Aug 3, 2023
6 minutes

What to Look Forward to at Microsoft 365 EduCon Seattle 2023

What to Look Forward to at Microsoft 365 EduCon Seattle 2023

It feels like just yesterday that the Alcion was wrapping up at Microsoft 365 EduCon 2023 in Washington DC. As we packed up the booth, I remember surveying the still-buzzing auditorium and thinking “Until next year...” But the next call to action would come sooner than expected (startups operate on compressed timelines, right?) and I’m excited to share that Alcion will be returning to Microsoft 365 EduCon 2023 as a Gold Sponsor, this time in my hometown of Seattle, Washington!

Like our previous blog post, this article will highlight the sessions that we believe will be the most applicable for enthusiasts of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, and data protection in general.  

Our Top Five Recommended Sessions

Session 1: Deploying and Managing OneDrive

OneDrive is a foundational Microsoft 365 service and one of its biggest draws is the ease of use, but there’s a lot of work that goes into a robust and secure OneDrive deployment. Drew Madelung’s technical session will dive into some of the best practices for governance, reporting, and security in OneDrive. He’s even set aside time to cover the capabilities and limitations of cross-device sync. For those of you who are already experienced in OneDrive administration, Drew will also be discussing some shiny-new administration functionality.

Session 2: Scoping your Retention Policies and Labels for Microsoft 365

We’re excited to hear Joanne Klein’s guidance in this session, particularly around Static and Adaptive scoping. This should be especially applicable for administrators of growing Microsoft 365 domains who need to scale their retention policies alongside the volume of Microsoft 365 data. A seasoned speaker at Microsoft conferences, Joanne always comes prepared with engaging demos and will call out some of the nuanced pain points and dependencies around scoped retention policies.

Session 3: Next Level Productivity with Microsoft 365 and OpenAI

In my opinion, the excitement around this AI revolution is well-founded and it’s hard to imagine a corner of any market which will not be affected by this transformational technology. But as easy as it is to join in the hype, it can be daunting to actually adopt AI in an enterprise setting. This is where William Huneycutt’s session should be useful. He’ll be walking through some real-world applications of Bing and OpenAI within Microsoft 365 apps, from meeting transcriptions to PowerPoint presentations. Sure, these are not the most outlandish applications of AI, but that’s the point – this will be a good session for anyone wanting to get familiar with AI without having to venture too far outside of the trusted and familiar Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

Session 4: Introducing Microsoft Syntex – Content AI for the Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft Syntex is a cloud-based service that uses AI to help organizations automate content-based processes. By integrating Syntex with Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams, enterprises can offload some of the most tedious and error-prone tasks including content summarization, classification, and organization. Beyond the generative capabilities of Microsoft Syntex, I’m anxious to hear what Christ McNulty’s session has to say about the AI-enabled compliance and management functionality. Kudos to Microsoft for investing in a comprehensive solution which empowers users and admins, alike.

Session 5: New Era of Work

C’mon. It's a keynote in the golden age of Microsoft’s big bet on AI. I can’t promise that you’ll see Balmer and Gates fist-pumping like the Windows ‘95 launch, but Seattle is their home turf, so you never know!

Common Themes

Content management and data governance remain hot topics, especially given the new considerations arising from AI-enabled workflows. One of the first-order impacts of AI’s generative capabilities will be to level-up the efficiency and creative output of end-users, but this is also going to result in an influx of data. Thankfully, Microsoft has taken a leading role by introducing intelligent automation into almost every aspect of the Microsoft 365 suite. If you’re interested in wielding these new administrative capabilities, look no further than the sessions highlighted above.

Discount for 365 EduCon Seattle

Enhancing Your Organization’s Data Protection Plan

Even after implementing adaptively scoped retention policies, you might still be looking for a solution to quickly and intuitively protect that data from cyber threats and accidental loss. I’d encourage you to check out Alcion’s security-first AI-driven Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. For those of you in Seattle, come chat with us at booth 406 or come find us on Twitter or Discord.

Zack Rossman
Zack Rossman
Member of Technical Staff, Alcion

Zack Rossman is a Member of Technical Staff at Alcion, leading the engineering efforts on AI, search, and telemetry platforms. Prior to Alcion, Zack was a Senior Software Engineer at Okta where he contributed to the core workforce identity and access management products within the Directories sphere. His strong technical background is complemented by a liberal arts education. Zack received a BA in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College while also fulfilling commitments as a Robert Day Scholar and All-American water polo player at Claremont McKenna College.