Battle of the sessions – a guide to must see Office 365 admin sessions at Ignite


Ignite is coming. And all sessions are currently fighting an epic battle to convince you that they are the legitimate ones that you need to attend. But how do you choose? Which sessions will you sacrifice? How will you find the dragon egg among them?

You definitely don’t want to lose your head over this question – especially not if you’re new to the realm of Ignite and if you know nothing. Unfortunately, not everybody has a Three-Eyed Raven who can show them the way.

So let me help you with some suggestions which sessions you should not miss as an Office 365 admin.

Warning: spoilers for Ignite sessions follow


  1. Effectively manage Office 365 – what’s new in Office 365 administration If you want an overview of what is happening in the world of Office 365 management, this is your session. The demo heavy session will look both at new features and functionality and give a sneak peek into what you can expect to come in the coming months. If you don’t know yet what areas interest you most, this overview session will also be helpful as you can afterwards pick what deep dive sessions you want to attend.
  2. Understand how your users are using Office 365 – what’s new in Office 365 usage reporting For many end users, moving to Office 365 is a big change. To help your organization transform digitally, you want your end users to be able to effectively use the various services. Targeted communication and training is the key to that. That’s why usage reporting has become more and more important for Office 365 admins. This session will give you an overview of new usage reports and tools – and yes, we’ll also share news on the highly anticipated usage report about Microsoft Teams and the reporting role.
  3. Manage an evergreen service: Office 365 release policies and communication processes In this session, we’ll review the processes and policies that enable the evergreen cloud services to empower IT to further business goals rather than manage servers. Plus, we’ll unveil updates to the Message Center, clarify communication policies, and announce future capabilities.
  4. Manage SharePoint using the new Sharepoint Admin Center All SharePoint admins who live and breathe in the SharePoint admin center, know that administrating OneDrive and SharePoint Online is not a trivial task. At Ignite, we’re introducing a new SharePoint Online Admin Center that simplifies tasks like site management, settings control, and more. This session – presented by the Zohar Raz, the mastermind behind the new SharePoint admin center – is definitely a must attend for all SharePoint and OneDrive admins.
  5. Embrace Office 365 Groups: Overview and roadmap Office 365 groups is the secret source that powers modern teamwork scenarios across  the suite. See how we're making it easier for admins to manage each of these services with groups and enable their employees to connect in a seamless environment.
  6. Ensure productivity for your employees and customers with disabilities with Office 365 accessibility...
    At Microsoft, we’re passionate about designing products for all needs and abilities. In this session, IT Admins can learn how to setup Office 365 to ensure productivity for people of all abilities – including people with temporary conditions such as hand or eye strains and people with situational requirements such as working without a mouse or monitor on the go.
  7. Talk to the people behind the product  – not a session, but the “Office 365 administration” booth is definitely a must “attend” in my eyes. Here, you cannot only meet the people behind the products, but you can also get your questions answered and share feedback directly with the teams that own and build the respective feature.
  8. Meet the community – Ignite is all about community! I know some folks that come to Ignite not to attend sessions – they watch them later on demand – but only to connect with other people from the community. And I can totally understand why! If you want to connect with likeminded IT Pros – what better place than Ignite where you can meet thousands of them? While I totally recommend to get together with other Office 365 admins at Ignite – especially also over a beer at one of the many parties – I also highly recommend attending the community driven sessions. My favorite are MVP led theatre sessions. Why? Theatre sessions are short – you just need to find 20 minutes – and MVPs combine industry and technology knowledge and share great customer stories and best practices. Here are a few to choose from: Microsoft Office 365 adoption: If you can't measure it, it's not happening, Five cool things you can do with Windows PowerShell on Office 365
3 Replies

I had a lot of fun talking to @Daniel Glenn and @Darrell Webster about the Change Management sessions at Ignite. Check out the video to learn more!


best response confirmed by David Leveille (Frequent Contributor)

I only wish I was as cool as @Anne Michels - epic post!

Anne has given a nice assessment of the Microsoft-led sessions that should be considered by people who attend Ignite and want to find out more about Office 365 Administration. Although I do not think I am fighting "an epic battle" to convince anyone to attend particular sessions, I do want to note that MVPs and other independent experts (well, we think we are anyway) are giving 75-minute breakouts as well as the 20-minute theatre sessions.


The 20-minute theatre sessions allow the presenters to cover a very specific point in a short period and there is great value to be mined here. However, there's nothing quite like a deep-dive into a topic delivered with an independent perspective based on hard experience. If you are at Ignite, please support the MVP breakouts and consider what you hear there alongside the view expressed by Microsoft speakers. Sometimes the two views will match; sometimes they will differ. The value is found in putting both in context with the needs and environment of your business and company structure.


I will certainly attend some of the sessions listed by Anne. Given the hectic nature of a massive conference like Ignite, I'll probably need to catch up with most later using the recordings. But I will also make sure to attend the MVP sessions...


BTW, not being a Game of Thrones person, I had to look up the reference to the three-eyed raven ( At least, I hope this is what the reference means...




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Session Code BRK3332 (Tuesday, 4pm, OCCC Valencia W415 AB).
Ten critical areas for those moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365

We'll assume that you have hybrid connectivity sorted, your directory synchronization works, and that mailboxes move smoothly from on-premises servers into the cloud. All seems well, but what should you do next after the initial Office 365 adoption phase completes? This session examines ten critical areas for Office 365 administrators to consider and discusses why things are so different in the cloud. We talk about Exchange Online and backups, compliance and auditing, mobile clients, PowerShell, Office 365 Groups, mobile apps, and keeping up to date. There's a lot to fit into 75 minutes, but you can expect robust and practical commentary from Tony Redmond, one of the most experienced MVPs working in this area.