WPC 2016 Monday Keynote

Welcome to day 1 of the Microsoft WPC 2016, Microsoft’s sales motivation/education event for partners of Microsoft (ISVs, system integrators, OEMs, ODMs, hosting/cloud, distributors, resellers, etc), being held in Toronto, Canada. I’m in the office in Dublin, watching the stream – I don’t attend WPC because it is a sales event, but sometimes there can be relevant news for techies in the partner world.

Opening Presentation

A young woman from El Salvador talks about how she’s used Microsoft cloud technologies to work in a community torn by gang violence, doing more to empower people’s lives … something along the lines of Microsoft’s mission statement.

Then on to some “poet/performer” singing something cheesy. BTW, does Canada still have a rule to forces media to play a large percentage of Canadian artists? Singing children in colourful t-shirts. My teeth hurt.

Gavriella Schuster

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Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President forMicrosoft’s Worldwide Partner Group (WPG), sings the praises of the global partner of the year winners.

Today is all about “where we are going”. Satya Nadella will be on stage. Gavriella will be back with Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President for Worldwide Commercial Business, on Wednesday.

Satya Nadella

Satya opts again for the quiet entrance during a video (Cortana).

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Microsoft will always be a partner-lead company, says Nadella, reaffirming that promise that is tangible with the push on cloud via the partner-lead CSP model.

Microsoft is the only ecosystem that cares about people and organizations, enabling systems to outlast them. Microsoft was the original democratizing force (in IT because of Windows and the PC). The last bit of the statement (below) is about customer results, which isn’t exclusive to MSFT tech – this includes partner and competitor tech.

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What do CEOs mean by digital transformation? Lots of comments from different industries. More efficiencies via digital delivery, more opportunities with every customer contact, etc. Satya summarises it as changing business outcomes.

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Where there is OPEX there are increased efforts on efficiencies, decision making and productivity. This, and the COGS expenses (Cost of goods sold – IoT, retail, etc), provide huge opportunities for partners.

I’m going to pause here.

Satya talks about conversation-based-computing being the next big platform. It must not be, if the platform (Cortana) only works in 10 countries. Moving on to Azure.

Satya puts the sales push on Azure. It’s in more places and has more security and trust than anything else – see China and Germany where the same platform runs on locally-owned infrastructure. And then it’s talk show time with GE. I’m pausing here again.

There’s some Cortana stuff which is irrelevant for all but 10 countries, On to Windows 10. No transformations will be complete without having the right devices at the edge. More personal computing are shaped by category creation moments. We are at one such moment with mixed reality – HoloLens, which MSFT is pushing as a work device long before (or ever) it’s a consumer device. Example, train aircraft engineers without purchasing a jet engine or taking a plane out of operation, and in complete safety. Here’s a demo by Japan Airline JAL.

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And at full engine scale:

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They hologram a throttle control from a cockpit to see how fuel flows through the engine and start it.

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It is now available as a developer and an enterprise edition.

And to be honest, that was that.

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