Microsoft Convergence EMEA: How we can help drive business transformation

The fact that organizations need to change, to evolve and to transform the way they do business to succeed in this digital age is widely accepted. For most, this transition to a digital world is relatively new, but the path to true transformation is anything but easy. It takes courage and bold steps to break away from established systems and processes. A recent Forrester study of European business leaders clearly frames this issue – business transformation takes more than just layering digital channels on old business models. It takes a dramatic and sustained new direction that is oriented to a new world of work, to a new way to use data and analytics and a new approach that focuses on customer outcomes and desires.

Businesses know some change is needed, they just don’t know what that change is or how to make it happen. As organizations increasingly ramp up investments in technology, they are rethinking business goals and processes in this age where consumers are more connected, more informed and have higher expectations than ever.

This is at the heart of what we’re discussing with business leaders this week in Barcelona at Convergence EMEA – Microsoft’s Europe-based conference for business and IT leaders. As organizations strive to keep up with the pace of change, they are looking to technology to drive digital transformation. Our message this week is simple – Microsoft is here to help.

Our ability to serve as a catalyst for the transformation of others is at the core of our interlocking ambitions to reinvent productivity and business processes and deliver the intelligent cloud. The innovations we announced today – from the new enterprise value delivered in Microsoft Office 365, to the intelligent customer engagement capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, to new ways of developing business applications with Microsoft PowerApps – will help individuals and organizations push the boundaries of productivity, where collaboration becomes more pervasive, where analytics become more intelligent and where business solutions bring it all together to help businesses forge a deeper relationship with their customers.

Throughout the week we will be featuring customers who have inspiring stories to tell about their own transformations. Heineken is one such company and today they will be joining me on stage to discuss the challenges they faced and the digital solutions they employed to adapt and succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Heineken’s story truly underscores the power of the connection between data and insight in driving digital transformation and in developing a more intelligent cloud.

The cloud makes it possible for organizations to move from systems of records and engagement to true systems of intelligence. Employees are more mobile than ever before, yet a lot of work still happens at our desks. Organizations are looking for new ways to collaborate and these systems of intelligence are transforming how we work and redefining what’s possible.

With Office 365 in the enterprise, we are creating new and exciting ways for organizations to empower their people – whether it is bringing teams closer together through new voice and meetings capabilities in Skype for Business or delivering insights that help individuals focus on what matters most.

These systems of intelligence can guide interaction with consumers and businesses as well, ushering in a new era of customer engagement. This is exactly what we are driving with Dynamics CRM 2016, a comprehensive business application that accelerates responsiveness to market shifts, anticipates customer demand and delivers relevant and actionable information and analysis when and where it’s needed. And it does all of this through an individualized approach that accounts for the unique roles within each organization, maximizing individual capability.

The mobile and cloud revolution has transformed our personal computing experience. And yet, the apps we use to do business have been slow to keep pace. Business apps are a decade behind the richness and ubiquity of consumer apps. The proliferation of business data has not been matched by business app development and sharing – resulting in a huge gap. Today we introduced what we think is the killer solution, Microsoft PowerApps – a new enterprise service that empowers everyone in an organization to create apps built around specific business needs that connect to existing systems and data and can easily be shared on any device.

With solutions that are changing the very nature of work, collaboration, engagement and empowerment, Microsoft provides a clear path for transformation, for change and for reinvention. Convergence EMEA is a great opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities businesses face and to share new innovations that can make this transformation possible to companies in Europe and throughout the world. We look forward to learning more this week from our customers as we continue to look for new ways to help businesses in Europe and throughout the world in their digital transformations.

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