Microsoft announces new innovations and partner opportunities at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference

By Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft

At our Worldwide Partner Conference today we showcased new technology innovations that demonstrate our ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud and create more personal computing. We also discussed investments the company is making in programs for our hundreds of thousands of global channel partners at the center of business transformation taking place in the industry. These innovations and investments will help Microsoft and our partners achieve our new mission together on a global scale, making a difference in lives and organizations in all corners of the planet.

Project GigJam: reinventing productivity and business processes

As part of the company’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced Project GigJam, an unprecedented new way for people to accomplish their business tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people.  GigJam empowers business workers to summon information from their line of business and SaaS apps, spontaneously divvy up the specific information and actions needed to get work done, keep track of each part, and bring it all to closure immediately.  Visit www.gigjam.com to learn more and register for the upcoming preview.

Cortana Analytics Suite: building the intelligent cloud

We also announced the Cortana Analytics Suite, a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action. The growing adoption of machine learning, big data combined with the power of unlimited storage and compute in the cloud presents a unique opportunity for organizations to anticipate what will happen and to automate business outcomes. Cortana Analytics Suite brings together leading technology infrastructure including machine learning, big data storage and processing with perceptual intelligence such as vision, face and speech analysis, extending predictive and prescriptive capabilities to businesses for a range of industry scenarios. Cortana Analytics Suite integrates with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant.  Cortana works with the Cortana Analytics Suite to enable businesses to get things done in more helpful, proactive, and natural ways. Availability will be this fall through a simple monthly subscription. For more from one of our customers, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health Systems, check out the Business Matters blog.

Microsoft HoloLens: enabling more personal computing

The third area of innovation we showcased was around commercial momentum in response to HoloLens – the world’s first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10. On-stage at WPC today, Satya showed how one of our partners, Autodesk, will use HoloLens to fundamentally change how design professionals create, communicate, visualize and work. HoloLens is already making an impact across a number of industries, examples include the work we are doing to help architecture and construction industry professionals through Trimble, working on Mars exploration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and helping Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic transform teaching for the future. This is just the beginning of what holographic computing can help customers do more and achieve more.

Creating new partner opportunities across cloud and mobility

We know that many of our partners are investing in transitioning their businesses to the cloud, in part to take advantage of the types of cloud-based innovations as mentioned above. So, we’re making several partner investments to make their transition more seamless.

We are expanding the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to help partners continue to build and grow profitable cloud services businesses using Microsoft Cloud. Beginning today, Microsoft will expand CSP to additional markets, bringing the total number of markets in which CSP is available to 131. Additionally, Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the CSP.

In addition, as a result of the overwhelming interest from partners and positive feedback we’ve received from customers over the past two years, we are delivering on our promise to grow the opportunity for more partners to sell Surface – taking the number of resellers from a few hundred to a few thousand globally in the coming months. Surface is an integral part of our Windows strategy, and the expansion of this program coinciding with the upcoming launch of Windows 10 creates exciting opportunities for partners. We’re also investing in helping partners unlock customer mobility opportunities with new competencies for Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) that will enable them to differentiate their expertise and grow their business.

Today we’ll share that we are introducing a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite called E5 before the end of this year. E5 will encompass the core value of Office 365 productivity and collaboration capabilities, as well as significant new innovations, including newSkype for Business services such as Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast; Power BI & analytics features, like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics; and new advanced security features, such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, and Advanced Threat Protection. The E5 suite will provide a significant new opportunity for partners to build new service offerings around real-time communication and analytics, and to reach new customers with important new security features.

Microsoft’s partners have always been and will always be a driving force in business transformation, and our collective innovation has never been stronger for our mutual customers. That’s because they’re depending on us. In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, those businesses that embrace technology to reinvent themselves and their industries will thrive, and those who embrace status quo risk extinction. Its Microsoft’s hundreds of thousands of global partners that will bring about this transformation, help our mutual customers through this change and forge the next industrial revolution. So, I’m thrilled to come together this week at the 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference to talk about how we can collectively help businesses through the business transformation needed to be successful.

For more details on these and other investments we’re making in ensuring our partners can meet customer demands in this new world of business, visit our WPC News Center or check out my blog on the MPN site.