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Modern Microsoft - We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Presenter’s Notes


  • Changes are trending broader; greater fundamental shifts (identity systems, core infrastructure)
  • Low awareness/understanding of modern ecosystem (things changing so fast, people don’t have time to keep up)
    • Divergence between knowledgebase and products (pace of change!!)
  • We exist to equip our organization for success
    • Help Great People do Greater things
  • This is a reference point for Modern Microsoft – workplace enablement
  • How to digest all of this (so much change, tools have such a broad scope!)

Results matter more than tools!

  • Modern solutions are results-focused
    • Not tools-focused; we don’t serve tools, tools serve us

Setting the Stage - Where is MS Coming From?

  • Microsoft seeing significant failures…
    • failure to build mobile platforms
    • Windows losing market share
    • Exchange -> Google apps
    • “Less Cool”

The Comeback

  • Focus on:
    • Culture, people, results (instead of tools)

Modern areas of focus

  • Trust, collaboration, mobility, inteligence

Update in 2018

  • creativity, teamwork, simplicity, security
  • MS basically doesn’t care about selling servers and/or Surface Books anymore…they want to sell 👆
  • There is tension between these results!
    • Tools that don’t actively deliver results will be changed or replaced

Example Environments

  • Classify by complexity: simple / moderate / complex
    • There is time to deliberately migrate over a reasonalb eime period, but we need to be looking more like “Modern Microsoft” in the next 3 years

Simple Environment

  • No need for on-prem servers, except local NAS
  • No Windows server, traditional AD
    • Purely modern SaaS solutions!
  • Less than 10 non-microsoft SaaS in use
    • Little use for Windows machines other than user-allocated


  • M365, Windows devices managed with Microsoft 365 device management
  • Using Microsoft Update for patching
  • Windows Hello for auth
  • Autopilot for provisioning new Windows machines
  • Mac/iOS/Android enrolled/managed w/Intune
  • SSO for third-party devices…

Moderate environment

  • Differences from simple environment

  • No need for on-prem servers, except local bulk storage
  • More need for Windows server, other uses for Windows devices
  • Users have M365E3
  • M365F1 licenses shared devices (Kiosks, conference rooms, etc.)


  • Adding Windows analytics + Azure storage for patch monitoring
  • We do have some Active Directory needs (Domain Services)
  • Virtual servers in Azure/storage in Azure
  • Azure update manager
  • Azure managed SQL
  • Azure backup for Servers/storage/SQL
  • PowerBI reports and alerts on everything!
  • Options for on-prem if needed

Complex Environments

  • Still need on-prem servers and Windows Server
  • Need traditional AD
  • Mix of modern/traditional apps
  • Windows machines for more than just direct users
  • Regulatory/internal policies compliance and significant security demands
  • Users licensed with M365E3 + E5 security, or going straight to M365E5
  • Windows devices managed with Intune, Hybrid AD enrolled


  • Still have VMs on-prem
  • Need specific solutions for connectivity to Azure
  • AADConnect w/federation services
  • Backup on-prem, duplicated to Azure
  • Realtime protection/replication to Azure (or replicate to another datacenter)
  • High availability and fast failover!!
  • PowerBI again, with local gateway for analytics

Modern Environments - Results

  • Automated and fast workstation deployment
  • Best-in-class data security
  • Availability baked in
  • Sharing built-in
  • Passwordless future
  • 60 to 70% reduction in management!! 🎉


  • Usage-based
  • Things increasingly moving away from VLSC
  • Licensing can be purchased yearly or longer, so this helps
  • Planning for cost/budgeting is important!
    • These are results you want, these are what you need to pay to get them
    • If we can’t afford this, we need to adopt a different plan
  • Justify budgets on value delivered!


  • …is inevitable!!
  • Avoiding change isn’t good…
    • Disruption isn’t good, but we can’t stay still
  • We need to focus on affecting change for the better!
  • We need to understand our organizations needs and our solutions to meet them
    • Provide change that delivers meaningful results!!

Constant learning

  1. Practical Learning
    • Learn being better at something you already to
    • Learn something directly related to what you already new
  2. Exploratory Learning
    • different ways to do what you aready do
    • something brand new
  3. Challenging Learning
    • Learn something that will challenge you!
  4. What ever you do – be consistent!
    • Regular improvement will lead to someplace better

Be ready to let go

  • everything has a lifespan
    • recognize when that lifespan passes
    • let it go!!
  • We are stewards of change


  • Results of tools
  • Simplify environments whenever possible
  • Build complexity responsibly
  • Budget well, justify on value/results
  • Accept change as inevitable, make sure it’s for the better
  • All good ideas have a live, be attuned to its end


  • Self-holding encryption keys
    • Not applicable for almost everything
  • Windows Virtual Desktop Service
    • Virtual desktops in the cloud, at scale, and relatively affordable
  • SSO for third-party platforms
    • Can enroll third-party platforms in Intune
    • Some asterisks there…
    • Company Portal App provides launching pad for this