6 Top Tech Discoveries at Microsoft IgniteOctober 4, 2017 11:23 am ·
The energy level was high at this year’s MS Ignite event. Aside from the usual excitement over product unveilings, technology updates, and sessions full of learning, people were excited that the event could still take place after Hurricane Irma. Turnout was impressive, and it was truly a time come together to learn, grow, and show support for the wonderful city of Orlando.
We not only caught up with old tech friends, but explored some great new product finds on the expo floor. Check out our discoveries!
Who: Hive Streaming
What: Software-only video solutions
Products like Netflix and Hulu have revolutionized internet video viewing at home. These same users now expect this same ease of video streaming at work. But in the corporate and enterprise environment, watching a new training video or a webcast delivered by the CEO can create havoc for users in the network. Usually, everyone who clicks to watch a video will pull their own stream.
Hive Streaming technology improves this, by enabling everyone in a network segment to view the one, single stream. It reduces video traffic over unicast by more than 90%. Hive users use peer-assist technology to achieve these results, supporting both live and on-demand video through platforms like Skype Meeting Broadcast and Office 365 Video.
“I think most people know that video helps increase productivity as it tends to be more personal, memorable, and impactful than a memo or email. Hive enables companies to be able to embrace video communications across the enterprise. We find that it’s especially powerful in companies who have regional offices. Being able to broadcast a video presentation simply by sending a Skype Meeting Broadcast meeting request out and then webcasting live video from your desktop if very empowering,” said Stephen Condon, technology marketing leader at Hive Streaming.
At events like Microsoft Ignite, Hive Streaming’s software-only solution surprises many users. Not just the fact that many Fortune 500 companies have used it, but the network analytics it generates. Since the Hive Software resides on the user’s desktop, the platform gets tremendous insight into the condition of the network.
“We reveal where there are bottlenecks or areas where there maybe challenges and what the quality of experience is for each viewer. We can do this before each event which gives the customer tremendous confidence that their video event isn’t going to fall on its face — which is important because they are often CEO webcasts,” said Condon.
With the new direction Microsoft is taking with their Teams and Stream products, Condon sees adoption of video on the rise and looks forward to delivering those videos for Microsoft customers.
What: SPorganizer™ — management solutions to simplify SharePoint
SharePoint — Microsoft’s robust content management system (CMS) — holds many capabilities for companies, when used correctly. Unfortunately, effective use can be hard to attain, thanks to the complexities and complications of prior releases, outdated workflows, and shifts in business priorities. These issues can make adoption of SharePoint a real struggle. That’s where DocAuto comes in. With 20 years of experience helping companies leverage enterprise content manage (ECM) systems, they built SPorganizer™, a tool that simplifies the process and maximizes the value companies can get from SharePoint.
Companies want great flexibility when managing SharePoint and the ability to customize the tool to fit business requirements to a T. That’s what SPorganizer does for the user. Laurie Douglas, vice president of marketing at DocAuto said SPorganizer is easy to use and less expensive to manage while allowing for timely changes. These timely changes also mean companies can install and operate this platform on their systems within minutes.
Some SharePoint managers limit what can be done within the platform, but SPorganizer does not limit or restrain. Users were even more excited about SPorganizer’s capabilities unveiled in the SPorganizer Fall 2017 Release, Douglas said, with improvements made to data collection, reporting, and sharing processes.
“If you ask someone at DocAuto what SPorganizer does, you get a rather amusing answer — SPorganizer takes any kind of data from any source and uses it to find anything and do anything about anything within SharePoint,” Douglas said. “It sounds odd, probably because most solutions are developed with specific use cases, industry verticals, and problems in mind. But DocAuto’s roots are found in the ECM space, so they chose to develop a product that exposes IT to the entire environment, allowing every last part of SharePoint to be managed from within SPorganizer.”
Who: Men & Mice
What: DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management Suite — an enterprise-class overlay solution
Management of network infrastructure can be a real beast sometimes, especially when you consider technological disruption, the IoT, the multiplication of IP traffic and networked devices, consolidation of on-premises legacy network infrastructure, and cloud computing. It’s a lot to keep track of for large and small IT teams alike.
With the Men & Mice (yes, an intriguing company name) DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management Suite, created after the internet boom in the early 2000s, users can consolidate and control the sometimes messy world of network infrastructure management. The suite provides tools for monitoring the network and keeping it running on a consistent loop.
As Paul Terrill, Men & Mice director of North American sales, said, “The ability to achieve single pane of glass management of large, diverse networks not only dramatically improves the efficiency of IT networking staff, but also prevents the errors that invariably occur when there’s a lack of consistency and visibility. These errors aren’t a minor annoyance — they result in network outages that can cost millions in lost revenue and customer confidence, and leave the organization vulnerable to malicious attacks. In short: the Men & Mice Suite makes the enterprise stronger by making the network stronger and more resilient.”
Men & Mice designs and builds backend agnostic products capable of adapting to change quickly and securely — a large benefit, considering the number of servers, vendors, and platforms the average user has to deal with today. As an enterprise-class overlay solution, the suite pulls together critical network data under a unified display through support for IP networks on-premises, in the cloud, and in hybrid or multi-cloud environments.
“Men & Mice has had a close working relationship with Microsoft through the years, exhibited in unparalleled DDI integration with Microsoft Active Directory and more recently, collaboration with Microsoft Azure on third-party support for Azure DNS, whose General Availability was announced at Microsoft Ignite exactly one year ago,” said said Jo Van Schalkwyk, Men & Mice project manager.
Van Schalkwyk explained that their decades of experience in the industry taught them that the more they learn, and the more they help our customers learn, the better prepared everyone is for the unexpected shifts to come in the technology world.
What: Hybrid cloud-management platform
It’s an undeniable truth: the future of technology lies in digital. Organizations are currently adjusting to make this transition, and the vast majority will eventually adopt hybrid cloud solutions to drive their IT transformation.
When IT organizations migrate workloads to the cloud, they must deliver workload performance while minimizing cost and maintaining compliance. It would be difficult enough if they only needed to keep tabs on expanding and dynamic cloud assets, but companies also have to manage the performance of these workloads with continuously changing demand for computers, storage, network, application, and databases — all while minimizing cost and maintaining critical compliance use-cases.
“This cannot be done manually. It is beyond human-scale and requires a self-managing, software-based solution, like Turbonomic — the industry’s only self-managing hybrid cloud management platform,” said Katryn McGaughey, head of corporate communications at Turbonomic.
When Turbonomic was founded, its purpose was to solve a long-standing IT management problem: dynamically matching real-time workload demand with infrastructure supply to lower cost — on-premises and in public cloud, continuously, in real-time, McGaughey explained. The platform as it is today transforms productivity by preventing problems from occurring before they happen. The tool eliminates the “break-fix” loop, well-known to those who work in IT. (i.e. Waiting until something breaks, then scrambling to find a solution. And in the cloud, these problems and breaks can be costly).
“Turbonomic is the only platform where self-managed applications assure their performance autonomously through software and by software — with minimal human intervention, only when absolutely needed,” said McGaughey. To back this up, the company was recently named to the Forbes 2017 Cloud 100 List for the second year and recently named as the “Next Pillar Tech Company” by the New England Venture Capital Association.
What: Cloud native approach to enterprise environments
Although virtual desktops have been used in enterprise environments since the late ’90s, management costs and user performance issues have prevented widescale, global adoption. FSLogix was launched by four virtualization software industry experts to solve this problem with a new cloud native approach. The company has since expanded to meet the increasing global demand for its solutions.
“As customers migrate traditionally in-house services, like email, to cloud alternatives, like Office 365 — now Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product in their history — they’re running across unexpected issues,” said Brandon Lee, solutions marketer at FSLogix. “FSLogix is the leading innovator of solutions that reduce the amount of hardware, time, and labor required to support desktop virtualization platforms. With implementations ranging from less than 1,000 to over 50,000 users, FSLogix Apps enhances the user experience while reducing support requirements for companies like Cottage Health, Philips (PHG), and City of London Police.”
Consumers at events like Microsoft Ignite come up to FSLogix and say things like, “We’re migrating to Office 365 and we’re having major performance issues in our environment. How can FSLogix help?”
Lee informed us one customer even said, “I visited the FSLogix booth for a demo and in-depth discussion, and we elected to integrate [FSLogix Office 365 Container] into our Office 2013 test environment to determine if it would work in a real-world setting. The reality is that there really isn’t anything else out there when it comes to Citrix XenApp.”
What: Mediasite Join — collaborative video technology to connect remote employees or students with the home base
Most video consumers are interested in one single solution for creating, publishing, searching, and managing all their video, live or on-demand. They don’t want to use several different products in order to accomplish their video goals. With the Mediasite Video Platform, tech users can host their content on-premises or in the Mediasite Video Cloud — or even a mix of both.
To add to that offering, Mediasite unveiled their latest product at MS Ignite 2017 — Mediasite Join, their new collaborative video platform that connects remote classrooms to the rest of the class or remote employees to the business office. The goal is to bond remote employees or students so they feel more connected despite physical distances.
“Our customers find it extremely functional because it treats the captured video — live or on-demand — like it does any other Mediasite video. It doesn’t just capture the talking heads. It also captures any supporting material presented on the video conference,” said CEO Gary Weis.
This new unveiling follows the company’s goal of helping companies communicate with greater impact, more reliable delivery, to improve customer experience, and to strengthen collaboration.
Mediasite’s video creation and management solutions currently serve over 4,300 customers across 65 countries. Due to this high level of use, the company has access to strong analytics surrounding the product, and they can tell how many views occur, hours of viewing that take place, and the number of videos created.
“In 2016 alone, users created 2 million videos that received 50 million views. That’s 20 million hours of video viewed. If we look back over the past several years there are 4 million presentations. For most of these parameters, the year-over-year growth is 20 to 40 percent. This is real proof of the value of the technology that we have,” said Weis.