World Partner Conference, What a World of Difference
Just a few years ago, Satya Nadella was given the role of CEO and announced his Mobile First, Cloud First initiative for Microsoft. For Microsoft watchers, it was a big statement from a new CEO of a massive software company. Some may have scoffed a little at the statement.
Scoffers, you were wrong. In this new year (remember Microsoft's fiscal year starts July 1), Satya’s vision is no longer statement but reality at the recent World Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada. What was really interesting this year, was the diversity of announcements, and types of companies, that were made on the keynote floor. Two key announcements were around General Electric and Facebook, companies that I would never imagined would be included in the same sentence. Yet these two companies are investing in Microsoft's strengths.
First, GE has a manufacturing analytics platform Predix that is now going to be hosted within Microsoft Azure. This is not just the Internet of Things (IoT) but intelligent machine monitoring that directly affects the bottom line of a manufacturing organization. In a brief interview during the keynote, Satya Nadella and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt discussed how GE has been transforming into a technological organization and the cloud helps provide the power to predict and the flexibility for an international company.
In a later announcement, Facebook announced that it will be moving its employees to Office 365 to help support its collaboration goals. Facebook’s CIO Tim Campos talked about how it will help its employees share information and admitted that the choice was a nod to what he viewed as Microsoft “got cool again.” This is an amazing announcement for a competitor in some areas to admit that Microsoft has reached the same level of usability that they expect from their own solutions.
I suspect that Satya's vision will find new highs as Microsoft continues to build worker productivity solutions that meet the needs of any business... even GE and Facebook.