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3 Things Every Business Can Take Away from Satya Nadella’s 2018 Microsoft Inspire Keynote

We’re coming to you live from the 2018 Microsoft Inspire conference, just moments after the keynote of the event from CEO Satya Nadella. And from that speech, here are three things your business can start thinking about!

Microsoft is big, but they’re setting the table for the industry.

Yes, Microsoft is a large technology company and simply from their size, they’re positioned as industry leaders. More specifically though, when Nadella stepped onto the stage in the T-Mobile arena, he was met with a round of applause that took a long time to quiet down. This CEO, one that most partners will never meet in person, is an inspiring leader that infects Microsoft’s internal culture and inspires (no pun intended) the partners Microsoft brings in each year.

Nadella also made it very clear early on in his presentation that with leadership comes responsibility. Nadella made the bold statement that privacy is a fundamental right and that we in the technology industry have a responsibility to see that goal through. Microsoft’s leadership in GDPR and further statements that it supports fundamental privacy across the globe should let our U.S. customers know that regulation like the GDPR is coming in the U.S., and even if it doesn’t, we should still seek to make changes like it is right now.

AI is in everything.

AI is going beyond a buzzword and is being infused in every application that Microsoft creates. With Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack, and Azure Sphere, there really is a global computing platform. To get a sense of the scale, Microsoft has enough fiber interconnecting their Azure facilities to go to the moon and back more than 3 times. AI is in your life today whether its SPAM filters helping sort through your email before you see it or Cortana providing suggestions for follow-ups during and after your meetings. AI is going to be alongside human workers and Microsoft is going to be a leader in this charge.

MS Inspire photo regarding Azure expansion and AI in your technology.

One example that Nadella pointed to is 2-year-old AI Chatbot in Asia named Xiaoice.

Xiaoice currently has 500 million threads of knowledge. The bot has written its own book of poetry and can be called on the phone 24/7/365 and spoken to in a natural way that makes this chatbot feel extremely real. Xiaoice and other chatbots should be telling our business partners that disruptive change is coming to those businesses that rely on call centers and other heavy phone transactional processes.

Microsoft highlighted their partnership with McDonald’s and the gradual elimination of staff in favor of self-ordering kiosks and AI driven drive-through systems. Disruption is coming to all spaces, even to very traditional consumer human interactions, and your business needs to be ready.

The Collaboration of the Future is Here.

Microsoft is all in on their product called “Teams.”

While it has only been out for a year and by many is viewed simply as a place to IM with multiple people, that is all changing.

Meetings are changing.

Information sharing is changing.

The roadmap that Microsoft is providing is a pivot away from a well-known brand name in “Skype” and towards all communications being located under the Teams umbrella.

Here at ITP, we have adopted Teams to provide our customers and employees a better experience. Teams can truly empower ITP staff to do more. We use Teams to create spaces where information on key accounts and projects are shared, so if a customer has a team of our staff working with them: i.e. sales, field engineers, and remote engineers, everyone can be on the same page.

This is the main stage at Microsoft Inspire though, so Nadella had to bring the wow factor.  To do so, Microsoft kicked over to a demo of a Teams meeting with 3 people live and a 4th person attending virtually via augmented reality.

The room system identified and welcomed each person by name using facial recognition and Cortana transcribed the entire meeting identifying accurately who each speaker was. Cortona also pulled out the key action items from the meeting to the side. This isn’t a feature set that is 5 years away… this is available now in Teams, after only 9 months of development. Our customers’ takeway here should be that simple email and one-to-one IM isn’t complete collaboration. There is so much more your technology can do to help make your staff more efficient, and ITP can be your partner to help launch and connect you to these new technologies.

Back to Inspire!

That’s all we have time for now… it’s back to Inspire, an event where ITP continues to learn with the top ½ of the top 1% of the 100,000 Microsoft partners worldwide, where we’re pulling key insights and values for our customers.

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