MVP Communities’ Contributions to Microsoft Ignite Japan
Published Feb 01 2024 12:00 AM 1,884 Views

Microsoft Ignite Japan 2023 was held in mid-December 2023 in Osaka, Japan, as an opportunity for Japanese customers to learn about the technologies announced at Microsoft Ignite 2023, including Azure OpenAI Service, Copilot services, and other Microsoft AI technologies.


At this event, keynote speech and technical sessions were held for attendees who visited the venue and those who joined online from various locations. Additionally, for those who attended in person, the EXPO venue, Connect & Learn, offered Mini-stage sessions and booth exhibits for further learning opportunities, as well as hands-on sessions that allowed participants to actively engage with the technology. Attendees enjoyed a day of experiencing the latest technology from all angles.


The event featured Table Topics sessions where Japanese Microsoft MVPs, Regional Directors, and a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador shared their insights and perspectives. The AI hands-on sessions helped attendees learn new technologies with the guidance of MVPs and community leaders. The Expert Meetup booth also offered a chance to ask questions to MVPs who are technology experts. This blog post highlights the contributions of the speakers and facilitators of the Table Topics sessions and the AI hands-on sessions.

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In the Table Topics session titled Walking with AI : 変革を共に歩む (“Walking Together Through Transformation"), Keiji Kamebuchi, a Microsoft Azure MVP/Regional Director, graciously contributed from the planning stages of the session and shared his expertise on Microsoft AI and cloud technologies as a speaker alongside Data Platform MVP Yugo Shimizu. Keiji, who resides in Osaka where the event was held, reflected on his participation, saying, "In an era where large conferences in local areas are dwindling, being involved in hosting a conference here in Osaka was an incredibly enjoyable experience. It made me feel the unique energy that can only be experienced on-site and reaffirmed my belief in the necessity of having a local, rooted presence regardless of its form."



The shift from the norm of in-person meetings to online formats, and now the expansion to in-person, online, and hybrid models, has significantly broadened the spectrum of event hosting options. The nature of interactions varies with each format. From his experiences interacting with attendees at this conference, Keiji says, "Online communication and feedback, transcending geographical boundaries, are highly convenient and undoubtedly wonderful. However, it became clear that they represent just a fraction of the information. There are as many scenes and individuals as there are places, and there's still a wealth of unknown insights and feedback out there. Such conferences are an extremely effective opportunity to broaden our reach and communicate with more people."


Keiji shared his aspirations for future community activities: "I will leverage the online initiatives we've developed over the past few years to bridge online and offline activities and create more opportunities."


Shunsuke Yoshikawa, a Microsoft Azure MVP since June 2023, contributed to this conference in two ways: as the organizer of one of the AI Hands-on sessions, the Azure OpenAI Service hands-on session, and as a speaker for the Table Topics session, Microsoft MVP と語ろう! 最新の Security&Infra アップデート (“Let's Discuss with Microsoft MVPs! The Latest Security & Infra Updates"), alongside Security MVP Naohiro Fujie. He shared his joy of contributing to this opportunity as an MVP, saying, "I used to attend sessions as an audience member, never imagining I would be on stage myself. It's an honor to have been responsible for a session attended by so many people."

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From his direct interactions with participants at the aforementioned AI hands-on, Shunsuke felt a high level of expectation towards AI. "Many participants seemed to be considering specific business applications, giving the impression that the use of AI is becoming commonplace, and it won't be long before this is the norm. It's exciting to think about how the widespread use of AI by many engineers will transform our lives and businesses."


Shunsuke expressed his outlook on future technology community activities: "I would like to convey the convenience and excitement of the cloud to those around me. By involving those who find my messages interesting, I will energize and empower the community!"


Rei Suzuki was one of the speakers in the Table Topics session, 新しい技術を好きになるためにみんなはどうしてる? (”What Are You All Doing to Start Liking New Technologies?”), as the event's sole Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador speaker, alongside Developer Technologies MVP Yuta Matsumura and Business Applications MVP Ryota Nakamura. It was his first time speaking at an in-person conference, and he felt a great deal of happiness and value in the experience, stating, "It was a tremendous honor for me to speak at this event, and a valuable experience. In particular, interacting and sharing knowledge and experiences with the MVP speakers was a significant learning opportunity. Also, I was able to deepen my understanding of new technologies, not just through the lectures but also by visiting various booths."



As mentioned earlier, Rei spoke alongside two Microsoft MVP speakers, offering a student perspective on engaging with technology. Collaborating with MVPs leading the tech community proved to be a learning opportunity beyond just technical skills. He noted, "Collaborating with MVPs, who are active in various fields, was an excellent opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter. Additionally, I was able to learn presentation skills and ways to communicate with the audience to ensure a smooth in-person speaking experience."


During the session, Rei also expressed a desire to further distribute Microsoft technologies among students. Drawing from their conference experience, he is keen to foster more community activities. "I would like to leverage this experience to share knowledge with more people and deepen exchanges, particularly focusing on supporting students and beginners to familiarize themselves with Microsoft products (like Microsoft Azure) and planning events to help improve technical skills."


The Table Topics sessions mentioned above, among other event contents, has been archived and are available on the official Microsoft Japan YouTube channel. Watch the videos to understand their enthusiasm (if you are not a Japanese speaker, please turn auto-translated caption on and enjoy the videos!)

Microsoft Ignite Japan 2023 - YouTube

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