Microsoft Inspire Day 2: Empowering people though technology

Following on from yesterday's keynote, day two of Microsoft Inspire brought us back to Microsoft's mission to 'empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more'.


The session started by showcasing some inspirational examples of how technology can empower people to turn ideas into reality, and how curiosity is the key to innovation. Inventor and entrepreneur, Easton LaChappelle, demonstrated how Unlimited Tomorrow is using modern technology to change lives globally, by providing amputees with an affordable and high-tech alternative to traditional, costly prostheses.


First on stage from Microsoft was Executive Vice President of World Wide Commercial Business, Judson Althoff. Judson started by thanking our partners for the success they have brought to customers around the world, and highlighted how we learn and work together more effectively as an ecosystem.



Building on yesterday's keynote, Judson then delved deeper into the evolving market opportunity for us and our partners, outlining the $4.5 trillion opportunity driven by technology. Microsoft's strategy is fueled by this growth opportunity, with One Commercial Partner at the very heart of this so that we can be successful together. Together with you, our partners, we can bring the most modern and exciting applications that the industry has ever seen.


Inspired by customer demand, business applications are evolving to become intelligent, driven solutions that drive new levels of efficiency. Fueling this intelligence, is data. Data and AI go hand-in-hand as they empower humans to achieve more than ever before. Judson then touched on the four solution areas that Satya mentioned yesterday. Inspired by customers, and the demand we are seeing in the workplace, every CIO and CTO has these on the agenda.

Going on to define Digital Transformation, Judson stated that the one critical element that fuels Digital Transformation is a deep understanding of the customer's business.


Digital transformation is a wave of business innovation fueled by technology.


The key for our joint success is to focus on industry, and back this up with great technical expertise. In light of this, Judson revealed the 6 priority industries, and the new roles we are investing in to drive customer success in these areas:

By simplifying our structure, it enables us to become more nimble as an organisation, bringing the right resources, to the right customer, at the right time.


Next on stage we have Toni Townes Whitley, Corp Vice President for industries. Since joining Microsoft, Toni's focus has been simple - how do we bring industry relevance to our partners? The answer: having a customer first approach. To understand the customer, you must understand the industry and speak their language, and then translate this back into your product portfolio.


Industry focused, partner powered.

Toni then outlined the huge growth potential within each of the 6 priority industries, and how we want to partner with you to help transform each of these markets. The education industry in particular is a key, legacy space for Microsoft. As a company, we feel responsible for empowering students and teachers, to help prepare them for the jobs that don't even exist yet. In financial services, some of the services we will be enabling will be new to what we see now. The opportunity for us to work with our partners to transform, evolve and grow within these key six markets is huge.


How can we enable this transformation?


This starts with our partner model and how we successfully build and grow together. Linking back to our new industry dedicated roles, we are structuring Microsoft to best support our partners and customers. We are also committing to provide new tools and resources, from solution maps outlining how you can plug our tech with yours to meet customer demands, to playbooks and book of dreams that illustrate visionary ideas.


Judson then welcomed to the stage a number of partners showcasing how they have successfully enabled Digital Transformation through the four pillars of empowering employees, engaging customers, optimising operations and transforming products. The main theme across these examples? Together, we can make a difference.

Next steps: Watch the interview with Kati Quigley, Senior Director, Partner Recruit Programs, as she talks through how to leverage the Microsoft partner ecosystem and the resources that are available to help you build successful partnerships.