Published: 25 July 2019

Reading time: About 3 minutes

Last week we attended Microsoft’s biggest partner showcase, Microsoft Inspire. Held annually in Las Vegas, Inspire is a chance for thousands of Microsoft partners around the globe to come together, network, attend sessions, explore product roadmaps, and ultimately strengthen relationships and allegiance with Microsoft. In this blog, we speak to our CEO Simon Cole about his thoughts on Inspire 2019. 

  • Why do we attend? 

For Automated Intelligence, Inspire is invaluableFirst of all, it is good to catch up on what Microsoft Corp’s ‘big bets are at the start of a new financial year. But it is also the chance to meet up with key people within Microsoft, formally and socially, and build stronger relationships as we look to expand our business.  

One of the other key things for us is meeting fellow partners- both existing and new partners. Everyone we spoke to is extremely motivated about the opportunity that exists out there to help organisations to improve what they are doing. We look forward to cementing those relationships over the next few months. 

  • What were the hot topics? 

This year, there was a lot of emphasis on machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Satya Nadella did a very compelling keynote using numbers to highlight growth and opportunity. For instance, 90% of the data that exists today has been created in the last 2 years.  

Another fact which liup our interest is that 73% of data that is created is never analysed. A key goal of Microsoft is to make every business an AI-first business. We agree, but I suspect he was talking about Artificial Intelligence rather than Automated Intelligence!  

There was also a big emphasis on the success of Microsoft Teams. That came across very clearly. Satya even said, “The one product that has had an absolute breakout year is Teams. Teams is the hub for teamwork.” It was revealed during Inspire that the service has now reached more than 13 million daily users. 

Microsoft also released this year’s financial figures and they are significantly upIt is clear that Azure and Modern Workplace are taking hold, which is fantastic. Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud unit saw sales rise 19% this year to over $11 billion, making it Microsoft’s biggest business.  

You can really see how the combination of Azure and things like IoT and machine learning are creating some very powerful and industry-changing benefits.

  • Any big changes this year? 

What we saw this year is how Microsoft has brought all of the elements of its business together and the opportunities that exist for customers and partners. There are some changes to many different elements in the back end of Azure and that’s going to give us a lot more power and help us deliver a better service and better product for our customer. Everything we have been working on for the last couple of years is really getting bedded into the back of Azure, running a great platform upon which to deliver our service.  

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