The answer might just surprise you. Having just come back from Microsoft Worldwide partner conference in Toronto I’d like to share something that happened during the keynote on the second day when Tim Campos, CIO of Facebook was being interviewed. Seeing Microsoft and Facebook share a stage is noteworthy enough but it was a sentence at the end of the video presentation which stood out for me.
“Why did we choose Office 365? It’s because of Microsoft. They are cool again.”
The last part of that sentence sums up both the event and Microsoft as an organisation today for me. As you would expect at such an event, Microsoft took the opportunity to demonstrate some impressive innovations including the HoloLens – which has found one of its first applications with Japan airlines to train staff in complex engineering and safety scenarios and is breeding a whole new generation of mixed reality applications.
For us in Fujitsu End User Services there is plenty to think about. Not least the announcement that Microsoft will be expanding their subscription options to include Windows 10 and Surface Devices. For our customers this means they will be able to get devices, an Operating System and office productivity tools through a single per user, per month subscription cost. Linked to Fujitsu’s Workplace Anywhere opex model for management and support of enterprise devices this becomes a powerful financial model that breaks the old rules of up front investment and licence tie in.
When you add in Fujitsu’s ground breaking approach to Hybrid IT, allowing our customers to maximise the value of their existing investments, take advantage of multiple cloud providers and avoid the constrictions of legacy applications through virtualisation we have a truly flexible approach to the opportunities arising from the new announcements.
Reassuringly, the Fujitsu vision of Human Centric Innovation and end user centric workplace services is very much in line with Microsoft’s own “making personal computing more personal” message. Many of the initiatives we are bringing to market, for example end user analytics, enhanced collaboration and cloud based workplace services are all part of Microsoft’s roadmap, and our own. It is these initiatives and innovations from Fujitsu working with Microsoft and our other partners that will realise our vision and really enhance the end user experience in the years ahead.
One thing that was obvious from the show was the pace of change in both the end user space and the industry generally – and its continued acceleration. Over two hundred partners were present on the Commons (i.e. exhibition) floor and there were very few names that I recognised (and that’s with over twenty five years’ experience in the industry). This new wave of Microsoft partners are all about innovation in cloud services. They may be making O365 more user centric (e.g. Valo Intranet http://www.valointranet.com/ – which is part owned by Fujitsu and was very popular at the show), they may be making cloud data more secure, offering enhancements specific to certain industries or providing services that ease the pain of migration and data management in the cloud. These companies are small, agile and have a vision on how to maximise the value of cloud services for their customers and we are really pleased to be expanding our ecosystem with some of them to enhance our own services. Blending their talented people and vision with our own to create ever better solutions for our customers worldwide.
If there’s one overriding message from WPC 2016 it is that Microsoft are “cool again”. We at Fujitsu look forward to working with them, and our other “cool” partners, to delight our customers.