Today started with the keynote from Satya Nadella, and it was truly inspiring. The tone was humble and focused on people rather than technology as such. One could hear little to nothing about competition and how Microsoft technology is superior. How technology will help people to achieve more was core and center. There is this fundamental belief that if you are obsessed about your customers, obsessed to enable them with technology, obsessed to provide the best possible experience, you will be ahead of competition as result. There was a nice quote that Satya gave to students that want to start with Microsoft:
“If you want to work for a company that does cool things, go somewhere else, but if you want to work for a company that help other companies to do cool things, your are in the right spot”.
This is result of a cultural shift we see within Microsoft, where technology is no longer the center, customers and the people that use technology are.
The other theme was around Microsoft and partners, representing an ecosystem and are actually seen as being one in the eyes of its customers. There was a nice emotional opening to the keynote where all of the 20 thousand people in the arena were singing “with a little help from my friend” and “all you need is Love” together, i.e. Microsoft and partners acting as one choir. I have certainly seen that openness from Microsoft towards its partners and being seen as one unit in past months. I expect that this message of togetherness will conduct further messages to Microsoft in the field as well; to look to partners as being peers in the joined effort to provide best possible impact to customers.
From a technology point of view, it was again about the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, the theme that was already highlighted day 1. I was impressed by 3 areas that Satya demonstrated:
- AI has come long way to get human parity on things like machine reading or machine translation. Now the objective is to democratize these technologies so they find their way in day-to-day software solution. So in the end these technologies become so ubiquitous that they will no longer be recognized as technology, but as something ingrained in our daily lives.
- The way Satya demonstrated Microsoft 365, which is Office 365, Windows and Enterprise security, was on personal level. He showed how he is using Outlook, Teams and Yammer in his daily routine. Especially Teams will change the way we work, because we no longer pivot communication around an inbox, but rather projects, multiple people are working on.
- Last there was a demo to bring together HoloLens and Dynamics 365 field services, that showed how a technical expert can guide a service representative to resolve an issue, by guiding through hybrid realities.
I was also pleased how strategic Dynamics became for Microsoft. Satya basically stated that the combination of Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 will change the way people work and communicate. They do not push a technology transformation, but a cultural transformation. And again, the agenda of this cultural transformation will happen with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365. I don’t think we as Dynamics partners could be in a better position. But I also believe this is why we need to also embrace Microsoft 365, only then can we bring the best solution to customers so that they can realize their potential to do more.
Next Tuesday, our team will give you a further insight to the top themes at Inspire, so don’t miss it.
Best regards from Vegas