“Inspire” is the new name for what used to be called the “Worldwide Partner Conference” and is, as the name suggests, a conference aimed at Microsoft Partners from around the World.
It is a truly massive and awe-inspiring event on a scale few other organisations could manage so well, let alone host. 18,000 people from over 140 countries attended during which we heard that 17 million people are employed within the Microsoft Partner ecosystem representing a market with a value of $4.5 trillion.
Like I said; this is big!
This was my third time at the event and at the beginning of each Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, repeats the same thing; the Microsoft mission statement.
“Our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”
This is something Microsoft (…and Polymorph) truly believe in and the statement was written large over the front door of the conference so no-one would forget. During his keynote speech Satya stated that Microsoft want to make all organisations more productive and more efficient.
He went on to say that there will be three fundamental and major shifts in technology over the next few years.
Firstly, the user experience will be multi device and multi sense. We’ve all known about multi device for some years, but now we are also talking about multi sense access across multi devices. You can just smell the changes, can’t you?
Artificial Intelligence is going to be increasingly important and is going to provide organisations with a lot more data and analytics with which to make decisions.
Thirdly, all this data is going to require “serverless” computing as more and more devices will be intelligence enabled.
To support this Microsoft are aligning their solutions into four major pillars associated with Digital Transformation; The Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications & Infrastructure and Data & AI. These all reflect the changing demographic of modern IT usage as the nature of teams and team members evolve and change.
This is going to result in a tighter integration between Microsoft products, one of which got the Polymorph Team particularly excited. This is the integration of Office 365 with Dynamics and LinkedIn. This is going to give you the ability to be in Dynamics viewing a person’s record and simultaneously see in LinkedIn who they are ‘connected with’ and what their relationships with other people look like. Powerful stuff! Great for all sorts of applications and processes within marketing, sales, recruitment, finance and project management etc.
It was a long and hard few days as we had many meetings with senior managers from Microsoft as well as several of our other business partners including Arrow, Binary Tree, Cloud Direct, Daisy Group, Northdoor, PowerOn Platforms, SoftwareONE and Trustmarque to name but a few.
I’m pleased to say that it was not all work, work, work. We did get a chance to see Washington DC and what an amazing and beautiful City it is.
Next year Inspire is in Vegas.....