Monday was the first day of Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta.

Billed as the biggest IT conference in the world with 23,000 people attending this year, this year’s keynote was impressive, packed full of announcements and focused on cloud first technologies.

The Nigel Frank team are in attendance at Ignite all week and we were lucky enough to sit in on the two keynote presentations by Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group and Satya Nadella’s afternoon keynote.

Nigel Frank is proud to be a Silver sponsor at Microsoft Ignite – be sure to meet our Microsoft Recruitment team all week at Booth 152!

Monday was the first day of Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta. Billed as the biggest IT conference in the world with 23,000 people attending this year, this year’s keynote was impressive, packed full of announcements and focused on cloud first technologies.

The Nigel Frank team are in attendance at Ignite all week and we were lucky enough to sit in on the two keynote presentations by Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group and Satya Nadella’s afternoon keynote. Here we share highlights from the keynotes:

Keynote 1 – 9am
Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group + Guests

Scott Guthrie began his keynote by explaining technology continues to rapidly evolve, offering us new ways of working and powering digital transformation for all organizations. Key to our ability to harness technology is our ability to evolve with it, to harness new capabilities and learn new skills.

Scott then welcomed Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO to the stage alongside Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, they were there to announce Adobe’s move to Microsoft Azure as they explained Adobe will be moving all their cloud solutions to Azure.

Satya Nadella explained the partnership is exciting because the companies are going beyond their respective saas applications and focusing on the integration between Dynamics CRM and the marketing cloud as we look to engage customers in a new way.

Microsoft Cloud

Scott Guthrie continued his talk on the digital transformation and how the Microsoft Cloud is ultimately helping everyone in the room with their digital transformation, focusing on the leaps forward Microsoft are making with Azure and cloud services, as well as the huge investments made in security.

Microsoft cloud is a globally scaled out platform – the circles on the map below represent Azure regions – Scott Guthrie explained there are 34 unique regions around the world – twice the number than AWS has.

Microsoft cloud has more compliance certificates than any other cloud provider as well as full data sovereignty in Germany, not only that but Microsoft Cloud is also a leader in 17 Gartner magic quadrants.  Azure is fully scalable, trusted and allows proactive management of Cloud and on-premise infrastructure.

New Innovations

Azure Monitor:

Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016

Microsoft then announced the launch of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 and showcased some of the impressive new features enhancements including security:

Yusef Mehdi – Senior Vice President, Microsoft 

One fascinating statistic that came out of this session was a couple of workforce predictions.  In 2020, in the US, it is expected that almost half the workforce will be millennials.  What’s more 43 percent of that workforce is expected to freelancers!

Security

Security featured highly throughout the keynote and the next announcement was the launch of Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge Browser.  Which uses hardware-based isolation to make Edge the most secure browser for the enterprise.

Keynote 2 – 4pm – Satya Nadella: Artificial intelligence

Satya Nadella talked about how we have successfully used technology to create and distribute information and now we need to use technology to create and distribute intelligence.

4 Pillars to Address Artificial Intelligence

The key issue with access to so much information is that human attention and time itself is under intense pressure.  Microsoft is looking at AI to be the answer to this problem and Satya described their 4 key pillars to address this:

1. Agent (Cortana)

Cortana is unbounded across all devices, it goes with you and knows you and your work and life. With this information , Cortana can save you time and learn your preferences.  Currently with 133 million users and over 12 billion questions already asked.

2. Applications

Remarkable applications like Skype translator use multiple technologies like voice recognition, language translation and predictive analytics to allow accurate real-time conversations in multiple languages.  Already live in 8 languages.

Bringing AI to Dynamics 365, Satya announced the upcoming launch of Relationship Assistant, due in November, inside Dynamics CRM.   This will look at interactions and information from inside and outside CRM to build a true picture of your relationships with your customers and prospects.

3. Services

Using machine learning and advanced analytics to gain intelligence from vast amounts data.

4. Infrastructure

Using the scalability and power of Azure Microsoft have built the world’s first AI supercomputer.  The most powerful, flexible and intelligent cloud is already capable of a billion billion transactions per second.  To demonstrate this Microsoft translated the entire Wikipedia database into Russian which took less than 1 tenth of a second.