Cloudy with a chance of data – WPC 2016

Tech journalist Bill Magee is in Toronto, reporting for CompanyNet from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference. Here’s his take on Satya Nadella’s opening Vision Keynote.

Dateline: Silicon Valley North [Toronto -Ed]

“Fresh” from celebrating the Euro 2016 grand final with my new Portugese pals, it’s back to business at this year’s Microsoft WPC with Satya Nadella’s Vision Keynote here in Toronto.

The software giant’s CEO told twenty thousand partner-delegates from 144 countries that his number one priority is digital transformation.

To cut to the chase — more will be achieved in the next five years compared with the previous three decades.

Digital and physical experiences are undoubtedly undergoing inextricably-linked “accelerations” coupled with a wiring and rewiring of business models.

Here it has to be all about empowering an organisation’s employees whilst simultaneously and optimizing everyday commercial processes to engage with and meet customer needs.

The opportunities before each and every one of us are unprecedented: “We are lucky to be involved in information technology as the world is digitising … where for the first time literally everything will be connected. That truly is the opportunity in front of us as the entire GDP is shaped.”

Everyone has the opportunity to tap into this revolution where at its core is handling data to help customers achieve their ambitions. In such a scenario, the key is the “intelligent cloud” where modern IT tools are tailored to specific business processes and needs.

The next phase of the intelligent cloud platform is cognitive capabilities and services. In Microsoft’s case this means, of course, the Cortana Intelligence Suite.

One groundbreaking Microsoft collaboration revealed is with McDonald’s, to dramatically improve its drive-thru experience using voice recognition and natural language processing.

Mine’s a chicken enchilada with fries…

You can check out the highlights of the first day in this short video from Microsoft.

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