Putting people at the heart of their technology experiences – how Microsoft 365 is being used for cultural transformation, business productivity and industry-specific workflows
The corenote on day three of Microsoft Inspire 2018, saw Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speak about the importance of putting people at the centre of their technology experiences.
Nadella addressed the packed conference arena: “The relationship people have with other people, the activities and tasks that you do. That’s what’s got to drive the devices in our life, not the other way around.
“Whether it is in gaming, whether it’s in Microsoft 365, whether it’s with Dynamics 365 – it’s about building these people-centered, multi-sense, multi-device experiences.”
Nadella went on to demonstrate his own use of Microsoft 365. He looked at the various features – including Outlook, Teams, Power BI and Yammer – and explained how he allocates the various applications to different uses and for use with diverse groups.
“I use Outlook as my open loop. This is my ability to communicate with any one of you or anyone inside the company. Microsoft Teams, that’s my inner loop, that’s how I stay in touch with the groups as well as the projects that I’m closely working on and closely working with. And then Yammer, that’s my outer loop, that is the ability to really make sure that I’m in touch with what the 100,000 people are really buzzing about.
“That’s the open loop, inner loop, outer loop. That’s how I think about the taxonomy of my communication.”
Nadella said: “The opportunity for everyone here is to take Microsoft 365 and apply it for cultural transformation in large enterprises, for productivity in small businesses, to be able to really do industry-specific workflows in healthcare, in manufacturing, in financial services.”
To illustrate the potential for this cultural transformation, Nadella gave as an example that of the NHS using Microsoft Teams to coordinate and bring together staff and patient data. Microsoft’s healthcare-specific templates built around Teams, have been created to help reduce the cost of bed management and for electronic medical records, with both these requirements vital in working towards assuring best patient outcomes.
AI and ubiquitous computing
Moving to looking to the future, Nadella spoke about how, in response to Artificial Intelligence increasingly being deployed in applications for organisations across industry and market, AI will form a key component of Microsoft’s products.
“As we look forward, the opportunity for us to serve our customers in this new era of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge is far greater,” Nadella said. “[AI] is going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward."
Referring to the handling of customer data, Nadella said, “We have to do our very best work when it comes to privacy, because as technology and digital technology becomes pervasive in our lives, we have to approach everything with the fundamental assumption that privacy is a human right.”
Nadella also acknowledged the responsibility the industry bore when developing technology, such as AI. “We have to have a set of principles that guide the development of AI. These are things where we need to not only build the tools, the technologies, but it’s also a set of design principles, a set of ethical principles that we as builders of technology need to have.”
Speaking about ubiquitous computing, Nadella said: “Essentially wherever there is data, compute will migrate to data. We are taking Azure to Azure Stack, to Azure IoT Edge, to Azure Sphere. This is that one ubiquitous distributed computing fabric. One programming model that is event-driven, serverless, so you can write an application that truly works across all of this.”
And, in summing up, Nadella offered: “At a time like this, where digital technology is part of every fabric of life and economy and society, to be able to connect with our own personal passions and philosophies, because that's what really enables us.
“Take the most pressing challenges of the world – climate change, energy, education. And within any community that you care deeply about, any country you care deeply about, you have the ability to use this platform to make a difference.”
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