Microsoft has six focal points for FY 2019: Gaming, Modern Life, Modern Workplace, Data & AI, Business Applications and Applications & Infrastructure. All of their presentations and corenotes were focused around these themes as they aim to transform their products into solutions for businesses and individuals. To do that, Microsoft relies upon their partner community, which Mavim is proud to be a part of. Microsoft is heavily investing in these six themes, aiming to “get the right resources at the right place in the right time”. This includes a $5B investment in IoT, as well as adding resources to disciplines like customer success management and cloud solution design. Overall, Microsoft directly invests money in themes such as AI, IoT and Machine Learning, while investments in their partner community are mainly made in areas like collaboration and communication, and implementation and adoption of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365. In his corenote, Satya Nadella said, “When you think about business processes in particular, the one thing that is going to be true is more things are going to be digitized. As we see the power of IoT and other tools that are going to be used, every workflow is going to be automated. That means we need to have a set of tools that allow us to reduce the total cost of these customizations and automation. And now we’ve built a completely new app platform, which I think represents a tremendous opportunity for everyone in the room – PowerBI, PowerApps, and Flow. The combination of it is just going to change how applications are built and deployed.” And finally, Microsoft is pushing hard on the importance of communication and collaboration. It is clear that they are attempting to tie all their solutions together and Microsoft Teams, in particular, is currently being promoted as the solution for collaboration in the modern workplace. Mavim is also leveraging Microsoft’s momentum to promote the Mavim portal in the Azure cloud. As Office 365 becomes the center of work for digital organizations, Mavim is proud to announce that organizations who use the Mavim portal to collaborate on processes, risks, and related information can now do that all comfortably within their Office 365 environment. Click here for a short demo.
In general, the products included in “the modern workplace” aim to empower people-oriented experiences, rather than device-oriented experiences. As mentioned, Microsoft is promoting Teams as “the collaboration hub for Office 365” and the first free version was launched during Inspire. For those who have been vaguely following Microsoft’s product launches, you might be wondering what happened to SharePoint (wasn’t that supposed to be used for collaboration?). SharePoint is being re-positioned as the content carrier and Teams is where the communication and collaboration with this content happens. PowerBI also comes into play here and is positioned as the tool to visualize the data-driven work of the future. Click here to learn more about the solution for GDPR in the Modern Workplace (for which Mavim was awarded Finalist Partner of the Year Security & Compliance).
Microsoft reported 65 percent growth in Dynamics 365 during the first three quarters of FY2018 – making it one of Microsoft’s fastest-growing businesses (even faster than Office 365). This is in line with expectations, as digitization and automation are trends that are here to stay. As stated above, Microsoft sees this area as most promising for their partners. They encourage their partners to capture IP, become a trusted digital partner rather than a system integrator and focus on change and adoption. They have also officially launched the Partner-Customer Success Program (P-CSM) during Inspire. This program allocates special resources to guiding customers (and partners) in the change accompanied by a Dynamics 365 implementation. Learn more about how Mavim can help Microsoft partners accelerate Dynamics 365 implementations in this short video.
Azure & Marketplace/AppSource
Azure is growing rapidly (now with 54 data center regions and recently the first underwater). Microsoft saw growth of +/- 95% each quarter in the last fiscal year, which is bringing it into contention with AWS, the Amazon cloud. Disciplines like machine learning and artificial intelligence are now incorporated in the Azure cloud, with out-of-the-box solutions. Getting access to Azure products is fostered through the Azure Cloud Marketplace (replacement of the OCP catalog). This single marketplace can be accessed through two storefronts: Marketplace and AppSource. Whereas the first (Marketplace) is focused on IT professionals and cloud developers, the second (AppSource) is focused on business users. Both storefronts eventually will have the same functionalities, whereas the main difference currently lies in the fact that Marketplace is able to make transactions, whereas AppSource isn’t. It is clear to see that Microsoft itself is still searching for how to genuinely foster the usage of Azure Marketplace – both from the production and consumption perspective. Did you know Mavim can now be found on AppSource? Check us out here!
Artificial Intelligence & Data
“We’re going to infuse everything with AI”, Satya Nadella said during his corenote on Wednesday. As expected, AI was a big topic throughout the conference, examined from various perspectives. Microsoft fosters the use of AI through delivering out-of-the-box starter kits in Azure – referred to as ‘intelligent edge’: processing, analyzing and using data close to where it is generated. These kits mainly focus on solutions for vision, speech, language, knowledge and search – interesting to see how we can make use of that! Microsoft is investing in customers that pioneer with it. They aim to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, making sure that data can be taken and used in a secure, privacy-preserving way and create ROI based on AI capabilities. A couple examples were cited, such as solution provider BlueMetal, who aims to reduce costs at hospital operator Steward Healthcare and Toyota, who aims to build an autonomous warehouse. (Okay so we are all out of things to link to but we think what Microsoft is doing with AI is really cool - and we fully support their vision for bringing together all important business data and breaking down information silos. Check out our latest video on silo busting!)