Microsoft’s Nadella on prospects in intelligent cloud

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft Inspire 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft Inspire 2017

Microsoft’s annual partner gathering, formerly known as Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, is now called Microsoft Inspire 2017.

According to the firm, the rebrand better reflects how Microsoft and its partner community is inspiring each other to “innovate and deliver powerful new solutions to customers.”

This direction for ‘inspiration and innovation’ was also echoed in CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote speech at the conference yesterday.

In the lead up to announcing the new launches – Microsoft 365, ISV Cloud Embed programme and Azure stack updates – the CEO urged the firm’s partner community to take advantage of the opportunities that the new world presents.

He said, “Our partner conference is that event, which sets the tone of everything we do throughout the year. As a partner ecosystem, you are pushing forward and leaning into the future. And it is anything but easy – it is not linear or comfortable.

“Thank you for your commitment, critical feedback and most importantly your drive to make us collectively better.”

Nadella said that the firm’s mission was to “empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.”

Explaining that this was the “north star” which defined every choice the company made, he added, “What makes us unique is the focus on both people and organisations. This mission is going to always remain constant. We are going to be centered in this sense of purpose and in the ethos of being partner-led in everything we do.”

According to the CEO, within the current mobile and cloud first world, the firm sees a new paradigm, which it defines as the “intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.”

There are three characteristics, which defines this new paradigm, says Nadella.

“Every experience you will build is going to be multi-device and multi-sense. The second profound shift is the infusion of AI in every application experience you create. Lastly, as we have more of the computation itself to generate and distribute AI, to manage all these complexities, we need a new efficient frontier for how we develop, distribute and manage applications.”

Nadella said while these three shifts defines the era of intelligent cloud and edge, it is the opportunities created that is more exciting than the technology itself.

“The way we are going to capture this opportunity is to collectively come together and address the needs of the following four digital transformation outcomes – empower employees, engage customers, optimise operations and transform products,” he added. “We will thrive if we do our best to work in addressing the customer needs across these four outcomes by industry and by geography. It is as simple as that.”

To achieve this objective, the firm is aiming to bring all of what it does across divisions into four solution areas – modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and Data and AI.

He said, “These four solution areas are the ingredients in every one of these digital outcome endeavours of our customers. Partners need to understand the connective tissue of this framework to see what capabilities they need in order to drive this opportunity.”

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