Microsoft Ignite: 6 insights on their transformative vision

Microsoft Ignite – Keynote insights from Satya Nadella, CEO and team

This week, Microsoft conducts their annual conference, sharing with business and consumers the technology innovations and solutions they are bringing to market.  This year a number of major announcements made it to stage, and the implications for business are transformative: 

1.     Partnerships are now the rule -  Microsoft began the day with a major announcement with Adobe, sharing how the creative cloud platforms from Adobe will run atop the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.   This brings the benefits of data analytics and cognitive computing to the creative capabilities of Adobe, providing dynamic visual representations of knowledge in 34 global regions and compliance certifications.   For companies that are considering how to bring visual rich information in a creative and interactive fashion, it will now be infrastructure and performance possible.

2.     The focus on democratizing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence.    Through the use of the Cortana AI services, Satya and product leaders shared the vision for making the Cortana AI platform at the majority of productivity tasks customers encounter each day.   Intuitively understanding of scheduling challenges, CRM opportunities, and travel / business activities making it possible to have a virtual assistant to all cloud users of Microsoft products.

3.     Application innovations with cloud and cognitive integrated together.   Microsoft shared their abilities to improve the user experiences for all customers, including Myanalytics (to analyze your daily productivity and focus), Skype translation across 8 languages in real time, SwiftKey input innovations, and Delve, surfacing trends in your data repositories important to you.  To illustrate, Dion Sanders, a famous athlete with ties to the Atlanta community, illustrated with Satya which players in a virtual foodball league would be best performers for the game this weekend.  

4.     Transforming the business experience with Dynamics.  Microsoft intends to make the Cortana AI platform integrated with the Dynamics platform, and bring the CRM experiences and business processes closer together through intuitive business process automation.    The integration story of the past several years between various Microsoft business platforms continues to march here –and will be interesting to see how these innovations work (or compete) with solutions from Salesforce (to be announced in a week’s time).  

5.     Augmented reality is now reality in fact.   Microsoft shared how their hololens product, used in conjunction with interior design expertise, can be leveraged to virtually walk through a renovation of a home space, including pricing and logistics implications of the various material designs.   The implications for augmented reality are strong, when it comes to evaluation of real world scenarios (architecture, construction, and retail) and customer behaviors.

6.     Supercomputing on the cloud.   The last highlight today was the creation and deployment of super computing capabilities across the Azure cloud platform.  Through the use of FPGA technology, super-computing artificial intelligence is now able to parse through millions of records and billions of words in a matter of seconds.  This super speed platform will keep up with the rising torrent of information generated in the world, and help companies analyzing massive amounts of data in a fashion that was previously unknown.   This is a MAJOR innovation, simply put.   

The first cut on the announcements

Microsoft has set the bar at a new height for innovation and transformation, and clearly has made the shift from product provider to cloud innovator.  With the reach of Azure as a cloud platform in 34 data centers and on five continents, Microsoft is now able to provide their cloud compute platforms to a global audience.   

The year on year updates are impressive, and the transforming solutions – especially the supercomputing cloud offering – mark a new era of Microsoft technology value for companies and individuals.