Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Experts Live Europe 2023, a community-driven IT conference focused on Microsoft cloud, datacentre, security and modern workplace technologies. The event took place in Prague, Czech Republic, from September 18 to 20, 2023. It was a great experience to learn from the best IT experts worldwide, network with peers who share the same interests and explore the beautiful city of Prague. It had been over five years since I last attended the event on behalf of Cireson.
This year, we were there a silver sponsor, so I spent a lot of time at the Tikit by Cireson booth, meeting customers, prospects and partners. All the while, demoing the unique features of Tikit. Tikit is a cloud-based service desk solution that integrates with Microsoft 365 (M365) and Microsoft Teams. It leverages artificial intelligence to deflect tickets, automate workflows and provides self-service options for end users. It also integrates with other Microsoft cloud services such as Intune, Power Automate and Power BI.
While at the event, I received a lot of positive feedback and interest from the attendees who visited our booth. They were impressed by how Tikit can enhance their productivity, collaboration and security with Microsoft Teams. They also appreciated how easy it was to install, configure and use Tikit without any additional login or password. Many of them signed up for a free trial or a demo session to learn more about Tikit.
Besides exhibiting, I also attended some of the technical breakout sessions across four tracks: cloud, datacentre, security and modern workplace. I was impressed by the quality and diversity of the speakers and topics. Some of the sessions that I enjoyed the most were:
The Event keynote: “Lessons from Billions of Breached Records,” by Troy Hunt.
Troy is an internet specialist, Microsoft regional director, Microsoft MVP and the creator of haveibeenpwned.com. He shared some fascinating insights and stories from his experience of processing more than 12 billion records of breached data. He also gave some practical advice on how to protect ourselves and our organizations from data breaches.
“Knee-Deep Dive into Identity Governance and Lifecycle Workflows with Microsoft Entra ID,” by Jan Vidar Elven.
Jan is a Microsoft MVP in Security, a Senior Architect at EVIDI and a very good friend of mine. This session was a deep dive into how to use Microsoft Entra Identity Governance to automate the lifecycle processes of joiner, mover and leaver for users. Microsoft Entra Identity Governance is a cloud-based service that provides identity governance capabilities such as access reviews, entitlement management, identity protection and privileged identity management. The session was very informative and practical. I learnt how to use Microsoft Entra Identity Governance to streamline and secure the user lifecycle management in my organisation. I also learnt how to leverage the power of serverless solutions to extend and integrate the lifecycle workflows with other systems and services.
“Protecting critical ICS & SCADA infrastructure with Microsoft Defender,” by Maarten Goet.
Martin is a Microsoft MVP and the founder of Experts Live. This session was a real-world story on how the Ukrainian Energy Grid was attacked by Russian special services in 2015, with a live demo on hacking an industrial control device. The session also showed how Microsoft Defender for IoT detects attacks in the ICS and SCADA domain. Microsoft Defender for IoT is a solution that provides agentless, network-based monitoring and threat detection for industrial devices. The session was very eye-opening and engaging. I learnt how serious and sophisticated cyberattacks on critical infrastructure can be, and how important it is to protect them with proper security measures. I also learnt how to use Microsoft Defender for IoT to monitor and defend my industrial devices from malicious actors.
“No desk, no problem – empowering Frontline workers with Microsoft 365,” by Kevin McDonnell.
Kevin is Group Manager – Modern Workplace at Avanade, as well as a Microsoft MVP and co-host of GreyHatBeard – a podcast in which they discuss the modern workplace as it relates to all things M365. This session was about how to support Frontline Workers with M365. Frontline Workers are employees who work directly with customers or products, such as retail associates, factory workers, healthcare staff, etc. They often have different needs and challenges than desk-based workers, such as limited access to technology, information or training. The session was very inspiring and useful. I learnt how to use Microsoft Viva and other M365 services to improve the employee experience and productivity of Frontline Workers in my organisation. I also learnt about the various hardware options that can enhance the mobility and collaboration of Frontline Workers.
My big takeaway from the sessions is the huge increase in concern around governance in M365. Many speakers emphasized the importance of having a clear strategy and framework for managing M365 resources such as users, groups, teams, sites, apps and data. They also shared some tools and best practices for implementing governance policies such as naming conventions, expiration dates, approval workflows, sensitivity labels and more.
One of the highlights of the conference was the networking party on September 19 at the conference centre. It was a fun night with live music from The Apples, delicious food and drinks, games and prizes. I networked with some amazing people from different countries and backgrounds who share the same passion for Microsoft technologies. Of course, no trip to Prague would be complete without exploring its beer culture. The Czechs are famous for their beer, they drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world¹, so it would have been rude to not sample it.
Of course, no trip to Prague would be complete without exploring its beer culture. The Czechs are famous for their beer, they drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world¹, so it would have been rude to not sample it.
Overall, Experts Live Europe 2023 was an awesome event that exceeded my expectations. I learnt a lot from the sessions, met some great people from the community and had a lot of fun in Prague. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about Microsoft technologies or looking for inspiration for their projects. I hope to attend it again next year. Thank you to the organizers, speakers, sponsors and attendees for making it such a memorable experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about Tikit, we offer a 14-day free trial. We are so confident in Tikit’s capabilities, we’ll set it up for free to ensure you are getting the most out of your free trial. Schedule your complimentary setup call today. Want to see what’s coming for Tikit or provide input on new features you’d like to see? Check out the Tikit roadmap here to submit new ideas and upvote existing requests.