MICROSOFT has been spelling out the role of its partners in the firm’s future strategy at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando.
CEO Satya Nadella told attendees during the first of two ‘Vision’ keynotes: “Microsoft’s partners have always been and will always be a driving force in business transformation, and our collective innovation has never been stronger for our mutual customers. That’s because they’re depending on us.
“In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, those businesses that embrace technology to reinvent themselves and their industries will thrive, and those who embrace status quo risk extinction.
“It’s Microsoft’s hundreds of thousands of global partners that will bring about this transformation, help our mutual customers through this change and forge the next industrial revolution.”
Several new product and project announcements peppered the ego massage, including Project Gigjam, a sort of MS Project on steroids, which allows users to split tasks into component micro-tasks and responsibilities and identify the logjams.
Bosses may find this useful for spotting where the fifth wheels are, but more importantly it will offer a productive collaboration tool with a whole bunch of options that we’ve not seen before.
Also new is the Cortana Analytics Suite which, as the name suggests, is a way of using the Cortana platform and the machine learning technologies behind it to create bespoke scenarios that go beyond knowing what the weather is going to be like.
A HoloLens demo introduced Autodesk as a partner using the augmented reality equipment for a new type of computer aided design, and Microsoft announced plans to expand the reach of the Cloud Solution Provider programme to 131, adding Azure and CRM Online to the existing Windows Intune, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365.
Finally a new premium version of Office 365 is to be launched later in the year. Known as E5, it will add additional functionality to create an all-in-one enterprise solution. That’s the plan anyway.
Skype for Business, Cloud PBX, Meeting Broadcast Power BI and analytics, as well as a number of additional security features, will allow customers to move their entire businesses onto Microsoft’s cloud.
The conference continues today and tomorrow with a second keynote on the morning of the final day.