All companies will have to be technology companies.
With this phrase, Satya Nadella delivered a message that many of us have seen for some time, but which the pandemic has only confirmed and accelerated. “We just have to move forward, and this will require a change in the level of technology intensity over the next few years,” he emphasised. Undoubtedly, software is the key to the future of consumer purchasing decisions, and whoever is best positioned at this point will differentiate themselves from the competition.
Microsoft is undoubtedly leading the cloud world, and it is doing so in a unique and different way than its direct competitors. The key, I believe, lies in its technical focus on developing platforms for business scenarios. Its business lines and product teams are fully aligned with a single common focus, which is to propose technology to make companies more productive, agile and profitable.
Long gone are the days when product teams worked more as separate silos and integrations were costly and even similar functionality existed in different solutions. Today, we feel a total technological alignment, and a sense of platform, allowing everything to be natively and naturally integrated in a much simpler way. I think this is the result of the common work of the product teams, but above all the speed with which everyone can evolve their platforms in a cloud world. All this generates a motivational and innovative inertia that only a team as complete as Microsoft’s can achieve.
The competition does not manage to have all-encompassing solutions without third-party dependencies, and this puts Microsoft in a privileged position. On top of that, far from taking advantage of this privileged position, it is committed to open source and multiplatform, and Github is a clear example of this and of how the strength of many unknown people can achieve real wonders, even helping a drone to fly on Mars:
Last week’s event delivered a lot of news, but above all it reemphasized Microsoft’s focus on its partner channel. I truly believe that Microsoft has the best partner channel in the industry, and it is in large part because Microsoft manages it well. Business opportunities with Microsoft, and collaborations between the different partners, mean that more and more technology companies of all sizes have the need to become Microsoft partners. Regardless of whether they work with other technologies, being outside this ecosystem is increasingly penalising technology companies.
Satya also highlighted two major truths that are at the heart of the company’s success in recent years:
1) Microsoft will succeed if its partners succeed.
2) Collectively we will succeed if our world around us succeeds.
Looking at the main messages that Microsoft has left us from the event, the key takeaway is that the Microsoft cloud is unique, and growing rapidly with more than 60 regions around the globe, and that we can explore it very easily here:
Microsoft’s Cloud is the only cloud…
Normally these events have few announcements focused on Dynamics 365 or Power Platform, but this time they did drop a bombshell announced by Satya himself: “we are pleased to share that Teams customers will receive access to Dynamic 365 data within Teams at no additional cost”. Such announcements make an impression, but above all they mark the innovation path through which Microsoft wants to focus its next R&D efforts.
Teams is undoubtedly the place where Microsoft wants everyone to spend more time in their daily work. It is our virtual workplace, where we do much of our work, and it will become more and more so.
It remains to be seen how all this will land in the licensing model, but the key seems to be in what is now called “Collaborative Applications”, which are a kind of apps that will allow us from Teams to have a limited view of Dynamics 365 information, which I understand includes both CE and F&O.
Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, and in all directions. In the world of productivity with Microsoft VIVA, a new generation of operating systems with Windows 11 and Windows 365 in the cloud, and for the world of low code, the push for Fusion teams and automatic code generation with AI using GTP-3.
LOver the next few years, the world’s 400K partners will create more than 10 million new jobs, a large number of which will be non-technical. The amount of data that will be created in the next 3 years will be more than has been created in the last 30.
Honestly, those of us who like technology are excited to see how fast everything is evolving, and how every year we have to dedicate more and more of our time to training and learning new things. But above all, it motivates us to get better and better.