Cloud, Nov 05, 2019

Microsoft Ignite 2019: Satya Nadella's keynote speech

Rob Merrett

Credera are at Microsoft Ignite this week, one of the world’s leading cloud conferences.

Rob Merrett attended Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s opening keynote speech, which included some important announcements and findings that will influence the future of cloud computing. 

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Satya Nadella started the session by focusing the keynote around his vision of Tech Intensity, which he demonstrated as an algorithm:

Tech Intensity = (Tech Adoption x Tech Capability) ^ Trust 

What does this mean?  

Tech adoption refers to the speed of adopting technology. To accelerate adoption, individuals need access to the latest tools, platforms and services, as well as to avoid re-creating capabilities that already exist. 

Tech capabilities refers to the focus on individuals with the freedom to create new services driven by extensive collaboration.

The trust part of the equation refers to the trust you have in the Microsoft systems you leverage to build new digital capabilities, noting that digital capabilities are not just limited to the technology but the change in culture when embracing digital ways of working.  

Nadella then focused his keynote on moving through the technology stack of Azure, Data, Power Platform, Dynamics and Microsoft 365, demonstrating how Microsoft services can help users build new capabilities in the cloud across the enterprise. 

The first level of the tech stack focused on Azure and hybrid computing. Nadella highlighted that by 2020 there will be some 50 billion connected devices and 175zb of data (one zettabyte is equal to a billion terabytes), motivating Microsoft to build Azure to work across as many technology and cloud providers as possibleThis leads to the first major announcement: Azure Arc.  

Azure Arc 

Arc is designed to extend the capabilities of Azure right into your data centre and manage your multi-cloud and multi-edge services from a single service under a single pane of glass. Arc offers a single development, release, data and security model. 

Moving up to the next layer, Nadella puts a focus on the Azure data layer, highlighting triumphs earlier in the year with the release of Hyperscale SQL. Pushing Azure data capabilities further, Nadella announces Azure Synapse.

Azure Synapse 

Azure Synapse is an end to end data integration and analytics platform with unmatched time to insights. 

Its analytics brings together the combination of enterprise data warehousing (structured data) and big data analytics under a single platform to ingest, prepare, manage and service data for immediate analytics at petabyte scale.

The demo presented by Microsoft’s Rohan Kumar compared query times of Azure Synapse Vs Googles Big Query, with Azure Synapse completing queries in seconds compared to Google’s Big Query taking 11 minutes to run the same query. 

Project Silica 

One of the more novel demos of the session was the introduction to Project Silica, where working with Warner Bros., Microsoft had etched movies onto quartz glass using ultra-fast lazer optics.

Given the fragility of typical paper or film-based documentsthis gives a robust alternative storage mechanism which can survive harsh conditions, which was demonstrated by boiling, baking and scratching the glass without any damage to the movie contents!

Nadella then came back to the trust element of his equation, sharing the huge number of $1tn of cyber-crime damages, which mostly affected small to medium-sized enterprises. This led to his next announcement...

Microsoft End Point Manager 

This consolidates the functionality of System Centre Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune to a single application with the aim of simplifying endpoint device management. 

Visual Studio Online 

He then focused on the developer community, noting that 61% of job openings for developers are outside of the technology industry, driving Microsoft to build the best possible toolchain for developers.  

The announcement of Visual Studio Online leverages the power of cloud services to allow developers to create and share dedicated development environments on demand. Utilising the features of intellicode and live share, Microsoft aims to create a collaborative development experience.  

Power Automate  

Nadella continued with his use of intimidating figures by announcing that by 2020, it is estimated that there will be over 500 million business applications, bringing us onto Microsoft’s power platform: Power Automate, which extends the previous capabilities of Microsoft Flow to provide full robotic process automation capabilities.

Through the new Power Automate functionality, you can record and play back human interactions with software systems which do not support API automation. Power virtual agents bring language understanding and conversational capabilities to the power platform.

This is seen as Microsoft democratising bot creation: you can have a robotic agent which is a part of your teams' chat or even website without requiring any code; the new UI provides a complete “point and click” experience. 

Project Cortex 

Coming towards the end of the keynote, he landed on Microsoft 365 capabilities with a focus on productivity. Continuing with his daunting statistic-theme, he shared that it takes an individual 25 minutes to return to a task after being disturbed and that we experience a 40% decrease in productivity when multi-tasking. 

To help organisations focus on people and reducing the complexities of knowledge management, Satya announced Project Cortex as the new knowledge network for the M365 suite

Project Cortex helps organisations quickly find information that is spread across an enterprises’ M365 platform and expose it through searches and other Microsoft products such as Teams and Outlook.

Cortex will even be able to determine your organisation's subject matter experts who have worked on the data its detected, so you know who you can ask for more detail on certain topics within your organisation. 

In a nutshell 

All the announcements at Ignite demonstrated one thing: Microsoft provide you a complete end to end integrated, secure and knowledge filled experience, providing all the tools, capabilities and culture to allow you to reach tech intensity. 

Credera are a Microsoft Gold Partner with expert experience in Cloud, Digital and Data. 

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