Posts Tagged ‘Convergence’

postheadericon Jean-Philippe Courtois: Convergence EMEA 2015

Remarks by Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois at Convergence EMEA 2015 in Barcelona on Nov. 30, 2015.

JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS:  Good afternoon.  Good afternoon.  Buenos tardes.  Welcome.  Welcome to sunny Barcelona, at least outside of this room, and welcome to Convergence.

It’s a real pleasure, but it’s also a privilege for me to be with all of you, this amazing audience, today.  This event this year right here in Barcelona is going to be all about business transformation.  The transformation you are driving with your customers, maybe within your own organizations, across your industries, sometimes across your countries, and also the urgent need we all have to evolve our business models, but also to disrupt and to thrive.

And this will be the focus of the next few days, and I really hope that you’re going to learn not just from the people coming on stage from Microsoft and customers and partners, but sharing from all across the big community actually of leaders across the world.

But first I want to briefly share, actually, who we are as a community in this room, because this is where transformation starts.  Convergence has really become a huge event for Microsoft.  This is really the truly premier business event.  We now have two Convergence events, one in North America and one in EMEA.  And right now we have 5,000 attendees spanning across 79 countries, 18 industries and more than 2,200 organizations across many continents, actually, not just Europe, Middle East and Africa.  It’s the third in Barcelona and the eighth edition in the region.

And what intriguing data point, actually one great data point I wanted to share with you that you share in common, 73 percent of you are running some of your business on the Microsoft Cloud, 73 percent, on Office 365, on Azure, on CRM Online.  And I look forward to convincing another 27 percent in the next few days to actually consider that move soon.  And as you will see you have the opportunity to experience not just what Microsoft has offered for you, but actually all of the learning from your attendees as well.

I would like before starting, I would like actually to take a moment to say an official thank-you to our sponsors.  I would like to call out our Executive Platinum Sponsor IBM, a special thank-you.  And I would like also to thank actually all of our Platinum Sponsors AXtension, KCP Dynamics, KPMG, Hitachi Solutions, and then all the other sponsors.  Your partnership with Convergence EMEA is very appreciated.  So please give them a big hand for being a sponsor at this event.  Thank you.

(Applause.)

You know, as much as we talk about actually technology and commerce coming together, this event, this transformation is also a lot about community.  As I said, it’s about this very particular Convergence community of leaders coming together.  It’s about the community where you contribute back to your countries in terms of your industries, also the people that you connect with in your social circles.

And in many ways, this is where we think about transformation as well, commercial transformation.  And as a company there’s a lot we do to obviously help realize the dream of a number of people.  Indeed, when we think about our mission as an organization, we talk about empowering every individual and every organization on the planet to achieve more.  And we actually imply that it goes far beyond great products, great services and great financial results.  It’s truly about unleashing the opportunities that people have in their lives as well.

And this is the reason why you see our company investing a lot in a number of citizenship initiatives.  In the last few years, we’ve been empowering, enabling 300 million users in the world using technologies or learning new digital skills.  And we’ll be investing a lot more in the next years to raise the bar in computer science for the least served communities in the world.

So all of that is part of the work we do.  And we decided as we launched Windows 10 to upgrade the world.  I’m not just talking about 110 million of Windows 10 users, by the way, which fully are already enjoying the new Windows 10 experience; I’m talking about 10 global NGOs, nonprofits; 100 local nonprofit organizations, that we provided a grant of $ 50K so they can actually have a positive impact on the lives of others.  This is a big deal for us.  And you see on this slide a lot of those organizations in EMEA, three countries as an example, in U.K., Germany, France and Kenya, where some companies are doing amazing things combining technology and apply that to social cause, all the way from reducing poverty to environment to skills and more.

So the question we can ask ourselves is actually what do actually social organizations have in common with business organizations?  At the end of the day, I think it boils down to three things, three enablers of change for any transformation of the society, of a business, of an organization.  This is about the concept I think any organization that wants to change the world to really have a big impact has got to start by redefining its own identity, its own DNA.  You have to come up with a new concept, which is something very different from the old concept you’ve been running as a business for many years.  This is where you try to create a new pathing, obviously, for your customers and your supply chain and your marketplace.

With the concept brings the need to build capabilities in your organization.  And this is a very hard thing to do.  I can reflect on my own organization in Microsoft.  I’ve got a number of thousands of sales and marketing and services people on the planet serving the countries of the world.  And I can tell you the definition talks about your ability, as an organization your ability, to perform the coordinated task utilizing resources for the purpose of achieving a very particular outcome.  We are talking about combining tangible resources, like cash, like also obviously a lot of physical assets you may have as a company with intangibles, including technology, reputation, and combining all of that with human capital and skills.

And if you do that really well, you need another piece.  You need to come up with your culture.  You need to come up with the culture, and you need to redefine what your culture means and stands for.  And cultural change is the hardest thing to do.  I can also relate to that as we are only attempting as a global organization, Microsoft, to reshape the culture to be a customer-obsessed culture, and be growth mindset as well.  And I can tell you it takes a lot of hard work to change the daily habits, the daily routines of all of our people around the world to do a number of new sets of activities that actually make sense given the new identity and the new direction we have as a company.

So I wanted to give you that framework of reference because I think it could be helpful as we go through the digital transformation discussion.  And, like me, you need to drive in your own organizations a lot of those changes.  And you certainly understand it is not just about updating your toolset — that would be too easy — it’s in fact about modernizing your mindset.  And that’s a much bigger change.

So when we look across the world and we look at the change that companies are doing, we see a number of processes, a number of operational changes.  Companies start innovating by incorporating the feedback of the customers or the employees that design their product and their services.  That’s a big trend, and we see more and more organizations doing that.

We see several companies as well getting smarter by leveraging the smart agents and smart machines.  I can tell you I’m getting smarter as I use my personal digital assistant.  She’s a very smart lady.  You may know her actually.  Her name is Cortana.  I can talk to her every morning when I wake up as well.  When I was coming to Barcelona she would tell me, Jean-Philippe, here are the meetings you have to do.  Here’s the content.  Here’s the background.  Here is the fastest way to get actually to the conference center, and so on and so forth, learning about me, learning about my habits.  And this can be applied, of course, to many, many personal and professional scenarios.

Many of the businesses, as well, are adapting their operations to intelligent operations.  We’ll discuss more of that during the week, but one example of that was my last week travel in Asia.  I’m just back actually from a week in Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.  And I spent two days in Singapore with a customer from Singapore, sometimes they even come to EMEA, they’re welcome here, and I was amazed by the magnitude of change of the smart nation.

Some of you may have heard about the smart nation concept.  It’s all about really connecting all the objects, all the buildings, all the enablers to a better life for the citizens of Singapore.  And we are announcing in Singapore actually a set of 50 partners, Microsoft IoT partners.  And one of them just got actually a very nice solution awarded by one of the biggest actually building construction authorities in Singapore to do a smart chiller.  It’s going to be smart with the way they actually maintain, repair and have predictive maintenance.  And we see a lot more of those connected, I would say, operations happening across the world.

We certainly see, as well, a lot of companies anticipating the business, what’s coming next.  And it’s great to see companies, even retail companies, this company in the U.S. Pier One Imports, I’m sure some of you know, which is designing and selling online retail, furniture but also house goods, which is using the Azure Machine Learning to basically predict what their customers may need next and have some up-sell scenarios for their sales team and the e-commerce engine.  And I could tell you about many of those customers starting to use those predictive patterns as they read the digest of the data of the customers to adapt their business models.

And the last one is only not the least is delighting customers with a more engaging experience, combining offline and online experiences for the customers.  And whatever is the business actually you do, you could be running development services, you could be running retail, banking, manufacturing, you need to have a broad-reach set of experiences that are coming as one experience to your customers.  And this is a big deal as part of this transformation.

So this is really the digital transformation happening around the world.  And as we get together we decided to commission a study with Forrester, and Forrester actually did survey many hundreds of CIOs, IT people, but also business decision-makers, people across Europe, Middle East and Africa, many countries, to understand where they stand on that digital transformation, what does it mean for them, what are they going to do about it, what do they actually intend to achieve.

So I’d like to show you a few key takeaways from that study.  The first one is 94 percent of the businesses that were surveyed are taking some sort of digital strategy, which is good news.  You could say, wow, all of them are moving in the direction.  Yes, but when we dig down into the results, once you look and analyze the responses, there’s a lot of confusion.  Actually the majority of the 94 percent, a significant number of those, are just adding some bolt-on digital, I would say, assets or experiences to the existing business models.

So they are really adding just a few more digital colors to the business.  They are not truly embracing a full digital transformation of their operations.  So that’s the first learning, which means there’s a lot of more work to do to truly define what the digitalization of the business means and implies.

The second big takeaway, which I think is a ‑‑ you could say is obvious, but it’s always good to state the obvious. If you want to succeed with your digital transformation I think you need to be very clear about the way you define customer success, which should be measured in terms of business outcomes.  So it’s not all about the transaction, it’s as much about financial results.  Of course, financials matter to any company on the planet.  But, it’s about being very crisp about the business outcomes that you want to achieve.  And the customer design and the way that you confirm and convert customers probably more into fans, as opposed to people who have to buy your products.

And that’s I think a big part of reshaping the business, because if you don’t start with that there’s no reason, no way you can redefine your business processes and then digitize the underpinnings to make it happen.

The third big takeaway is when you ask those people, both IT, by the way, and business people, what their top priorities when it comes to the transformation agenda, there are two things coming on top of their mind, top of mind, data security and analysis.  Data security I’m sure all of you can think about it, do something about it.  I can tell you in any of the hundreds of customers many that are around the world, there’s not one single discussion where I’m not being asked, or I don’t have a very detailed discussion about our trusted cloud, what it means.

And the way the customers ask and understand security, privacy, compliance, transparency, in regard to their chief compliance officer if they are a listed company, regarding their regulatory requirements if they belong to an industry like banking, farmers or others, we’ve got some very particular needs and policy needs and so on and so forth.  It’s a big deal, and it’s something we certainly will hear more about in the next couple of days, because we deeply actually work on the security enablement of the platform.

Analytics, I briefly mentioned that as part of my digital transformation framework, is a big deal.  Analytics is finally not just having the tons of data that all the businesses have in their house, but making sense of it, making sense of it not just for a few data scientists that you may need, by the way, people who can really formally define the data models needed for the new concept of your business, but truly talking, by the way, of your people on the front line, the customer sales representative, the sales agents, the maintenance engineers, the field people, whoever are those roles and personas you have in your organizations.  It’s about the way you give them immediately in their hands the ability to visualize and to make decisions for the customers and the company every second of their job on any device they use.  So those are big deals for our customers and obviously this is a big thing for any of the projects we are running into.

So that’s the takeaway I wanted to share with you: Basically, building the digital transformation is a team sport.  It takes more than one person.  And it’s very interesting to see the different views that the CEOs in my role I meet with a lot of CEOs, or BDMs.  I’m also meeting with CIOs, because I think both are obviously very key to the success.  It’s interesting to see that actually 60 percent of the IT respondents to the survey feel that they own the digital strategy.  When you ask the same question to the BDMs or CEOs, the number actually comes down to 40 percent, so there’s a different view between IT and business decision-makers.

And the reality, and you know it, the reality is this digital transformation is forcing the business to embed the digital transformation into everything they do and the CIO has to reinvent his role to enable the business and to align with the CEO.  And in many ways some of the most successful transformations I’ve seen of companies in the world in the last couple of years are companies where some key executive at the board level, or CEOs themselves, are truly driving the new character of the organization, the new concept of their business, of their company, using technology to disrupt and reinvent themselves.  It’s very powerful when you’ve got this alignment, when you’ve got also those roles working together.  But, it’s not easy.

So that’s really ‑‑ I would say those are really the key takeaways, and I really hope that over the next couple of days we’ll be exploring a lot of the stories, both on stage again, but also with all of you during workshops, during a number of case studies, and I hope that you’ll take away for those couple of days again some great thoughts and practical approaches for your own business, or your own actually organization as a partner to help your customers.

So I’d like to leave you with a quote which I like a lot from one of my favorite philosophers, Goethe.  He says life belongs to the living, and he, I should add, now he or she, who lives must be prepared for changes.  I think it’s very real.  I think it’s very much about the personal change that each one of us needs to make when we want to be an agent of change for our transformation, or for a customer’s transformation.

So let me finish sharing with you what the agenda is all about for this Convergence.  I think that we have an exciting agenda.  Right after this introduction, we’ll have the pleasure to actually welcome to the stage Chris Capossela, he’s our chief marketing officer.  And Chris will be sharing with you one of our top three big ambitions as a company, reinventing productivity and business processes, and the way you actually change mission-critical business processes by embedding some of the new productivity capabilities in the mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Tomorrow morning, I will have the pleasure to ask to the stage Roger Madelin, who is a senior advisor at the EU to talk about innovation at the EU level and what it means across Europe in terms of policies, in terms of change, in terms of disruption of industries.  And then we’ll have Scott Guthrie, who is our executive vice president, he is the head of our Cloud and Enterprise, talking and showing you this vision we have of the Intelligent Cloud and putting out a lot of new innovation while announcing right here, right in Barcelona, on that Intelligent Cloud infrastructure.

And last but not least on Wednesday, we’ll have Susan Hauser and Neil Holloway, two of our executives, hosting a lot of customers to share end-to-end stores of transformation.

So this is really what we have for you to play with, to learn from.  I really look forward to have you also taking advantage of the Convergence Expo Center, which is the big hub where we’ve got the 100 sponsors, we’ve got exhibitors, we’ve got sessions where you can network with each other.

So with that, let’s now give actually a really warm welcome to Chris Capossela joining us, and enjoy Convergence.

Thank you.

(Applause.)

END

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postheadericon Chris Capossela: Convergence EMEA 2015

 

Remarks by Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela at Convergence EMEA 2015 in Barcelona on Nov. 30, 2015.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  And thanks so much for being here at Convergence EMEA, our premier business event.  It’s a real honor to be with you here today along with Jean-Philippe.

For me this notion of modernizing your toolset and modernizing your mindset is really the core notion that brings us together.  We’re here to help you with your business transformation, and we’re here to learn how we can do a better job on that.  We’re also here to connect business leaders from every industry, from many countries around the world to share best practices and learn from each other.

Now it’s amazing to think about how technology and business have driven each other to be better.  When we look back at when PCs became very ubiquitous and servers became very ubiquitous in the client-server era, we see that together we invested in what we consider to be this notion of systems of record where organizations were busy becoming far more efficient on internal processes driven by enterprise resource planning.  HR, manufacturing, supply chains, all of these became far more efficient through the implementation of these ERP systems.  They were the system of record for every one of our business processes.  And it was a major step forward.

With the advent of mobile computing and the Web and the Internet, we started to add processes and efficiency that went beyond the boundaries of our own companies.  And they extended out to our customers and to our partners.  And we started to understand how to track the engagements we had with them as well.  And these systems of record also were added to with new systems of engagement, tracking all of the engagements we had with our partners and our customers.  Again, a major step forward in efficiency for all of our organizations.

At Microsoft, we believe in talking to customers we’re really at the dawn of a new era of business systems and business solutions.  With the advent of cloud computing an explosion of data is now available at all of our fingertips.  And it’s up to us collectively to harness the power of the cloud, the power of ubiquitous data to create what we call systems of intelligence.  And as we talk to customer after customer after customer, they’re looking at ways to create far more intelligent systems that aren’t a third set of systems.  These are literally just reasoning over the systems of record and the systems of engagement that customers have already implemented in their enterprise.

These systems of intelligence are leveraging predictive analytics, machine learning to real-time make important business decisions that affect their internal processes and affect the way they work with customers and partners.  We’re busy trying to provide the technology platform to enable you to transform your entire business to create these new systems of intelligence.

And at the show, as you’re talking to other customers, as you’re going to the exposition, as you’re listening to these speeches, keep in mind this notion of building a system of intelligence that uses big data that leverages the cloud that connects to your existing systems of record and systems of engagement.  And I think you’ll see it, it takes both a modernization of the toolset that you have, but more importantly it actually takes a modernization of your mindset of the business that you’re in.

Now at Microsoft, our entire mission is around empowering you to transform your business.  That’s literally our mission, is empowerment, empowering individual people and organizations, empowering entire organizations, empowering entire industries to transform themselves.

And we have three ambitions that you see on this slide that we know are going to take us many, many years to realize.  But every single solution we build, every single engineer at the company is working on one of these three ambitions.

The first ambition is this notion of just creating far more personal computing than we have today.  If you look at the devices we use today, they’re still relatively impersonal.  But we’re hard at work to make our devices far more personal.  Cortana, which Jean-Philippe mentioned, a personal digital assistant that gets smarter about how you work, that helps you proactively is a nice example of more personal computing.

When we think about mobility, we think about the mobility of the experience, not the mobile phone or the tablet.  It’s not about the device.  It’s about you being mobile and having devices throughout your life that you pick up at different times of the day that are all smart about what you need in that context. More personal computing is a huge ambition for us.  Windows 10 is an important product in that direction, but we’re by no means done on that ambition.

A second ambition for us is to build the Intelligent Cloud.  We know there’s just a massive opportunity for us to help you modernize your datacenters to build the most pervasive cloud compared to any other company out there that recognizes the diverse rules, the diverse policies — policies that Germany needs.  We want to do that around the world to have the most ubiquitous cloud that supports hybrid computing where you run your own servers and you combine those servers with what we have in the cloud, and a public cloud infrastructure, if you want to depend on that completely, et cetera, et cetera.  Scott Guthrie will spend a lot of his time tomorrow on stage talking about our ambition around building the Intelligent Cloud and how it can help you with your business transformation.

For my time today, in addition to introducing this notion of a system of intelligence and these big, bold ambitions that Microsoft has, I wanted to focus on this notion of reinventing productivity and business processes, our third ambition that we think is just fundamental to business transformation.

What are we talking about when we talk about reinventing productivity and business process?  Well, we’re talking about a few things.  At the core, we’re talking about making every one of your employees far more productive than they are today.  We’re talking about giving them the tools that they need to marry the unstructured work of your average employee with the very structured work of business processes.

The most important work inside an organization today happens in a very unstructured way.  It’s the productivity, it’s the collaboration, it’s the communications, it’s the creativity that employees bring to their jobs every day.  We want to marry that with the very structured work that a system of record requires, that an important business process requires.  And we think there’s a lot of innovation left.  The way people work today is far different than the way people worked just five or 10 years ago.

By 2020 the majority of employees on the planet will be millennials or younger people.  They work in a different way.  We need to modernize the toolset for the way people work every single day.  We think there’s sort of four notions to what we’re doing when it comes to reinventing productivity and business process.  The first notion is that everything needs to be built for teamwork and for networks of people to work together.  The days of people working individually alone in their office, or on a document all by themselves are really gone.  We’re moving from an attitude of “me” work to an attitude of “we” work.

We find that more and more groups of people from different organizations will come together to work collaboratively on a project.  That might last two months.  The project is done and they go back and sort of split up again.  We need to create tools that allow that to happen in an incredibly seamless, easy way.  So we talk about building for teams and building for networks as a core part of our mission.

We also know that your average worker feels more stressed out today, more busy today, more overwhelmed today than they’ve ever felt before.  The need to work before the workday starts, the need to work after the workday ends, the amount of email they’re getting, the number of meetings they’re invited to, there’s a huge amount of stress and strain that we are placing on the individual worker.

So we think it’s important for us to create tools that allow an individual worker to get insight into their own personal productivity and the organizational productivity that can help them work smarter.  We’re introducing tools with Office 365 that just analyze the data that’s already in Office 365 to help every single worker understand how many meetings are they going to, are they being productive in those meetings, how much open time do they have on an average week, how could they change the way they structure their time to be more productive, less stressed out, more efficient in their daily work, and that’s very important.

We’re also working very hard on our adaptive systems, systems like CRM, systems like all of our different line-of-business solutions that we’re bringing to market.  We want them to be adaptive.  We want them to be flexible, predictable, predictive so they can actually use machine learning to help you be smarter every day that you come to work.  We want them to be specific to a particular role in the organization.  We talk about that as adaptive systems.

And then finally we have a huge investment in security as a company.  Every one of our bold ambitions has security built right in.  Security and trust are paramount to the future of our company if we’re going to help you transform your business.  When it comes to reinventing productivity the key to our approach, as it relates to security, is that it’s very much focused on how your average worker already does their job.

We talk about this as people-centric security.  We’ve built security into our average worker technology.  They shouldn’t have to change the way they do work.  They should just be able to do their daily job and know that what they’re using is secure.  If they send an email that has an important word in that email, the codename of a new product, that email should automatically get digital rights protection applied to it, as one example.  You shouldn’t have to use a totally different suite of tools to be secure.  So we talk about that as people-centric security.

This ambition is one of the boldest that we have, reinventing the way people work is not at all easy.  Today I wanted to focus on some of the things we’re doing around built for teams and networks, and adaptive systems.  And let me start off with built for teams and networks.

As I mentioned the way we see people working together, it’s incredibly collaborative today.  Ad hoc meetings happen all the time.  One of our biggest investments is around meetings and voice.  How do we reinvent the meeting?  How do we make meetings something you look forward to?  How do we make meetings something that gets decisions made, action items are easy to follow up on, people who didn’t attend the meeting can attend the portions of the meeting afterwards that they missed out on that they should have seen.

These are all the questions that we’re asking.  Frankly, I feel like Microsoft is investing in meetings and voice in a much bigger way than any other company that we see.  Now this is all part of Office 365.  But, there’s a particular product that we think is absolutely critical to that, and that’s Skype for Business.  Now many of you may know that Skype for Business is just our Lync product rebranded to Skype for Business, because we’ve adopted the Skype user experience, which is far easier to use and frankly far more familiar to many hundreds of millions of people.

So you should think of it as the evolution of Lync.  It’s called Skype for Business.  It’s included with a variety of our Office 365 SKUs.  And tomorrow we’re introducing a whole bunch of new enterprise value inside of Office 365, part of which is a new release of a whole ton of Skype for Business value that I wanted to show you.

Now, before I start the demo I wanted to make a couple of things really clear.  Everything I’m running here is live.  There’s live code.  There’s nothing fake.  There’s nothing mocked up.  We are just using the regular show network here.  There’s no sort of extra fancy network that we’ve layered on.  And everything that I’m about to show you is hosted in the Office 365 cloud.  There’s not a single on-premises server.  Everything is cloud-based.  Let’s go ahead and take a look at the new Skype for Business that we’re going to share with the world tomorrow.

So the first thing that you’ll see is I’m running Skype for Business and Office 365 on this Surface Book right here in front of me.  And one of my favorite capabilities is how easy it is to join a meeting.  I’m going to go ahead and I see I have a meeting reminder to join this meeting.  I’m going to literally do one click, click Join Online, and it’s going to go ahead and kick off the Skype meeting.

Now we know at most corporations it takes roughly 12 minutes to get a meeting started, 12 minutes to get one of these conferences going.  With Join Online, that single click, we’re up and running very quickly.  I’m going to go ahead and maximize this window and you can see I’ve got a few different attendees here.  You can see some of them are live video in the back, like Julian.  I’m going to go ahead and start my video by clicking this.  It will preview what we’re seeing, and I’ll choose Start My Video and hopefully the folks in the back will be able to see me.  I’m sure they can hear me.  I’ll do a quick wave.  There they are.  That’s fantastic.

You’ll notice that a couple of people I have live video for, but you see I have a couple of other people that are dialing in from a regular old phone line.  They’re not using a smartphone.  They’re not using a PC or a Mac.  They’re literally just using a traditional phone line.  That’s because the new Skype for Business supports PSTN conferencing.  So I can dial somebody from the meeting.  I can bring them in by dialing their regular old phone line, or they can dial into the meeting using a regular old phone line.  This capability alone we see saving our customers millions and millions of euros and pounds and dollars, because it’s built into Office 365.  You don’t need another audio conferencing provider to make this happen.  It’s just built right into Office 365, which is really cool.

So I can see that they’re there.  But we also want to make this more than just live video and live audio.  I also want to be able to collaborate.  So I’m going to click right there and as always I could present a PowerPoint file.  I can maybe do a shared whiteboard.  But, brand-new to the new Skype for Business is the ability to co-author Office documents.  So I’m going to click on that and in a minute I think you’ll see my screen on one side and you’ll see one of the other Skype callers, you’ll see their screen as a split screen.

I’m going to choose a Word document and I’m going to go ahead and click open.  This is going to launch Word, the new Word, on my machine, and it’s also going to launch the new Word on everybody else’s machine, too.  And now as we watch people are going to start editing this document and I’m going to see their names pop up.  The new Word supports real-time coauthoring.  So as I’m typing something they can be typing something, too, and I see their little name pop up and I know who is editing what portion of the document.

We think this type of simple, easy ‑‑ there you go, thank you.  (Applause.)  We think this type of easy, simple collaboration really does bring teamwork to a new level.  We’re really excited about this.

Now, this is a meeting that has six or seven people in it, which is great.  It works for many, many thousands of meetings inside of any kind of large company.
But we also know that lots of our customers want to have very large meetings.  For the past five or six months, I’ve been using a new technology called Skype Meeting Broadcast to do my meetings with 2,000 marketers around the world.

Skype Meeting Broadcast allows me to broadcast a meeting to up to 10,000 other Skype end points.  So I can reach a huge number of people, which is kind of awesome.

Now, I’m going to switch over from my Surface Book to a Surface Pro 4.  This Surface Pro 4, we’re actually already broadcasting this exact speech as a Skype meeting broadcast.

And if I pick up the tablet, you’ll see probably over my shoulder what the average end user who joins this meeting is going to see.

This is the speech.  And one of the cool things you can see, if I do this correctly, is at any point, I can tap to any different part of the meeting.  Maybe I was late to joining the meeting.  And, sure enough, I went to the beginning of my speech and just hit play.  And now I’ve joined the beginning of the meeting, and away we go.  I can get to just the part that I want.

That’s really cool.  This is the attendee experience.  It looks just like a regular Skype meeting.  I can go backwards in time, I can fast-forward, et cetera, et cetera.

Also on the screen, we can split the screen that you guys are looking at.  You’re going to actually see the producer view of the Skype meeting broadcast.  Because if I’m the producer creating the meeting, I want to be able to have controls over starting the meeting, stopping the meeting, maybe choosing to have a live video feed side-by-side with a PowerPoint presentation.  And I believe you can see that here as well.

So Skype meeting broadcast is a new type of meeting that allows you to have very, very large scale.  We have about 5,000 people in this conference room today.  All of you could be attending this Skype meeting broadcast with just the regular Office 365 technology.  Really, quite amazing.

Now, I’ve shown you Skype running on a Surface Book.  I’ve shown you Skype running on a Surface Pro 4 or tablet.  It’s important to know that Skype works across many, many different types of devices.

We have Skype for the Mac, we have Skype for Business for the Mac.  We have Skype for Business for Android.  We have Skype for Business for iOS.

So if I go ahead and show you — let’s start with perhaps the iPhone.  I’m going to go over and pick up my iPhone.  And I think you’ll be able to see this as well.  If I go back to my home screen on my iPhone, there’s Skype for Business right there.  I have some Outlook unread messages, I’ve got Power BI, I’ve got Delve, I’ve got all kinds of stuff on the phone.

I’m going to just tap Skype for Business.  And, not surprisingly, you can see my upcoming meetings, my recent chats with different people.  I’m going to click on the FY16 planning meeting.  And just like I showed you on the PC, with one tap, I can go ahead and join the meeting.

And we’re going to kick that off.  Ben has joined me on stage and he’s using the Surface Hub, a very different type of device than the iPhone, much bigger.  That’s a beautiful 84-inch, 4K display.  It’s got an amazing set of technologies on it.

And you might have noticed that he tapped with one tap of his finger to join the Skype meeting.  I’m here on my iPhone.  I’m going to tap to start my video feed.  And I think you can see that I’m live on my iPhone connected into this meeting.

You can probably see my video feed, which is cool.  And in a minute here, we’ll go ahead and get that up on the Surface Hub.

Meanwhile, Ben has just picked up the pen and he’s started to ink on that beautiful whiteboard.  I’ll be able to see that shared whiteboard and be able to work with him on it, which is really cool.

This device comes with a pen.  It has two incredible cameras, one on either side of it.  It’s essentially got Wi-Fi, it’s got Bluetooth, it’s got NFC, it’s got all that built directly into the device.  All he needs to do is plug in the power cable.  He gets it on the network, and away we go.

So I’m going to put the iPhone down.  And I’m going to ask you to come over and take a look at this other phone on the table here.  This is a brand-new phone from Polycom.  It’s called the Polycom Trio.  This phone is a custom-built phone for Skype for Business.  Obviously, from one of our great partners who knows Skype for Business incredibly well, Polycom.

This device will be available later this year.  It’s, obviously, a conference room-type device.  It’s very small.  I can put it in the middle of a conference room.  And the audio on this device is not something I can demonstrate here to you today, but it is quite amazing.

I can go off to the side of the conference room and talk and this device will pick that up.  I can hear incredibly well.  We’re really excited that Polycom is bringing the Trio to market.

So what you have is everything from an 84-inch device to a regular old phone that can dial in to a beautiful, fancy phone from Polycom, to an amazing smartphone, could be running Android from Samsung, could be running Windows, could be running iOS, to tablets, to PCs, et cetera.  Skype just has an incredible range of devices.

Now, everything we’ve talked about so far is about meetings.  How do we make the meeting experience better?  But we’ve also gone a major step forward with Skype for Business.  And that’s to basically create a cloud-based voice solution.  Where, with Office 365, you literally are getting dial tone to provide to all of your employees.

That means you can assign them phone numbers.  And those phone numbers are numbers that your IT department just claims.  And then as part of their Office tenant, they can assign out to employees.

Let’s take a look at what you see on my screen here.  I’m back to my Surface Book.  I’m logged in as the admin or an IT person inside the Office 365 console.  I already have a whole slew of phone numbers.

Now, originally, when we go out tomorrow, this voice capability will only be available in the U.S.  But soon thereafter, we’ll be bringing it to many, many European countries.

If I want to claim new phone numbers for new employees, I hit the add button.  And then I’m going to go ahead and select the state.  Obviously, we’ll update this as new countries come online.  And I’m going to select the city where I want these phone numbers.

I’m going to ask Office 365 to maybe grab me 10 new phone numbers.  And I’m going to choose the Add button.  And very quickly, I will just add 10 brand-new phone numbers to my Office 365 tenant.  And I can go ahead and show all those numbers.  And, voila, there they are.

Now I can assign one of those phone numbers to a brand-new employee.  And they literally have a phone number that travels around with them.  They have dial tone that travels around with them.  It shows up in the Exchange address book.  They pick up a new phone, as soon as they log in with their Active Directory credentials, that phone number shows up on that device.

This is an amazing step forward.  No other vendor, no other provider is doing everything we’re showing you here.  Instant messaging, audioconferencing, webconferencing, the PSTN conferencing that I showed you, all of the voice capabilities across all of these devices, all hosted in the cloud without you needing a single server on-premises.

So when we talk about reinventing productivity, when we talk about building for teams and networks, Skype for Business is a core component of that.

Now, about a year ago, I was introduced to the global CIO at a really, really impressive company.  Over the past year, he and I have spent a lot of time together helping him learn about Azure, helping him teach me about how this company is using Skype for Business.  And I thought this would be a great moment to sort of share some of the amazing work that Accenture has done with Skype for Business.

We’re big users of Skype for Business at Microsoft, many, many million minutes of audio conferencing is done all the time.  But Accenture takes it to a new level.

So I’m happy to introduce Andrew Wilson.  He is the global chief information officer of Accenture, and he is joining us today, of course, via Skype.  And he’s joining us from the United States, I believe Andrew may be in Florida.  Andrew, how are you?  (Applause.)

ANDREW WILSON:  I’m great, hello.  Good to see you, my friend. I hope Barcelona is going well.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Barcelona is beautiful.  The weather is incredible, and we’re off to a good start.  I think the audience can see that this is just Skype for Business, the Skype for Business client running on a Windows 10 machine.

I’m just going to go ahead and maximize your view and everyone can see that I’ve got a live video feed.  It’s kind of — Convergence is spelled backwards, and Microsoft is spelled backwards.  As the CMO, that’s very annoying to me.  So I’m going to minimize that, and now we have a live call.

Andrew, can you educate all of us a little bit about how you at Accenture are using Skype?

ANDREW WILSON:  I certainly can, Chris.  Accenture is powered by Microsoft in the cloud, in our datacenters, but there is no more important service in Accenture than Skype for Business.  We’re over 400,000 people on Office 365.  The majority of those spend most of the day in Skype.

We are a hugely collaborative and consuming organization.  We onboard 105,000 people a year.  We operate in over 50 countries.  And we are connected virtually almost the entire time through Skype.

We have continued to hyperscale and surprise ourselves.  We’ve just broken through the 200 million minutes of audio each and every month level, and we’re still climbing.  It’s a function not only of our scale, but it’s a function of the fact that we do more and more and more of our day-to-day business connecting teams, connecting individuals around the world.

We’ve done this, really, over a seven-year journey.  We were early adopters of the original Communicator.  We have traversed through two or three versions of Lync.  But we’ve moved quickly to Skype because, as you say, I think the form factor and the fact that our post-millennial generation of workers are already trained and conversant with the interface and expect us, candidly, to have that sort of technology in the enterprise.  So giving them Skype, which we’ve done very quickly, is a natural next step.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  I mean, the scale that you’re talking about is kind of staggering: 400,000 people, 200 million minutes of audio per month.  You must have encountered maybe some cultural barriers, but certainly technical barriers, challenges.  Can you give us just a flavor of a seven-year journey that I’m sure was rife with barriers to overcome?  What have been some of the examples?

ANDREW WILSON:  I think the first barrier to overcome is getting everyone comfortable, conversant and ultimately programmed in their DNA with collaboration.  And that doesn’t happen overnight.

Secondly, I think people have to become comfortable with being on video.  I spend the vast majority of my time on Skype on video with more than one camera on.  We’re very much a broadcast culture, which is why I think your new innovation around broadcasting within the medium is going to be central.

Teams don’t want to read emails.  They don’t want to write emails.  They want to consume video, talk and do it in a rapid, agile way.  And so the enabler needs to do that.

Candidly, though, there’s some under-the-hood stuff we had to get right.  This is such a massively important service, we needed to get segregation, we needed to set its capacity, and the network performance is critical as well.  And so as global CIO, I’m responsible for all of those aspects.

And then I think after that, we really need to think about how we make ourselves effective and efficient.  So the tight coupling with calendar and Outlook, the one click to join.  The fact that the phones no longer ring anymore has become a progression.  And, in fact, now when we refurbish new facilities, we don’t put phones on the desks because the collaboration medium is there on the laptop.

And I think the next evolution that we’re also seeing, and you referred to it earlier, I’m speaking now on my Surface Pro 4 on Windows 10, but increasingly we see tablet and phone experience because a lot of our workers are mobile.  A lot of our workers want to connect informally and as groups, not in pre-scheduled conferences.

And so all of these things are coming together as we, I think, move to the next level of being that digital workforce on the road using Skype.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Yeah, for me, this notion of, you know, you’ve got the toolset of Skype as a tool to implement, but your notion of you actually have to modernize your mindset as well.  And just the notion of video is something that you’ve sort of raised my own personal bar on because when we first did our first call, I joined in audio and you were, like, “Hey, where’s your video?”  And I had to go run around and, like, find a little webcam and plug it in and see if my office looked OK for video.

And now when we jump on a call, you know, that’s just something I’ve gotten used to.  So there’s a toolset, but there’s also a mindset to modernize here as well, that I think you’ve really been a leader on internally at Accenture.

What’s next for you as you think about rolling things out on such a global scale?

ANDREW WILSON:  I think we’re going to see cooperation and cross-collaboration in the cloud as the way we work by default.  So authoring in the cloud, reviewing of materials, not just sharing the content, but actively producing content.

I think it’s also going to become much more of an open activity.  So it’s all well and good talking about Accenture and its teams and its millions of minutes, but our clients out there are partners like yourselves.

We need to collaborate together equally as well as we collaborate internally within the organization.  So I think that’s a trend.

I think everyone’s going to become more savvy of digital workers.  I mean even the positioning of a camera, the quality of the audio experience.  It’s one thing to get your own experience right, but your personal brand is out there in the ecosystem now on Skype.  And so I think we’re going to see more self-awareness of how to enrich the overall collaboration experience for those people you’re collaborating with.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  Andrew, thanks so much for your leadership.  Obviously, thank you for joining us from Florida.  It’s great to have you here today.

ANDREW WILSON:  Look forward to seeing you soon.  Thanks, Chris.  (Applause.)

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  See you soon.  Thank you, Andrew.  (Applause.)

So pretty incredible, the scale at which he’s operating.  And I find that every time we see an organization adopting a technology that is transforming the way they work, it takes somebody inside that company to be that progressive leader, to push that envelope on how we’re going to transform the company.

You can implement the tool, of course, but if you’re not able to change the mindset, then that tool is going to lie fallow and not really realize all of the benefits.  And that takes, obviously, real personal leadership, and Andrew’s been fantastic on that front.

Now, I’m excited to announce, I’ve already mentioned it, that starting tomorrow is a whole slew of new enterprise value that we’re adding to Office 365 in a new tier of our SKUs.

I mentioned Skype Meetings and Skype Voice, which we demonstrated today.  In addition to that, we’re adding incredible new tools for business intelligence.  Power BI is coming to Office 365.  Tools like Delve that provide you insight into the way you work and the way your organization works, to give you that sort of personal and organizational insight, is coming to Office 365 tomorrow.

Advanced security and e-discovery and threat analytics are coming to Office 365.  When I get an email now that has attachments, we actually have Office 365 look at those attachments, detonate those attachments in a detonation chamber in the cloud to make sure those attachments don’t have an executable or malware before that email gets delivered to my inbox.  So new levels of security that are just there, I don’t have to do anything different.  We have those all coming with Office 365, the new tier of enterprise value, literally available tomorrow.  You can go to Office365.com, we’re very excited about that.

Now, let me transition and talk a little bit about adaptive systems.  For us, adaptive systems, I immediately, of course, think of our line-of-business systems.  I think of CRM, I think of Dynamics AX, I think of so many different tools that we’re bringing to market.

We want these systems of record to be adaptive.  We want them to be smarter.  We want them to leverage the cloud.  We want them to leverage Azure Machine Learning to proactively suggest a great next product to offer to our customer.

We want them to be predictive so I don’t have to do that work to have the system be smart about what should happen next.

We want them to, obviously, be incredibly easy to use and to be incredibly mobile.  So when we say “adaptive systems,” these are some of the things we’re talking about.

Now, tomorrow is a big day for Office 365.  It’s an equally big day for us because we’re announcing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.  And there are a couple of things that I would call out for you.

The first thing is we think about this not just as a sales tool.  We think about it as an intelligent customer engagement tool.  We can engage with the customer at every life cycle of our relationship with that customer around sales, around support, around marketing, around social engagement.

So it’s much bigger than just sales force automation.  We’ve got deep Office 365 integration, which Eric and I will show you in a moment.  For the first time ever, CRM is leveraging Azure Machine Learning to predictively, proactively suggest the next best product for a particular customer.

We’re enabling fantastic offline — for the first time — mobile experiences with a brand-new mobile CRM app available on Android, available on Windows and available on iOS.

And as I mentioned, end-to-end customer service.  So to learn more, Microsoft.com/Dynamics, but Eric is joining me here on stage, and I’m going to walk you through a little bit of a day in the life to showcase some of these new CRM 2016 capabilities.

Now, we mentioned deep Office 365 integration.  Let’s start in Outlook.  We’re going to switch over to a Surface Book, and we’re going to take a look at the Outlook inbox, if we can.  There it is.

You see a message on the screen from Alex Wu.  Alex is one of our customers and he’s asking us in this e-mail about new information about accessories for a carbon-fiber printer that we have available to us.

Now, we’re in the regular Outlook experience, but now integrated into every one of our Outlook experiences is Dynamics CRM.  So when Eric clicks on that, it’s going to go into the CRM system, it’s going to know that this mail is from Alex, and it’s going to pull in a bunch of information about Alex and about the account right inside of Outlook.

I can see the next activities that I have with Alex.  We have a meeting later on today.  That’s coming from Exchange.  I can also see on the far right-hand side, sales opportunities that we’re tracking in CRM.  And right in the middle with that purple square, I can see customer support calls that we have with Alex.

At any point in time, Eric can click on maybe the sales opportunity.  And we’re going to launch CRM 2016, in this case in the browser.

Now, of course from here, I can track everything that’s going on with this particular customer at every part of the sales cycle.  And that’s pretty important to us.

So we can see all the information we’d expect, a summary of the account, where we are in the sales process.  It looks like we’re in the close stage.

Now, we’ve deeply integrated this into Office.  We saw Outlook integration.  Eric is going to show us groups integration.

He’s going to go ahead — actually, go to product detail, thank you — let’s go ahead and take a look at the product line details right there.  And we’re going to see the Azure Machine Learning in action.  This is integrated into CRM.

So when he goes ahead and clicks on suggestions, this list of products is not something that Eric or I pre-populated.  This list of suggested products is literally coming from Azure Machine Learning that’s going to go ahead and look at all the data we have on this customer, and it’s going to suggest an accessory bundle for that 3-D printer.

We can go ahead and just add that accessory bundle to our list of products that we’re working on.  And, sure enough, it’ll show up right there.

It’s pretty subtle, but that Azure Machine Learning component is a first for any CRM vendor, and we’re really excited to bring it to market.

Now, we want to work with the team of people that are helping us with this account.  So we’re going to show off our groups integration.  Eric’s going to click on Office 365 groups, which is a set of people that have their own calendar, as you can see on the left-hand side, we have a threaded conversation that’s just with this group of people, just focused on this particular customer.

We have a shared OneNote notebook just for this customer and this group of people.  We have a set of documents just for this customer and this group of people.

Since this customer asked me for some information about the 3-D printer, Eric is going to go ahead and type in a quick message to our group.  And these threaded conversations stay there.  These aren’t like emails that may go away.

So if someone joins our group later, they can see the long history of this conversation.  He’s going to ask for a little bit of help putting together the final PowerPoint presentation.  And now everybody inside the group can see that and get to work helping us there.

Now, Eric and I, it’s time for us to leave the office.  So we’re going to move away from our laptop or our desktop that we might have had in our office, and Eric is going to pick up a Surface Pro 4, the tablet that he’s going to bring on the road.

The cool thing about Surface Pro 4, and you may not have seen this, it happened very quickly, is that this is running Windows 10.  And he literally just had Cortana automatically pop up, our personal digital assistant.  And not only does Cortana know about all the consumer things that you’d expect her to know about, but with CRM 2016, we’ve integrated CRM into Cortana so she’s now very smart about our CRM solution.

And in that list, the Cortana cards, we have cards for CRM.  I see the meeting that’s coming up.  I also see my sales opportunity pipeline.  Looks like it’s at $ 8.6 million, it’s trending green and growing, that’s obviously very nice.  And I can see my updated accounts that I’m working on, all within Cortana on my Windows 10 tablet.

We can scroll through these accounts.  I might want to click on one of them.  Let’s maybe pick Alex.  Let’s maybe pick the meeting details here.  With just a tap of my finger or tap of Eric’s finger, I should say, we’re going to drill into more information.

Here, you can see we have the final presentation coming up here in Barcelona in a little while.  I can see who the attendees are.  Most importantly, of course, I can see the documents associated with it.  I can see the support calls.  I can see the sales opportunities.  And I see that that PowerPoint file is right there.  If I want to tap on the PowerPoint file that’s been updated by the team with one sort of tap of my finger, we can go off and do that.  Very, very cool.  Eric, go ahead and take us through it.

We’re going to tap on Northwind rather than the document.  We’re going to see the map for where we have to go.  We can tap into the Northwind opportunity.  We can see it’s right here in Barcelona, which is kind of cool.

Now, we’re launching the actual Dynamics tablet app.  This is the brand-new mobile app.  It runs on phones.  It runs on tablets, on Windows, on iOS, on Android.  All available tomorrow.

Now, this is the tablet app that works offline or online.  And, again, we’ve got the details of the Northwind opportunity.  A little bit like what we were seeing in the browser, but now it’s built into a smaller-screen device that’s available offline as well.

And you can see all the same details.  The summary information, we’re at the closing stage with this account.  I see my open activities.  I even see my documents.  Tap on the documents, I see the long list of documents that are available, we can tap on the sales proposal, PowerPoint, it’ll ask if we want to open that, and sure enough, in split-screen mode, here’s our PowerPoint presentation on our tablet.  We’re able to present it to Alex during our meeting.  And it’s very, very simple.  Very easy for that sales person to work with this on the go.

Now, finally, the meeting is over.  The last part of our day is to update the CRM record, something every sales person loves doing is just updating all their CRM records.

We know this is drudgerous work.  We know people don’t look forward to this.  We redesigned our user experience to be much more of a task-based experience.

In the bottom corner, Eric can tap on that little check.  And you see that the experience, you have a tile there that says, “after meeting.”  When he clicks on or taps on “after meeting” it’ll bring up the list of meetings that Eric has in his list.  He can pick the Northwind one we were just at.

And now, sure enough, we see the attendees, we see the notes, he can add a little description here.  He can also specify any new information we learned about the meeting.  Perhaps the date that Alex needs to make a decision by for this sale.  Perhaps we enter that date in, it looks like it’s going to be on Monday.  Hit done, and with a few taps, thanks to this mobile app, thanks to a task-based experience, we’ve done the sort of drudgerous work that now everybody gets to see the benefit of because they’ve got the latest information available.

That’s a quick look at CRM.  Eric, thanks so much for joining us on stage.  We’re really excited about this product.  (Applause.)

So adaptive systems, adaptive systems, really, really critical to us.

Now, I had Andrew joining us, or I asked him to join us to talk about reinventing productivity as it relates to teams and to networks.  I’d also love to showcase a customer who’s done some amazing work with their adaptive systems, leveraging Office, leveraging CRM.  Let’s start off with a quick video of the work that Heineken is doing around sales automation.  Let’s roll the video.

(Video Segment:  Heineken.)

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  Please join me in welcoming Ghislaine Prins to the stage, who is the head of digital sales transformation and marketing.  Ghislaine, thanks so much for being here.  (Applause.)

GHISLAINE PRINS:  I’m very happy to be here in person live on stage because I think drinking beer in our industry, it still requires some personal connection.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Face to face is always great, without a doubt, and beer goes well with that for sure.

I mean I think everybody here, of course, knows Heineken, an amazing global brand.  But why don’t you give us a sense for the scale of your company?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  I think you have to realize that Heineken still is a family-owned company.  It’s about the fourth generation of Heineken people that are really, truly involved in the company.  We’re trading in about 70 countries.

But for today, we’re reporting about information for the sales force.  We’re talking about 35,000 sales reps that today visit about a million outlets across the world.

Most important, as well, is that 70 percent of the consumer decisions is made at the point of purchase.  So we want to be excellent at execution.  That’s where we need to win.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Makes total sense.  I saw a little bit of the video that you’re leveraging Microsoft technology, but can you tell us, you know, how you’re doing it or what tools you’re using?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  You must realize, I’m from the business.  So I try to help you here.  What I needed is I needed a sales force automation tool.  I needed something to give to my sales reps to make their lives easier.

I wanted to empower them, to really make sure that they were executing all our strategies correctly at the point of purchase.

I actually didn’t want CRM.  I have my bruises of CRM implementations in the past.  But I got Microsoft Dynamics and together with a partner, we implemented it.

But that’s not enough.  It’s not enough to win at the point of purchase.  The sales reps need to have the right information, to have the right conversation with the customers at their fingertips.  So we needed to have SharePoint to be able to start sharing documents.  Not only to the sales reps.

What is amazing is with the technology, how you can impress the customer with having not just a glossy brochure, but really some interactive material to share about new product launches, with Heineken being very innovative, as hopefully you’ll know.

Having information is not enough.  And I think you touched on it already today.  It’s about insights.  It’s about action ability.  I want the sales rep in the store to do their thing, but then also start a conversation with the customer.  They need to have actionable insights, and we get that through Microsoft Power BI.

And behind all of that, there’s technical interfaces and things.  But I think those are the three major products that I’m very glad we adopted.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  And I love the way you said you’ve sort of had your pain in the past around CRM implementations.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Yes.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  But when you’re able to use it in a particular way for a particular solution, you’re almost hiding the fact that it happens to be a CRM solution because, instead, you’re just focused on, hey, here’s the business problem, we have a solution for it.  Who really cares about what tool you happen to be leveraging?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  No.  It’s easy and hopefully looks very sexy for them.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Totally.  Now, give us a sense for how broadly this particular tool is being used.  And, again, like Andrew, there are challenges.  There are tough barriers to overcome.  Can you give us a flavor of those?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Well, the challenge starts with skill because I had the nice question of our chief commerce officer, “Ghislaine, create a global tool.”  And we’re talking about all the sales reps are just finishing.  But I’m very happy that even after one and a half years, we have 1,500 sales reps live operating companies in different channels.  Modern trade, traditional trade, they’re all working with the same tools.

We can excel to the challenge because I need to tell sales people and account general managers that, in fact, what they’re doing is not so different from the rest of the world.  To really adopt a template is quite challenging in a commercial environment.  But we’ve managed to do so.

And, of course, technology, it’s really cool.  And I’m really excited by all the opportunity.  Honestly, to have an in-the-cloud, agile, mobile solution to really make it happen in a little bit old-fashioned company sometimes was quite a challenge.  I think we’re getting there.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  That’s great.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  But it’s about the people.  It’s about culture.  It’s about a mindset.  It’s about doing things differently.  And I think most of my time and my team spends on making a change happen, making sure that a sales rep knows what he needs to do in a different way than he used to in the outlet.  And that’s what we focused on.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  Now, you know, you talked about some of — you’ve got these different operating companies that you’re kind of working across all of them and trying to encourage consistent tools.  Tell us a little bit about how you measure success.  Because I’m sure you’re held, you know, to some standard of delivering some sort of return on this.  Give us a sense for what that is.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Yeah.  I guess you all want to hear a number.  And we do it.  We want to make sure that our local countries, they get the business benefits out of the tools and out of the new ways of working.  So we do a business case process before we go into a new country.

We talk about revenue-enhancing opportunities.  We talk about what does this tool do for your productivity?  Can we have sales reps visit more stores?  Can we actually increase our coverage?

There’s one country, I won’t name it, where the sales rep actually had a day in the office every week.  Can you imagine what it does to your business if you can increase your sales rep being in the field 20 percent?

But also, I truly believe that the CRM tool enables differentiation.  It enables us to have different choices, different pictures of success in different outlets that the sales rep never can remember by himself just from his head.

So the opportunity for revenue is really into executing the strategy in the point of sale.

Of course there is cost reduction.  I talked about administration time that we reduced.  But I’ve seen also some countries that can make the business case by only reducing printing cost.  So getting that out of the system is already paying for the full implementation.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  So you’re doing a different model, or you’re measuring per country or per op code because you’ve got some uniqueness.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Yes.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  And you mentioned revenue, you mentioned cost.  These are essentially the hard metrics that the technology has to help you deliver on, essentially?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Yeah.  It really delighted me, unexpectedly, when I was walking through the small streets of Athens.  And he told me, “I’m really so happy to have CRM in my hands because I now have a small backpack with just my tablet in it.  And I used to carry two bags full of paper.  And you know what?  When I’m home at night, I can really focus my time on my family because I used to spend two hours doing my admin.”  So that’s what’s truly delighting.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  That’s fantastic.  And that’s really why we put the business process together with reinventing productivity because we see that opportunity not just for the revenue, not just for the cost savings, but also really that personal productivity improvement that we think is really core.

So what’s next?  You’re in a bunch of countries already.  Lots of people are using it.  But where will you go next with this?

GHISLAINE PRINS:  If I only would know.  And you guys keep on exciting me. Even today I saw some more opportunity, so who knows?  I don’t know what I don’t know.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Yeah.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  But I’ll keep an eye on that.  So, of course, I’ll add new capabilities.  But I guess for the next year, year and a half, I need to also remain with the core.  I need to increase my capability around planning.  I need to really, truly use reporting.  I need to make sure that my sales reps are able to take orders.  And who knows then?  What about the social media?  Leveraging Facebook data from the outlets.  I think there’s endless opportunities that are yet unexplored.

But it’s about the people.  I need to make sure that they use all these opportunities because what I feel now as I go get them truly excited, that they sometimes use only a small piece.  So I need to make sure that whatever we offer, it’s truly leveraged.  And through internal Heineken communities, as you have indicated earlier, I think that’s where I’ll make the biggest success.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Fantastic.  Ghislaine, thanks so much for joining us today.  We really appreciate it.  Obviously, hope you can leverage some of the knowledge from the other folks here, too, as well as sharing yours.  So thank you very much.

GHISLAINE PRINS:  Thank you very much.

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

I think with adaptive systems, you get the notion of where we’re taking our line-of-business solutions.  But we actually see an unmet need with these line-of-business solutions that we’d like to try to fix.  We know today that it’s very, very hard for somebody to build employee-facing applications that tap into lots of different data across different organizations.  And that’s something we think we can fix.

There’s a huge backlog inside of IT for applications that employees want.  Take their phone on the road, they want to be able to fill out an expense report.  They want to be able to see their CRM data combined with data from a social network.  These things today are very hard to stitch together, and they’re very hard for anybody to do unless you are a developer.

So we’re very excited to introduce today a new product from Microsoft that we’ve never talked about publicly before.  It’s called Microsoft PowerApps.  And this is an easy-to-use tool for a power user.  Somebody who’s very comfortable in Excel, perhaps writing lightweight macros in Excel, we think is the key user of a Microsoft PowerApps tool.

This PowerApps tool allows you to easily create new employee-facing applications that connect to your existing organizational data from different line-of-business systems securely.

We make it incredibly easy for that power user to not just create the PowerApp, but then to share that PowerApp with anybody inside their organization.

So we think there’s the potential for everyone inside a company to be using PowerApps that these power users build.

This is a new cloud-based service called Microsoft PowerApps. We’re introducing it in a preview starting today.  You can go to PowerApps.com to submit an email and essentially add yourself to that list.  We’ll be letting a few people into this preview.  And we couldn’t be more excited about introducing a tool for power users to build simple, quick applications that combine multiple data sets and produce a mobile app that’s incredibly easy to use and incredibly easy to share.

To give you a little bit of a taste for it, I’d like to introduce Nicole Herskowitz from Microsoft, who is a senior director on the team, to give you a demo of PowerApps.  Nicole, take it away.

NICOLE HERSKOWITZ:  Thanks, Chris.  (Applause.)

Well, I’m super excited to show you PowerApps for the first time today.  PowerApps makes it easy for you to create, connect and share new business applications that run on any device.

So let’s show you PowerApps in action.  Here I am in PowerApps.  And there are multiple ways to get started.  One way to get started quickly is to start from a template.

PowerApps comes with a gallery of templates that you can take advantage of.  And what’s great about these templates is that they were created by learning from our early adopter customers and the types of apps that they actually built.

Right here, you can see the various templates.  I can see descriptions of the templates.  I can see images of what these templates look like.  Each template is also backed with sample data to help you get started quickly.

But more often than not, I need to build an app based on data that I already have.  So, for example, before coming to Convergence, I was thinking how great it would be for me to have a list of Microsoft hardware or devices that we have, how much they cost, and any discounts that I could offer to my customers.

So this information is stored in a SharePoint list.  But I need this information on the go when I’m connecting with customers at an event.  So with that, it turns the power of PowerApps.  It allows me to unlock the data in my existing system.

So I want to go right back to PowerApps.  And this time, I’m going to select creating an app starting from data.  And what you’re going to see on the left-hand side are the data connections available to me.

Now, PowerApps comes with built-in data connections to cloud-based systems like Office 365, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, in addition to on-premises data systems or data in systems such as SQL databases, Oracle databases, SAP.

And the developers in my organization can also create connections to other business systems.  Access to all this data, all these systems can be securely managed by my IT team.

But as I said, let’s go ahead and create this first app from SharePoint.  This is the actual SharePoint site that I showed you.  And here’s the list in SharePoint.  What PowerApps is doing, it’s connecting to that SharePoint list and it’s creating an app that understands my underlying data.  It’s going to make intelligent decisions about the default layouts and controls to integrate into my app.

So now you can see the app has been created.  But what’s great about this app is not just the app itself, it’s the experience that I have, which is very familiar to me.  This is a Microsoft Office experience.

So at the top, you see that ribbon look that includes controls that I can interact with.  On the left-hand side of the screen, you can see the various different screens that were created for my app.

And, once again, these app screens that were created were intelligent.  They were created based on the data in my system.  So PowerApps knew that I had images.  So it created a layout that took advantage of images.

But I want to further customize my app.  So I want to go right here to see how I can change from a one-image layout to a two-image layout.  And with just a couple of clicks now, you can see how I’ve been able to customize my view for my app.

Now, I may also want to change the theme.  I prefer red over blue.  I actually prefer purple, but PowerApps doesn’t ship with that yet.  And then I can go into other screens in my app.

So here I’m going into a detailed product screen for my keyboard.  I can see the price, I can see the discount percentage.  But this data is static, and I want it to be interactive.  When I come to events, I may find a customer that I want to provide a higher discount to because they’re one of our top, top customers.

Well, with PowerApps, I can actually make this data interactive.  I can come right here and change that percentage right here.  One-click switch to a slider view.

And then the next thing I’ll want to do is add a button so that I can kick off an approval process to my manager, Chris, to see if he’ll approve a higher discount for one of my customers.

So now my app has been created, but I need a workflow beneath it to be able to automate the business process.  So here’s a workflow that I previously created.  It’s very simple.  I made it with just some basic clicks.  And what will happen is if I click on that button to send a mail to Chris for a discount approval, he’ll then receive an email.  Then he’ll make a decision whether or not to approve or deny that discount request.

If he approves it, I receive an email.  Also, a new record is created within Dynamics CRM so I can track it within my opportunities.  And on that off-chance that he doesn’t approve it, I get an email as well.

Anyway, let’s go back to my app because I just want to wire it up with that workflow.  And once again, this is very easy, it’s just some clicks.  So I’m going to find that workflow that I created, and it’s right here, and I’m going to go ahead and be able to add the data from my screen right onto this app.

And right here, you’re going to see on this function bar, just like you’d see in Excel, I’m going to fill out each of these fields with the information from my app.  So Chris is the approver.  I want to send some information about the discount percentage and about this specific product.  And, voila, as Chris would say, the app is ready to go.

Now, this app was designed to work on mobile devices.  So now let me switch to my iPhone.  Our apps work on any device, so this would also work on Android or Windows Phone.

Here you can see that app up and running.  I can drill into any product.  And here you can see how much it costs, what discounts I’m able to offer to my customers.  But I may want to increase that discount percentage and then request an approval.

An email has now been sent to Chris and he will then respond and let me know whether or not I can offer it to a customer, offer the discount to my customer.

Now, I think this app is great.  And I think everyone on my team would value having it while they’re at Convergence.  So I want to show you how easy it is for me to share apps that I’ve created in PowerApps.

I’m going to go right here and just click sharing.  And sharing an app is as easy as sharing a document.  All I need to do is send an email.

So I’m going to find one of my coworkers, Case.  I’m going to go ahead and click share.  And now Case has access to that application as well.

I’ve been able to show you very quickly how easy it is to create, connect and share new business applications that run on any device.  I was able to do this within a matter of minutes without any involvement from IT.  Now I feel empowered to create more business apps that work the way I want to work, that’s the power of PowerApps.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

CHRIS CAPOSSELA:  Great job.  Killed it.  (Applause.)

So we’re just super excited about Microsoft PowerApps because we think we’re going to be putting this power in the hands of so many people inside an organization to create applications that can be shared with literally everybody inside the organization.

Now, today I talked a lot about the notion of reinventing productivity and business process.  Tomorrow, Scott will talk about building the intelligent cloud.  And when you put these ambitions together, we really believe that there isn’t an industry on the planet that won’t be transforming itself using these types of technologies.  Healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, entertainment.  You name it.

The opportunity for every one of the businesses that form these industries to become software companies as they reason over the amazing amount of data that you will have on your customers, with your partners, is quite amazing.  And we see customer after customer realizing, wow, my business is going to transform.  And my own ability to build software services on top of my traditional products is a very exciting transformation.

We’re here to learn from all of you, to help you with that transformation.  We’re very excited about that.  Thank you so much for your time, and I’m going to welcome Jean-Philippe back on stage.  (Applause.)

JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS:  OK.  I’m going to close.  I will be short and sweet.  I hope you did enjoy the kickoff of Convergence today.  I hope you enjoyed, as well, Chris’s speech.  I think he did a wonderful job bringing to life one of our big, bold ambitions at the center of the transformation, which is all about reinventing productivity and business processes.

I think bringing to life what productivity is all about, by having two great customer cases, Accenture, Heineken, and showing some of the fantastic innovation coming our way, expending the power of Office 365 with the advanced productivity scenarios, with some of the amazing analytics and PowerApps at the end, I think, is just fantastic.

So there was just one speaker missing.  And I owe you, actually, an explanation.  Peter Hinssen, one of the leaders on disruptive innovation couldn’t make it because he actually has fallen ill.  We wish him a prompt recovery, so sorry for that.  But he is getting better.

So, tomorrow, a quick reminder.  We’ll have Scott Guthrie walking through the intelligent cloud.  We’ll proceed into Wednesday.

Tonight, actually, Barcelona is all yours.  Hopefully you’ll join the welcome reception because you are welcome.  And this is a place to really connect with the community of attendees of Convergence.

So we look forward to enjoy the night, to enjoy Convergence, and see you all tomorrow morning, fresh and rested, at 9 a.m. precisely.  Thank you.  Buenos noches.  (Applause.)

END

 

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postheadericon Neil Holloway and Susan Hauser: Convergence EMEA 2015

Remarks by Neil Holloway, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, and Susan Hauser, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Enterprise and Partner Group, at Convergence EMEA 2015 in Barcelona on Dec. 2, 2015.

ANNOUNCER:  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, Neil Holloway.  (Applause.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So, good morning.  It’s my great pleasure to be your host for day three.

What I thought I’d do is actually spend a little bit of time just reflecting on what’s happened in the last two days.

Jean-Philippe in his presentation on day one talked a lot about the principle around how to think about in your business, kind of the concept of your business.  Talked about the capabilities that you’re going to try and build and the culture.

Certainly, for me, when I heard about the Forrester report, it was very interesting just to reflect on that when 93 percent of the people who responded talked about the transformation of the business.  But the question for me was really:  Are they talking about the transformation of the business?  They’re talking about how they’re going to transform which businesses they’re in, or are they talking about how to think about being disruptive or handling disruption that’s happening inside their industry?

When Chris talked, Chris really framed this whole concept of moving systems of record to this concept of systems of engagement, but more importantly now, the idea of systems of intelligence.

And two of our ambitions as a company, we kind of bring together this concept of reinventing productivity and business process and intelligent cloud.  And Chris talked about the bring together of this kind of unstructured work we do around teaming, communication and collaboration, and then brought together this view of how we bring in the business process and think about the whole concept of adaptive systems.

And, really, in this world of kind of where we think about systems of intelligence, reasoning of the data in a very intelligent way.  And as we heard from Heineken, the transformation they’re going through in a very important place, which is called sales, right?  How to think about using the communication and collaboration and business processes coming together.  Right?

So both through the Heineken example of kind of bringing together Office and communication.  Right?  And well as the focus which we talked about around things like Skype for Business, it gave you a sense of how to think about some of these elements together.

But think when Scott talked about it, when Scott brought together this idea of saying so much about data, but what do you do with that data and how do you turn that data into insight and then into action?  And this whole concept of the intelligent cloud and kind of bringing together this reinvention of the business process through an intelligent SaaS.

He talked about the unique value proposition we have as a company that really has this hyper-scale infrastructure.  And sitting on top of that, data where data comes from the Internet, data comes from systems like Office, but data comes from both the existing kind of installations of business applications you have as well as new, and bringing that together in the concept of the intelligent SaaS.

Now, Real Madrid may not be the most popular football team in Barcelona, but apparently, as we heard, its second-largest fan base is here.  But more importantly, when they talked about building the relationship with their 450 million fans, and talked about the transformation they’re going through, it gave you a sense.

But for me, one of probably the best examples I’ve personally heard in the last kind of couple of days was the Caterpillar one.  Now, high-end machines may not be as sexy as kind of football teams, right?  But the idea that in that there, what was happening was data was coming from a variety of different sources.  It was coming from the Internet of Things.  It was coming from taking the data they have in their existing systems and from third parties, immersing that data into a business application, using machine learning to get that insight, and then turning that into action.  And then using tools such as Power BI and then linking that even into Cortana really gave you a sense of what an intelligent SaaS can look like.

And while we didn’t, obviously, demonstrate the connection with this unstructured working, you can imagine those three roles which we talked about, then using Office as a way of communicating, collaborating both internally and with the dealers themselves.

Metro Bank, for me, is also a fantastic example of obviously an industry which has historically been highly regulated.  But the transformation they’re going through in changing the experiences for those consumers in the U.K., using modern technology.

So, today is all about innovation and trust.  We want to talk a little bit about disruption.  What I drilled down on in this area of forging new frontiers, the importance of the trust, what it means when we really talk about compliance, control and security.

And, finally, if it’s all about the customer and the customer’s customer, having another look, another fantastic example of an organization which is really focusing on the customer engagement.

To me, yesterday, while it was fascinating to listen to the views from Peter and how he thought about what was going to happen in the financial services industry, an industry which you could say has existed for forever, which is about how to kind of share money, loan money, right?  And his views, what’s going to happen in the next 10 years.

What I thought I’d do is also today starting with a customer, look at another angle where new technology is really changing something we’ve done for thousands and thousands of years.  Please run the video.

(Video segment:  Growing Underground.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So it gives me great pleasure to welcome the co-founder of Growing Underground, Richard Ballard.  Richard.

RICHARD BALLARD:  Hi.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Hi, how are you?  (Applause.)  So, Richard, I think the video kind of gave us some sense of your business.  Probably a couple things.  One is maybe share a little bit more about the business.  And then, secondly, I’m always fascinated how entrepreneurs like you really just come up with the idea of doing something as amazing as this.

RICHARD BALLARD:  Thanks, Neil.  As you saw from the video, we’re an urban farm.  And we’re growing in a World War II air raid shelter that’s 33 meters under the streets of London.  We’ve got about 6,000 square meters of space to grow into, which is probably about the size of this room.

And we are growing with hydroponics and LEDs and the produce, we’re growing microgreens, which are a tiny —

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  How big?

RICHARD BALLARD:  About this big.  Tiny shoots of greens of herbs that are packed full of flavor.  These are then shipped into the local wholesale market near Covent Garden, which is about a mile down the road.  And then this is a process that takes about four hours.  And then the produce is distributed from there.

All of our power is coming from a renewable resource over the grid from a company called Good Energy.  And we’re working towards a carbon-neutral accreditation.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So that’s incredible, but how on earth did you come up with this idea of kind of growing kind of these amazing little plants that have this phenomenal flavor 100 feet underground in London?

RICHARD BALLARD:  Well, about six years ago, I moved to London to embark on a film degree.  And when I moved to London, I was really interested with the history of London, especially what was underground.

This combined with my interest in sustainability and the future of cities led me to make a film about the futurist Jeremy Rifkin, whose ideas about the third industrial revolution really resonated with me.

For this film, I posed the question:  How are we going to feed and power cities of the future with a growing population and a trend of people moving towards urban concentrations?  And through my research, I looked into LED lights and saw that it was possible to grow purely without the use of natural daylight.

I did some calculations.  I spoke to my friend Steve, and Growing Underground was born.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So I’ve been fortunate in my career to be involved in a couple of startups.  And, for me, the view of a startup is you probably find sometimes a garage, maybe even an office, and your first desk is the cardboard box that you got your computer out of.

But, again, just a bomb shelter.  So what was it like going down to a bomb shelter?

RICHARD BALLARD:  Well, we first approached TFL, which is Transport for London, a government organization that run the transport system in London, as well as owning lots of property.

We first approached them in 2012 and they were really intrigued with our idea.  Prior to that, they had a lot of interest from nightclubs or hotels, and they were never going to get planning permission.

So they showed us the space.  It was a commercial size.  We realized we could work within that space.  And our hydroponics director, Chris Nelson, said, “You need to get in there and see if you can grow something.”

So we asked TFL and they were very obliging and handed us the keys.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  And they didn’t come down with you?

RICHARD BALLARD:  They didn’t come down with us.  When we first went down, there was — you’ve got to think that there was very little light in the tunnel.  There were a few lights sporadically distributed around.  There are 180 steps that go into the tunnel, so it’s good exercise getting down and up there without a lift as well.

So the first time we went down, Steve and I went down, brought a small hydroponic system with a couple of LED lights, set this up, and then realized it’s not economical for us to keep coming down together, we’re going to have to break this into shifts, because we need to check on the nutrients, the PH, and the well-being of the plants where we’re doing this.

So we broke it into shifts, and the first time going down on my own was, I’ve got to be honest, was really quite scary.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So you have no fear of the dark?

RICHARD BALLARD:  The underground actually goes above you.  So when you’re down there, you get this rattling of the underground which is above you, four stories above.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  There’s no rattling of rats, you should be OK.

RICHARD BALLARD:  No.  (Laughter.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So tell us a little bit about could you have done this without modern technology or what?

RICHARD BALLARD:  Technology in any business is paramount today, especially for a startup.  We were able to — using a package like Excel, we were able to analyze and calculate our financials and our yield data, which led to our margin, way before we even got to the point of building this space.  And these days, we use analyze and collaborate — collect and analyze data using our Surface Pros.  This is transferred, using the cloud, to the rest of the people in the organization using OneDrive and Microsoft 365.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So tell me kind of that role of the cloud and again, obviously, some of this is a lot about data.  I mean, obviously, you need to control that environment, but so much is about — what role does the cloud really play in your business?

RICHARD BALLARD:  So we’re working with a company called Priva, who have presented here the last few days, and they are a software and hardware company that produce software for controlled horticulture environments.  This will enable us to control over the cloud in Azure all the variables within the tunnel from air movement to temperature to heat to water movement to the nutrient levels that go into the plants.  And this is then communicated to us and this can be controlled by myself while I’m standing in the hotel in Barcelona.  I don’t think my farm manager would be too happy with me interfering with that sort of data, but yeah, this is possible.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So, again, a lot of very smart ideas, a lot of use of technology where the analyzing of that data and being able to control it without having to do the 180 steps and stuff.  So what’s kind of next for the business?

RICHARD BALLARD:  So our plan is to grow into this space over the next two years and increase our product range.  At the moment, we’re doing microgreens.  This can then expand into baby leaf, possibly miniature vegetables, heritage crops, tomatoes.  And then working with our suppliers and improving the technology and improving efficiency of what we’re doing, and that’s our aim for the next few years.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  And the attention here, as you said, is actually to grow things in a different environment actually with a different taste.  And where it may not feel disruptive, you are changing kind of how restaurants in London would acquire these amazingly tasty herbs.  Therefore, that is very different.

So tell me a little bit — obviously, there’s been kind of the conference in Paris this week and a lot about sustainability and new uses of energy and how businesses can think about this.  So what do you think — how do you foresee kind of this part of the food industry moving forward and what roles do you see kind of partners kind of play?

RICHARD BALLARD:  Sustainability is very important for any business, but it was one of our key drivers to start this business that it had to be sustainable.  So all of our power comes from a renewable company from green energy, which is offsite wind and solar.

We use a hydroponic system which uses 70 percent less water than conventional open-field farming.  And all our waste goes through a biomass or to compost.

We’re also, with the location, we’re not using any pesticides.  But there are two main concerns environmentally for the food production and for agriculture as I see it.  And that is food miles and food waste.

I read the other day that a space the size of Canada is being used to grow food and support livestock each year is being not consumed.  The food waste that isn’t consumed goes into landfills and creates methane, which is very, very damaging to the environment, much more damaging than CO2.

But there is technologies that are happening that companies are working on that are coming up with solutions to this.  One company, Valoya, who produce our LEDs, have re-created the light unit that can re-create any light spectrum.

Now, with the IOT, sensors could be put into a field in Indonesia to measure the light which they’re interested in as a light company, but also humidity, wind flow, and that could be — you could re-create that environment in a lab in London.  And the benefits of this are huge.  The future of developing new crops, new hybrids of crops, climatologists could use this to re-create weather patterns that we’ve not yet experienced to grow different crops for the future if there is problems with climate change.

This could be — could see further in down the line us growing Peruvian coffee in a warehouse in London to the taste of Peruvian coffee.  Or the way I like to see it, with the measurement of the Internet of Things and cloud computing, taking data from various agriculture zones all over the world, we could see in the future re-creating the perfect vintage wine year every year.  The future of agriculture, the IOT and cloud computing is very exciting.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Great.  And it’s interesting, I love the quote that you had in the video at the end when it talked about this is not just an idea you want to keep to yourself and an idea which actually, if there were kind of hundreds of people around the world doing the same thing, that would be a brilliant thing.

RICHARD BALLARD:  Yeah, I mean, the difference in the food industry — and I’ve been in a few industries — there is a bit of competition between other companies, but we all eat food, and everyone needs food.  So the more the merrier that are doing this.  So we welcome that, and we learn from each other.  So it’s an interesting industry to be in.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  It certainly is.  Well, I want to thank Richard and, obviously, kind of share in the story.  A fantastic example of using innovation in something we’ve been doing since we kind of started as kind of human beings is the importance with regard to kind of growing food.  Certainly, and obviously in a city like Barcelona, if you’ve enjoyed the dinners as well, they’ve been fantastic, just shows you how we can continue to evolve the experience and how things are produced in a very different way.  So thank you very much, indeed.

RICHARD BALLARD:  Thanks very much.  (Applause.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Thank you.

What I want to do now is kind of transition.  Transition to this whole principle where kind of technology plus innovation is giving new possibilities.

And I’m sure there’s not one person in the room who doesn’t feel that the business they’re in, the industry they’re in, is being disruptive in some type of way.

So it’s a great pleasure to introduce Susan Hauser.  Susan used to be the leader of the enterprise business until about a week ago.  And during that role, she had many, many thousands of experiences talking to businesses globally around this transition.

Susan in a new role is actually corporate vice president for business and corporate responsibility.  In many ways, some of these kind of themes kind of come together.

So Susan is going to share with you her views of the experience of disruption in customers and industries.  Susan Hauser.  (Applause.)  Hi, how are you?

SUSAN HAUSER:  I am doing fantastic.  It’s so great to be here, thanks for having me.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  OK.  Enjoy.

SUSAN HAUSER:  I will.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  OK, thank you.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Well, hello out there.  How is everybody doing?  Hope you’re having a good few days.  Really appreciate you spending these three days with us.  I know we’ve had a lot of great discussion as well as feedback.

And so I want to maybe a bit of context-setting before I get started.  Over the last few days, we’ve had the opportunity to talk a lot about transformation.  And as you think about transformation and as we’ve heard from so many of the different speakers and customers, the fact is that transformation is accelerating much quicker than ever before.

And there are a lot of reasons why that transformation is happening in a much, much, much faster pace, including the fact that there are customer expectations that have changed dramatically that is influencing transformation.

And what we’re seeing is businesses and governments around the world, every single industry is looking at how can I accelerate my transformation to a digital business and be able to participate in a digital economy and grow my business?

You’ve also had an opportunity to hear from us over the last few days how Microsoft thinks about the importance of transformation and how we anchor that on three major pillars.

One is around building the intelligent cloud.  We talk a lot about cloud and the importance of cloud, and cloud has a lot of benefits, including the fact that cloud provides lots of efficiency, elasticity, allows you to be able to spin up and spin down businesses.

But what’s really exciting and what you’re going to hear more about today is about how the intelligence from cloud, how you can draw from cloud the intelligence of the data to be able to make decisions faster, smarter and also to create new business models.

In addition, the second pillar is about creating more-personal computing.  And that is the fact that it’s not about a mobile device, so to speak, it’s about the fact that the device proliferation and the new kinds of devices like sensors and beacons are allowing us to have a much more customized experience and also allowing us to create new business models.

And the third one, which we’ll spend the most amount of time, is around reinventing productivity and business processes.  Now, you might say we’ve always had productivity, but it’s really about how do we reinvent productivity for both our internal customers, our external customers, and even more importantly, as we reinvent productivity and create new environments, the modern workplace environment, it’s how do we step back and really think about the processes that we’ve used in the past and really rethink about how do we drive new processes to create new opportunities.

And as we anchor specifically around reinventing productivity and business processes, what’s really exciting is thinking about that, you really want to anchor on what’s really driving that?

No. 1, it’s really about how do we reinvent and how do we reimagine that whole customer journey?  The experiences that we all have, whether it is getting to the airport and having that experience of being able to use your mobile device to be able to check in.  That whole experience is so important about how we together can reinvent the whole customer journey to create, again, better experiences as well as new business models.

These new business models that we’re creating together is allowing us to expand beyond the current business.

And it’s so interesting.  As I speak to customers around the world, very often we talk about the fact that transformation is really exciting.  I had one large international bank, the chief operating officer say to me, “You know, Susan, this transformation is really, really exciting, but there are days when I wake up and I feel like I’m trying to change the wheels of the car while it’s moving.”

And I don’t know if you all feel thought way sometimes, but I have felt that way.  But there’s so much opportunity.  And how we together, it’s our partnerships together embracing the new technology, looking at how we can actually accelerate the transformation is where we see, again, so many great stories, one we just heard.  I love that story about how they reinvented the bunker there to be able to grow vegetables and hydroponic vegetables.  How exciting is that?  Who would have thought?

But there are a lot of other reasons why companies and governments around the world are accelerating their focus on the transformation and moving to a digital world.  This disruption is happening around many, many different industries.  And we’re seeing a lot of the disruption coming from some of the startups.

So, for example, Uber, how interesting is that?  Look at Uber.  The market cap combined of Hertz and Avis does not outpace Uber.  Uber’s market cap is greater than both Avis and Hertz put together.

Now, what’s fascinating about that is that Uber doesn’t even own a car.  So you think about what does disruption mean?

Another great example is Airbnb.  You know, it started out truly being focused on college kids looking for a couch and being able to maximize the ability to be able to offer rooms from your own apartment or house.  But now it’s become evolving to even business travel.

I have spoken to a number of corporate accounts that have said that they’re now offering Airbnb as an option for travel.

Now, that is a very specific type of traveler, but again, it’s disruptive and it’s changing new business models and really helping us to think about new ways to deliver experience.

But we’re also seeing lots of companies from around the world that are also coming in with great disruption and disrupting their own business.  And a great example is ABB.

ABB is very well known in terms of being a very large and innovative company.  They have just recently embarked on a very interesting new project around electric vehicle chargers.  And with that we, Microsoft, and ABB have come together to develop a partnership.  And it’s about bringing the best of both worlds, bringing the expertise that ABB brings around electrical vehicle chargers and having fast chargers, along with Microsoft’s ability to provide analytics as well as machine learning.

Now, why is that so important both for commercial as well as governments?  Governments around the world are looking at how do we drive sustainability in cities?  How do we improve people’s lives around transportation?

And so as you think about it, it’s not just an exciting new offer from ABB, but it’s truly having an impact in terms of our world and our lives that are so critical.

So I can actually talk about ABB, but what is better than me having a conversation and describing how ABB is?  Let me also bring out the customer and let’s bring out Joost and have him give us a little more about his journey.

With that, let’s bring out Joost.  Come on, Joost.  (Applause.)  There you are.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Hi, Susan.

SUSAN HAUSER:  How are you?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  I’m OK, thanks.

SUSAN HAUSER:  OK, good, well, please come sit down.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Thanks.

SUSAN HAUSER:  We’re just here sitting here amongst a few of our friends.  So get yourself comfortable.

Well, it’s really exciting.  I shared a little bit of a backdrop of ABB and a little bit about the electrical vehicle charger project, which you lead.

So, perhaps, why don’t we start out and tell me a little bit more about the project itself and how is technology truly transforming the offer that you’re building?  And one other point I’d make is I really like the way you talk about the fact that it is an electrical vehicle charger platform.  And what does that mean?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  All right.  So let me start.  We started seven years ago as a startup company based in the Netherlands.  And we were acquired, I guess, four or five years ago by ABB.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So you started out a small company and then you were acquired by ABB?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Correct.  Four or five years ago, indeed.  And the journey basically started in the Netherlands.  And — sorry — I’m getting confused now.  (Laughter, applause.)

SUSAN HAUSER:  No, it’s fine, exactly.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Thanks, I appreciate that one.  But during that journey, we had one golden rule, the charger needed to be connected, always connected to the platform, as you mentioned.

And the reason why is basically very simple.  This is a new industry.  We’re talking here about EV fast charging.  That’s for many people today still a very new business.  Imagine how people were thinking about us five years ago.  Nothing was existing at that moment in time.

And we said, well, this is a new business.  There’s one thing that we are absolutely sure about, nothing is fixed, and you need to be able to adapt.

So with having that connection from the charger to our platform allows us to look at the charger from an operational point of view, look at the charger from a product innovation point of view of improvement, basically, but also launching new kinds of services that we don’t think about today, but we will need them, let’s say, tomorrow.  And we can basically launch that automatically via the remote connection to the charger.

So we do have that platform that’s absolutely key for our development.  And we strongly believe if we don’t have that platform, we would not be the No. 1 in the market.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Because in some ways, I guess a couple of things as you’ve described it, one, the word “fast charger” is critical because in a lot of ways — I’ve talked to many individuals that are very interested in perhaps going to an electric car, but yet there’s a lot of concern in terms of how long does it take to charge?  Is it really viable to have an electric car?

So this fast charger approach, that will solve some of the — I guess the concerns?  And maybe even speed up, do you see, the embracing of electrical cars?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Oh, yeah, absolutely.  Absolutely.  So it’s all about fast charging.  I think many people know the Tesla example.  That’s a fairly large battery.  And if you have a large battery, there needs to be a lot of capacity to charge the car.

You cannot do that with low power.  You need higher power on that one.  So that is one development.  Batteries will be getting larger and larger.

We are able to do a quick charge, so in 20 minutes do a full charge.  And if you have a longer range, you will have, I will say, overcome the biggest hurdle that people are afraid — the mileage that you can get with a battery.

SUSAN HAUSER:  I know you’re also working with cities in terms of being able to put more of these fast charger stations in more places.  So that would also probably help.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think there are a couple of examples.  I think the video showed Estonia, that’s a nationwide network of fast chargers.  But think about the Netherlands.  Every location — 201 locations near the highway will have four fast chargers.  Denmark is a good example, but also the U.S.  We have a customer building up a very large network across the U.S.  It’s not Tesla, but it’s a separate one, to have multiple charging options, I would say, for customers.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Let me ask you.  You mentioned that you were acquired by ABB.  How do you integrate with the rest of ABB?  And how much influence?  And have you been able to continue the innovation in terms of building out and being able to deliver this new innovation?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  So for us it was an absolute need to be acquired by a large company.  As a startup company, it’s really cool, but this is a worldwide business.  We’re doing business in China, in the U.S., in Europe.  And if you are a startup company, you cannot sustain that one.

So with ABB, we have a worldwide service organization.  We have a worldwide sales organization.  That is really key to keep the growth.  And, of course, there’s strong R&D.  Yes, we are the experts, but with having the ABB family around us, it helped us quite a lot.

SUSAN HAUSER:  You know, as we’ve been talking about, you mentioned, again, electrical vehicle charger platform.  What does that mean in terms of how you’ve been able to partner with Microsoft?  And what is sort of the value you see Microsoft bringing?  It’s sort of — could be a little unusual.

I think a few years ago, you know, if we had sort of been discussing and saying how Microsoft was partnering to build electrical vehicle chargers, it might have been an unusual partnership.  But, clearly, we have a very strong partnership.  And it would be great for you to share a little bit about what value and what role Microsoft plays.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  I think there are two aspects to our partnership.  One is my biggest — one of my biggest challenges is to keep up with the growth.  Not only from a size point of view, so having a reliable platform available —

SUSAN HAUSER:  Reliability is critical, right.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  Indeed.  But also meeting local requirements.  Think about going to China.  There are different regulations.  With our partnership, I’m able to have also a service in China, for example.

But I’m certain that a bit of the basics,, I would say.  It is not the differentiator.  The differentiator is this, in my opinion.  Microsoft, you have a strong software background.  ABB has a bit more, I would say, hardware background.  And here, two industries are joining forces.  And that leads to innovation and that leads to new products.

Giving you an example, without our partnership and without cloud technology, we would not be able to do predictive maintenance.

If you now look at a charger, that charger reports an error.  I believe that’s too late because if somebody wants to charge and the charger is not functioning, you have a problem.

Combining your technology with big data, for example, and our charger where we have all the data available, allows us to think about predictive maintenance.  Wouldn’t it be great if an engineer gets a message that with 90 percent probability that charger, that component will have an issue in the next 24 hours?

Think about that one.  That will allow us to have a different kind of service offering to our customers.  So the service engineer can have a guaranteed uptime, for example.

SUSAN HAUSER:  And in a lot of ways, as you described that, I mean, what a powerful opportunity that is to provide a service not only as you think about the charging aspect of it, but it’s also about keeping the vehicle running properly and being able to do that in a way that is predictive.  And we’re seeing lots of companies in a variety of different kinds of industries really shifting their business to become more about predictive maintenance.  And that is so valuable for a customer to see that kind of service.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  As I should mention, it allows our support teams, our support department, to have a different kind of discussion with our customers.  Or you talk about having a standard SLA, in many industries is well-known.  Or you can have a different kind of discussion that you say, you know, when we get this message from the charger, we will go out and we will give you a guaranteed uptime, but for a different price, for example.  These are options, indeed.

SUSAN HAUSER:  How do you foresee, as you mentioned this being a platform, do you see yourself working with other companies to build on top of your solution?  Or do you see yourself keeping this as a silo?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Definitely not the last one because, again, ABB is a hardware-oriented company.  We are not good in software and we don’t want to compete, for example, with companies who make mobile apps for making a reservation on a charger.  That’s not our business.

So, basically, we have the charger, we have the platform, and there it stops.  And that platform is something that we have jointly, but above that one, that’s for the market.  So giving you an example, if a company has a good idea about making an app for reservation, as I mentioned, or credit card payment via mobile phone, that’s not us who will provide that solution.  That’s not our industry.  We are not good at that.

But what we are good at is providing all the possibilities that you can interact with the charger based on the cloud platform.  So it stops there, and then enabling different industries, basically.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That’s fantastic.  And as you think about cloud in particular, what do you see as sort of the advantages for you in terms of speed to market?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Oh, that’s absolutely key.  As I mentioned, it’s a fairly new industry.  A lot of people don’t even know about fast charging.  So we look at the market, we look at how things are moving, and we want to act quickly on those changes.

If we don’t have the cloud technology, we would not be able to launch quickly products.  Giving you an example, in China, in certain market segments, it’s very important to have an integration with WeChat pay.  We looked at that one in the summer, we made that decision I believe late summer, and we are now two months later and we have that product available.  Simply —

SUSAN HAUSER:  Two months?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah, two months.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So two months, sort of speed to market and the agility is clearly there for you.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  And then we have the product, we can launch it via the cloud, distribute it to the charger, and it’s available for the Chinese market.

SUSAN HAUSER:  I’m just curious.  I’m just going to ask the crowd.  You know, in the next three years, how many in this room would evaluate or think about getting an electric car?  Just raise your hand.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  There’s enough potential for us.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Yes, actually, I think things are good.  And a fast charger on top of it.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah, it must be fast.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That’s great.  It really was, just by the show of hands, it was probably more than three quarters of the individuals in this room raised their hand around considering, I didn’t say buy, but considering electric vehicle.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah, but that’s also the market trend that you see, that more and more people are interested in electric cars.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Yeah, I was reading something.  I think it was last year was over a million, and then there’s, again, a prediction that that’s exponentially growing.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  Correct.  And as I mentioned, the batteries will increase, the size will increase, so you need to have higher power.  There will be more charging stations available, so I think that’s a correct way to move forward.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So I know you’re always sort of thinking about what’s next.  So my final question is:  What is next in terms of what’s the next plan that you can share amongst our friends here?

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Yeah.  So with the partnership, we will launch new products.  When it comes to big data and all kinds of stuff.  But for me, what’s more important is if you look at the platform, we have now the fast charger connected to it.  But can you imagine if you connect, for example, a solar inverter or a battery storage system to that platform?  Think about the possibilities that you will have.

So if the energy price is too high, you will take the solar energy into your storage and use it at 6:00 when you’re at home to charge your car.  These kinds of possibilities are there.  So where we connect more devices to this platform, and the industry is picking up on these kinds of smart solutions, that is what we are focusing on next.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That sounds great.  It’s making me more to be one of those people to raise their hand about looking at an electric vehicle now as well.  So this is great.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Good.  And if you then buy a fast charger, that’s excellent.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Absolutely.  I’m definitely going to go for a fast charge.  I want to thank you, but before that, let me summarize as I think about our conversation here.  It really is about how technology is really accelerating the new transformation and new business models.

But, truly, it is about putting the customer at the center.  The way you describe, again, understanding how people will use the technology and bringing together the fast charger with the analytics together is truly bringing something that’s really unique.

And then I think that the fact is that you’re capitalizing, as well, so much on the fact that we need to, as a society, have a big focus on sustainability.  And more and more cities are looking at how do you improve transportation, really drive that sustainability.  And so, first of all, thank you so much for taking the time.  Please, help me join and thank Joost for sharing this wonderful story.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  You’re welcome.  (Applause.)

SUSAN HAUSER:  I really appreciate it.

JOOST VAN ABEELEN:  Thanks.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Thank you so much, and I will see you later, thanks.  (Applause.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Thank you, thank you.

What I want to do now is change the theme to the theme of trust, right, and how important trust is in the cloud environment.

Obviously, if you’re a bank and the first thing you do is invest in a safe, because if you can’t keep the money safe, you can’t have a bank.

And therefore as a hyper-scale infrastructure provider to the market, we as a company have to invest in the privacy, security and compliance that’s required.  We absolutely believe that if customers when they use a technology, they don’t trust it, they will not use it, right?  And they will not use technology they don’t understand.

And therefore for all the innovation that we do and for all the conversations which we want to have with you, enabling you to transform your business, it is totally dependent upon the word around trust.  And we have to kind of bring it together in what that means.

So there are four kind of pillars that you want to think about.  One is the area of compliance.  This is all about us meeting your obligations, about managing your data in accordance with the law that you have to abide to.

There are two levels to think about this.  One is today and one is tomorrow.  Certainly, today, when we think about the regulatory landscape that exists, both at the country level and industry level, this is a very important topic.  And as a company today relative to the marketplace we have the largest compliance portfolio in the industry.

But probably more importantly my message to you is not how we’re compliant and enabling you to be compliant today, it’s more important about the journey we’re going to go on together, right, the work we have to do together in a very collaborative way, both with governments, with industry bodies, and ensuring as we go through that collaborative approach we absolutely also kind of challenge governments and bodies, where needed, to ensure the relevance of kind of compliance.

And you heard that yesterday from Robert in the session in the morning with regard to how sometimes it’s the lack of knowledge of people who are making some of these decisions that are actually holding back.  But the whole area of compliance is absolutely kind of critical.

The second one is around control.  Now, this is very clear.  This is your data, and it absolutely is under your control.  Just because it sits in our datacenter doesn’t mean to say we control your data, right?

Recently, the industry formed another standards forum, which is the ISO 27018 — 18, 27018 standard, right?  And this is all about how you can control.  And we’re the first company in the industry which adheres to that kind of industry standard.

It’s also so important for you to understand that even as consumers, right, how we process your personal data is only in accordance with the instructions you give us, right?

The third, in Europe, right, certainly it’s about choice and control, right?  As Jean-Philippe mentioned on day one, us announcing kind of our datacenter strategy in Germany, right, and what we’re doing there, and first from an industry perspective, is around the data trustee model, right, to abide by the German law in Germany.

The fact that we announced the same week datacenters in multiple cities in the U.K., and really expanding in Europe kind of the datacenter hubs out of Ireland and the Netherlands, it’s so important to provide you the choice, right.

As a company we have about a thousand — 100 datacenters worldwide in about 24 regions, and about 40 countries, and provide the breadth of choice to you with regard to where you kind of store your data.

Security, absolutely committed.  There’s a lot of focus, quite rightly, in the security of the data which exists in the datacenters.  But in many ways, though, the challenge we all face is not the data in the datacenter, it’s actually the devices which touch the data in the datacenters and the people who do that and can touch those devices.

The other interesting thing as we go on this journey together, certainly I think now as people better understand how these hyper-scale datacenters are managed, there’s some sense of realism in many ways by the IT directors and the operations people that in many ways the datacenters that we own are actually more secure than their own.  Now, that’s obviously a decision which any company would make because it’s relative to how they control their own datacenters.  But the whole focus of security is absolutely critical as well.

But also what is so important is transparency.  It’s so important for us to be transparent to you how your data is stored, how you control it, how we help you control it, right?

It’s important to understand in today’s environment how what law enforcement requests are being made on that data, and also share if there’s any kind of third-party requests that are being made on your data.

And also it’s very important for you to understand where the data resides and who gets access to it.

So this is a journey which we’re all on together, and as you heard yesterday, in many people’s views in 10 years’ time the debate, the question will be, well, why to have the debate?  It’s a very natural thing to have this debate.  Yet it needs to be done in a very collaborative way around the world relative to different kind of markets around the world.

So why is trust core for us, right?  I think building this trust really together allows you to have the opportunity to find new businesses.  In many ways the natural thing to do is to start with something less risky and build upon that and prove the case and built the trust and then move ahead.

I thought it was fascinating listening to Peter yesterday from Temenos when he talked about kind of the 50,000 regulated deposit banks kind of globally today, and where he believes that’s going to be in 10 years’ time.  That is the journey, right?  And he talked about in many ways starting with one process, one bank, and one regulatory body at a time.

And that’s probably the journey we’re going to go on, but it’s a journey together as we absolutely need to address this concern with regards to trust of your data and how that data is managed.

So I thought what we’d do is actually have a customer come up and talk about.  It’s certainly a customer who is betting very big in this area, one which absolutely is betting on the promise of a secure and intelligent cloud, and absolutely is one of these businesses which is reinventing itself, right, in the opportunity which we have in the financial services marketplace.

So it’s a great pleasure to introduce Kai Klatt from Wincor-Nixdorf.  (Applause.)

So I think most people in the audience obviously have heard of Wincor-Nixdorf, but again I think it’s just interesting, Kai, just to maybe share the journey which you’ve been on as a business.

KAI KLATT:  OK.  So good morning, everybody.  So Wincor-Nixdorf is a young company with more than 60 years of business experience.  So we’ve been founded by a computer pioneer, Heins Nixdorf, in 1952, had a journey together with Siemens in the ’90s, and since 1999 we are independent and known as Wincor-Nixdorf.

So today, we are one of the world’s leading providers of IT solutions and services towards retail banks and the retail industry.

Our portfolio is focused on hardware, software and services.  And it’s made to optimize the interface of businesses towards their customers.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So it was fascinating just to kind of talk about kind of how you are transforming, because you really are as a business transforming yourself from what you did to what you now want to do.

KAI KLATT:  Yeah, you have to understand, so we are not only German-based, so we are really a global company.  So we have more than 9,000 employees worldwide in more than 42 countries with our subsidiaries, but serving our customers in more than 130 countries.

And our challenge in our business is on the one hand, our customers are suffering a tremendous cost and optimization pressure, and on our side we are suffering from more and more commoditization of our hardware business.

So our customers have to transform their businesses, and so do we in order to support them.  So our market requires holistic end-to-end solutions, and we are growing our business through customer-centric IT services and software.

So one of the examples is — and I’m pretty sure we are not known for this because you already know Wincor-Nixdorf.  I guess everybody has touched a device from Wincor-Nixdorf in the past like ATMs or POS systems for retail.  But we’re also doing transactional management like to our customers at Shell where we do integrated cash management.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So again very different from a world of hardware to a world where really you are a software kind of company, as kind of Scott talked about, a software services company in the new world.

It’s very, as we said in the last two days, every time you want to talk about security and privacy, the natural thing to talk about is, OK, let’s talk about financial services.  So tell us about how you think about from your business the security concerns and how you think about the priorities around that.

KAI KLATT:  So in our industry security is a must.  And we as Wincor-Nixdorf have a long proven track record to deliver the highest possible security requirements to our customers and to comply with all relevant regulations in the market.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  And so with regard to — so you really have embraced the cloud as a business platform.  I mean, that’s — as we’re seeing, that’s a trust thing.  But it’s also — so why?  Why have you taken that approach?
KAI KLATT:  I do not see a contradiction there.  As Microsoft is complying with the famous EU Model Clauses, and we are operating our cloud in the European cloud.  So we are using Microsoft European cloud for all services.  So this gives us trust.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Good, good.

Well, it’s interesting, because one of the areas you are again focused on is just the productivity of the sales process actually as well.  I mean, tell me a little bit about the profile of the sellers which you have, and maybe again how you’ve embraced those different types of salespeople, different types of sales process.

And obviously yesterday, we talked a little bit about — on Monday we talked a little bit about this kind of area of culture and kind of how does culture evolve in a world where businesses are transforming.

KAI KLATT:  So our business is not different than all the other businesses.  So in sales you typically find a couple of archetypes.  You have the problem-solvers.  You have the challengers who are always challenging customers, challenging the organization, ask questions and want to move forward.  You have the relationship-builders, those guys who are known to play golf with the customers.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Are there many of those left?

KAI KLATT:  You also have some lone wolves which you can never control, which are extremely hard to steer but can also deliver a lot of added value.

So our big challenge is, and as all the companies around also have, how to make those people work on the same sales process and stick to the sales process.

Our answer to that is you have to deliver benefit to all relevant stakeholders in sales.  So everybody has to get something out.  Management, of course, loves the transparency they get.  They love the real-time dashboards, the drill-down capabilities.

But the poor sales guy at the frontline, he needs benefits as well.  So for him the process has to get easier, more efficient, faster.

And we are enabling our sales guys also with mobility.  Instead of doing their homework and updating the CRM system when they have their spare time, they can just do it on the go.  So they use the mobile apps, update the opportunities as well.

Of course, we are not only management and frontline sales.  There is in between sales support.  And sales support takes massive benefit out of the collaboration possibilities, which are happening today on the customer in CRM.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So kind of in many ways, as you said, the sales process, while sometimes we think it’s very different across industries, a lot of the way you described it, Kai, is very similar to what was described by Heineken on day one.  Obviously, what you sell is different, but the example, the demonstrations which she showed on Monday, particularly this integration between kind of the reinventing productivity and the modern business process.  What you’re doing here is in this kind of very regulated industry, is doing the same, but recognizing that the data and everything which you would have is against relative to kind of more slightly more sensitive.

KAI KLATT:  Yeah, yeah.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So what about the challenges in transformation?  I mean, sometimes there’s a lot of conversation about, well, I have to go to get an MBA to do a business case that justifies kind of the transformation and changes I sometimes need.  Tell me about how kind of Wincor-Nixdorf and you and the leadership team kind of thought about that part of the transformation side?

KAI KLATT:  So we are obviously in a transformation phase, and this is a longer phase.  So it’s a longtime investment on the one hand.  On the other hand, in financially difficult times it’s always hard to get funding, proper project funding if you want to achieve something.

So in fact, the funding has never been questioned for us, as the business transformation is being supported by our CRM system, and the CRM system really puts customers into our focus.  And this is a lot of value to us.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  We were talking yesterday as well about how you kind of connected this sales process using CRM, but also how you’ve connected it to the values which you have as an organization.  I think it’s interesting.  Can you kind of share that as well?
KAI KLATT:  Yes, sure.  So we have four core values, and we have connected our system, our approach, our CRM approach to those values.

First of all, it’s customer impact.  We want to contribute to our customers’ success.  And how do we do this?  We need to have the customer in focus of our whole organization.

On the other hand, we are one company.  So one company means we are selling a very complex portfolio.  It’s from 500 Euro hardware to 100 million Euro outsourcing deals.  So everything is in between.  You have to work in a matrix organization, you have to collaborate, but you have to stick to certain rules.

And CRM is guiding our users through the sales process, and they take benefit of being advised what are the next steps, what is to do, so we speed up passion and performance.

Yes, we are innovation leader, so it’s natural for us to use the cloud solution, and we’ve obviously decided for Microsoft.

Last but not least, it’s integrity and respect.  There is no value on the system when nobody shares information.  So it’s about sharing information, about being open, collaborating with your colleagues on one platform.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So I think you know the next question, because it’s the obvious question.

KAI KLATT:  The one the others also asked, so what’s next?

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  Yeah, it’s the last one we always do.

KAI KLATT:  OK.  So what’s next?  Neil, I’ve changed my mind.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  OK.

KAI KLATT:  I’m extremely impressed by the PowerApps and definitely my team and myself, we have to dig into that.  So one of the next steps will be a deep dive into PowerApps.  I see really great opportunities for us there.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  I think actually as you were saying backstage, the PowerApps was something new we’ve announced, and I think it certainly just embraces this whole concept of how do you do something very — it’s almost like a “snappable” app, right?  So rather than have a long evaluation of a business process that’s going to take you six, nine months to get the project there, that ability to do something very simple but get a lot of value out of very quick is obviously what we’re all looking for.

So I really do appreciate, we have a fantastic partnership, appreciate you sharing with the audience today this kind of journey which you’re going on, the balance between kind of your transformation as a company, as well as how, as you said, more importantly how you’re enabling your customers to transform, and how you’ve embraced the use of the cloud and really the blend between the concept, the capabilities and the cultural side, the values part.  Really do appreciate it, so thank you very much indeed, Kai.

KAI KLATT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So let’s kind of switch back again to the final kind of customer, and obviously certainly so much of this is about the relationship with your customers or your customers’ customers.  So please welcome back onstage Susan and her guest, the head of marketing from Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

SUSAN HAUSER:  Welcome back.  We’re back.  We’re back.  How are you?  It’s so great that we have an opportunity to also hear another great story.  And this little video in the back is playing here, was very, very cool, which I am so excited about, is hearing about the seven-star hotel that’s from your company, Jumeirah.  It’s interesting to hear.  I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as a seven-star hotel.  I know it’s now on my list to be able to go on my next vacation.  I definitely want to check out what a seven-star hotel means.

But for you as well it is all about customer intimacy, as well as experience.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That’s correct.

SUSAN HAUSER:  And so as part of the discussion we’ve had today around transformation, around disruption, it truly is about that customer journey.  And there’s no better person for us to have this dialogue about your journey.

So with that, perhaps we’ll sit here.  As I said —

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, thank you for having me.

SUSAN HAUSER:  — we absolutely have Abdullatif, we have our friends here, and so we’ll just have a nice conversation here.

First of all, your title in itself, Customer Relationship.  You and I had a chance to meet and spend some time.  You’ve had a history of being focused around customers.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct.  Yes, that is correct.  And I’ve got a really interesting role within Jumeirah.  I’m in what most people would say is how do we actually have, how do we make our customers loyal to our brand.  But in Jumeirah we look at it differently.  And I think managing this seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab, made us think differently.  So we actually see how can we, Jumeirah, be loyal to our customers, so flipping that around.  So it’s probably the same outcome, but I think the internal processes would change.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So really you flipped it around.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct, yeah.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Interesting.

And so tell me a little bit more about your role.  And specifically what does that mean in terms of driving customer engagement, and what does that mean being loyal to your customers?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, it’s more about understanding who our customers are, acknowledging that there are individuals, they come to our hotels not for our rooms, specifically for that memorable experience.  So it’s us as a company trying to understand how can we serve them better, how can we create those new experiences that they actually want.

SUSAN HAUSER:  You know, we talk a lot about the fact that there’s lots of competition and disruption.  How have you thought about disruption, and has that motivated you to think about how you engage differently with customers as they have that experience in these incredible hotels around the world?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, customers come to us for the service.  As I mentioned, it’s not necessarily for the assets.  They might come the first time because we have iconic buildings, but they return for the service and the experience.

And, of course there has been change in how customers actually shop today, especially with this digital era.  It’s long gone where a customer would actually — or a traveler would actually go to a travel agent and say, “Book my holiday.”  Now they shop around.  And we know, based on research, a traveler would actually go to 30 websites before actually making that choice.  So for us that’s very important to be on that digital area.

SUSAN HAUSER:  And as you think about the engagement itself, like as an example, like what would be that experience that — and I know a lot of the individuals in this room travel a lot, just like I do.  You know, how would you describe sort of the experience from the moment you come into the hotel?  What’s different about it?
ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, I mean, Jumeirah, if you stay at a hotel, it’s probably going to be a totally different experience if I stay at the same hotel, and that’s what we cater for.  And what actually brings up our brand is the people who work in the hotel.  It’s not anything else apart from that.

So what we wanted to do is actually align that with all the different channels that the customer actually goes through with our brand or engage with our brand.  So that could be our telephony, that could be our digital space, and so on and so forth.

So we have that five-star luxury service in a hotel, but how can we actually get that five-star luxury experience outside the hotel?

SUSAN HAUSER:  So after someone leaves the hotel, is that —

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So what would that mean?  Is your continued sort of connection with the guest once they leave as well?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, so what we’re trying to do is actually create that relevance, but there is no disruption in the conversations that the brand is having with the customer.  So whatever happens after the stay is actually a continuity of the experience they actually had.  So the content is relevant, the channels are relevant, which we are communicating to them.

And it’s different.  We understand that each customer has a different path in their journey with our brand, and we start to recognize —

SUSAN HAUSER:  So it’s not one size fits all.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Oh, definitely not, yeah, definitely not.  So we try to understand who they are with different personas and actually change our internal processes to match with their journey.

SUSAN HAUSER:  You also had mentioned the individuals who work for the hotels and the importance of their — in a lot of ways what I had mentioned earlier, culture plays a big importance.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct, yes.

SUSAN HAUSER:  More and more it’s amazing how the word “culture” keeps coming up as part of disruption and as part of transformation and the importance of not just introducing new technology to be able to do predictive maintenance or predictive customer offers.  But how do you actually engage your employees, and what is the employee experience?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, I mean, all our employees are trained with that golden thread of Jumeirah standards.  And us coming from Dubai, hospitality is in our DNA as Arabs.

And I would just give you a quick story on how this is linking to the brand.  As Arabs if you are wondering in the desert and you just pass by to a village, you actually can stay in any house you wish for three days and no one is — and you are welcome to the house.  So that’s the spirit and the hospitality of the Arabs.  And so us being an Arabic brand, it is within our DNA.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That’s amazing, and so great in terms of the experience and how people truly take that as part of their commitment as well.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Definitely.

SUSAN HAUSER:  I know that as we worked together between our companies as well, you’ve implemented Dynamics CRM, and really with the focus again about your customers.  Can you talk a little bit about the capabilities that you’ve been able to leverage and use and what the impact has been?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Definitely.  Yeah, I mean, we’ve done a lot of work in understanding who our customers are, and to understand there’s a lot of different segments.

What we needed was a platform that actually assists us in actually communicating the individualized or personalized messages to all those different customers.  If we don’t have that platform, actually it would require a huge team, and marketing would actually have to create probably 50 content different email creatives just for one messaging.

But with Dynamics marketing and CRM what we actually do today is we actually create one creative, but that has multiple versions, depending on who the recipient is.  So that helps a lot.

SUSAN HAUSER:  And are you seeing impact on the business, any kind of like — you know, because I know that obviously we all are embracing transformation, but we also need to be fiscally responsible and show results.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Definitely.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Are you seeing results?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah.  I mean, it’s just been a couple of months since we’ve made this implementation, and we actually are tracking on two things.  One is the engagement metric, and we’ve seen that we have actually doubled the engagement metric before this exercise and after mostly we have the exercise done, and also implementing Microsoft Dynamics.

SUSAN HAUSER:  You actually doubled the engagement?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct, yeah.  So we had things like open rate around 24 percent, and now some segments actually increased to 50 percent on open rates.

Not only that, we also measure year on year revenue increase by month, and we’ve noticed that since we started after the implementation, we actually have months, you know, the first month was around 10 percent year on year increase, and then the third month was 40 percent year on year increase.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That’s amazing, and that’s —

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, it is.

SUSAN HAUSER:  — just in months.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct, yeah.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That’s nice.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  And that’s in the initial stage of us embracing digital transformation, and this is just the first phase of a long journey.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Oh, that’s great, because, I mean, it’s always exciting and inspiring, but it’s also great to hear results as well.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  It is, yeah.

SUSAN HAUSER:  And I’m sure that everyone in your company is very happy with that as well.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Yeah, yeah.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So let me ask you a last question.  So what’s next?

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  A lot of things.

SUSAN HAUSER:  OK.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  But I think what’s important for us now is actually we kind of understand our customers when they’re within our brand, but what we wanted to do is actually connect the dots across the whole customer journey, and make sure that we continue the conversations regardless of the channel they’re in.

SUSAN HAUSER:  I see.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Whether it’s on social media or whether it’s on our telephone or even front office.

Other things that we are also looking at is how can we have CRM actually personalize the room automation, the room experience across all our hotels.  So if a customer actually goes to one of our hotels and they like a specific type of temperature and so on and so forth, how can we automate that so when he goes to any other hotel it is kind of the same. So this is still that we’re exploring on this, but I’m sure there’s a technology that can assist us, but that’s what we’re thinking of.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So you’re going beyond and to really expanding that experience on individual hotels.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  That is correct.

SUSAN HAUSER:  That is just fantastic.  I really love this story.  And just let me sort of maybe summarize some of the points.  As I hear you speaking, it really is about putting the customer at the center and the whole journey is around the customer.  It isn’t about a one size fits all but how do you efficiently be able to provide that level of customized experience.

And I love the fact that it doesn’t just stop here.  You’re looking at more and more ways in terms of how do you differentiate being a luxury really line of hotel.  We had talked about the fact that, of course Airbnb is not at all a distractor for you.  This is a very different experience.  And the fact that as you’re continuing to invest in channels, as well as new ways of experiencing.

Well, I don’t know about all of you, but I definitely know which hotel I’m going to next.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  We’d love to have you there.

SUSAN HAUSER:  So with that — definitely — with that, help me say thank you, and thank you all for giving us a chance.  Thank you so much.

ABDULLATIF AWADH:  Thank you.

SUSAN HAUSER:  Thank you.  Thanks, everyone.  Thanks.  (Applause.)

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So thank you, thank you.

So just briefly before we wrap, a couple things.  One, please fill out your evaluation forms.  The feedback is so important.  This is an event which we’ve been doing for many years.  We continue to evolve the event.  And getting your feedback from both the content, this dialogue, how we do the presentations, probably more importantly the meeting environment is so important.  For every time that you complete an evaluation we do donate money as well to the World Animal Protection.

Let me leave with you just a few things to think about.  This digital transformation you’re all going through is a journey.  The question maybe is kind of why Microsoft.  I’d think about three things.

One is this whole uniqueness we have between the hyper-scale infrastructure between the communication and collaboration tools which we have from a productivity perspective, and then the intelligent cloud and how we would connect that back into business process makes us very unique in the industry.

Probably more importantly, though, as well, I think in a world which is kind of mobile-first and cloud-first where mobility means mobility of the experience and cloud is the data source which you have to fuel the data from data to kind of insight into action, right, the openness which we have done in the last 18 months with regards to the relationships which we have formed in this space demonstrate our commitment to the openness from a technology perspective, but also the trust in the cloud.  We absolutely understand our responsibilities around the trusted cloud and what that means for your business.

And finally, I think the third thing is the strength of the ecosystem which we have, from the largest system integrators, the management consultants in the world, all the way through to kind of the very boutique kind of smaller partners that we have in every country in the world makes us unique with regard to enabling that value proposition to come together, but in a very open way and in a trust way.

I just wanted to leave you with a few words from our CEO, Satya Nadella, who wanted to share his views on this digital transformation.

SATYA NADELLA (from video):  For us at Microsoft everything starts with our mission.  Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

And when we say empowerment, we mean empower through digital technology and digital transformation.

And that’s why I think digital transformation is not just an adjunct nice to have, but it’s at the core of whatever business you are in, in retail or healthcare or energy or manufacturing even.  Digital content and digital transformation is at the center of it all.

And so therefore it’s super important for every decision-maker, every business leader to take advantage of this technology and drive their own transformation.  And if they don’t, they face the obvious issue of some competitor taking advantage of that technology and disrupting them.

So hopefully throughout the conference you heard from many of your peers on how they are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in their industry, in their business using digital technology, and that, you know, is something that I think each one of us can take away and be inspired by.

The biggest takeaway from Convergence should be that this is the time for you to really capitalize on some amazing technological capability that is being democratized, but it’s also the time for you to be at your creative best in being able to use it to advance and transform your businesses.

I’m really looking forward to what you all do leaving this conference in Barcelona, and driving your own digital transformations, and us celebrating together what you achieve with your transformation.

NEIL HOLLOWAY:  So let me thank you for the trust you’ve put in us and the investments you’ve done already with the current technology.  And the fact that three out of four of you in the room are already using a cloud service from us in many ways says a lot, right?

I also want to thank you for all the learnings which you’ve given us in all the meetings.  Certainly in every meeting I’ve been in over the last two days I’ve taken many notes of how we can be better as a company and better as a partner for you.

We at Microsoft really look forward to kind of partnering with you as you go on your journey of transformation, and we really hope that we can play a very important kind of enabler in your own transformation.

So thank you for your time, look forward to the rest of the conference, and safe travels home.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END

News Center

postheadericon Satya Nadella to open Microsoft Convergence 2015

REDMOND, Wash. — March 12, 2015 — Convergence 2015, Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq “MSFT”) premier event for its business community, kicks off in Atlanta next week with an opening keynote by Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, and Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions.

Nadella’s keynote will focus on how using data within businesses can help provide organizations with a deeper understanding of customers and predict trends as well as generate customer demand and loyalty. He will also highlight innovations coming from Microsoft that will help businesses get meaningful insights from data and be more productive.

What: Convergence 2015 keynote

Who:   Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, and Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions

When: Monday, March 16, 2015, 8:30–10:30 a.m. EDT

Where: Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), Atlanta

Live webcast information: The live webcast of the keynote address will begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Viewers may access the webcast at http://news.microsoft.com/convergence2015.

Transcript information:  A transcript will be available within 24 hours at http://news.microsoft.com/convergence2015.

More information and news from Convergence 2015 is available at http://news.microsoft.com/convergence2015.

Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Twitter community can do so at @MSFTConvergence using #CONV15.

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

News Center

postheadericon Microsoft Convergence 2014 Europe

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 30, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Thursday announced the details of the live webcast for Convergence 2014 Europe, Microsoft’s premier conference for the business community, from Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 4 through 6.

Microsoft will kick off Convergence 2014 Europe with an opening keynote highlighting the uniqueness of Microsoft Cloud for business as well as announcing new versions and updates to key Microsoft Dynamics business solutions. Microsoft customers will share the stage with Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions, and discuss how their businesses are thriving. Tatarinov will also use the keynote to share a vision of how organizations can grow and succeed by connecting in new ways with their customers.

What:  Microsoft Convergence 2014 Europe

Who:  Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions

When:  Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, 9–10:30 a.m. CET (12–1:30 a.m. PST and 3–4:30 a.m. EST)

Where:  Fira Barcelona Gran Via Conference Centre, Barcelona

Live Webcast Information:  The live webcast of the keynote address will begin at 9 a.m. CET. Viewers may access the webcast at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/europe14.                                             

Transcript Information:  A replay and transcript will be available by the end of the week on the Microsoft Dynamics newsroom.

More information and news from Convergence 2014 Europe is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics and the Microsoft Dynamics blog. You can also read about this year’s Customer Excellence Awards winners and how each company is achieving business success with the help of Microsoft solutions at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/europe14/Customer-Excellence.aspx?p=button#fbid=PhbuOEGjmhH.

Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSDynamics using #CONV14.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

News Center

postheadericon Kirill Tatarinov to open Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014

REDMOND, Wash. Feb. 27, 2014 Convergence 2014, Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq “MSFT”) premier event for its business community, kicks off in Atlanta next week with an opening keynote by Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions Division.

Tatarinov’s keynote will highlight how businesses can deliver amazing experiences to their customers through business solutions. A broad range of customers will be featured in his keynote presentation, including Delta Air Lines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewing Co., City Harvest Inc., Weight Watchers International Inc. and Chobani Inc. The keynote will also include new product demonstrations and discussions of how businesses can be successful in today’s fast-paced business environment where people are more connected and better informed than ever.

What: Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 keynote

Who: Kirill Tatarinov , executive vice president , Microsoft Business Solutions Division

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 9–10:30 a.m. EST

Where: Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) , Atlanta

Live Webcast

Information: The live webcast of the keynote address will begin at 9 a.m. EST. Viewers may access the webcast at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14.

Transcript

Information: A transcript will be available within 24 hours on the Convergence 2014 virtual pressroom.

Live broadcasts of general sessions of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions will also be available for viewing. A complete list of sessions and schedules is available at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14.

More about Microsoft Dynamics customers Lotus F1 Team and Weight Watchers as prime examples of growing successful businesses that are transforming their organizations and benefiting from Microsoft’s business solutions can be found in a feature story titled “Customers win with continued Microsoft Dynamics collaboration.

More information and news from Convergence 2014 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics. Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSFTDynamics and @MSFTConvergence using #CONV14.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon Microsoft Dynamics CRM Global Premiere Event kickoff and Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 EMEA

REDMOND, Wash. Oct. 30, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Wednesday announced the details of live webcasts for the Global Premiere Event for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Convergence 2013 EMEA, the Microsoft Dynamics community business conference from Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 4 and 5.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Global Premiere Event will feature Microsoft executives and highlight how customers around the globe are using the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM release to create compelling customer experiences and bring those experiences to life. The event will also showcase the new release in action.

What: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Global Premiere Event

When: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, 5:30–7 p.m. CET

(8:30–10 a.m. U.S. PST and 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. U.S. EST)

Where: Fira Barcelona Gran Via Conference Centre , Barcelona, Spain

Live w ebcast

i nformation: The live webcast will begin at 5:30 p.m. CET. Viewers may register and access the webcast at Microsoft Dynamics CRM Global Premiere Event.

Microsoft kicks off its Convergence 2013 EMEA with an opening keynote that puts a spotlight on the amazing business transformations Microsoft Dynamics customers are experiencing using modern business solutions. Business leaders from the region will share the stage with Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions, and Jean-Philippe Courtois, president, Microsoft International, and discuss how their businesses are thriving. Tatarinov will also use the keynote to share a vision of how organizations can grow and succeed by connecting in new ways with their customers.

What: Microsoft Convergence EMEA 2013 keynote

Who: Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions , and Jean-Philippe Courtois, president, Microsoft International

When: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 9:30–11 a.m. CET

(12:30–2 a.m. U.S. PST and 3:30–5 a.m. U.S. EST)

Where: Fira Barcelona Gran Via Conference Centre Barcelona, Spain

Live Webcast

Information: The live webcast of the keynote address will begin at 9:30 a.m. CET. Viewers may access the webcast at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/emea13.

Transcript Information: A replay and transcript will be available within 24 hours on the Convergence 2013 EMEA website.

More information and news from Convergence 2013 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics.

Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSDynamics using #ConvEMEA13.

About Microsoft Dynamics

At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft