Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience

In 2012 Microsoft started pioneering a new concept for engagement with customers that did not rely on forcing them to watch long boring PowerPoint presentations. Microsoft understood the most important factor for success, and that was ensuring that customers not only learned the benefits of adapting cloud technologies but also retained the information learned. A training experience was created that focused around customers getting their hands dirty with the software. Instead of using a trainer, Microsoft opted for using a facilitator who could work with attendees to solve real-time problems. And thus Microsoft’s CIE, or Customer Immersion Experience, was born.

Michael O’Neill profile image

TechStar’s own Director of Cloud Solutions, Michael O’Neill, was instrumental in the early studies of what became the CIE events. Mike worked at Microsoft for 18 years and played a key role in developing Microsoft’s Seminar Sales Team, a traveling group of over 105 professionals that toured the US and Canada deliver customer training events. Mike retired from Microsoft in 2008 and eventually worked for BrainStorm for 4 years as a Lead Trainer. Brainstorm was intstrumental in helping Microsoft get the CIE events off the ground, so you know Mike fit right in. He delivered well over 100 CIE events at BrainStorm before leaving to join TechStar. Mike’s substantial experience in delivering these events led to Microsoft making TechStar one of 22 partners that are paid to do so, solidifying the company’s position as a top partner.


What a CIE event is like.

A typical CIE event starts with attendees arriving in a room filled with Microsoft Surface and Surface book computers that have been fully loaded with Microsoft technology. We, as the facilitators, will also set up fake personas on each machine. The idea is that we don’t want you worrying about your files or your e-mail, so we create an environment with fake files and fake e-mail accounts. This way there is no fear that you will mess anything up or that you will compromise personal data. This way there is no fear that you will mess anything up.

The first 15 minutes of the session is where we get to know the attendees, and we whiteboard up any and all problems that they are having with their technology. The rest of the day is then spent providing hands-on experience with the software’s that solve their organizational issues. There is no presentation, no selling, no watching the trainer do it. Attendees get a personalized experience with a trained facilitator walking the room making sure everyone is successful.

Typically, the evals from these events are all perfect scores. Most attendees comment “We needed this years ago!” as these events don’t just focus on current technology, but also make sure attendees are correctly utilizing features that in some cases came out over 20+ years ago. For example, we often show 4 tricks in Outlook that will reduce the time to respond in e-mail by over an hour a day. All of these tricks use features that have been in Outlook for more than 15 years. Less than 1% of audiences over the past 8 years have known about these 4 tips.

Just like snowflakes, CIEs are all different because the agendas are driven by the customers attending. Here are a few topics that typically come up:

  • Better collaboration
  • Staying on top of e-mails
  • Effective meetings
  • Mobile workers
  • Security and legal issues
  • Improved communications

To find out more about CIE events, simply fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you!

Customer Immersion Events

Azure Governance

This CIE is a half-day on-site zero-cost Governance Consultation to help you start layering governance on to your existing cloud infrastructure. 

Learn about:
- Provisioning
- Resource Policies
- Naming Standards
- RBAC (Role Based Access Controls)
- Organizational Hierarchy
- Subscription Management
- Development Testing
- Usage & Cost Reporting


Learn hands-on how to set up proper security on your network using Microsoft's many protection tools.

Learn about:
- Advanced Threat Protection
- Exchange Online Protection
- Data Loss Prevention
- InTune
- App Locker
- Attack Simulator
- Securing MS TEAMS
- Compliance
- Sensitivity settings
- Retention policies


Learn the ins and outs of using Microsoft 365 (formerly Office365) in the cloud. 

Learn about:

- Accessing their portal site
- Managing Profiles
- Apps vs Applications
- OneDrive cloud storage
- TEAMS for collaboration
- Hosting Modern Meetings
- Outlook tips and tricks
- Windows utilization


Without question the hottest product that Microsoft has on the market today.

Lear how to:

- Create new teams
- Use mentions to highlight people and work
- Create Channels to streamline communications
- Integrate OneDrive into your teams
- Administer TEAMS sites
- Customize TEAMS with 3rd party apps
- Learn how TEAMS fits into Microsoft's vision.

Azure Administration

Learn about building and supporting servers on Microsoft's Azure portal.

Get hands-on with:

- Setting up new servers
- Provisioning resources
- Virtualization of Desktops
- Administration of servers
- Using the Azure Marketplace effectively
- Reporting on server utilization
- Customizing server capacity

Schedule a Private Event