WPC16 Day 2 Keynote: Driving innovation and partner opportunity

Building on Satya’s foundational Day 1 keynote, WPC16 Day 2 added more detail in respect to how we (Microsoft and Partners) are able to help customers Digitally Transform their businesses, within the three areas of Building the Intelligent Cloud, Re-inventing productivity and Business Process and Creating more Personal Computing.

Building the Intelligent Cloud

First up was Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group, who provided a formidable update on the sheer scale of Microsoft Cloud Operations stating “No other platform offers the scale and breadth of Microsoft Cloud”.

Azure adoption

The Partner Opportunity Cloud Partner Opportunity

Microsoft Cloud provides both choice and flexibility which you can pass on to your customers.  With the Cloud Solution Provider Programme, you can, if you wish, own the end-to-end relationship with your customers.  Own your customers journey to the cloud - creating cloud subscriptions, setting the price terms and billing and be the first point of contact for your customer’s support. Deliver solutions directly to your customers, in an integrated experience.

AppSource – Connecting Partner Applications with Business Users Appsource

Unveiled today, Microsoft AppSource, is our new destination for business customers to get line-of-business SaaS apps from Microsoft and partners. AppSource provides the conduit to showcase your applications and connect with business customers.

You can integrate AppSource into your CRM systems directly joining up the leads process (Watch the AppSource Demo 10 minutes into the Day 2 Keynote). Check out the AppSource site.

Mobile Application Innovation With Azure & Xamarin

Also highlighted was the flexibility of Azure supporting both Windows and Linux eco-systems along with the many new services, tools and capabilities. One such tool is Xamarin.


Used by business of all sizes, it enables you to build and deliver native mobile apps across IOS, Android and Windows devices.

Xamarin, in conjunction with Azure, provides you with an incredibly powerful resource to create mobile experiences for your customers. (Learn more about Xamarin and how business are using it - 18 minutes into Day 2 Keynote)

Enterprise Mobility Security

Microsoft cloud offers great capabilities in the area of security. Business are demanding greater security. With Enterprise Mobility Security (EMS) employees can use the devices and Apps they love across IOS, Android and Windows. It integrates well with Office 365.

Currently 40% of the Office 365 install base now have Enterprise Mobility Suite and the  growth rate in this space provides a huge opportunity for partners.

Security features and capabilities continue to be added such as Informatoin protection and SaaS applicatoin security. (Check out the demos for these new capabilities 36 minutes into Day 2 Keynote)

You can also check out Azure Information Protection which is now in public preview.

Re-inventing Productivity and Business Process

Next up, Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President of Office Marketing, highlighted 4 digital trends impacting productivity and how these trends are playing a part in Microsoft’s vision and roadmap:

  1. Collaboration: There are increasing requirements for collaboration. Teams need to work more efficiently together with multiple people reliant on each other to get mutual projects completed.
  2. Remote working: There are now 4x as many people in 2015 working remotely compared to 20 years ago. From 9% to 30%.
  3. Demographic changes: by 2020, 50% of US workforce will comprise millennials – they are mobile, bias to working in teams and are heavy multi-taskers. They also have different expectations and preferences which will change how organisations operate.
  4. Information Overload: 90% of the worlds data has been generated in the last 2 years. Employees complain about information overload i.e. not being able to manage data effectively which in turn is leading to security breaches with data being shared more freely.

The Re-inventing Productivity Vision

Office 365 is core to delivering the promise of digital transformation and reinventing productivity.  Microsoft’s vision in this space is centred on 4 core areas:

Re-inventing productivity

  1. Collaboration: Continue to invest in tools to help people to work as individuals and also effectively collaborate together.
  2. Mobility: Big opportunity with the mobility of the human experience, where, people can be productive no matter where they are.
  3. Intelligence: The huge opportunity with AI and machine learning to improve productivity and help people gain insights in the sea of data that’s out there (Supported by Bots, Personal Assistants).
  4. Trust: Trust is the foundation on which everything in Office 365 is built. It’s your data, you own it, you control it and you decide who has access to it.

Office 365 Growth

Office 365 is 5 years old. Today over 70M+ people are using Office 365 at work every single month. Paid seats has grown 57% year over year. One of the fastest drivers of this growth is the email workload. With partners help, were seeing huge growth - 80% share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion.

This Office 365 adoption and usage, provides a big Partner opportunities particularly within new capability areas released such as voice and analytics.

Office opp

Customer are also embracing Office 365 across industries:

Office 365 industry

One such company is Facebook.  Tim Campos, CIO of Facebook joined Kirk on stage to talk about how they are using Office 365 and the benefits they are seeing. (Watch what Tim has to say 56 Minutes into Day 2 Keynote).


New Enterprise Value Features Roadmap

The focus then turned to some of the great features on the roadmap covering the areas of Security, Analytics, Skype and Sharepoint:

Security: Built in intelligent security capabilities are at the top of the customer conversation. New features include: Advance threat protection, E-discovery, customer lockbox (audit control over content), Advance security management (ASM) which provides admins visibility on high risk behaviours. Significant Partner opportunity based on customer demand.

Analytics: Focusing on two core areas. First is ‘Advanced analysis and data visualisations’ - putting insights into reach of everyone in an organisation. The Second was Delve Personal Analystics  -  a new service to help individuals better manage their time. Positioned as a Fitbit style service to help people improve productivity.

Skype: Investments being made to create a fully cloud based communication service. Comprehensive set of capabilities around Voice, Chat, HD video, Conferencing. Unique about Skype for business is that company’s can move PBX system and PSTN services to the cloud. Partners now have the opportunity to help customers reduce costs by moving to cloud based communication system. $50 billion dollar opportunity for partners in next three years around professional and managed services.

SharePoint:  New set of mobile applications, intranet in your pocket. OneDrive improvements to improve the Sync client. Modern web experience enables fast site creation. Power App and Microsoft Flow integration provides opportunities for partners to add value added solutions on top of Office 365.

Check out some of above new feature demo’s covering Mobility, Security, Intelligence and Voice (1 hour 7 minutes into Day 2 Keynote)

Driving Continued Office 365 Success through partnership-

The Cloud Solution Provider Programme provides a great way to win new customers by building your own services with Office 365 or Dynamics 365 and owning the customer relationship end to end.

driving continued success together


Creating more Personal Computing

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Windows and devices highlighted that now is an amazing time.

A digital revolution is changing business! But what does that mean for users, for their devices, for partners.  For Microsoft it’s about one simple focus “How do we get that break through to more personal computing”.

There are 3 challenges to make more personal computing happen, however, all challenges  offer tremendous business opportunities.

Business challenges - More Personal Computing

Challenge 1: Secure your most important data in the face of modern security threats

There are 350 million monthly active devices running Windows 10 with 96% of Enterprise accounts now already in pilot.  A key challenge for businesses is security.

Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. It’s not just about business costs implications if businesses get attached, but also damage to the business brand as well as customer trust.


Windows 10 deploys the latest features to protect businesses:

Windows Security

Check out some great demos of Windows 10 security features at 1 hour 26 minutes into Day 2 Keynote.

Challenge 2: Increase productivity and go beyond the keyboard and mouse with touch, voice and pen

On August 2nd the next major release for Windows 10 will launch. This will bring many of the security enhancements covered in the demo above, alongside enhancements to Cortana, Pen, Xbox Gaming, Hololens.

Demo legend, Brian Roper, provided some very cool demo’s of Cortana, Surface and Pen while deploying a range of power tools...yes power tools (Watch Brian 1 hour and 32 minutes into the Day 2 Keynote).

Partner Opportunity – Two new Programmes

Two new programmes are being launched to help partners migrate customers to Windows 10:

  1. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Windows 10 to the cloud. Small to midsized businesses can now get the latest Windows 10 enterprise E3 security for $7 a seat per month.
  2. Surface as a Service : Offer Surface devices on a lease basis – one end to end holistic offering for your customers.

These have been introduced to help you deploy Windows and Surface more broadly.

Challenge 3: Free yourself from the 2D world and embrace Mixed Reality

Yes ‘mixed reality’ is gaining pace. Right now we’re confine to a 2D world, but over the next three years there will be significant momentum. By 2020, 80 million MR, VR and AR devices will be shipping yearly.

VR incoming

Microsoft has made Windows Holographic experience available on both AR and VR. Hololens adoption is gaining real ground with some fantastic applications by companies below:

hololens adoption

One such company is PGA tour with Taqtile. They demo’d a brilliant holographic experience showcasing how technology can transform traditional businesses, opening up new revenue opportunities. Watch the demo below.

As you can guess by the length of this blog, Day 2 Keynotes were rammed with announcements, demos and insights.

Its clear that with the power of the Intelligent Cloud, Office 365, Windows 10 and Surface, we (Microsoft and Partners) can help create positive change in our customer businesses and in turn facilitate their transition to the digital world. And that opens up a wealth of opportunities for Microsoft Partners.

Other Day 2 News: