Inspired by Microsoft Inspire 2017
AddPro was on site in Washington July 9-13 when Microsoft hosted its annual partner conference ahead of its upcoming fiscal year FY18. The conference brings together more than 17,000 attendees from approximately 240 countries. From Sweden, 265 participants from Microsoft and partners were there to get the latest information and make new contacts.
It was 5 intense days with a lot of information and we brought home news and the big goals that Microsoft has set. Monday to Wednesday starts with Keynotes in the Verizon Arena (Washington Capitol's home arena) where we got the overall goals and strategies from Microsoft. After lunch, we had time for 3-4 seminar sessions with different topics. It's hard to prioritize as there is so much to choose from.
The most important news we will take home with us and which will be in our focus are:
- Intelligent Cloud - Intelligent Edge
- Microsoft 365
Intelligent Cloud - Intelligent Edge
Monday's keynote began with Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella, who among other things said that Microsoft's new overall strategy for the coming years is "Intelligent Cloud - Intelligent Edge". So what does this strategy mean for us? We will see many new solutions both from Microsoft and from their partners who are developing solutions based on Microsoft's platforms in areas such as AI (artificial intellegence), IoT (Internet of Things) and BI (Business Intelligence). The pace of development is fast now and it will be even faster in the future. One wonders if we need all this. Will it take jobs away from us? Yes, some jobs will disappear and many new ones will be created. It is estimated that 65% of today's students in school will have jobs in the future that do not yet exist (according to Scott McLeod and Karl Fish). We are in the midst of the digital revolution and the possibilities are endless. Azure is of course a major focus where things will really take off in the next year. The number of new services being launched is increasing all the time.
The big news on the product side is Microsoft 365. It is a package that comes in two versions; Microsoft 365 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft 365 Business Edition. They are based on the Office365 packages Business Edition and Enterprise E3. To this they have added Windows 10, (Pro in the Business edition and Enterprise in the Enterprise edition) as well as Enterprise Mobility + Security functionality. These packages will be an attractive way to license our users to work efficiently, together and securely. Microsoft 365 Enterprise Edition is already available today under the name Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) while Microsoft 365 Business Edition is in a "preview" now and will launch sharply in December.
Microsoft has a strong focus on security and GDPR was an area that received a lot of attention. It is clear that GDPR will affect all businesses, regardless of size or industry. Microsoft's data centre complies with the requirements of the GDPR regulation and it launched, among other things, a tool; the Microsoft GDPR Assessment which is a free tool that provides a good start to get started with its GDPR work.
It also showed examples of how it intends to exploit the potential of its new acquisition LinkedIn in its Office365 and Dynamics families. It is probably only the imagination that will set the limits to how far we can take this. All companies and organisations will have a greater challenge in the future to recruit, retain and inspire their staff. HR will play an increasingly important role. This is where Microsoft sees great value in its LinkedIn investment.
Microsoft also showed how it will focus on different industries to better help our customers become even better in their industry. The industries it will focus on are Healthcare - Manufacturing - Public Sector - Retail - Agriculture - Finance - Education. In these areas the focus will be: creating opportunities for employees - engaging with your customers - optimising your offering - changing products.
We have an exciting Microsoft year ahead of us and we look forward to seeing all the new developments in the autumn. This will help us continue to develop our offering and create competitiveness for our customers.