Day three of WPC 2016 was the last full day of this year's event. The focus of the final keynote was on the direction of Microsoft's strategy for their forthcoming financial year, and how the evolution of technology is affecting businesses all over the globe.
The first speaker, Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, takes us back to the first industrial revolution. He explains that this came about through the manufacturing of machinery that could start to replace horses, and then shows us a real life example from the late 19th century: New York state has gone from 75% horse drawn transport to 0% in just 25 years.
Brad Smith then moves on to talk about a different sort of industrial revolution – that sort that was sparked by the personal computer. He concludes by assessing the landscape of today; physical computing such as 3D printers, advances in biological treatments and genetic engineering, and the ability to approach business problems in an entirely different way.
Tori Townes-Whitley, Microsoft's Corporate Vice-President for Worldwide Public Sector, adds to Smith's sentiments with a video on how Azure data analytics is utitlised by schools and councils across the United States to better attendance rates and improve the quality of education those children are getting. Both Smith and Townes-Whitley emphasise the power of technology and how a digital transformation should not be exclusive to multinational corporates, and the Worldwide Partner Group's Corporate Vice-President Gavriella Schuster concludes with her view that driving digital change is the only way forward for partners and organisations across the globe.
After the keynote, our Managing Director, Terry Doherty, spoke for the second time about our experience offering remote support to businesses in the travel sector – specifically cruise ships – and his insight was again well received by fellow Partners. The unique story of remote support continues to differentiate us from even some of the most well recognised partners in the UK, and we were delighted to have conversations with the people in those companies about just how important it is to offer your customers an unlimited service in today's digital world.
The final session of WPC 2016 was James Whittaker's presentation on the 'Seven Steps to Creativity'. Dr Whittaker enthralled his capacity audience with a superbly thought out presentation on the keys to being creative, and left an inspired feeling amongst those who witnessed it about what was possible for the businesses they work to improve.
Microsoft are rightly focused on improving lives through technology, and helping businesses to better their daily processes by using technology to make them more efficient. As a Certified Gold Partner, we are right at the forefront of these new developments and we work closely with Microsoft's Partner Team to ensure that we're doing all we can to bring our customers the best possible opportunities. We can't wait to see what WPC 2017 has in store for us, and we're looking forward to measuring the digital progress of partners as year from now.