Ignite 2020: Technology in complex times.

Microsoft has been on the forefront of collaboration and enterprise communication for several decades. At this year’s first-ever, all- virtual developer conference, Ignite, Microsoft focused on the urgent need for digital transformation. Speakers at the event highlighted the fact that the pandemic has changed the way that many of us work.

Organizations have been forced to adopt new tools, shift priorities, adapt to new works styles, all while trying to keep remote teams connected and engaged. The technologies that Microsoft has been promoting for several years (SharePoint, Teams) are now being deployed to help organizations address the needs of a workforce that is working in unprecedented times.

Tech Intensity

A term Satya Nadella coined last year has become more meaningful. We wrote about the idea of Tech Intensity last year and it appears to be even more relevant today.

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At this year’s event, Satya Nadella stated, “The stakes could not be higher, Tech intensity will determine not only whether organizations can weather the current crisis and also determine that they are prepared to navigate future tail events.”

We believe that Tech Intensity is a very important idea. In our client engagements, we try to direct our customers to becoming an organization that values Tech Intensity. The right tools combined with the right people is important to staying competitive.

Collaboration and a Quality User Experience

We have been promoting SharePoint since 2003, so this is nothing new for us. What was very clear at this year’s Ignite, is that the tools that Microsoft has brought to market to help connect users with colleagues and information are getting even better. Products like Teams make the Microsoft suite feel less like “point-solutions” and more like an integrated collaboration solution. The beauty of Teams is that users can connect, share content, and manage critical business processes in one single application… powered in the background by several standalone Microsoft applications.

Announced at this year’s conference, Microsoft is introducing artificial intelligence-powered collaboration features to even further improve collaboration capabilities.


There is no doubt that employers have been under even more stress during the pandemic. It is not easy keeping tabs on all of your employees and without the face-to-face check-ins, It’s hard to get a feel for an employee’s well-being. To further complicate matters, some people simply are unaware that they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or disconnected.

Shamsi Iqbal, a Microsoft researcher, stated, “To have sustained productivity, you need to disengage and replenish your energy, which is why disengagement is super important to prevent burnout.”

Microsoft announced a partnership with meditation app-maker, Headspace. Microsoft is leveraging this partnership to incorporate mindfulness into their products. We think this is a brilliant partnership that could result in some very positive experiences for Microsoft users.

Image of Headspace's mindfulness features integrated into Microsoft Teams.

It’s an interesting time and we found that Microsoft’s approach to hosting a virtual IT developers conference actually worked! From the virtual swag and the ability to not having to decide what session you should go to, Ignite was very accessible and gave us a chance to think about the impact of technology and learn more about what Microsoft is doing to help organizations adapt and thrive in a new world of work.


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