Inspire 2018: Digital Transformation is here, says Microsoft

Categories: Events & Conferences
Tags: Microsoft Azure Microsoft Inspire

Microsoft kicked off Monday 16 July at Inspire 2018 in Las Vegas by highlighting the tremendous opportunity available to its partners around delivering Digital Transformation to their customers.

Taking to the stage at the week’s first corenote, Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Commercial Partner Channels & Programmes, told partners that Microsoft expects to hit $100 billion in annual revenue, based on the last three quarters.

She quoted IDC figures which estimate that every $1 of Microsoft revenue generates $9.64 in additional services revenue – “That’s nearly a trillion dollars just this past year of Microsoft services,” she said, adding that an estimated $4.5 trillion total addressable market for Digital Transformation was in reach with partners.

Intelligent Edge and IoT

Specifically, much of this opportunity will spring up from Edge computing, Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business, told partners.

Judson Althoff - Carlsberg

Earlier this year Microsoft revealed it was investing $5 billion in the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next four years.

Microsoft’s IoT offerings today range from operating systems for devices – and the cloud services to control and secure them – to advanced analytics to gain insights, and business applications to enable intelligent action.

“The Intelligent Cloud, and the Intelligent Edge is real, it’s here, and it’s now,” said Althoff, who maintained that the Edge was about more than mobile devices. “It’s about sensors and sensor fabrics, ambient intelligence gathering, collecting detecting voluminous amounts of data…This new wave of compute, of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, will shape everything we build together for the future to come.”

Partner opportunity

To help partners capitalise on IoT and Edge Computing, Microsoft has announced two new programmes:

Azure Certified for IoT: Microsoft is expanding the current Certified for IoT programme to certify core edge functionalities – in addition to third-party devices – such as security, device management, and edge analytics.

Azure Marketplace: Partners can now browse prebuilt first- and third-party IoT Edge software modules now available through Azure Marketplace. Software partners can share and showcase their edge modules on the marketplace and will be able to monetise offerings through the platform in the future.

Elsewhere Althoff demonstrated how Microsoft customer Carlsberg is using AI tools, including Azure, to create “the connected bar,” enabling it to personalise the beer-drinking experience for customers.

Carlsberg Demos AI

In addition, it showed how John Hopkins Hospital has partnered with Microsoft to create a precision medicine platform that allows it to collect vast quantities of data and apply new techniques like AI and machine learning (ML) to help treat patients in a more individual way.

“Digital Transformation is real,” said Charlton Levendale, Project Manager at Vuzion, and currently responsible for all Vuzion's Office 365 migrations. “This is a powerful example of how cloud technologies can help improve lives.”

“Partners are the beginning and the end, the first and last mile our industry strategy,” said Althoff. “It’s not just about selling product anymore, it’s about making cloud services transform their business.

“It is your opportunity; the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will create more opportunity for the Microsoft ecosystem than we have seen in our history.”

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