Last week, a contingent from Tallan attended Microsoft Inspire. This conference brings together the entire Microsoft Partner Network. This network crosses borders, oceans, and mountain tops and what a sight it was. About 40,000 people gathered in “Hot Vegas” as they have aptly begun to refer to Las Vegas as, for 5 days of meetings, networking opportunities, Key Note speeches from Microsoft leadership – to include CEO, Satya Nadella himself, and even a concert to top it all off.
We learned a lot. We learned about Microsoft’s goals and priorities for their next fiscal year. We learned about opportunities we have and can use to our advantage, being a member of the Partner Network. Most importantly, we fostered and made new relationships with individuals across the country. A group who we can and will continue to align and partner with as we all look to use our technical and business expertise to build solutions for our customers.
The focus, as I’m sure you can imagine, is Microsoft Azure. The cloud platform continues to grow in security, size, and scalability in addition to being the selected cloud platform from many Federal organizations to Fortune 500 companies alike. Not just Microsoft Azure, though, but what can be done in the cloud, and how it can support growth. The last few years have focused on getting ‘to the cloud.’ While that’s still a priority, (and will be for years to come) the mindset is shifting to ‘what can the cloud do for me?’
We know it’s secure, we know it can scale to meet your needs, but now the fun can begin – and that’s one of the things we learned last week. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the cloud, the Business Applications in the cloud, the data that can be housed and parsed in the cloud. We all already know that it’s the future – but the future is now.
We watched as one of Microsoft’s executives put on a Hololens and stand behind a hologram version of herself, to watch her speech be re-made in Japanese. This was done, using Azure AI technologies paired with neural text-to-speech. The Hologram even took a recording of her voice, to match her voice signature. I for one was horrified, my Technology VP’s – in awe. I mean I saw them all lean forward, and become physically engaged. Reason #150 that I am in marketing, and they imagine and develop the cutting edge solutions our clients need, but that’s a story for another day.
We were inspired by the stories we heard. We heard from a South African doctor, who was able to take Microsoft technologies and use them to help monitor (among other things) pregnancies for at-risk women who don’t have access to care anywhere NEAR what we have here in the U.S. We saw how a Dove soap factory in Brazil utilized a Digital Twin through IoT to enhance the predictive measures they were taking to be ready for their customer’s wants and needs, before they were even aware that they had them. We saw a unit in a factory utilizing Microsoft Teams to communicate after shift changes – and guess what: it wasn’t all readings from monitors, and to-do lists, though of course the real time communication is pertinent. It was memes, jokes, GIFs, things that make a TEAM a TEAM.
Through the 5 long days the main takeaway, for me, was that together is what it will take to achieve Microsoft’s mission. We all have our own missions, both professionally and personally, but for Microsoft to acknowledge that they cannot be successful without their partners, was important and it was meaningful. It gave us the refreshment we needed in that 110 degree desert heat. It fueled me during my red-eye back to the east coast to put a plan in place to use this network that we have to succeed. So read up on the articles written about the Keynote Speeches (or Core Notes, as Microsoft calls them). Read up on the technology focus areas they have for this fiscal year. Read up on the stories they told of, not even transformations, of the revolutionary changes these technologies can make. Read up on what effects these changes are having on businesses and communities, and if something sparks your interest and you want to know more, I encourage you to reach out to us. We’re inspired. Inspired to make a difference through what we do, and we’d love to help you.