Teams, customers and the cloud that connects them

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One of the most interesting things about my job (and by extension, our company) is that I get exposed to a very diverse portfolio of innovations and experiences. One day I might be touring our Garage or getting the inside track on how best to counter “rodeo” attacks in Titanfall (pro tip: electric smoke). Other days, I get to dig in on all the breakthroughs happening to unlock organizational potential and build the workplace of tomorrow. This week, we are staging two conferences that provide a great opportunity to take a moment to look at the latter, and really celebrate some transformational work going on that can streamline the way hundreds of millions of people get things done every day.

At our annual SharePoint Conference, we will showcase how we’re re-imagining productivity in the cloud, enabling people to come together to accomplish things they never could with information locked in application silos. As anyone who uses Facebook, Twitter and other social services knows, sometimes the shortest path to the right information is just knowing who to ask. That’s the inspiration for some of the great social capabilities that are being built into Office 365. I’m particularly excited because there are a few core concepts I can’t wait to use in my own day-to-day work.

For example: The team is using machine learning to help identify (in the background) the people and information that would be most useful to me as I work on a specific assignment (like writing this blog post). It takes into account who I’ve exchanged mail with, what social conversations I’m having, PowerPoints I’m working on and what my team is doing. It shows this to me as naturally as my social networks tell me what music I should be listening to or where I should eat when I’m on the road. I’m also excited about the way Office 365 will enable me to focus on the groups of people I work with, instead of worrying about what specific applications I use to engage with them.

These and dozens of other changes to Office 365 in this next phase of cloud innovation are all designed to help teams stay connected and on the same page, in real time, so they can get more done and drive business impact.

Talking about business impact brings me to Microsoft Dynamics Convergence, our other big event happening this week. One of the most critical functions of any organization is enabling exceptional customer experiences. Everyone knows that now. But knowing it and being able to createthose experiences are not the same thing. If raising a child takes a village, as the saying goes, creating a delighted customer takes an empowered and informed team. And that’s why our Dynamics business is so exciting. When Kirill Tatarinov takes the stage this week to showcase both current customers and demonstrate some imminent innovations, you’ll see the future of customer experience excellence. With the right data in the hands of employees empowered to make smart decisions from the factory floor to the showroom, we know that companies who use Microsoft Dynamics will lead the way in the era of the customer.

Events like these are great, intimate, high-bandwidth channels for us to showcase the mobile and cloud first approaches we are taking to enable the social enterprise to improve customer responsiveness, collaboration and business impact. At these events, we get to go deep and tell our story to interested parties and give customers the insights, perspectives and roadmaps they need to understand our products and make informed purchasing decisions. We love them. But we also need to tell our story more broadly. So I’m excited that we’re also introducing a new advertising campaign this week, focused on Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Windows Azure and other cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Of course, Microsoft’s cloud services span all customer segments and many diverse categories, from gaming to communications to collaboration to the infrastructure it takes to run it all. In this campaign, we’re focused on telling the unified story of the services that enable our enterprise customers to drive their business forward, anytime and from anywhere, using the Microsoft Cloud.

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