Building on Satya Nadella’s (CEO, Microsoft) opening Day 1 keynote session, WPC Day 2 added more detail in respect to how Microsoft and their 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
  • Creating more Personal Computing

Building the Intelligent Cloud

Firstly we heard from 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”.

Mobile Application Innovation with Azure & Xamarin

We were also shown the flexibility of Azure supporting both Windows and Linux eco-systems along with the many new services, tools and capabilities. One such tool that was demonstrated was 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.

Enterprise Mobility Security

Microsoft Cloud offers great capabilities in the area of security. Businesses are demanding greater security. With Enterprise Mobility Security (EMS) employees can use the devices and apps they love across IOS, Android and Windows.

It also integrates well with Office 365. Currently 40% of the Office 365 install base now have Enterprise Mobility Suite but this is growing rapidly.

Security features and capabilities continue to be added such as information protection and SaaS application security.

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 world’s 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. We learnt that Microsoft’s vision in this space is centred on 4 core areas:

  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 70 million people are using Office 365 at work every single month. Paid seats has grown 57% year on year. One of the fastest drivers of this growth is the email workload. Microsoft are seeing huge growth – 80% share of companies are now using cloud email.

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.

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 Analytics – a new service to help individuals better manage their time. Positioned as a Fitbit style service to help people improve productivity.

Skype: Investments are 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 companies can move PBX system and PSTN services to the cloud. As Partners, Quiss can now help customers reduce costs by moving to a cloud based communication system.

SharePoint: We learnt about a new set of mobile applications, ‘intranet in your pocket’, OneDrive improvements to improve the Sync client and modern web experiences enabling fast site creation.

Creating more Personal Computing

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Windows and devices explained how a digital revolution is changing business and what that means for users and for their devices.

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

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 cost implications if businesses get attached, but also damage to the business brand as well as customer trust.

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 security enhancements alongside enhancements to Cortana, Pen, Xbox Gaming and HoloLens.

Challenge 3: Free yourself from the 2D world and embrace Mixed Reality. ‘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, it is expected that 80 million MR, VR and AR devices will be shipping yearly.

It was clear by the end of day 2 here at WPC 2016, that with the power of the Intelligent Cloud, Office 365, Windows 10 and Surface, we can help create positive change in our customers businesses and in turn facilitate their transition to the digital world.

Matt Rhodes, Commercial Services Manager, Quiss Technology