Top 9 ESPC 2023 sessions to manage Microsoft 365 

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The European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference (ESPC) is right around the corner, and the Microsoft 365 world is buzzing. Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld shares his must-see sessions for Microsoft 365 management.  

From November 27-30, IT professionals worldwide will meet in my hometown of Amsterdam. A truly special occasion! ‘ 

We all know that for your employees to do their best work, your technology infrastructure should sufficiently support them. So how can you excel in your role of helping your IT team achieve that goal? By finding resources that keep you at the forefront of the industry’s rapidly advancing technologies!  

Luckily, at this one conference, you’ll gain all the insights and solutions you need to solve the most common and complex problems you might face when working with SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Teams, Azure, and Business Apps. There, among dozens of experts in AI, security, governance, and more, you’ll discover how to help your team say goodbye to any technology barriers holding back their efficiency. 

Yet, with more than 120 sessions and 18 tracks, creating your ideal schedule might feel like a tall order. No need to stress, because below, I’ve already done the hard work in curating the sessions you don’t want to miss! (Besides my own November 28th session on protecting and governing sensitive data with Microsoft Purview in Microsoft Teams.)  

ESPC23 scoop: What to expect in sessions, keynotes, and value 

Based on my experience attending last year’s in-person ESPC event in Copenhagen, I know you don’t want to miss spending these four inspiring days learning and networking with industry peers. At the keynotes and sessions, you’ll encounter Microsoft employees and other Microsoft 365 enthusiasts who will share their knowledge and passion for the software. Best of all, when you’re not hitting the books in the classroom, you can also connect with the speakers in person. 

Plus, get ready to see the freshest features and updates in action during live demos! And to get practical tips for better incorporating and leveraging features you’re already used to. 

Personally, I’m stoked to explore artificial intelligence more, and specifically, the conference’s hottest topic: Microsoft’s AI service, Copilot. The strides Microsoft has made in AI are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and I’m geeking out over finally witnessing their new product at ESPC. I can’t wait to discover how it might benefit both me and my customers. On top of that, I’m itching to get more details on Microsoft Viva, because, from my perspective, it’s such an innovative solution for enhancing employee engagement in our digital workspaces. 

Finally, I know data security will also be taking the spotlight at this event – which should matter to everyone in the audience. Yes, we’re all going to discuss the advantages of migrating data to Microsoft 365. (And what to do with it once we’re there!) But let’s face it, there’s a trade-off to using cloud computing for smoother data access: increased security risks like data leaks and security breaches. The security-focused sessions at ESPC will give us the skills to prevent the finances and customer trust issues that other companies have faced. 

Top ESPC23 sessions to manage Microsoft 365 

It’s been interesting to see the new trends and developments in the Microsoft ecosystem that have emerged in the last year, particularly with AI. But it’s critical that we move beyond just discussing these tools in theoretical and abstract ways – and actually talk about how we apply them hands-on in the real world. I believe this conference will really give IT pros a chance to learn in-depth about how these changes and innovations will impact their organizations on the ground level. 

Here are the ESPC23 sessions I recommend that you attend to learn about how you can use Microsoft 365 tools for enhancing security and collaboration:

1. Keynote: AI Transformation of Work 

I’ve always been fascinated by AI’s potential to reshape the ways we work and automate more mundane tasks. So of course, my anticipation is running high right now for Microsoft’s opening keynote at the conference. 

They’ll showcase the latest productivity innovations in Microsoft 365, with demos and insights on AI, and Microsoft Copilot. And I’m looking forward to diving deeper into Microsoft’s vision for how technology can influence productivity in the future. 

Jeff Teper – Microsoft USA’s President of Collaborative Apps & Platforms – is on the speaker list. If you want to get a feel for his IT savvy before the event,  read these IT strategies for the modern workplace from him and other Microsoft MVPs and industry experts. You can also pick his brain for his thoughts on Microsoft 365 and the future of work in this recap from a fireside chat with ShareGate. 

Time: Tuesday, November 28th from 9:00-10:00 am 

Speaker(s): Jeff Teper, Omar Shahine, Adam Harmetz, and Jason Moore 

2. Microsoft 365 Copilot 

As I mentioned several times already, I’m excited about the chance to explore Microsoft Copilot in-depth at ESPC23. And after attending the keynote that talks more broadly about artificial intelligence, this specific deep-dive into Microsoft Copilot will be the perfect follow-up to stay in the AI zone.  

Microsoft’s Karuana Gatimu will teach us more about Copilot governance and management. Together, we’ll discover how the fascinating machine-learning-powered virtual assistant can help us work smarter.  

In the meantime, read this guide on how Copilot can supercharge SharePoint provisioning to see just one way this new platform can revolutionize our digital work life. 

Time: Tuesday, November 28th from 10:20-11:15am 

Speaker(s): Karuana Gatimu 

3. Manage Content Lifecycle with Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive 

The growing volume of digital data and documents we have to manage is exhausting, right? Especially while navigating the landmines of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. That’s why I’m drawn to learning more about Microsoft’s new solutions: Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive. This is a must-see session: audience members can ask questions at a critical moment when Microsoft is at the forefront of innovation in backup and archive services. Get ready for lots of demos! 

Time: Tuesday, November 28th from 15:15 -16:15pm 

Speaker(s): Shyam Narayan and Reid Carlberg 

4. IT Pro Meets Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle and Records Management 

For those who don’t know, Joanne (this session’s facilitator) shines like a superstar in the world of data lifecycle and record management. Particularly with Microsoft Purview! I’ve always loved absorbing her wisdom through blog posts – but now we can all encounter it IRL. 

Join this session if you’re an IT professional who wants to level up your understanding of these critical topics. I can’t wait to learn more about Purview’s new features and updates and how IT folks can support compliance efforts. And, of course, she’ll bring in several practical use cases to make it more relevant and beneficial for us. 

Time: Tuesday, November 28th from 16:45-17:45 pm 

Speaker(s): Joanne Klein 

5. Meet Viva Amplify 

ESPC23 attendees will love meeting Viva Amplify, the newest family member of the employee experience platform Microsoft Viva.  In this session, Karuna will teach you how to use this forward-thinking tool to manage and organize your communications from a single central location. As someone perpetually on the hunt for ways to improve communication where I work at InSpark, I’m pumped to see how Viva Amplify adds value for our customers, too. 

Time: Thursday, November 30th from 14:00-15:00 pm 

Speaker(s): Karuana Gatimu 

Learn more from workshop facilitator Karuana Gatimu with this recap: ShareGate’s fireside chat on Microsoft 365’s latest innovations and governance

6. Teams Shared Channels Under the Hood 

Microsoft Teams introduced “shared channels” as a new feature over a year ago. Unfortunately, our customers at InSpark haven’t entirely warmed up to it just yet – a real shame considering how its features hold such promise in improving workplace collaboration.  

So, of course, I’m absolutely looking forward to this session, an in-depth plunge into the inner workings of shared channels, with a focus on IT professionals. My goal? To leave with enough info so I can better motivate our customers to use this feature. I’m hoping the same for you! 

Time: Thursday, November 30th, from 10:15-11:15 am 

Speaker(s): Bram de Jager

7. How we Implemented Microsoft Search at Ubisoft 

As a gamer, this session’s title instantly caught my eye. But it’s not just about going into full nerd mode over meeting people who work behind the scenes of my beloved hobby. I’m also eager to witness this case study of how one of the largest gaming companies implements Microsoft Search in the real world. ESPC23 is all about taking inspiration from the lessons and challenges of other industry professionals. And this session is the prime time for that! 

Time: Wednesday, November 29th from 15:15-16:15pm 

Speaker(s): Franck Cornu 

8. Viva Connections: Bring your Intranet and Digital Workplace to the Next Level 

Don’t miss out on learning from Sue Hanley! She’s a well-known leader in helping organizations build effective SharePoint and Microsoft 365 intranet and collaboration solutions that leverage best practices for information architecture, governance, and user adoption.   

Given my own experience working in intranet and digital workplace services, I’m looking forward to hearing her thoughts on best practices for elevating customer experience using Microsoft Viva modules like Viva Connections, Home, and Engage. Fostering a strong online community for our teams is critical to our success – and this session can help you achieve that goal. 

Time: Tuesday, November 28th from 14:00-15:00 pm 

Speaker(s): Susan Hanley 

9. Beyond the Thunderdome: Microsoft 365 Guest & External Access Inside & Out 

To successfully implement Microsoft 365 in the workplace, we need to be able to rely on safe and secure external user access. But that feat requires some serious technical knowledge! Luckily, Andy Malone’s session can give you the skills to manage guest permissions and collaboration with minimal hiccups. Personally, I’m excited to see the award-winning YouTuber’s live demos! 

Time: Thursday, November 30th, from 10:15-11:15 am 

Speaker(s): Andy Malone 

The ultimate Teams security move: one killer best practice 

Earlier, I mentioned I’ll be giving a session at ESPC23 all about maintaining Microsoft Teams security using Microsoft Purview. Before my longer explanation at the conference, I wanted to share one quick tip with you about data security on the platform. 

If your organization uses Microsoft Teams to collaborate, maintaining a safe and secure environment will be essential for your long-term success. And having a top-notch governance strategy is a crucial piece of achieving that stability. 

To be truly effective in protecting your data, you need to develop a governance strategy that considers how you work with guests, how you classify and protect data, and how you define your requirements for securely deploying Teams. 

Yes, that sounds like a lot of hard work! But it will ultimately improve how much your employees actually integrate the tool into their workflow. Your organization will also be more adaptable and, most importantly, more secure. 

Unlock Microsoft 365’s full potential at ESPC23

ESPC23 promises to be an exceptionally fun and educational experience. With sessions on diverse topics from AI and cybersecurity to workplace communication and data management, there’s something for everyone, no matter in which area you want to improve your skills.   

Remember, the technology itself should never solely drive the way your organization implements Microsoft 365 tools. As a Microsoft professional, you’ll often hear me telling our customers about how important it is to strike a balance between their business requirements and the features the services offer. 

That’s why ESPC23 is the perfect place to learn about how to use Microsoft tools to empower employees in their daily work lives. And how to guide them so they know how to leverage the services successfully. 

I loved collaborating with ShareGate to create my 2023 conference guide. Make sure to attend their Solutions Architect Samuel Martineau’s session about managing migrations and Microsoft 365 with ShareGate. A can’t-miss session for IT professionals who want to learn about stress-free Microsoft 365 management and migration. 

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