Microsoft Convergence 2015 Live Look (Open Thread)
Datix Inc. is live at Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta, GA. We will be bringing you real-time content as it becomes available this week.
Our CEO, Matt Schuval, will be using the new live streaming app, Meerkat, to bring you live video updates throughout the event. We will publish these on this thread after they’ve been captured.
See below for Microsoft Convergence 2015 updates, photo’s and video media.
For more info regarding Datix Inc. and its Microsoft services visit here.
Product announcement: Datix Inc. announce global availability of Epicor 10 Connector for Dynamics CRM
Thursday Closing Keynote
Microsoft ends the conference with a closing keynote Thursday morning. The early focus of the keynote is cyber-security. An emphasis on outsmarting malware and protecting cloud-based information. This definitely has to be a focus of Microsoft; as they have been really pressing a single-source personal/professional cloud. This subject is still a bit touchy in penetration testing circles. If Microsoft can bring comprehensive cyber-security to their cloud products it would go a long way to changing the way businesses view cloud security.
Microsoft believe’s heavily in their PPI tool. The map you see above is one of many they showed which outlines malware infections across the globe. Microsoft security experts determined that the outbreak highlighted above was specifically designed to avoid Russian and Ukrainian countries. They believe this was because the producers of the malware probably reside in these countries and strategically wanted to avoid prosecution in this areas.
Microsoft announces that they have 70 Million IP addresses in Azure database. This means it is a prime target for cyber criminals. Microsoft is dedicated to protecting their database.
Microsoft believes that they must improve security in cyber objects and IoT (Internet of Things). They are using new hub technology to monitor and track threats and issues.
Now moving to a specific discussion around protecting Enterprise Mobility Suite. Azure Active Directory (AAD) is the new tool that administrators can use to monitor malware disruptions and system abnormalities. The AAD is able to provide alerts to users when threats are identified. Microsoft says that they have been using this technology internally, and are now releasing it to their users in Azure.
Microsoft says their data suggests that it takes 243 days on average for businesses to know they’ve been infected. They believe that these new changes and developments will cut those times considerably.
Wednesday Insights Into MS Dynamics CRM
Microsoft spent time Wednesday morning going over some of the new changes and developments relating to their quickly adapting CRM.
One thing that became apparent very quickly is that Dynamics CRM is growing its marketshare at a rapid pace.
It goes without saying, but Microsoft says it has committed itself to developing Dynamics CRM into software that can help Marketers, Sales People, and Management all engage customers more effectively from a single platform. Heavy emphasis on personalization and predictive proactivity. The message is to engage the right people at the right time.
CRM product/module release schedule for the year listed below.
New updates for spring include the hotly anticipated mobile reform functions; including Cortana integration. Dynamics CRM will now feature newly redesigned mobile application.
Microsoft is now offering even better Outlook exchange integration for Dynamics CRM; they are highlighting a new CRM app for outlook. It includes an automated tracking mechanism. This features a drag and drop interface. Users can drag items into CRM sync folder on mobile and it will sync to CRM. That is very impressive! A completely new set of functionality that was badly needed to compete with other popular CRM’s.
Sticking with a theme from the opening keynote. Dynamics CRM will feature some very slick Power BI integrations; including role tailored dashboards.
Microsoft is also improving its already powerful Social Listening module. The new functionality appears to give the app more depth and provides some new real-time social monitoring features. It will be fully-integrated with CRM this Spring.
A point of the end of the seminar was an emphasis on improvements integrating and bringing in legacy data.
In addition, there are some new developments aimed at high-speed large data imports.
… and without further ado, a look at the new menu’s for Dynamics CRM; a mixture between current menus and icons.
Fall highlights for Dynamics CRM include: more mobile developments. Microsoft wants to create a complete offline experience for CRM users. They want to streamline mobile use by making it one or two clicks to close a task from your phone. They’d like to rely more on voice integration.
A heavy focus on the term “system of intelligence” that Satya mentioned in the opening keynote. This moves into a heavy focus on the new Microsoft product, Delve.
Founder Bryan Sapot’s thoughts on the opening keynote ( a summary of early events via Meerkat):
Tuesday afternoon – Tony Profit – Windows 10 + Mobility + Virtualization
Tony Profit Opening
Microsoft is advocating one user, one identity, everywhere. They claim this would lead to a single login allowing remote access to personal and professional data from anywhere, anytime (tablets, phones, PC’s) – one singular management tool.
For companies this virtualization means rolling multiple devices over network easily, IT managers can manage policies, and devices can become interchangeable across users through permissions. Windows 10 – along with MS software – is heading towards complete virtualization of the desktop.
This would reduces time to deployment, create uniform experience across users inside of an organization, and provide a single source of truth for each employee.
Microsoft wants to take control of the professional and personal eco system. They see this in 3 tiers…
○ Office – Office 365
Managing Director of NASCAR, George Grippo, is now on stage to discuss mobility in their business. NASCAR built a custom application designed to help setup and tear down races in very quick timeframe; managing stakeholders across responsibilities in real-time. It was paramount to get end-user buy-in during development.
It wasn’t about technology for them. It was about making things more efficient. They needed to get rid of subjective paper-based mechanisms. Gathering requirements was critical to achieving proper development.
The Platform and application had to be robust. It could not be a hybrid of old models and new. They needed the new system to be all encompassing, according to Grippo. They made the critical decision that they were going to move forward; which meant holding their feet to the fire and achieving complete paperless mobility. It was successful, and now they are currently piloting Windows 10 in their business.
Transitioning to the debut of Windows 10.
Microsoft wants a singular platform. That means one store, one app model, one type of development. They are getting rid of tablet mode vs desktop mode; like in Windows 8. They are adding a new interface called, Continuum. It is designed to detect what kind of device you’re on and customize the device experience automatically without user having to drive this change. Windows 10 will also fully integrate Cortana on all devices. Users will also be able to open multiple desktops open at once so that they can now organize workspaces around different desktop setups; much like Apple does with their Mac OS.
Microsoft is unveiling a new browser inside of Windows 10, called Spartan. This new browser includes Cortana and will feature apps; much like Chrome and android marketplace. The apps now open on a desktop like an old school application; rather than a tiled standalone fashion like in Windows 8.
Windows 10 is available to demo starting this weekend.
Tuesday morning keynotes:
Early demonstrations include use cases for different roles inside of various organizations. There is a heavy emphasis on the integration and collaboration using new/upgraded tools like Power BI, Skype for Business, Yammer, and Dynamics CRM.
Below you can see one of the beautiful new dashboards inside of Power BI.
The Microsoft team is focusing heavily how many of these new products interact with the tried and true Microsoft Office tools; like Excel. Microsoft demonstrated how the new Skype for Business can be used to collaborate between teams; however it doesn’t appear much has changed from the last Lync update functionality – prior to rebranding.
Collaboration is one of the big buzzwords this weekend. Dynamics CRM is largely at the center of this. Microsoft is highlighting the integration of Yammer throughout an organization as a method for stakeholders to rally around accounts and customers inside of CRM.
Kelly’s Roofing is now on stage to discuss how a traditional small/medium business can use new Microsoft tools. They are describing mobility as a key to changing and adapting their business to modern practices. Their founder acknowledges employees don’t always use software the way it is designed, so their strategy was to fully-analyze business processes and automate practices where possible. This is a cornerstone how partners can help businesses implementing new software. Our latest case study is a great example of this…
First Look New Version of Outlook Integrating with Power BI:
Power BI Keynote:
“Microsoft has the most complete data platform on the planet”. Power BI connects data with the people who can do something with it.
Power BI dashboard example below. It is the 3rd wave of BI. Almost self service, a business user can connect to data and get insights minutes; not months.
Streaming data API allows you to analyze data in flight as it comes in. You can then store if you want or discard after it has been analyzed.
Microsoft is now showing off some very impressive 3D data representations in Power BI. See below.
Amazing demo of temperature sensor reporting data though a phone to the streaming API into Power BI to monitor temp changes in real time. See below. Very impressive.
Opening Keynote with Satya Nadella and Russell Wilson:
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, opens his keynote taking about systems of intelligence and the next evolution of computing. He is discussing going beyond a system of record towards a system of engagement. He claims that systems now understand the data and can empower users to make better decisions.
He is advocating the creation of more personal computing, reinvention of productivity, and an intelligent cloud.
Satya welcomes NFL Super Bowl champion, Russell Wilson, to the stage. Wilson – from the Seattle Seahawks – begins taking about using one note as both a personal journal and game journal. He says he will give it to his kids one day. A possible link between personal and professional integration…
New Product Announcement!
Microsoft unveils a new product called Delve. Delve appears to essentially be “Facebook for work”. Perhaps this is the next evolution of Yammer? Can these products co-exist?
Satya, continues in his opening keynote, claims machine learning will be woven into all business processes in the future. Looks like Delve is another product that works with Yammer and all other tools. Perhaps to be viewed as a an overarching layer of integration/engagement, per his theme this morning.
Satya is now using Power BI to keep an eye on leading indicators rather than lagging behind with past metrics. “You need to watch the leading indicators because looking at lagging is too late”, he proclaims.
Satya continues by announcing global availability of Delve and Power BI starting today. Power BI is an impressive new BI tool. It should find a home quickly in today’s marketplace. It uses real language for data search. A very intuitive tool.
Above you can see Accuwather Enterprise explaining pieces of the BI tool; which is used used by companies like Lowes to help sales forecasting, inventory planning and marketing. It is built using Azure. It allows for automated business processes based on weather. A interesting evolution.
The proclamation is now made that…
The system of record is ERP
The system of engagement is CRM
The system of intelligence example is Social Listening
Rockwell is now on stage. Rockwell has realtime monitoring of their customer assets using Azure. We have been talking about this internally, Rockwell can do proactive Maintenance. Announced Azure IoT suite to allow you to build solutions like the one Rockwell built. “Build a culture of empowerment, how can you use all this data and insight to improve what you do?”, Satya asks the audience.
Now moving into hotly anticipated Dynamics CRM updates.
Julia White now on stage as we move to Dynamics CRM discussions. A big emphasis on integration and smart decisions. Simple decisions leading to smart data.
Possibly, the most powerful addition this year could be how functional the integration of social elements of Microsoft products and Power BI could be with Dynamics CRM. Very impressive.
CRM now is using predictive analytics to score leads. Wow!
Cortana (the Microsoft version of Siri) is now integrated with CRM. You can tell Cortana to open an opportunity and it will. Then you can update. It appears you can speak call notes into it as well.
They haven’t discussed it much yet; however the mobile app looks very different so far.
New name for Lync is Skype for Business – which is being unveiled now. Microsoft says it is globally available today.