This year I am watching the keynotes from the comfort of my home office in Sydney via the marvel of live streaming. I was tweeting during the keynote, but now is the time to provide a blog post summary…
Update: The official “WPC 2016 Day One Highlights” video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gPmB2Blh3Q
The biggest thing I look for each year at WPC is the clear partner oriented statement of where Microsoft will be focusing their effort in the coming FY. This is important because the internal scorecards/metrics will have these are their foundation. If partners want to get air time/interest from Microsoft, then they need to craft their story to align with these key ambitions (never be surprised when the salesperson does exactly what the comp plan incentivises them to do!!!!).
Satya Nadella used the following diagram as the “index” for his keynote. At its heart and what will be the overarching theme for FY17 is digital transformation (DX). The ambitions that will drive behaviour are:
- Build the intelligent cloud
- Reinvent productivity & business processes
- Create more personal computing
The good news is that these are pretty much the same as last year.
This is the bundling of Microsoft’s cloud versions of ERP and CRM (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/dynamics-365). Broad press coverage started flowing about this a week or so ago, but this was probably the first time for many partners that it has been revealed.
This has the potential to be huge for service providers as it completes the “total business solution” story that has been started with Office 365.
Another piece in this puzzle is AppSource (https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/) a marketplace for business solutions tailored for specific industries. This will allow partners to publish and commercialise their existing IP/domain knowledge and/or consume others experience to speed up projects and create greater business opportunities for themselves.
Steve Clayton (@stevecla) Demo
Steve who has the great title of Chief Storyteller at Microsoft ran through an impressive demo that pulled almost all of Microsoft cloud assets together:
- Dynamics 365
- Office 365
- Azure IoT (https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/server-cloud/internet-of-things/azure-iot-suite.aspx)
- Azure Cortana Intelligence suite (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/cortana-intelligence-suite)
There were also some other tools that were included in the demo that looked interesting a certainly worth further investigation. For example Microsoft Flow (https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/) a tool to help create automated workflows across Microsoft application portfolio.
Conversations as a Service/Platform
Satya talked up the Conversations as a Platform “What if we could teach all computers and computing around us human language?”. This is exciting, but I just think this wins the “buzz word bingo” award for the keynote 🙂
This only got a passing mention, but this should not be an indicator as to how important this is to both Microsoft and service providers. The simple story goes that:
Microsoft will provide the small number of massive scale Azure datacentres and the customer and service provider community will provide local and hyper local “Azure like” hosting services using the “same” technology platform via Azure Stack.
Azure stack becomes an extension of Microsoft Azure and together they will become a huge connected network of compatible Azure services
@maryjofoley provided more detail in her article (http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-readies-first-technical-preview-of-azure-stack-hybrid-cloud-bundle/)
And for the official Microsoft site go to https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-stack/
If you are a Microsoft hosting service provider, then you need to know about Azure Stack.
Interview with Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE
The headline for this interview are that change is a requirement for success no matter how big or small you are. He also stated that future success will be based on “who digitises the fastest”. He talked about how he separates the internet into Commercial, Enterprise and Industrial, with GE’s focus at the Industrial end.
I also loved the notion of “Digital Twins” where IoT sensors feed data about a physical object to a virtual/digital companion to allow near real-time review of status etc (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Twins). I’m sure this will be added to the lexicon of many delegates at the conference
This got a good chunk of time and was pretty impressive. Another buzz work opportunity with “mixed reality” as an alternative to Augmented Reality (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_reality).
The focus was on a proof of concept Microsoft and Japan Airline (JAL) have worked on to provide virtual training for aircraft engines and co-pilots. (https://blogs.microsoft.com/transform/2016/07/11/japan-airlines-creates-yet-another-first-class-experience-this-time-using-microsoft-hololens/)
“When you change the way you see the world you change the way you see”