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MS Ignite announcements drive business opportunities

  • Posted on May 19, 2015

MS Ignite 2015I recently attended Microsoft Ignite and I have to say that I was blown away by the magnitude of that conference. The numbers were just amazing; over 23,000 attendees, the keynote alone had 18,000 attendees at the McCormick Place conference center and there were hundreds of sessions with overviews of technical content. It was just absolutely amazing and very inspiring. Once I mastered how sessions were organized and the logistics of the conference, I was able to pilot and power through the conference like a champion.

There were a number of business and product announcements from Microsoft. A core message I walked away with was around Microsoft being a productivity and platform company, with mobile and cloud first and foremost. Basically, they regrouped priorities into four key categories: devices, apps, data and cloud.

The first bucket of announcements at MS Ignite came from their productivity and business processes value proposition and they introduced a number of new scenarios around Cortana, Sway, Delve, Power BI, and sales productivity. Some of the headline announcements around productivity and business processes were the Office 2016 Public Preview, Office Delve Organizational analytics and Skype for Business Broadcasting. (We even announced our own Avanade Skype for Business apps at MS Ignite.)

The second bucket of announcements came from their intelligent cloud value proposition driving enterprise mobility, application innovation, insights from data and all new generation of data centers.

In in my opinion, however, the big announcement was around Window 10 that put in place a major shift in the way Microsoft talks about operating systems and Windows in general. They put forth three major messages around familiar user experience, increased personal computing, and increased security for users. They also announced that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows, which does not mean the end of Windows, but that there will be an evolution towards Windows as a service.

We had the opportunity to meet with many of our clients at our booth, the Avanade reception and executive breakfast. We see an increased focus from our clients on the technology gap between their existing infrastructure and new Microsoft offerings. Our clients are thinking about the level of internal disruption that they are ready to create in order to get to the next level of digital business transformation. A lot of our clients are ready to make that jump and start integration of data, devices and cloud.

Two-speed IT was a popular topic at the MS Ignite conference and something that Gartner has been discussing for a while. It’s essentially the operation of mission-critical IT while deploying innovative systems and being a broker of new technologies. It is a real cool concept and has a lot of business benefits for our clients.

From an Avanade point of view, we see tremendous opportunities with the new Microsoft offerings that allow us to continue to hone our skill sets, enhance our offerings and partner with clients to make sure that they have the right technologies at the right time in the right place.

I urge you to head over the MS Ignite site and watch some of the on-demand videos from the event.

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