WPC Day 1: The Digital Transformation Opportunity
“Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more” The Microsoft Mission
At the core of today’s opening Worldwide Partner Conference keynote was ‘Digital Transformation’ aka the desire of CEO’s to use technology to change business outcomes - whether it be how they:
- Engage their customers,
- Empower employees to make better decisions,
- Optimise their operations,
- Build up the predictive power within their organisations so that every operation is intelligent,
- Transform their products and services.
Digital Transformation = An Unprecedented Partner Opportunity
Every customer of every size business (startup to Enterprise) is not only looking to use digital technology, but to build digital technology for their own.
Businesses are looking to drive greater efficiency - automating processes and enhancing productivity, particularly in those areas where there are operating expenses. This poses an unprecedented opportunity for you no matter what partner type you are.
Microsoft Ambitions to Drive Digital Transformation
Microsoft has three core ambitions which play a fundamental part in digitally transforming businesses:
- Re-inventing Productivity and Business process
- Building the Intelligent Cloud
- Create more Personal Computing
These will be covered in more detail over the next two days keynotes, however, Satya provided some great examples of what these 3 ambitions entail.
1) Re-inventing Productivity and Business Process
This is all about removing the barriers between productivity tools and business applications. Satya focused on two key areas:
- Connected Cloud & Data: In essence striving for connected cloud data SaaS solutions such as Office 365 and Dynamics 365 to simplify information/data sharing, removing what he terms the productivity friction in businesses. See how EcoLab are transforming their business. (Watch the demo 36 minutes into the Day 1 Keynote). Also read Satya's LinkedIn post on Reinventing Business Processes.
- ‘Conversations as a Platform’: Using human language understanding personal assistants and Bots (conversational interfaces) which augment our connection with technologies. (Watch the demo 48 minutes into Day 1 Keynote)
2) Building out the intelligent Cloud
To showcase how intelligent cloud is helping transformation, Satya invited General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt, on stage to discuss how he has digitally transformed the GE business.
Considering GE is over 140 years old, it’s a company that has embraced transformation and digital transformation. You can read more about their story and find out about Microsoft’s new partnership with GE to bring Predix to Azure, accelerating digital transformation for industrial customers.
Satya then went on to talk about 'The next phase of building the Intelligent cloud' with ‘Cognitive services’. We’re seeing the beginnings of a new platform for cognitive services. Microsoft has taken decades of research from Microsoft Research encapsulating speech, computer vision, natural language text understanding, and made these available as API’s. These API’s are being used to infuse perception into apps – the ability for Apps/Bots to understand speech and see i.e. computer vision. These cognitive capabilities are capable of transforming business by bringing productivity gains. A great example of this is how Macdonalds are creating efficiency in their Drive Thru’s with speech/order recognition (Watch the demo 1 hour 10 mintes into the Day 1 keynote).
3) Create More Personal Computing
Create more personal computing was the third and final ambition covered. Satya discussed Windows 10 – an OS system spanning multiple
devices from Raspberry PI to Hololens and bringing centralised infrastructure benefits and cost savings to business.
It was on the topic of Hololens, he discussed how personal computing is shaped by category creation moments. Moments where input and output change. 'Mixed Reality' is that moment. With Hololens its created an interface changing moment – Mixing real with virtual, enabling us to be anywhere and everywhere – fully untethered and mobile.
What followed was a great demo showcasing how Japan Airlines are using Microsoft HoloLens to change how they train flight crews and mechanics (Watch the demo 1 hour 17 minutes into the Day 1 keynote)
Mixed reality offers huge opportunities for partners with so many applications across so many sectors.
Expect more details on Digital Transformation and Microsoft's three ambitions in WPC Day 2 and 3 keynotes.
News From WPC2016 Day 1
Equipping Partners for Explosive Growth GE Predix Partnership Announcement Time is life: Partners In Health counts on the cloud to help those in need Satya Nadella on Reinventing Business Processes Japan Airlines creates yet another first-class experience, this time using Microsoft HoloLens