Cloud Platform GM Julia White talks about Microsoft’s ‘digital transformation’

Kareem Anderson

Julia White has come a long way from being the advocate of “Office everywhere” to now being the spokesperson for Microsoft everywhere. The former general manager of product marketing for Office and now current member of Microsoft’s cloud platform product marketing; White may be finding a consolidation of duties as the company bleeds more of its businesses into one neat cloud enterprise.

A couple of years ago, White took the stage with newly-minted CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, to unveil the company’s productivity presence on mobile with Office for iPad, Android and iPhone, but today White finds herself discussing the company’s presence in the cloud. In an interview on BNN, White shares some insight into how Microsoft is and will continue to help consumers navigate their digital transformations.

While in Toronto for the World Partner Conference this year, White explains that Microsoft is seeing its partners looking to make the switch from “being manufacturing to being a digital service provider of sorts”.

Julia White and Office
Julia White and Office

When asked about how businesses can use the cloud practically to transition, White uses Japan Airline’s use of the HoloLens in combination with the cloud to create training environments to help teach maintenance and fixes without putting actual employees in danger.

Inevitably, the mention of HoloLens now begs the question of use alongside the cultural Pokemon Go phenomenon and White masterfully skirts the question by refocusing on the discussion around the augmented benefit’s commercial uses it’s creating. While seemingly less attractive than map questing digital monsters, White explains that Microsoft is seeing its augmented technology being used for medical, science and industrial applications, while not ruling out the appearance of Pokemon Go for HoloLens.

Lastly, White talks about Microsoft’s own digital transition, going from a package software company to being primarily a cloud provider. While White discussed Microsoft being an example to its partners of how companies can make the change to digital, the 5000lb gorilla in the room that is Amazon, was also brought up sitting juxtapose to Microsoft’s own massive cultural and engineering shift. White once again focuses on how diversified Microsoft’s cloud offerings have been in commercial endeavors and will continue to be as it builds more of its services into a single stack cloud environment.

Just a few years ago, the connotation of the cloud was used as the butt of jokes referencing the ambiguity of its use. Now, discussions of the cloud have shifted from mere storing of information to the data pathway used to fuel innovation, create industries and enable massive transitions.