Microsoft Ignite this year saw the announcement of several features which demonstrated that security was a key priority for FY19. Not only did they declare the end of the password era, but also that AI was a force for good which will be implemented within their products to strengthen their existing offering. If you weren’t one of the thousands of IT professionals that attended the conference in Florida, here are our top 10 announcements.
1. Multi-geo capabilities for SharePoint
There were several changes announced for SharePoint. The key announcements included:
- A Single Office 365 tenant can now span across multiple geos
- Migrate various on-premises satellites data silos into a single Office 365 tenant and at the same time to help meet your data residency needs
- You can now use Office 365 admin tools to easily create and manage satellite sites and if needed move user data between geos
- Get reports on where each user’s data is stored and an audit trail of activities of all users in your global enterprise
- Tailor sharing, security, and compliance policies separately for each geo
2. Microsoft Search
Microsoft Search, a new cohesive search capability, makes it easier for you to find what you need without leaving the flow of your work. Microsoft have put the search box in a consistent, prominent place across Edge, Bing, Windows, and Office apps, so that search is always one click away.
3. The end of the password era
Microsoft are delivering new support for passwordless sign-in to Azure AD-connected apps via Microsoft Authenticator. The Authenticator app replaces your password with a more secure multi-factor sign-in that combines your phone and your fingerprint, face, or PIN. Using a multi-factor sign-in method, you can reduce compromise by 99.9%, making the user experience simpler by eliminating passwords completely.
4. Windows Virtual Desktop
Windows Virtual Desktop enables you to get the best virtual desktop with the full Windows 10 and an optimised Office 365 ProPlus experience. It enables you to stream the full desktop or apps to any device. Windows Virtual Desktop is a benefit available to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education customers. Eligible licences include Microsoft 365 E3 and E5, as well as Windows E3 and E5.
5. Files On-Demand for Mac
Files On-Demand for Mac makes it easy to have access to all your files, but particularly only the files you need to be stored locally on the device – reducing the amount of storage space consumed. Files On-Demand are available to consumer and commercial OneDrive customers, and works across all your personal, work, and shared files in Office 365.
6. External sharing integration with Azure AD B2B
Last year at Ignite Microsoft introduced a new external sharing experience where recipients could access the shared content in a secure way by entering a one-time passcode sent to their email address without creating or remembering passwords. This year, Microsoft are taking it a step further by integrating the one-time passcode sign-in experience with the Azure AD B2B platform. This enables external users to exist in your Azure AD directory as Guests which can be managed in the way you are already familiar with. This integration also brings the one-time passcode experience when sharing SharePoint sites and lists with an external user.
7. Label analytics
Label analytics allows users to get insights into how content is being labelled, including which labels are used most, and what emails and files they’re being applied to. This allows IT teams to explore user activity to identify who applies labels, investigate unusual trends, and more.
8. Build your modern intranet in Office 365
Building an intranet within SharePoint typically takes up a lot of time, and more importantly, development cost. This year, Microsoft announced the introduction of a new Megamenu layout for site and hub navigation – making it easier to build a bespoke intranet within SharePoint. This includes the introduction of new personalised web pats and audience targeting for highlighted content to make sure that the right people are seeing relevant information.
9. Hub sites in the SharePoint admin centre in Office 365
The SharePoint admin centre will now allow you to create SharePoint hub sites and associated other sites once the hub site exists. Previously, admins have only been able to create and manage hub sites through PowerShell, which does not allow admins to manage the UI very easily. This feature makes the management of hub sites much easier via the Admin Portal.
10. Azure Cost Management within Azure Portal public preview
Azure cost management allows you to view your enrolments, manage groups, subscriptions and resources costs over time against a redefined budget. This means that you can easily analyse daily cost patterns to identify anomalies and break costs down by tag, service, location and more. You are also able to set up notifications to alert you when you reach certain thresholds and set up automation with action groups to trigger custom events and enforce hard limits within your environment on your own terms.
Azure Advisor also allows you to optimise your cost and usage with recommendations. Meaning that you can downsize on underused virtual machines and delete unused resources to stay within your budget. You are also able to schedule and export of your subscription and resource group costs as a CSV file daily and automate integration with external systems to keep billing data in sync whenever you need it.