Microsoft Decoded

hololens

Editors Ian Hunter and David Dungay headed out to the Excel last month for the two day Microsoft Decoded event to hear and see their views on how the market is likely to change over the next couple of years.

Microsoft believes that whilst disruption is imminent for a wide range of industries, the shelf life of current business models is also extremely limited – nearly half of UK business leaders (44%) say their existing business models will cease to exist within the next five years.

“The dawn of the fourth industrial revolution is a massive opportunity for British businesses but many are still living in an age of innocence or inertia when they need to be innovating,” says Nicola Hodson, General Manager, Marketing & Operations, Microsoft UK.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-11-56-37Against this backdrop Microsoft held a two-day ‘Microsoft Decoded’ event in London last month spending half their time on Business opportunities and the remainder on the Technology.

The idea behind the keynotes was to have senior Microsoft management outline their vision and solutions and then share the stage with enterprise customers that have implemented those solutions.

For example, we had Hayden Stafford, Vice President of Microsoft Dynamics Global Sales, deliver their strategies for intelligent business applications and digital transformation and the unveiling to the UK market of Microsoft Dynamics 365 followed by customer Richard Barton, Group Customer Capability Executive at Rolls Royce.

Proponents of digital transformation stress that that a key element for success lies within the business so I was interested to see a session entitled ‘Culture Eats Technology for Breakfast – Achieving Business Change through End-User Adoption’.

Quote a mouthful to eat there but in essence Microsoft was saying that IT solutions are envisioned to change how we do business but we need to plan to change technology-associated behaviours too if we are to reap the benefits from our investments.

In corpspeak: ‘a glimpse of what you should plan for and the techniques and resources available to achieve true and sustainable business change’.

Technical Day

The Future Decoded 2016 Technical Day was about providing a roadmap to the future that is anchored in the reality of what a developer or IT professional can achieve today.

Here the keynotes hinted at where the industry is going while technical break out tracks dug in to what’s already available today in modern languages, platforms, frameworks and tools.

Microsoft looked at how ever more intelligent services and devices are transforming our relationship with technology to one where some of our core, human abilities are being understood and added to by intelligent software.

The company says that artificial intelligence is increasingly helping us to see, to decide, to predict, to make more and more and as if to prove the point, in a ‘bees round the honeypot’ moment, you could just not get a go on their new Hololens VR application for the swarm of visitors unless you joined a long line.
Microsoft says HoloLens is the first fully self-contained holographic computer running Windows 10. It is completely self-contained-no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to place holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see your world. The demonstration was backed up with a mixed reality primer and an overview of the available tools and documentation to quick start holographic application development. You can see video of real life apps on the Microsoft web site.

Ed Says… Released at the same time, Microsoft produced an interesting and informative white paper on how they see the market being disrupted and how digital transformation will impact business over the coming years. Microsoft Decoded was a valuable insight in to the future as they see it and is recommended if you happen to see other similar events taking place