thus providing consistency and an aligned experience.
The initial roles announced focus on Azure, but other roles are in development and I expect to see roles for Dynamics in 2019 along with new exams which will test skills as well as knowledge.
The roles will typically have two exams, both of which are required for certification.
A significant change is that the courses are being created as ½ to 2-day courses i.e., it will be more modular. In the Azure Administrator example below there are 5 x 1-day courses for AZ-100 and 4 x 1-day courses for AZ-101 exams. The idea is that students will be able to get training in different modalities e.g., Microsoft Learn, Self-Paced with EdX, Instructor Led training and books and can mix and match as they see fit. You will be able to bundle up courses to run as a block like now but there is more choice and the big advantage is that all material is derived from the job role definitions.
At least one of the two exams will contain 2 performance-based tests (PBT) where you will be provided with a lab and must complete the required tasks. This is a great advance and really tests skills.
Transition exams are provided where relevant e.g., If you have the 70-533 Azure Infrastructure exam there is an AZ-102 transition exam that gives you the same certification as if you have taken AZ-100 and AZ-101
Due to this major change, Microsoft are moving away from MCSA and MCSE and you will now be certified in the job role although will also show the level at which the certification sits e.g., Fundamentals, Associated and Expert.
More details http://aka.ms/RoleBasedCert
Teams was everywhere at Ignite with lots of interest and full sessions.
There are lots of new features released and announcement made including Shifts and Planning for Firstline workers (replacing StaffHub).
The integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales was demonstrated (we are on the preview) with access to Dynamics records from within a channel and a really cool bot to interact with records, update details and add notes and calls all from within Teams. I can see many sales people rarely accessing the Customer Engagement UI when this is released.
There was a lot of interest around the Power Platform and not just from the Dynamics people. The Power Platform seems to have cut across technical areas and I can see it making big inroads over the next year.
The announcement of the Open Data Initiative with SAP and Adobe was the big reveal of the conference and shows the power of the Common Data Model.
Dynamics CRM On-Premise
Apparently, there are loads of customers still on Dynamics CRM 2011 on premise. We’ve been in the cloud since 2010, first with our own hosting of CRM 4.0, trialling BPOS and then moving all in to O365 and Dynamics 365 Online.
The On-Premise to Online (OP2OL) service was discussed and looks like it is coming out of preview and was quite impressive.
Ignite Book of News https://news.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/507/2018/09/IGNITEBOOKOFNEWS-5ba8f830261da.pdf
Watch the recordings https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/videos. My recommended recordings:
KEY02 – Powering digital transformation with business applications: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66693
BRK2055 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: Sales automation and productivity with Microsoft apps https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65422
BRK2129 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: Intelligent and social selling with Microsoft Relationship Sales https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65764
BRK2056 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: Transforming sales collaboration with Microsoft Teams https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65423
THR1122 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: Supercharge your sales team with AI https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66765
THR1125 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional: Modernizing sales productivity https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66767
BRK2398 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI: Accelerate business transformation with the power of AI https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65480
BRK3109 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service: Strategy, investments, and roadmap https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65447
BRK2152 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service: Omni-channel Engagement Hub https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65450
BRK2151 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service: Dynamics 365 Portal – New capabilities and roadmap https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65449
THR3028 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service: Dynamics 365 Portal Authentication demystified https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65452
BRK2222 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service: An introduction https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65413
BRK2478 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service: Deployment best practices https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65411
BRK2223 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service: Enablement with IoT, Mixed Reality, AI, & Mobility https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65412
THR3026 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service: Intelligence https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65831
BRK2057 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing: Discover how to connect marketing and sales in this application deep dive https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65424
BRK2480 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing: An extensible platform https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65425
THR1037 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing: Automate your marketing campaigns https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65763
BRK2181 – Common Data Service for Apps: Building enterprise-ready apps with ease https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65834
BRK2052 – Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM): An introductory session https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65415
THR2048 – Microsoft Power BI: Tips and tricks for easily bringing data into the Common Data Service for Applications https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65416
BRK2053 – Dynamics 365: Automate the migration of on-premise Dynamics CRM to the cloud https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65419
BRK1068 – PowerApps and Microsoft Flow: Best Practices for managing these two applications https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65835
BRK2400 – PowerApps: Building PowerApps from scratch? Use Patch! https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66478
BRK2180 – PowerApps: The top 10 new features that will help you build apps with ease https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65833
BRK2166 – PowerApps: Take your skills to the next level https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65832
THR1075 – Canvas- vs. model-driven PowerApps https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66388
THR2224 – Onboarding customers to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales via PowerApps https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66389
THR3050 – PowerApps: Extending custom code with custom Azure Functions https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66116
THR1173 – Introducing the Future of Learning with Microsoft https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/67371
THR1108 – Training & Certification Roadmap overview https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66620
BRK1072 – IoT made easy with Azure IoT Central https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65812
BRK2470 – IoT enablement – taking action https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/67410
THR2217 – Creating iOT solutions with Microsoft Azure and PowerApps https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/66383
THR3150 – Develop IoT solutions with the Azure IoT developer toolbox https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/67351
This was my first Ignite so attending the 101 session (BRK1125) with Rick Claus and Joey Snow was extremely useful and I would recommend that to new igniters.
Most sessions were very good although I expected more forward information in the roadmap sessions rather just the next release next week. The real benefits are in talking to people on the booths, on buses and even in queues for rides at the celebration party.
The Hands-on-Labs were great and the ability to take exams at 50% off was popular – I took the Dynamics 365 for Marketing exam at 8am before the conference started
I will be going again, and I recommend it now that Dynamics and BizApps is included.