Day 3 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) marks the first time that newly minted CEO Satya Nadella has delivered a keynote message to the Microsoft partner ecosystem at the WPC. Nadella's job was to close out the vision keynote and inspire partners to do more in the ever-changing world of technology.
To set the stage for Nadella's message, the keynote started with Tiffani Bovi, a distinguished analyst with Gartner, highlighting how the world as we know it is drastically changing. The everyday consumer is not the consumer of the years past. Within this digital age consumers come to the market with an understanding of what they need and an understanding of who they think you are based on their research. This changes the entire sales process as we know it. What has worked in the past will not work going forward. Bovi stressed that the primary way for Microsoft partners to succeed in this new world was to evolve as organizations, to invest into their future, and to build plans that would bring change and would track progress to meeting the new way of working.
Following Bovi's charge to partners, Tony Prophet took the stage to talk through all of the changes coming to Windows. He highlighted some of the great data rich applications already in existence on Windows and talked through the importance of continuing to push forward with Windows as the standard for enterprise solutions. Prophet emphasized that Microsoft stands behind Windows as the primary force in the industry that fills the needs of users from personal to business solutions, with the essential security elements in place to ensure that the enterprise is protected.
Microsoft is focused on being a leader in this industry and is answering customer demand with new solutions available as early as this fall. The upcoming devices are a direct response to the low-cost entry point of Android devices, fitting the consumer price point, yet still running the full Windows experience. This includes devices from 2-in-1 laptops to 7-inch tablets to mobile phones. These new devices will pave the way for Windows to remain the platform of choice, putting Microsoft in the position to win.
Prophet then turned the conversation back to partners, pleading with them to embrace this future and sharing with them ways they could thrive in the ecosystem. His first call to action was to convert their customers from Windows XP to a modern Windows experience. This conversion will be key in ensuring that organizations can move to the next level of efficiency and productivity. Once that move has been made, partners should invest in creating an Enterprise Mobility Practice that will help ensure their customers are working securely within the cloud through Bring You Own Device (BYOD) scenarios. Finally, partners can then round things out by building additional line-of-business applications that can be consumed by their customers.
Prophet was quick to mention that these were simply guidelines and that with the world of the new modern experience, the sky would be the limit when it came to building new solutions and applications.
Finally, to wrap up the vision keynote, Satya Nadella took the stage to thank partners for their amazing contributions over the years. Going as far as calling out specific partners by name and region, Nadella highlighted the impact that partners have had on the world of technology.
Without its partner ecosystem Microsoft simply would not be where it is today, Nadella stressed. But as with all things, Nadella expressed a need to continuously renew the culture and drive within Microsoft. The world is changing and Microsoft will need to embrace a new culture in order to succeed in the vision of empowering every organization and every person to achieve more and do more.
To succeed at this vision, Microsoft will need to have a renewed focused on people, being open to what they are saying and being able to respond in ways that help them work together better. The tools that Microsoft will develop need to bring information to where people are and need to work across all devices at all times in all scenarios. Gone are the days of having separate devices for work and home. Now the focus is simply on people and how they can work more efficiently with their time and within their networks.
This is not limited to the office as the same tools that can help you manage a team at work can also help you organize your son’s soccer team. People are hungry for the same type of efficiency and it is Microsoft’s vision to fill the gap and provide the single set of tools that improves the way that people work together.
To highlight this effort, Nadella shared with the audience a collection of live demos highlighting the power of apps and products that will appear in the future releases. These demos included the powerful Project Sienna tool, which allows business users to build simple mobile applications that connect to data systems, the translator for Skype, and the new application Delve, which is powered by Office Graph.
Closing the keynote, Nadella shared with the partners the way that Microsoft views its culture. Nadella listed six calls to action that Microsoft is committing to moving forward:
- Build on others
- Challenger mindset
- Obsess about customers
- Optimistic realism
- Be great
These pillars will be the foundation of Microsoft moving forward and signify a renewal in the Microsoft culture that is focused on the desire to succeed with customers. The technology becomes the easy part as Microsoft leans in to discover how customers work and how they need to be empowered. In order for this to happen, the partner ecosystem must embrace the changes and lead forward with new ideas and technical solutions. The keynote today ws a plea for partners to join in with this effort and to embrace the new way of working together with Microsoft.
Note: The keynote has been made available on demand on the digital WPC site. http://www.digitalwpc.com/Community/Pages/Home.aspx#fbid=fGG2HWuX9c- I encourage you to take a bit of time to listen to the message and to hear firsthand the new vision of Microsoft.