Worldwide Partner Conference day one keynote highlights Azure, cloud, HoloLens

Laurent Giret


Earlier today, Microsoft held the introducing keynote for its Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella made it clear during his introducing speech that the main theme for this three-days event would be digital transformation. But while over 85 percent of the Fortune 500 are already using the Microsoft Cloud today, Nadella explained that “every operation is going to be connected”, which means that this digital transformation is going to affect all types organizations, big or small.

On a blog post on the Official Microsoft blog, Microsoft’s new Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster added that Microsoft aims to be both a technology partner and a business partner to companies going through digital transformation. She added:

Our partners drive creative implementations of our technologies and build partnerships with each other to delivery complementary services that power new revenue streams. It’s incredible to watch our partners embrace digital transformation through Microsoft’s cloud by taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility combined with the power of intelligence and security.

To show how Microsoft’s cloud technologies can successfully empower digital transformation, Microsoft invited onstage General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt who announced a partnership that will make the company’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Microsoft Azure cloud for industrial businesses.

Predix on Azure will offer customers “the largest cloud footprint available today, along with data sovereignty, hybrid capabilities, and advanced developer and data services.” Moreover, General Electric and Microsoft also announced the upcoming integration of Predix with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence Suite and Microsoft business applications such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI, which will make it possible to connect industrial data with business processes and analytics.

Ecolab, a leading global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies is also leveraging Microsoft technologies such as Azure IoT Suite, Power BI and Dynamics 365 to help other companies reduce their water usage. By collecting and analyzing data about its worldwide customers, the company aims to conserving up to 300 billion gallons by 2030 – equaling the annual drinking needs of more than 1 billion people. You can learn more about this use case in the video below:

Lastly, Microsoft showcased today how Japan Airlines used the HoloLens mixed-reality headset to develop two proof-of-concept programs to provide training for engine mechanics and for flight crew trainees who want to be promoted to co-pilot status. Using the HoloLens, trainees will be able to see and interact with virtual cockpit devices and switches, while the headset will provide visual and voice guidance.

An airliner’s cockpit, as seen through Microsoft HoloLens (credit: Japan Airlines).
An airliner’s cockpit, as seen through Microsoft HoloLens (credit: Japan Airlines).

Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference is just getting started and Microsoft will have much more to share with its 16,000 attendees looking for guidance through their digital transformation. Stay tuned on Winbeta to learn more about the new opportunities for Microsoft’s partner community throughout the week.