What I am Looking for at Microsoft Ignite 2017

Microsoft Ignite kicks off Monday 25th in Orlando, Florida. This conference is a massive opportunity for the community of IT professionals, business leaders and Microsoft partners to gather, learn and share work going on. I’m speaking twice in the week on Wednesday with talks on Breaking Down the Value of 20 a Yammer post in 20 minutes and a joint talk with Cai Kjaer and Scott Ward on Yammer as a platform for digital disruption.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to this week at Ignite:


Gathering a global community of practitioners means the Ignite Conference presents a fantastic opportunity to connect with people who I have admired, read about their work and interacted over the years. No matter how many social channels you share or how many video conferences you have had meeting face to face is a great chance to deepen relationships.

I’m looking forward to meeting my Change Agents Worldwide colleagues, Susan Scrupski and Lesley Crook. A large part of the talented community of Yammer MVPs and Yammer Adoption Specialists will be at the event and I’m particularly keen to meet Melanie Hohertz, Noah Sparks, Chris Slemp, Martina Grom and Tom Kretzmer who I have not yet met. I will also spend some time during the week helping Alistair Pugin and Darrell Webster of the REgarding365 team with their reporting of the event.

The week also offers fantastic opportunities to engage with the Microsoft Product team leadership and understand their roadmaps thinking. Now is a critical time in the ongoing transformation of Microsoft. Satya Nadella has released his book on that change to coincide with this event. I look forward to what we can learn as Microsoft continues its transformation to a cloud services company and insights into how it will engage with the new opportunities and threats.


Ignite is a place for plenty of learning. Over the 5 days we will hear updates on product roadmaps and strategy, learn from experts and hear clients describe their case studies. A few that I am particularly looking forward to seeing are:

There’s much more goodness across the five days and even narrowing down that list required me to omit many talks. Your tastes may be wider than just collaboration and there are great talks on Office365, Sharepoint, Azure, Security, Analytics and much more. All the talks are recorded and will be available through the Microsoft Tech Community. If you feel like you are missing out, follow the talks and the conversation there.


Last year, I left Microsoft Ignite with a deeper understanding of the opportunity for community management to create new value in collaboration. I was passionately inspired to tell that story and to work with clients to transform how they saw the value creation role of collaboration in their organisations. That inspiration has driven much of what I have done over the last year.

I look forward to the next level of inspiration from this year’s event. I suspect the ideas and passion that I will be taking away will be on the theme of “Collaboration as a Platform for Digital Transformation”. We are reaching a moment where digital transformation is not an edge practice in organisations. Digital transformation is core and now organisations are looking to change management practices, organisational structures and other approaches in the pursuit of new levels of customer focus, agility and innovation.