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Top 10 Microsoft Ignite 2021 sessions to secure Microsoft Teams and learn about Microsoft Viva

Jasperigniterecap March2021 Featured Jasperigniterecap March2021 Featured

With Microsoft Ignite 2021 fast approaching, Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld (@jasoosterveld) shares his top picks for the Microsoft Viva, Microsoft Teams, and Teams compliance-related Ignite sessions you won’t want to miss!

Related: Our ultimate guide to external sharing in Microsoft 365

Unfortunately, we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and Microsoft Ignite 2021 is once again online. That said, I really enjoyed the previous online edition. The length of the sessions in particular, around 30 minutes each, were right up my alley! This made it a lot easier to watch multiple sessions, and the content was succinct and straight to the point.

The entirely digital Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference will run from March 2nd through March 4th—and looks like it includes a lot of great sessions! And, since finding the right session can sometimes be challenging (there are almost 350 sessions listed in the session catalog this time around!), I’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

My focus for this edition of Ignite is the newly-introduced Microsoft Viva as well as Microsoft Teams and compliance. So, I put together this list of my top 10 Microsoft Ignite 2021 sessions that will help you learn about one of Microsoft’s newest services and get you up to speed on everything related to Microsoft Teams and compliance!

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Microsoft Ignite 2021 sessions: Microsoft Viva

The recent announcement of Microsoft Viva took the world by surprise!

Microsoft Viva brings together communications, knowledge, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere. Powered by the full breadth and depth of Microsoft 365, it is experienced through Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps that people use every day.

Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, “Microsoft Viva: Empowering every employee for the new digital age”

Strategically announced a couple of weeks before Microsoft Ignite 2021, we can now enjoy a series of sessions about this new service from Microsoft.

Here are my five recommended Microsoft Ignite 2021 sessions to watch if you want to learn more about Microsoft Viva:

  1. Meet Microsoft Viva: a new kind of employee experience
  2. Introducing Microsoft Viva Connections
  3. Introducing Microsoft Viva Learning
  4. Microsoft Viva Insights: Create a culture where people and business thrive
  5. Microsoft Viva Topics: Put knowledge to work with content and AI

Meet Microsoft Viva: a new kind of employee experience

According to Microsoft, Microsoft Viva is the first employee experience platform built for the digital era—bringing together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to “be their best, from anywhere.” This session will provide a global overview of the Viva experiences through Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps. If you want to learn more about Microsoft Viva, then this is a session you can’t miss.

Session code: FS193, FS193-R1
Time slot: Wednesday, March 3rd / 3:00 — 3:30 PM EST
Thursday, March 4th / 12:30 — 1:00 AM EST
Speaker: Chuck Friedman

Introducing Microsoft Viva Connections

After I check out the “Meet Microsoft Viva” session mentioned above, this one is next on my list! Viva Connections provides a curated, personalized, and company-branded experience that centralizes relevant news and conversations. This session will show how Viva’s integration in the apps and devices your teams already use every day, like Microsoft Teams, make it easy to deploy. You can expect to discover how, with the help of Viva Connections, we can shape culture and foster communication to help our teams thrive. Exciting!

Session code: OD369
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speaker: Adam Harmetz

Introducing Microsoft Viva Learning

Learning, and staying up to date with the latest InSpark and Microsoft developments, is a crucial part of my work life. Viva Learning promises to become a central hub for learning in Teams where we can share, assign, and learn from content libraries across our organization. I’m excited to learn more about how Viva Learning can empower our teams and colleagues to make learning a natural part of our day.

Session code: OD370
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speaker: Swati Jhawar

Microsoft Viva Insights: Create a culture where people and business thrive

Viva Insights is aimed at improving productivity and wellbeing. Last year, Microsoft announced a partnership with the meditation company, Headspace—and I’m expecting Viva Insights to be an integration of Headspace with MyAnalytics. In this session, you’ll discover how data-driven insights and actionable recommendations from Microsoft Viva Insights can help empower people, teams, and organizations to improve productivity and wellbeing. You’ll also learn about the default safeguards we can rely on to protect personal privacy, such as de-identification, aggregation, and differential privacy.

Session code: OD368
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speaker: Kamal Janardhan

Microsoft Viva Topics: Put knowledge to work with content and AI

Last, but certainly not least, Viva Topics! I’m expecting to see a lot of SharePoint Syntex features in this session. Viva Topics promises to free up time by making it easy for people to find information and put knowledge to work. Just leave it up to Naomi and Chris to deliver an entertaining and insightful session—I can’t wait!

Session code: OD372
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speakers: Naomi Moneypenny, Chris McNulty


Microsoft Ignite 2021 sessions: Microsoft Teams and compliance

2020 was an amazing year for Microsoft Teams. We saw a huge increase in usage accompanied by many updates and new features. Microsoft is not slowing down, and we can expect a lot of interesting new updates for 2021!

Last year, I mentioned that I had started down a new path in my personal Microsoft journey, switching to a focus on governance and compliance. I worked on multiple compliance-focused projects in 2020, and I can’t wait to see what Microsoft has in store for us next!

Here are my five recommended Microsoft Ignite 2020 sessions on Microsoft Teams and compliance:

  1. Managing Microsoft Teams in 20 Minutes: Crash-course on SharePoint & Microsoft 365 integration
  2. The latest innovations with Microsoft Teams
  3. Get the most out of Microsoft Teams by integrating your apps and processes
  4. Secure and compliant collaboration with Microsoft Teams
  5. Manage risk and secure information across your environment

Managing Microsoft Teams in 20 Minutes: Crash-course on SharePoint & Microsoft 365 integration

ShareGate’s Head of Product and resident Microsoft Regional Director—someone I’m also happy to call my friend—Benjamin Niaulin is going to give a 20-minute crash-course style overview of the Microsoft Teams platform, review best practices for Teams administration, and guide you through all of the different products and controls you should be looking at in order to deliver a productive and secure Microsoft Teams environment. This is a session that can’t be missed!

Session code: OD446
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speaker: Benjamin Niaulin

The latest innovations with Microsoft Teams

Based on the title, I’m expecting to see the latest innovations from Microsoft Teams in this session. Nicole is going to focus on meeting experiences, hosting webinars, and making it easier to collaborate securely with people outside of your organization. Personally, I’m looking forward to the section about hosting webinars due to the fact that most events are now online, and I’ve personally done many online presentations with Microsoft Teams in 2020. I’m curious to see what’s in store for us!

Session code: FS192, FS192-R1
Time slot: Tuesday, March 2nd / 7:00 — 7:30 PM EST
Wednesday, March 3rd / 4:30 — 5:00 AM EST
Speaker: Nicole Herskowitz

Get the most out of Microsoft Teams by integrating your apps and processes

During Microsoft Teams workshops with our customers, I always emphasize the ability of Teams to integrate with existing business processes; you can digitize your business processes and integrate them within Microsoft Teams with the Power Platform. A win-win situation! In this session, you’ll learn about the tools Microsoft provides for building high quality apps, developing custom solutions with Teams and Power Platform, and how to deploy and manage these app integrations. A must watch for all of the Power Platform and Microsoft Teams enthusiasts out there!

Session code: OD381
Time slot: Pre-recorded
Speakers: Weston Lander, Jun Pak

Secure and compliant collaboration with Microsoft Teams

With the shift to distributed work, Microsoft Teams usage has soared—and that means concerns around securing the collaboration that goes on in Teams have soared, too. This session will discuss the latest security and compliance innovations in Microsoft Teams that can help you (and your end users) collaborate with confidence. Understand how the latest features can help you meet regulatory and business requirements while enabling secure meetings and collaboration across your organization.

Session codes: FS191, FS191-R1
Time slots: Wednesday, March 3rd / 4:00 — 4:30 PM EST
Thursday, March 4th / 1:30 — 2:00 AM EST
Speakers: John Gruszczyk, Rushmi Malaviarachchi, Mansoor Malik, Stephen Rose, Darrel Webster

Manage risk and secure information across your environment

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our customers quickly moved towards using Microsoft Teams and other cloud-based tools. This was a necessary transition in order for organizations to provide their employees with the tools they need to stay productive and maintain communication. Although this new situation has many advantages, it’s not without its risks. Data is now being accessed and stored outside of the traditional borders of business—across endpoints, clouds, and apps. Managing risk and securing sensitive information is critical to digital transformation. This session will show how Microsoft’s risk management and compliance solutions enable us to identify and respond to these emerging risks while keeping our most important information safe. I will definitely be watching this session with my compliance colleague, Bram!

Session code: FS196, FS196-R1
Time slots: Tuesday, March 2nd / 7:00 —7:30 PM EST
Wednesday, March 3rd / 4:30 —5:00 AM EST
Speakers: Marc Elkins, Cathy Lin, Rudra Mitra, Erin Miyake, Alym Rayani, John Ritchie


Improving on the virtual conference experience

Personally, I’m still a bit sad that we can’t all meet in person. But, I hope that by 2022 we can all be together again—fingers crossed!

That said, Microsoft Ignite 2021 promises to be an amazing online event with loads of great content. Some of the advantages of being online are the shorter session lengths and the immediate availability of the recordings and related resources.

Microsoft learned from the experience of the Microsoft Ignite 2020 event and used that insight to step up their game and deliver what (I predict) may be the best online Microsoft Ignite ever!

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