From 15 to 19 July, the annual Microsoft Inspire event took place in Las Vegas. Keenondots’ Managing Director Coen Korver and myself were present. In this blog I will update you which trends were discussed during the event. Plus, what will Microsoft’s focus be for the coming year(s) and how you can prepare your business to benefit from them?

1. Azure’s expansion

Microsoft develops Azure in an increasingly fast pace. They announced to focus on enhancing both its technical and functional performance. Azure is becoming more and more a functional platform instead of just a technical infrastructure, although you still have a choice of over 25,000 SKU’s.

Really benefitting from Azure means that Azure knowledge and skills within the company are essential. Several computing magazines already predicted Azure skills are one of the most sought-after in 2018 and continue to be in demand for the coming years. Therefore it is wise to start investing in the right people and skills now before competition hires them.

When you have qualified Azure professionals on board, do not waste their time on elementary tasks, like internal operational and standard delivery processes. You should enable them to focus on building and customizing your customer’s architecture and solutions. Automating your ordering and delivery workflows and invoicing with Keenondots’ platform certainly helps to have them stay focused on where you make money.

2. Increase in Artificial Intelligence

AI, robotics and applied technology are on the rise. Microsoft will start applying these in their services as well.

Most of your customers will not feel like this concerns them, but it will. AI will take over tasks you cannot imagine yet. This will have an impact in the near future, both on our professional and private lives. Google gave a clear example in a demonstration of its AI assistant.

Your challenge will be to convince your customer and make sure his digital workplace is prepared in order to really benefit from AI. Not all companies have such a modern work place yet. If your customer’s digital environment is not up to date, it will not be easy to integrate upcoming AI services and he will miss out on its benefits.

3. The potentials of the modern workplace

Microsoft showed that less than half of the Dutch employees work with a modern (365+) workplace. Although nearly all companies use Microsoft functionalities, in over 50% it is not the integrated full package. These numbers show there is still a huge potential. Disadvantage of not having a full digital environment is lack of agility and productivity. Companies do not fully utilize the scalability advantages a digital workplace holds. This might impede a company in growing in the required speed.

For those companies which do work with the modern workplace, there is often potential for add-ons which will increase productivity. Central systems and integrated data will boost productivity of business processes and cut overhead cost. The extensive solutions set of Office 365 already boosts productivity, but by adding specific solutions on top, companies can improve specific functions, such as instant communications with customers.

By having an automated base to deliver your modern workplace solution, you are ready to on board new customers. Also you can easily add specific solutions as a resell, or add them in specific packages. We are happy to advice and think along with your workplace configuration.

4. Urgency of automating business processes

During the Microsoft Inspire event it became clear to us that cloud services are developing in rapid pace. The Microsoft partners are aware that they need to use their energy on staying up-to-date with all new technologies in order to provide the best solutions for their customers. Scaling more than ever truly needs automation.

Administrative burden and configurating workplaces can be distracting factors. If you want to keep up with all developments and be able to scale rapidly, automating your provisioning and billing process of cloud services is a must. If you think it is still doable to process manually and you wait too long to put an automated billing process in place, you run the risk of missing out on expanding your licences sales.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about these trends or how to benefit from them? Contact us and let’s sit together to see how we can optimize your processes. So you can make the most out of these developments.

Thijs van Hofwegen, CCO Keenondots