It’s hard to put to words what Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon as an experience was for me and many others. I’m sure everyone had a different experience, but what started not this year but last year at the beginning of the pandemic brought a great need to find a way to help the community find connection through technology. Last year it was pushing Microsoft Teams Live events to host an event that brought so many of us together. This year, a year later it was the evolution of Teams Meetings leveraging the community tenant, using Presenter mode, videos on Together Mode, attendee, Microsoft Teams.
I’m happy to share a number of statistics in the spirit of transparency. Only just a few short weeks ago there was a plea for less virtual events. I know and realize many are exhausted of virtual events. So many of these events and there’s already fatigue. How and why would we possibly run a 60 hour event? We had 5150 wonderful attendees register for event with over 20,000 express interest. When we started this was to meet a need and we’ve evolved the event to focus on the purpose of “By the Community For the Community.” Last year we were able to help out sponsors who were looking for help with the transition to virtual from a number of failed events. This year we decided we wouldn’t focus on money and instead focus on any sponsor money would go toward marketing the event and getting the word out. None of the Executive Producers pocketed a dime from this event.
My proudest moment of the event was seeing just how far the reach went. As a traveler I was super excited to see in our attendee reports that we had over 115 countries represented across our attendees. Japan really took on the vision of the event as the #2 position with Mexico, Canada, Germany and India all with over 200 attendees. It was the fact we had participants joining from Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Maldives and Faroe Islands helped us realize we truly are a global community.
We learned a number of things running an event of this size… here are a few of my key takeaways:
One of the more interesting things about an event like this where you have hundreds of MVPs and community leaders providing sessions is the variety of sessions. Getting over 100 power user, end user, business level sessions as the largest topic is very powerful. Often the Microsoft focused events focus exclusively on Admins or Developers. Finding sessions focused on the users and power users are harder to find.
I was also pleased to see from an attendee perspective that the technologies they were most interested in were all of them. Right at around half of all attendees checked all the boxes when given a choice between individual technology focus. There’s a lot of interest in Teams right now and that’s totally understandable. I was also excited to see the panels and diversity and inclusion topics have gained a lot of momentum in the past few months. We have encouraged more panels and think those can reduce the online exhaustion. Our AltSpaceVR community sessions still have a long way to go, but one session on mixed reality was conducted in VR and while we had a dozen or so attendees, it was a great start at doing more community events in mixed reality with an even more immersive experience.
The session recordings that were allowed will be posted to the Virtual Marathon Youtube account at http://bit.ly/M365VMVideos the best way to get info on the recording availability is to subscribe.
Thanks so much for attending. We couldn’t have done this without you! We hope you will plan to join us next year… Will there be a next one? Yes, this event is not like other virtual events that are simply virtual due to COVID. We plan to keep up the tradition of getting the global community together once a year and we hope the interest continues… see you next year on May 4, 2022!
We Love Microsoft Teams, But We Hate Call Quality Troubleshooting!
Every IT admin has been in this fretful situation at least once. The solution or platform they support is broken and failing. They want to research what is causing the issue so they can get it fixed quickly. But they need the detailed information to do the troubleshooting and find the root cause. There in lies the challenge when it comes to troubleshooting call quality issues for Teams. Getting to the root cause fast often means getting to the data otherwise you’ll end up pointing fingers saying… It’s not me.
Microsoft Teams has quickly surpassed all other enterprise tools to become the heartbeat of the enterprise. Combining communication and collaboration in one tool puts all our energy and focus on a single tool to get work done. But what happens when calls start dropping for Executives, or meetings are garbled with audio that sounds like a robot voice? Call quality is essential, and no one wants to wait around to hear excuses from IT.
When Teams call quality gets jittery, fingers start getting pointed and you aren’t sure if it’s Microsoft, or the Network, the ISP, the client device? You need answers FAST!
The folks at panagenda know this story well. They have been helping customers quickly isolate and identify the issues with IT collaboration platforms for years. And there are a lot of moving parts involved in the end-to-end voice traffic for Teams. Having full visibility into the complete experience from the user perspective is the key. Any given hop could contain answers as to why you’re having call quality issues and having the accurate data to quickly pinpoints the smoking gun will help remediate the issue fast!
Some examples of issues that cause call quality problems …
I’m excited to announce an upcoming webinar hosted by panagenda where we will deep dive into troubleshooting Microsoft Teams Voice Call Quality. We’ll also get a close look at their OfficeExpert End Point Monitoring solution and see how it makes troubleshooting fast and easy for IT support teams.
WHEN? MAY 6TH, 2021 at 1PM (EDT) | 12PM (CDT) | 10AM (PDT)
IT administration and support has shifted their focus over the past few years – USER experience is CRUCIAL. Enterprise organizations are looking for ways to improve usage and adoption for technologies at the heart of digital adoption, especially Microsoft Teams for calls and meetings. This has prompted IT support groups to find better methods to track and identify quality issues, especially for users working remotely.
Traditional network monitoring tools are optimized for data centers and centralized office locations where employees would access SaaS cloud applications from the corporate infrastructure. These tools no longer work in today’s enterprise landscape with many users working from home. Instead, enterprises need a holistic monitoring tool that provides end-to-end visibility into the employee experience, regardless of where they are working.
In this webinar, you will receive an introduction to OfficeExpert Endpoint Performance Monitoring (EPM). This new module provides data analytics for Microsoft 365 performance and availability from the end-user perspective. If you want to know the truth about your Teams call quality experience, then please join us to see how actionable insights can speed troubleshooting and help remediate issues before they become escalations from an executive.
During the webinar demonstration you will explore topics that include:
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this timely information.
It’s been a year since we came together as a community to run the Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon in 2020. That event was a first-of-its-kind community event focused on including attendees and speakers from all parts of the planet in a truly global inclusive event designed to help people make new connections and be more aware of much of the rollout that was happening to support remote work in the early days of COVID while also supporting deep technical knowledge in 15 simultaneous tracks in deep technical content as well as end user and business content delivered by the community.
Those that brought you M365 Virtual Marathon have come back by popular demand April 26-28, 2021 with a continued focus on community engagement, including featured speakers and keynotes from Microsoft and Community Leaders. The M365 Virtual Marathon also features sessions covering new technologies, such as Microsoft Viva, providing a deeper dive, building on the product announcements at Microsoft Ignite. Keynotes include Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive (and Viva), Karuana Director Microsoft Teams, Heather Newman, Power Platform Principal PM Power Platform Engineering Community, and Laurie Pottmeyer, Microsoft Teams Community
The M365 Virtual Marathon features experts panels on topics from Microsoft Teams, Power Platform in multiple regions around the globe. Over 280 sessions are being delivered by over 100 Microsoft MVPs, MCTs & RDs, in addition to 150 experts and leaders from the community. You’ve heard many announcements from Microsoft from Ignite, the community experts will expand and deep dive on product announcements, as well as provide industry verticals including education and healthcare. We hope you find the event offerings allow you to engage on your terms and attend the session type that interests you most, or catch up and connect with other attendees.
The M365 Virtual Marathon begins April 26, 2021, at 09:00 PDT and is 60-hours, ending on April 28, 2021, at 09:00 PDT. We sorted through over 450 sessions to pick the top 280 sessions from over 250 speakers the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The event has sessions presented in seven languages, including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, and English. This event has sessions running for more than 2 days straight, so you’re sure to find a time to check out the incredible line up of sessions.
This event is provided for free. We hope to record the sessions and provide them, but please give us time to provide to process and upload what will be 280 hours or 16,800 minutes of sessions. The volunteers on the community spent over 100 hours splicing, downloading then uploading the content last year on our M365VM youtube channel. Thanks for liking and subscribing!
We’re excited to join you in a few weeks for another great event, BY THE COMMUNITY FOR THE COMMUNITY!
Register using the links below and if you would like to volunteer to be a session moderator, please sign up using the Moderator Sign Up form below. The schedule will go LIVE with join links in the session details on SPSevents.org and on m365virtualmarathon.com on 4/26/21 at 9am Pacific, but we encourage you to register so we can be better prepared to serve you.
What really matters in a Microsoft Teams Deployment? Can you just turn it on and see what happens? What if you were to figure it out along the way? What is Teams Sprawl and why do they refer to your Teams environment as the Wild West? I like to call it herding cats. There’s no reason to herd cats if you can keep your arms around your environment. In fact you can accomplish both good governance and user satisfaction at the same time.
Come join me for 60 minutes on Teams Governance with Q&A. I’ll be diving into each of these 6 Keys to Successful Governance.
When: Wed, Apr 14, 2021 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT / 1PM EDT
Don’t miss the chance to attend the Microsoft Teams governance workshop by Joel Oleson, MVP
Attend this webinar to understand the key elements for streamlining governance using Teams and other Microsoft 365 workloads without compromising on end-user autonomy and IT control.
Please join me, Joel Oleson, MVP, Regional Director, and former Microsoft IT Architect in this free 1 hour webinar on Teams Governance hosted by TeamsHub by Cyclotron for insights and solutions to increase collaboration, productivity, innovation, and adoption for your Microsoft 365 investments.
Many have found the power of collaboration in Teams and others are just getting started, but Telephony is still a struggle for many. The transition from Skype for Business or other telephony systems to Teams, can be a challenge to get your arms around an ever changing and improving set of Telephony features. Teams Voice licensing can also be a struggle if you don’t know where to get started. There are a lot of great features, but where does one start?
In this upcoming free webinar I will be diving into 7 key questions to help you get started with Microsoft Teams Voice and Telephony.
Seven Key Questions to Unleash the Power of Microsoft Telephony
You’re NOT alone. This session is to help you understand the answers to 7 key questions and get you well on your way.
In this one-hour free webinar, Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson and Cayosoft founder Bob Bobel will drill down on the Microsoft Teams telephony stack. We will unlock the knowledge surrounding the key features of calling and telephony in Microsoft Teams and answer 7 key questions to Unleash the Power of Microsoft Teams.
Join us for the free webinar on Thursday April 15 at 11am Pacific Time 2pm Eastern Time to learn more!