It was a great experience being at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference even for a regular visitor like me. I was awesome looking at the great innovations. However, few things caught my attention this year. So here they are:

The transformation that started last year as a “Cloud First” company continues to move forward. The second part of the Microsoft’s messaging about being “Mobile First” was however missing. Most discussions were predominantly Cloud and to some extent VR.

Cloud Specific:

Microsoft talked about the 3 different clouds – O365, Azure and the CRM cloud. Look forward to lot of cool features getting released on all these clouds.

CRM Cloud and LinkedIn? No news yet.

I was hoping to hear about CRM cloud and well, the role LinkedIn is going to play. Not much was spoken about it – perhaps too early?

Is O365 a real winner yet?

Azure and O365 adoption is clearly increasing y o y. I doubt if there are any net new gains in O365 adoption when compared with reduction in Microsoft Exchange installations. Probably, the only net new gains will be companies dumping Google apps.

Large companies still dipping toes in Azure?

On the Azure adoption, Microsoft reported over 100% y o y growth. All these numbers are great, but biggest thing missing is a large enterprise coming up on stage and stating that they have decided to go all in with Azure. This is where AWS did it better, they had a number of customers come on stage and give their reasons to move to AWS. My interpretation is that most organizations at this point are dipping their toes in the Azure cloud. The number of companies doing so is increasing, and this is confirmed by the revenue growth. But, Microsoft is probably at least 2 to 3 years away from being able to get a customer on stage and talk about their Azure journey.

VR Specific. No mobile yet?

Microsoft and to some extent Facebook seem to be the two companies whose VR platforms are not coupled with the mobile phone. There were again some cool demos shown on stage on what can be achieved with a holo lens, but again the big thing missing was customers coming on stage and touting what they have achieved using holo lens.

Partner Specific:

The Cloud Service Partner (CSP) program seems to be accelerating and this was a confirmation I got from my multiple meetings with partners of all sizes. The partner ecosystem of Microsoft that was predominantly used to selling licenses is coming around to selling the cloud. They are learning the tricks, such as bundling and upsell with products that may not all be Microsoft, but a lot of them from other ISVs. ISVs are becoming very critical to Microsoft and the partners. Satya in fact called the ISVs as the OEMs of the Cloud era. ISVs like Nuvepro make the cloud more palatable to use.

Our Value Add:

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