Day three of WPC16 marked the final Vision Keynote.

Here we summarize the highlights from Day 3 with insights from Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, Toni Townes-Whitely – Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Gavriella Schuster Corporate Vice President, WW Partner Group at Microsoft, Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President & Chief Evangelist Developer Experience & Evangelism Group and Judson Althoff, EVP Worldwide Commercial.

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Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer – Brad Smith addressed the crowd: “You are the force that is helping government and business change the world. Thank you for being here and thank you for what you’re doing, we appreciate it.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Brad Smith started by discussing how the world is changing and how we are in the fourth industrial revolution. Saying that we’re helped by what we can learn from the three industrial revolutions before us. It changed human imagination forever.

The stage is set for what is now coming, the fourth industrial evolution:

We are now in a time of three sets of technology – Physical – Biological and Digital.

Each industrial revolution is fuelled by one or two things, it was the steam engine, the electric power plant, the combustion engine and then the microprocessor. All of these are all connected to and fuelled by exactly the same thing: “the cloud” – this is what puts Microsoft at the center of everything that is unfolding.  We’ve spent 7 million dollars in capital expenditures this past year, building the world-leading data infrastructure.

The 4th industrial revolution is not only going to bring forward economic opportunity, it’s also going to bring about social models, social impact models and new engagement models that will benefit Microsoft and you.

It’s a huge opportunity to do good things for the world – core to the belief is that this partnership can impact 7.4 billion people.

Data is borderless, and powerful: it’s now tangibly changing the world.

Safety and Transparency

Brad Smith came back on stage to discuss the importance of keeping customers safe and being a transparent organization. We need to keep people safe but we also need to do more  – “we need to stand up for transparency. We’ve brought lawsuits to win the right to share more information with the public.”

“We are arguing that we need an internet that respects rights and is governed by law, governed by good law.”

To build a cloud that people trust. Building a responsible cloud, it means a lot of different things but this morning I will talk about one thing: the environment. The data centers that Microsoft consumes more electricity than a small state in the United States. We’ll soon consume more than a mid-size country in Europe. “We have a responsibility to protect the environment.”

44% of electricity in our data centers comes from solar or wind power and we’ll pass the 60% threshold and we’re not going to stop, we’re going to keep getting better until all of our energy is coming from renewable energy.

Businesses Need to Think Broadly

A cloud that is inclusive – defining issues of our time – there’s a lot of anxiety in the world – it’s easy to understand why. People move from farms to cities but today if you go into an automobile factory they’re being built by machines.

Where are the new jobs going to come from? – Who is going to fill these jobs? i.e. taxi drivers protesting the arrival of Uber. Businesses need to think broadly, we need to make sure that every business large and small benefits to grow in ways to create new jobs. It needs to start with the next generation of people, so we are bringing coding and computer science into schools around the world.

Toni Townes-Whitely – Microsoft Corporate Vice President

Highlights from Toni’s sessions:

  • Disruptors – Uber, Netflix and Airbnb have upended whole industries with new business models enabled by the power of technology.
  • More than 80% of business buyers have already deployed or embraced the cloud
  • Microsoft chose to embrace change, we have stronger cloud momentum
  • “85% of the fortune 500 are using the Microsoft cloud”
  • The MS Partner ecosystem is full of resources insight sand knowledge and we want to help you tap into each other, join the conversation, join the communities online, read the modern partner eBook series.

The Four Things Modern Partners Do Differently

We have reimagined the referral engine – what if I could provide you with a signal management console to close prospects – that’s what I mean when I say reimagine the referral engine.

Gavriella Schuster Corporate Vice President, WW Partner Group at Microsoft

Microsoft is partner-led today and tomorrow – we want to help you cease this moment and tomorrow’s opportunities, today!

Less than 10% of our business buyers achieved cloud maturity, but more than half of them believe they will achieve this

40% of CIO’s see themselves as operation leaders, but in the next 3 years 60% expect to be the Chief Innovation Officer.

How Do We Help You Build Your Business?

Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President & Chief Evangelist Developer eXperience & Evangelism Group

  • Disruption is the other side of the transformation road.
  • Technology is driving the change – but the software is the bridge

Announcing the Microsoft Professional Degree

We’ve created the Microsoft professional degree, it consists of self-learning, testing, video and online, and mentoring and is a 4-month program. 900 people so far, some from Microsoft and some from partners and the first group is set to graduate in September.

“Thank you for your partnership – the platforms never rest – let’s work together and transform.”

Priorities for FY17

Judson Althoff, EVP Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft then talked through the 6 priorities for FY17.

Judson’s final message, a call to action: Customer success is our top priority together. It’s the number one thing that drives us all. We need to understand their tech and agenda and apply bold ambitions. Deliver against the four pillars of digital transformation and embrace our readiness, our own learning agenda. Now is the time to be amazing and I couldn’t be more excited to embrace that journey.