This year Microsoft has brought together staff and partners from around the world to the Microsoft Inspire and Ready conferences. These events allow greater interaction with the ecosystem of partners as well as networking and workshops that would eventually result in further growth.
Being a first-time attendee at Microsoft Inspire and my first time in Las Vegas, I had no idea of what to expect. Nevertheless, it is a privilege to share my thoughts and some highlights of this event.
Australian Days at Inspire
Prior to the Inspire Conference, Microsoft held Australian Days which focused on networking and a deep dive into partnerships and looking at how, as partners, we can serve our customers better. These sessions were a good start and tied seamlessly to what we do here at Bulletproof; how we help our customers not only on their cloud journey but move them forward and achieve their business objectives.
Key Themes I took away from Inspire 2018
For the very first time in the history of Microsoft conferences, Satya Nadella, CEO, delivered a shared Corenote to both the Microsoft Inspire and Ready attendees, creating a more united One Microsoft than ever before. Here were some of the key themes from the conference:
Nadella spent a portion of his corenote talking about how his own workday revolves around the Microsoft 365 suite. He provided a nice demo showcasing how to effectively use Microsoft tools to be productive. He demonstrated the use of Outlook as an Open Loop and described it as the best Gmail client. Also, he spoke about Microsoft Teams; described how he interacted with his inner circle and how they are able communicate effectively.
He’s also shown how Cortana virtual assistant keeps him on top of all his appointments – which has a commitment feature and reminded him of what he’s committed to doing which was not part of his to-do list and mentioned how it’s saved him every day.
We shouldn’t see Outlook as a program or Office 365 as just a suite, but as a set of tools to allow us to be more productive regardless of what device we’re using. He described Microsoft 365 as a people-centred experience rather than a device-centred experience.
AI and Machine Learning
Another standout and Nadella placed a special focus on artificial intelligence technologies and how we can take these breakthroughs further and democratise them. He mentioned that the ultimate goal is “for us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry“ by using the expertise and skill set that is available to us through Microsoft.
Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge
Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge were highlighted. This is really becoming part of the new Microsoft mantra. It’s about building intelligence into applications and expanding to smart devices where they need to be to be effective. It’s no longer about lift and shift as by adopting digital transformation.
Azure and the cloud platform now have 54 regions worldwide and with more expansion. But this is just the foundation and the computing fabric only starts here. We need to shift how we think about datacentres. Nadella highlighted that computing needs go beyond the data centre and that wherever there is data that compute will migrate to data and the result would be one ubiquitous, distributed computing fabric.
Overall, it was a valuable time spent and the sessions I attended were very informative and helpful. I didn’t only learn about new industry-specific solutions, but also strategies to attract new customers and scale their businesses.
As part of Bulletproof, a Gold Partner and Tier 1 CSP, we can not only create additional value for our customers but leverage what is available to us today to make the lives of our customers and their customers better.
Stay tuned for more on Microsoft Inspire 2018.