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Microsoft Cloud Tech Day: Microsoft 365


Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more


I was recently invited to a Microsoft Cloud Tech Day event at the Microsoft office in Mexico City. Here are my thoughts on it.


Surprisingly, this is my first time going to a Microsoft Tech Days event, so I didn't know what to expect. I've attended several Amazon Web Services events in the past, like the AWS Summit, so I had a vague idea of what to expect. But in the end I really enjoyed it, so keep reading to hear my thoughts.


The event was 4 hours long and it focused on the Microsoft 365 line of products. Most people (included myself, but not anymore!), think that Microsoft 365 is just the fancy new name for Microsoft Office. But Microsoft 365 is much more than that, it's a comprehensive suite of tools, intended for the increasing the security and productivity of organizations.



Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft, reliable infrastructure for your innovation

The first section of the presentation focused on the benefits of migrating to the cloud (like productivity gains and cost savings) the fortune 500 companies that use Microsoft Azure like Coca Cola and BMW, and the powerful infrastructure located in more than 65 regions around the world that makes all of this possible. Most people think that Microsoft and Linux are "enemies", but it's far from the truth, as roughly 50% of Azure VMs run Linux, and they also have co-located support with Red Hat.


You may already know that I'm a huge fan of Github, so another exciting news that I learned is that you can use Github to implement DevOps across an organization using the Microsoft Cloud Adoption and Microsoft Azure Well-Architected frameworks, which are frameworks intended to facilitate the implementation of Azure tools and best practices



Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

So this was of course the main topic of the presentation, and they focused on the two main strong points of Microsoft 365, which are the productivity increases (by simplifying the communications between employees and business partners) and the organizational security. Before this I had a lot of misconceptions about what you could and couldn't do with Microsoft 365.


Microsoft offers the following plans, each one containing different applications and services:

Business Apps: Includes desktop apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher and Access

Business Basic: Includes Teams, Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint.

Business Standard: Business Apps + Business Basic

Business Premium: Business Standard + additional productivity tools like Bookings, Delve, Engage, Forms, Power Apps and Power Automate. Additional advanced security tools like Intune and defender.


Aside from all these services, Microsoft includes security features in all of its plans like data encryption, regulatory standards, multifactor authentication and privacy controls.



Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Aside from all the myriad of applications that are already included, the Business Premium subscription includes security tools and features intended to defend against security threats and protect business data.


Some of the security services and platforms that were showcased during the event were:


- Microsoft Defender: An all-around cybersecurity platform that provides protection against viruses, malware, and other threats. It includes features such as real-time threat detection, automatic cleanup, and prevention of malicious software from running on organization devices. Defender offers a firewall to monitor network traffic and block unauthorized access to the organization devices. It also includes anti-phishing protection to prevent attacks that attempt to trick users into sharing sensitive information.

- Microsoft Intune: Intune helps organizations to manage and secure mobile devices, computers and other applications. It provides tools for configuring devices, deploying software, and enforcing security policies. All of this is done from a central location. Intune ensures that users have access to only the resources they need.

- Microsoft Entra: Entra is a security and identity management platform that enables organizations to securely manage identities and access across their entire digital estate. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for identity governance, access management, and threat protection. With Entra you can automate identity and access management processes, reduce risk and complexity and improve user productivity.

- Microsoft Purview: Purview is a comprehensive data governance platform that helps organizations manage their data across all locations and platforms. It provides tools for data discovery, classification, and protection, as well as analytics and reporting capabilities. You can use Purview to identify sensitive data, enforce policies and controls, and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements. Mexican laws for personal data protection are being started to be supported as well.


Aside from all these services, Microsoft Loop was also showcased, and in my opinion it's a really cool way to collaborate on documents. They also showed a demo of Loop + Teams, which really increases the productivity of remote teams. They barely scratched the surface on this one, but they promised a master class on Microsoft Loop, so I'm eagearly awaiting it, since it looks really promising.



Microsoft Power Platform


Another platform that was shown during the presentation was the Microsoft Power Platform, which they tout as the world's most complete set of integrated, low-code development tools.


Some notable mentions here include Power Apps, for developing low code business apps (this reminded me of when I worked with Microsoft Lighswitch back in the day), Power Virtual Agents (Copilot Studio) which is used for quickly developing AI chatbots, Power Pages (a low-code way of developing data-driven websites with) and Power BI (a business intelligence platform, statistics and reporting)


The main idea of the Power Platform is to empower organizations to allow them to create applications in the least possible amount of time. Some developers are afraid of stuff like this because they think they will be out of work due to low-code/no code tools but don't worry, developers are still needed!



Microsoft Hololens


At the end of the presentation we had the opportunity to try the latest and greatest technologies from Microsoft, like the Microsoft Hololens, the Augmented Reality glasses from Microsoft (if you know me then you already know that I'm a fan of AR and already use it for my day to day job). We also got to try the new Microsoft Surface line of netbooks/laptops, which I love because I'm also a fan of handheld and pocketable computers. All in all I think the Microsoft products are here to stay as they cover a lot of ground, not only in the business space, but also in the consumer space.


 

Overall I really enjoyed the event, but I definitely need to attend the next tech day as they barely scratched the surface of what is possible with Office 365 on this one. Here's hoping that the next one will be even better.


Please tell me in the comments below what you think about these events, are they really useful or simply time wasters?

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About the author

With more than 15 years of software development experience, working for renowned companies like Axa and Pinterest, Raúl Bojalil is a passionate of all things IT. He is always learning and looking for ways to make life easier using technology. He can speak Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, so use any language you prefer to get in touch with him!

Contact him via email

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