Ignite and Envision


Log entry 180926:

Für die deutsche Version hier klicken.

30,000 business leaders, IT-professionals and developers gather at the Conference Center in Orlando, Fla. to exchange bright ideas and skills on future business and Microsoft´s roadmap through intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. This is unbelievable: 30,000 members of the Microsoft ecosystem – that is undoubtedly the epicenter of the entire IT-world this week. We share one goal: making the future a reality.

Computing is getting imbedded in the real world and we at Microsoft as well as partners and customers feel like being in the midst of it. But even more: every industry is being transformed by computing. Even every single thing might change its behavior through services provided by intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. And what is even more important: this digital world builds the stage, where AI-driven processes come into life with multi-sense, multi-device experience, that are much more people-centric.

This is the tune of the vision statement of Microsoft-CEO Satya Nadella about the opportunities that are ahead of us. He used the term “tech intensity” to explain the simple business concept we´re all in: whatever business you´re in, it is turning into a digital industry. The single (but not simple) thing to do is to adopt technology for the business processes needed in a digitized world.

Our goal is to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”, Satya told us. And that means to empower the world with tech intensity, whether it is small business, a large multi-national, a public-sector institution or an individual. And doing so, Microsoft´s success is dependent on the success of our partners and customers using the digital technology we provide.

The most important consideration in terms of a digital transformation outcome is, how can we continually improve that engagement with partners and customers. To exemplify the difference in customer engagement Satya hosted two guests on the stage at his Monday vision statement here in Orlando – Bill McDermott, the CEO of German SAP, and Adobe´s CEO Shantanu Narayen – to talk about the Open Data Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to harmonize the data structures of the three companies for the benefit of their combined customers. Today these data are trapped in silos according to their source – be it the web, business transactions, the internet of things or social media to name a few.

“Customers don´t tolerate vendors anymore, who don´t get it”, Bill McDermott said referring to the needs of digital transformation. “We now have to connect the end-to-end consumer experience – from the demand chain all the way through to the supply chain in real-time.” CEOs all around the world are asking for a single view to their consumers. This is why you have to have the data, and why they have to be open. The initiative is about “putting the customer back into the control of his customer´s data”, as Satya put it. “Every single enterprise has to meet the mandates of their customers”, Shantanu Narayen added, which requires all interactions to be digital and personalized.

The second major point Satya made concerning customer engagement was how to ensure more trust and security in digital technology, which is becoming more relevant the more data and transactions are processed throughout cloud and edge. Microsoft performs already 6.5 trillions of security signals every day to ensure that every part of our customer´s digital estate remains secure on a continuous base. And this pasture we translate as protection services in every product, be it Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Office 365 or Azure. But again Microsoft joins forces with partners in a heterogeneous world. We do this “to ensure that the surplus that gets created by digital technology is accurately distributed throughout our economy, throughout our society”, Satya ended.

And to that end Microsoft came up with initiatives that are focused on AI for good. AI is one of the defining technologies of our times – and Azure is the platform. The youngest initiative is “AI for Humanitarian Action”, because artificial intelligence “can have an incredible impact on how we address humanitarian issues”, Satya said. We see opportunities for impact in four critical areas:

  • Disaster response: AI can help agencies improve their response when catastrophic events occur.
  • Needs of children: AI will help “Operation Smile” – the organization that conducts cleft lips surgery – to extend and help more children.
  • Refugees and displaced people: Helping millions of displaced refugee youths building job skills.
  • Human rights: Empowering organizations to help reduce human rights abuses.

I was enthusiastic about these announcements and the vision, how artificial intelligence can even set a next level of customer engagement. If you want to empathize on Satya´s vision talk, click here.

 


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