Speech Transcript – Jeff Raikes, .NET Briefing Day

Remarks by Jeff Raikes
.NET Briefing Day
Redmond, Washington
July 24, 2002

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Group Vice President for Productivity and Business Services for the Microsoft Corporation Jeff Raikes.


JEFF RAIKES: Well, I hope you’ve had a good day so far. And you know, we do a .NET strategy briefing, and the market is up 500 points. You guys, lighten up, would you?


So Jim talked about the importance of building a solid foundation. In fact, he used this metaphor of the apartment building and it worried me a little bit because it made me think that I’m going to be up here viewed as the interior decorator, because I’m talking about the user experience.

Now, as I do that, I actually was thinking about some of the challenge, and, in fact, I see some of the challenge in how this whole direction of .NET and XML Web services is currently covered in the press.

You know, if you think about a historical analogy you might think about the time period of 1990 and reading about event loop programming. I’m not sure how many of you would even remember that period of time, but that was a time where our industry was making an important transition and the discussion was about even loop programming, and, in fact, I’m sure there were probably people who wrote about that in 1990 and said, “Well, there’s a lot of talk about event loop programming but little has come to pass.”

But, in fact, there was a lot that was underway. There was a lot that was happening and that was the time period, of course, of the introduction of the Windows 3.0 platform and it led to that new enhanced user experience, the graphical user interface.

And so while under the covers the programming model and the direction that that was taking may not have seemed like there was a lot coming to pass, in fact, we’re here today in a similar situation where, in fact, the opportunity of XML Web services is beginning to permeate not only how we create software but how it begins to really enhance the user experience, which is what we saw in the years succeeding the introduction of the Windows 3.0 platform.

And so that’s really my task today. My task today is to give you a sense of the areas in which XML Web service are really coming into that user experience and in particular I’ve been asked to do that a little bit in the context of consumer but in particular in the context of information work.

So the real opportunity here, as we like to say, is how we can realize potential for opportunities in the digital decade, and I like to think of three core areas of opportunity.

One, of course, is productivity. A big part of my title here at Microsoft is to think about the productivity of tools that are applied to information work, how we can create an ecosystem of personal, corporate and beyond corporate productivity that brings people and process and data in organizations together. So that’s one of my key themes for the day.

A second, of course, is communications. With the convergence of audio and video and the network and what we can do with software in that context we can really extend the opportunities of communications into a much deeper, much richer form for collaboration.

And, of course, and especially in a consumer context is the opportunity to build on these technologies and provide a much richer experience and one that spans devices.

So as I begin this discussion of how we’re advancing the user experience as it relates to XML Web services I want to emphasize some of the technology trends that you heard about today, because they’re clearly very important to what it means in each of these segments or each of these opportunities.

One of the first examples is the proliferation of smart, connected devices. We use to think of the platform for productivity or the platform for the consumer experience really as being the PC and, of course, the PC continues to be central but we have to think about the desktop, the laptop, the tablet PC, the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, the smart phone, what somebody might be using in their automobile, an Internet kiosk. It’s really the combination of those devices that now has become the platform for, in an information work case, productivity.

The conversion of analog media to digital media: I referenced the notion of audio, video and the network coming together into a converged platform for communication, and of course that’s being extended by broadband and wireless connectivity, and a big theme here today is the improved software experience and in particular what we can do using the XML Web services direction as a part of that.

Now, I briefly want to touch on how that comes together in the consumer world. Jim did an excellent job of showing you some of the important developments, for example, the Windows Media Center. I’m not doing a demo of the tablet PC today. I’ll be doing that tomorrow. We’ve been using them here internally, but those are great examples. Recently I’ve been using the Pocket PC Phone Edition, and so the experience is being extended to the combination of these devices and in particular in a way that provides for a much more consistent, much more personalized experience across the devices.

And that opens up the opportunity for new scenarios like how we can now much more easily share photos and other things via the sharing of digital media, or as you see with some of the technology, the way in which Freestyle, or Windows Media Center, is going for home management.

Now, here is an example of a very important announcement that we made last week that signifies the step forward in the consumer direction. This is MSN 8. We announced it last week. It will debut this fall. And it builds on many of the elements that were touched on earlier, for example, the importance of having the right authentication. We want to make sure that there is much more of a sense of online safety, and that’s really been emphasized within MSN 8 and it pulls together these kinds of capabilities into a subscription service that can be used broadband, narrowband or with any Internet Service Provider and also it’s a great example of Smart Client because it begins to give some of that experience in an offline form as well as the online form, for example, in the case of e-mail or Hotmail.

So building on these kinds of building blocks like Passport for authentication and on some of the XML Web services capabilities that were mentioned earlier, MSN 8 is an important step forward in terms of that consumer experience and it gives you an indication of how we can build on these capabilities for that purpose.

In particular today, though, I’ve been asked to focus in on the area of information work. We think that in the heritage of our company, the way in which we worked on Windows and Office, that’s been very central to the kind of value we’ve seen in the last two decades for people in the context of information work; but again, of course, we’re at a point in time where there’s been a lot of progress, a lot of value created but there are still opportunities that are unfulfilled and there are new challenges that have come to the forefront because of the advances that we’ve seen.

For example, today companies have invested very substantially in systems, whether it be SAP, R3 or Siebel or other Customer Relationship Management systems or supply chain management, a lot of investment that’s produced a lot of data but the people who are using office tools aren’t as easily connected to those disconnected islands of data as they would like to be.

Similarly, another key challenge is how we get the tools that information workers use connected to business processes, a very, very important part of the opportunity to create that end-to-end sense of supporting a process.

And while work culture has changed dramatically in the last ten years, the number of people who are working across organizational boundaries and virtual teams or across geographic boundaries or across company boundaries, the tools that we provide today aren’t yet as effective as they need to be in getting people connected, that real sense of deep collaboration.

And while it’s been wonderful that we have access to a broad range of information and that we can bring it up on the Internet or our corporate intranet or that we can communicate from electronic mail, clearly many customers, many of you, many of us feel that sense of information and e-mail fatigue, sometimes the overwhelming volume, sometimes the frustration or the inconvenience to get the information you need when you need it, and that then leads to another key customer concern is ineffective us of technology, making the investment but how do you really make the investments pay off.

Well, from our viewpoint in really thinking about the opportunities of technology within this context we see these challenges as the opportunity to have another significant wave of increase in productivity.

In fact, back at Fall Comdex, Bill as a part of his keynote said that in this decade he predicted that we could provide over twice the improvement in productivity as we did during the 1990s. And that’s a very tall order. That means we have to think very carefully about how we build on the foundation that Jim laid out, about how we take advantage of the themes that Bill referenced during this digital decade.

And in the context of information work I think there are three core pillars to this opportunity: Serving a broader audience, creating new customer values through innovation and then, of course, helping customers realize that business value.

So that’s really the primary theme of my presentation today in the context of our .NET strategy briefing, how is it that we can make sure that we deliver on these three core areas.

You’ll notice that I tend to talk about information work and that’s not because I don’t believe in knowledge work as Peter Drucker defined it, but one of my big concerns is that giving the major advances, the incredible advances of our industry in opening up the opportunities of computing to a broad range of people, it turns out that who we are really serving is broader than that traditional definition of knowledge work. Knowledge work represents that important sort of high value proposition of information work, a very, very important concept, but it turns out that if you were to go to a hospital CEO or perhaps an airline CEO and say, you know, are your nurses knowledge workers, are your pilots knowledge workers, the answer may not be yes. It very likely might be no if they understood that Drucker definition. However, in reality today we are seeing people use digital tools as a part of how they get their work done.

So an information worker — or being involved in information work — is anybody who is an active participant in a business information flow or business information process, and that we view as part of the bigger opportunity that we have during this decade.

Another very important area for us to focus in on is information work. This is what you might think of as sort of a generic model of information work: You do it every day. We do it every day. Our customers do it every day. They need to access information. They need to absorb it. They have to collaborate with others. They’re authoring content. They’re taking decisions and taking action. They’re broadly communicating.

And the key question in this context is what will be the significant advances that occur during this decade, if you look at the opportunities in the technology, what will happen.

We’re already seeing some good examples. We’ve already seen the portal technology can really help people improve their access to information and now also access to people by identifying expertise in a given category of information work or knowledge production.

In the area of absorbing information, we’re seeing with the tablet and the improvement of being able to read on screen that people will begin to change their reading habits and be able to electronically annotate and share that content with others.

With advances that we’re seeing in business intelligence we’ll improve the way in which people can be connected to information and then do the kind of analysis that will make a difference for faster, better decisions.

When you have the audio and the video and the network coming together it will change the way in which people can communicate and collaborate so we dramatically improve how we support meetings as an example, one of the areas that is relatively under-served in terms of software enhancement for information work.

In terms of authoring, the advent of the tablet or pen and electronic ink, supported with handwriting recognition, speech and voice recognition, that’s going to have a positive impact on what people can do for authoring content and sharing that content.

So in our model these are all examples of opportunities for creating new customer value in the context of information work, and so what we’re trying to do here today is to drill in a little bit and give you examples of how XML Web services are supporting the opportunity for us to deliver on this kind of value.

Now, my three key themes relate to productivity applications, business applications and collaboration solutions, and in particular what I’m going to do is I’m going to use this as a framework to share with you some of the things that we’re doing in each of these areas as well as how we can bring them together in order to improve on productivity.

For example, in the area of productivity direction we see significant opportunities to improve the ability for people to get rapid insight into business data and in particular by doing a better job of getting business systems connected you’ll see in some of the work that we’re doing, some of the work our partners are doing the way in which XML Web services are facilitating this. It provides key capabilities like supporting the complete range of information work. If you think about that model that I shared earlier you’ll see various people in the industry focusing in on a piece but the real opportunity, from our viewpoint, is to think of the opportunity of information work holistically providing the depth but also the connection throughout that model.

Part of that is improved access to data, XML Web services as a way to make the data that exists within those organizations, those disconnected islands of data more accessible and then use the XML intelligence as a way to provide for better analytical tools.

And another key capability is for people to use the tools that they are most familiar with, commonly used tools like Microsoft Office, as the smartest client for being able to connect in to that information.

So one very good example of this is what we are doing in the way of Web services for Office XP. Back in January we announced a Web services toolkit version 1.0 and since its debut just, what, seven months ago we’ve had more than 40,000 downloads from our Web site of the Office XP Web services toolkit.

So you may wonder, are people actually taking advantage of Web services, looking at what they’re doing, delivering real solutions. The answer is absolutely yes. That is the most popular development tool for Office developers in the complete history of Microsoft Office.

And we’re excited to be announcing version 2.0. We’re building on the early adoption, getting the feedback and recognizing some of the opportunities that we have ahead.

And so one of the key things I wanted to do today in the context of productivity directions is to give you an example of how we’re using Office as a very smart client to Web services as a way to deliver on some of these productivity opportunities the integration and connection of data across the organization.

So I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Anders Brown to the stage as he gives you a picture. Anders?


ANDERS BROWN: Hi, Jeff. Thank you, everyone.

Well, as Jeff said, we’re very excited about this concept of Office as a smart client to the world of XML Web services that developers are building today. If you think about it, the majority of the industry, including Microsoft and Sun and IBM, everyone in this game is actually focused very much on the infrastructure and the plumbing, the developer experience of how do I build and deploy an XML Web service or the IT experience of how do I manage these Web services once I’ve built them and this is a critical thing to focus on to really deliver on the vision of breaking down the barriers between businesses.

But we think there’s a great opportunity to take this same infrastructure and actually let that data flow that we’ve exposed as Web services to the people in a company and so we’re as equally focused on the information worker experience around XML Web services and how very common tools, things like Office will integrate with XML Web services to really break down the barriers of those disconnected data sets that Jeff had talked about and the people in a company that people need access to that information and need to act on that information to ultimately drive businesses forward.

So what I want to do, Jeff, today is actually show a demonstration of a sample solution that we’ve built with the Office XP Web services toolkit version 2.0 that’s launching today, and I’m going to work on your behalf here and we’re looking at an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll assume you’re doing some business review here against the customer name, Trey Research, and you actually just want to enter some historical sales data.

And if you think about it today, this is actually a fairly challenging task to do. Jeff would have to go find the location of where this data was in the network someplace and then understand what data is available, so what are the inputs to the queries, what are the outputs of these queries, and then once he gets raw data onto his desktop he’d have to manipulate that and configure it the way he wants.

Well, with Office as a smart client, all Jeff would do is go to Excel, select “My Data”, “Web Service Connector”, “Show” and Jeff would see a very business focused, friendly list of Web service data that’s then made available to him inside of his company.

A few things to point out here: One, it’s smart about Jeff’s company. It actually knew where the data lived and went ahead and pre-configured those connections.

The second thing is it’s very smart about Jeff. It’s associated Jeff to the executive staff profile and only presented Jeff the data that has been made available to people associated with that particular profile.

So it’s been very smart so far about the company and about Jeff.

Now, Jeff, we want to put in some customer data, so I’m going to select this customer order history Web service that’s been made available and I’m going to select this and I have three options: chart, list and pivot tables. So now Excel is actually smart about itself. It understands that it has the notion of a pivot table and a chart as a way to render data. These are things that only makes sense when a user is involved in the Web service equation here.

Let’s go ahead and select pivot table and this will bring up a list of customers, so it knows the input to the service is a customer. It’s pre-populated the list so I’ll just type in Trey Research as the one that we want. I’ll select okay and now Excel made the Web service call, brought the XML back, sliced and diced it and turned it into a pivot table on behalf of Jeff.

Now what Jeff could do is just go ahead and start working with this like any other local dataset that he might have available that he would have gotten some other way. But now we’ve done a lot of the work on his behalf using Office as a smart client.

Let’s say now, Jeff, you actually want to put in a chart. Just go back to “My Data”, select “Show”, select “Chart”. Now, this is the same Web service so the input is the same, hit return, and now that same dataset has been rendered as a chart. So using the same Web service, same XML in, same XML out, but we’ve taken advantage of this local processing power and rendered the data appropriately based on the underlying capabilities.

Let’s see what that might look like in Word. So let’s say you did the analysis, now you’re very excited, you want to send out a memo to your internal executive staff congratulating them. Select “My Data”, “Web Service Connector”, “Show”. We can drill right into that same Web service and now you have the notion of a table, because Word has the underlying capabilities of rendering data in a table.

Go ahead and select this, again type in the same customer name, hit return; now Word is making the call, grabbing the XML data, bringing it back and rendering it as a table on Jeff’s behalf. So we think it’s a great example of the user experience when we can actually connect the users, the ones making decisions in a company to all this infrastructure that’s exposing their data as XML Web services.

So this is very much the end user experience. Now let’s say we actually built a new service inside of our company and we wanted to associate that with a role. We’ve built an illustrated prototype to give you an idea of what that experience might look like.

I’m going to open up a Web page here and I see all the Web services that are available inside my company. So we’re going to assume a developer built a new one and add that and associate it with Jeff.

I’m going to add a new action. It asks me for the location of this Web Service Description Language file.

Now, remember this fully defines the Web service, so what are the inputs and what are the outputs. So the wizard would go locate that service on the network and then bring back the methods available and it would tell me that if you wanted to add customer order history by time, which is a Web method available, it actually has these inputs that are required. So we’ll add that one, Jeff. I’ll click Next.

Now, it knows because there’s a user looking at this data it needs friendly names. So it’s taken a best cut here at those based on what was in that file, but I know we used start date and end date, so we’ll just change those, click next.

Now it says what category do you want to assign that to that the use will see. We’ll select customers.

Now it asks well what target application and action do you want to apply to that data. Well, I know actually that shape of that information actually would be best rendered as a pivot table. I’ll click next. What some default formatting you want to apply to the use? I’ll go ahead and select purple hue as the option.

And now it says what users or groups do you want to assign that to. So here we’re actually trying to map Web service datasets to people inside the company. Now, I’m going to go ahead and select just executive staff because I know you’re a part of that role already and click submit.

So now we’ve fully defined who should have access to it and what can they do with that particular dataset.

Let’s go ahead and close this down. If we can go back to Excel and if I bring open the Web service connector I’ll show it. Notice under customers, which was the category, we only had three Web services. I’ll just simply select “Refresh” and now Jeff has instant one-click access to that Web service. It’s been told that he can render it as a pivot table and you’ll see these friendly names we put into the wizard now persisted to his user experience, and he can go ahead and just use this like any other Web service we did before.

So we think this is a great example, when we take the infrastructure that the industry is building out and let that data flow to the user, the people making decisions, driving businesses forward, I think this is a great example of what their experience might be like with Office as a smart client.


JEFF RAIKES: : Great. Thanks, Anders. Super job.


So Anders helped me really demonstrate one of the key points that I’ll want to make today about the user experience. As you could see in that demo, opening up Office as a very smart client to connect to Web services is a way to help people have access to the islands of data throughout their organization.

Yesterday, Steve Ballmer and I were meeting with the CEO of one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world and some of the members of theirs, the senior executive on their sales staff and the senior IT person, and this was the number one issue that they wanted to figure out how to solve. They said where they have a rich amount of information but how is it that we can help them have access to that information and in particular the users being able to have the ability to drill down and evaluate the information, being able to use the Office tools, the rich visualization capabilities within Office and Microsoft Data Analyzer, connected to their datasets, represented at Web services. That’s the solution.

We’ve already seen that at one of the large automobile manufacturers. They’re using it as a way to have access to their quarterly financial information to improve the ability for their financial team to be able to support the businesses.

So in short, great examples of using XML Web services as a way to enhance the experience.

And that, of course, is just one of the examples of the significant investments that we’re making in XML throughout the Office product line. During the next five years we’ll spend a few billion dollars, a few billion dollars continuing to advance Microsoft Office and in particular in this context as a smart client. That means that then it will be a foundation for how we can do innovations in meetings, support new form factors and new media like the ability to do note-taking and to continue to advance the way in which people use Office for personal information.

Recently we announced the next major step forward in Microsoft Office, which is the availability of Office 11 about a year from now.

Well, one of the things I want to do to extend on what we’ve just seen is to go ahead and bring up another demo. In this particular case I wanted to give you a sense of what we’re doing in the way of business process. In this situation I want you to think of me as a sales representative. My name is Neil, Neil Charney. I’m a pharmaceutical representative for Kontosa Pharmaceuticals. And one of the things that we want to do in my company is we want to improve the time to responsiveness, not just in a customer service sense but also in the sense of being able to improve the way in which we feed information into the product development team in order to shorten the product development cycle and be more responsive in product developments and what we’re seeing in customer situations.

Here’s a great example of using XML technology in really a new form for information work. What I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and bring up my progress report. Now, this looks just like a Word document but, in fact, it’s actually not a Word document; its’ a very intelligent document based on XML.

For example, when I go ahead and begin to enter the name of the company, I can use the smart completion capability. This button here, Retrieve Company Data, is a way for me to access an XML Web service that populates the core information about Trey Research. So it uses the XML description here of the company, the XML-based description of the company and then grabs the overall description from the database, it grabs the product sales information. I have the ability to do comments in not just the simple form but I can do my comments in a very rich form and again this is tagged information. This is all within an XML framework so that information is quite rich.

Now, as I mentioned, one of the key elements of what we have to do at Kontosa is to provide the right kind of feedback into product development. And it turns out that Trey Research focusing in on muscle reconstruction is a high priority piece of feedback to feed into product development. And you’ll notice again, because of the XML intelligence of the document, I’m able to highlight that as a point.

So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to go ahead and save this form and I’m going to go back to the portal and I’m going to switch roles. Imagine that I am Neil’s manager and as Neil’s manger, also the manager of Sam and Nina, one of my key responsibilities is to look over all the progress reports, provide coaching to them as the manager, but also to aggregate the important items that I would want to share with product development.

Now, again because these are XML intelligent documents I have new capabilities. I can do ahead and I can combine these documents and when I do that it uses that XML structure of those documents to combine them together in a very intelligent fashion.

So here when I see Trey Research I see not only the products that Neil was responsible for but also the products that Nina was responsible for. I see Neil’s comments and Nina’s comments. Down here under Adventure Works I see the comments from the sales representative as well as the product information from those companies and throughout the report.

Now, of course, this is the opportunity for me to get the complete picture of these progress reports but actually what I want to do is I want to shorten the amount of time that it takes for me to take out the high priority items and share that with my colleagues in product development. And you’ll notice again because of the XML intelligence it’s able to use this schema and then grab the most important information, the actions that are high priority as well as the sales information that would be relevant to those people in product development reviewing this information.

So there’s an excellent example of where we can use XML within the context of the fundamental tools of information work as a way to really improve business process.

And that then leads into the next scenario: Collaboration. You know, if you think about the challenges that businesses have today, one of the key ones is the ability to rapidly or quickly bring, improve the time to competence.

If you go back to the 1950s the average tenure for a given role or position within a career was about 20 years. That has dropped down to about 3.2 years. It means that people change roles very rapidly. It’s a very expensive process to bring in new people or take existing people and bring them up to speed.

So how is it that we use information tools in order to improve employee ramp-up, be resilient to turnover as well as to make sure that you have the security of knowledge capital, not only in the sense of avoiding people hacking into your information, which is, of course, very important, but also making sure that when people walk out the door you don’t lose that sense of best practices or that sense of the knowledge of how to get things done.

So within this context of leveraging XML Web services our opportunity is to provide key capabilities like personalizing the user experience, having the deep integration of the portal with the collaborative sites within the organization, having the deep connection with Microsoft Office, the commonly used tools for people doing information work with that infrastructure and then support that within a mainstream developer environment.

So there’s a good set of challenges for us to deliver on and that brings me to the next demo here.

I’ll show this quickly. This is the next generation of our portal technology and it shows the personalization, something that, of course, all of you expect, you want to be able to have the news that’s relevant to you, my role in the company as a pharmaceutical sales rep and in particular my responsibility relative to Pentacell. And here I can have a team site that is set up. I have access to the people who are important to me.

We are using the search technology and XML descriptions of experts within the organization as well as information to be able to have access to things that are most relevant to me as a user.

Similarly, we can use XML based technologies to rapidly set up collaborative sites.

One of the things that we’re quite excited about in this context, which Jim mentioned earlier, is SharePoint Team Services becoming a fundamental part of Windows .NET Server. In doing that then we provide the platform for a great developer environment as well as a great user environment to extend collaboration.

And I want to give you a good example of how we can work with our partners to extend the collaboration.

I’m going to go ahead and switch over to explain to you some of the work that we’re doing with Groove Networks.

Now, many of you know about Groove. Groove was founded by Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes, and he is, of course, known for developing great user experience as well as taking advantage of platform technologies to extend that user experience.

The key theme of Groove is to provide for the support of collaborative workspaces, the ability for people to collaborate, in particular, in a peer-to-peer environment that crosses organizational boundaries, sort of a knowledge worker or information worker supply chain, if you will.

And one of the reasons why Groove has become popular with key customers that want to extend that supply chain of information work is their ability to go through firewalls, which, of course, was based on their support of XML Web services as well as their ability to support offline as well as online scenarios.

Well, recently Groove announced that they are going to take the capability of Groove Workspaces as a way to enhance what people can do with SharePoint Team Services sites.

Here I have a SharePoint site that Neil Charney has created and one of the things that I want to do is I want to extend this site to my customers, Neil’s customers.

Now, Groove announced that they can create a capability that extends the SharePoint Team Services sites and they’re going to be introducing that this fall. And so what I’m doing is I’m going and I’m using Groove to in effect do a replication and then synchronization of the SharePoint Team Services site and that uses Groove as a way to extend that outside of my organization, and, in fact, now at the customer site I have the ability to access the SharePoint Team Services site and, of course, to have that kind of synchronization.

For example, let’s say I want to go and I want to add some information to the site. Neil wants to, we’re going to put in document about Pentacell, the new drug that Neil is responsible for selling, and we’ve put that information on the SharePoint Team Services site within the organization, within Kontosa, and, in fact, if I go to the home page you’ll see it there on the home page but Groove uses XML Web services throughout their programming model and one of the things then that happens it he synchronization and there you see the Pentacell update right on the customer site, which is hosted in Groove.

Similarly, I might be working offline and have my SharePoint Team Services site with me in the context of Groove and let’s say that I have some important new information. We’ve just gotten in the updates on the Pentacell trials.

And I’m going to go ahead and add that from Groove as a new discussion, so I’m doing that from either outside the corporation or offline and you’ll notice that when I go to the SharePoint Team Services site within my organization and check the discussion board you’ll see that the Pentacell trial update is now posted as part of the discussion.

So there’s a great example of a partner, Groove Networks, who has deeply focused in on XML Web services, in fact, by doing that they now have the ability to begin to open up the capabilities of Groove to others as XML Web services. They demonstrated that last fall when they showed a Pocket PC accessing a Groove collaborative workspace by leveraging the XML Web services capabilities from within a Groove collaborative space.

So there’s a good example of what can be possible by companies working together using XML Web services as the foundation.

The third key pillar that I want to emphasize is business applications, because again we nee to bring together productivity, collaboration and business applications.

The opportunities include having a much deeper understanding of the business, being able to dig into the information to improve the velocity and quality of decision-making by having access to the right information at the right time and thus improving collaboration across the ecosystem, not only the people within my organization but the partners that I work with.

So we have to provide some key capabilities, the ability to have a 360-degree view of the business, the ability to support business process automation and in particular to get those applications that exist within an organization connected together using XML Web services as a way to get those various business process applications connected together.

Again, people want the ability to use Office tools as a way to integrate into those business process applications for their productivity, providing the kind of intrinsic business solution integration that we need.

So what we want to do next is to show you how you can use XML Web services as a way to piece business applications together to provide that kind of an end-to-end business solution, and to do that I’d like to welcome David Thacher. Hi, David.

DAVID THACHER : Hi, Jeff. Thank you.

JEFF RAIKES: Great to have you.

DAVID THACHER : Thank you.

As many of you know, lack of integration has been a key issue with a lot of CRM installations and that’s integration at the desktop level, it’s integration between business solutions, it’s integration between businesses; that lack, keeping information from flowing freely, keeping the businesses from realizing the full opportunity they have with CRM.

So what I want to show today is how XML Web services can address that, and I’ll do it in the context of this scenario, a large enterprise, A-Datum, working within itself to do better integration and working with its partners, in this case we’ll focus on Kontosa, Ltd, to work on leads and close leads, turn a lead into a sale, all based on the use of XML Web services.

So let me switch here and bring up my Siebel system. And what they’re doing here at A- Datum is using Siebel for marketing automation. They’re running marketing campaigns and generating leads.

Here you see a number of leads generated out of our marketing campaigns, all leads related to our products but leads that need to be closed by our channel partners.

So what’s going to happen is all this information is going to be transferred automatically to my partner manager, who works with our channel partners, and he’s using Allegis, so let me bring over here a lead list. We’re going to take a look at the leads in Allegis and we have 160 leads here you see and I’m going to look at those and here are the same leads that you saw in Siebel, all that information packaged up as XML, transferred with XML Web services.

So let me go ahead and send some of these to our partners and get that business closed. So I’ll select some of those and I’ll offer it. Offering it means sending it out to the partners. I could choose who to send it to but in this case I’ll use an automated distribution and that’s a distribution based on account affinity, coverage, performance, various factors that I use to decide which of the partners get the leads.

So I’ll go ahead and finish that and send this out.

The information is sent and first delivered in Siebel, pushed over to my Allegis system between our departments, now being sent to another company using XML Web services.

So let’s flip to that other company, Kontosa. As I mentioned, they’re using Microsoft CRM because it’s a mid-market solution for their needs and because it has the integration they need.

The first order of integration you see right here is integration within Outlook and what you’re seeing here if you look on the left here, accounts, competitors, leads, opportunities, products, all the information I need in the CRM system to do sales force automation, fully available to my sales reps within Outlook.

Right now you can see right in my inbox I have e-mail from Sandra at A-Datum and it’s telling me I have a lead. In this business environment of course I’m going to accept that lead and what’s happened is all that information that was packaged up in XML, transferred via XML Web services has now been pushed into my Microsoft CRM installation. The CRM has brought forward a lead management screen here and you can see how productive one single click of my sales rep, all the data was first developed in Siebel, transferred to Allegis is now here for me. I don’t have to go and add anything; it’s all there.

One exception, credit rating: We always check credit rating. I’m going to use another XML Web service, in this case because we subscribe to a service that Info USA provides to provide credit ratings, so let’s go up here and get a credit rating. The data about this lead is being sent to Info USA. They’re checking against their records. They’ve sent me back a credit rating, B+. That’s good. We’ll go ahead with this business and right away I’d get on the phone and start working this account.

If I talk to the account and they tell me not only do they have good credit but they’re willing to spend their money now, I’m going to go ahead and start working this. And the way I do that is taking a lead and pushing it into my system. What that means is taking the raw data in there and building the records I need to manage this opportunity and the long-term relationship with this account, so taking the information about the company, turning it into an account, information about the person I’m working with, turning it into a contact record, and information about this particular opportunity for an opportunity record.

Let’s go ahead and do that. Again, I’m not doing very much and all that data is being shoved in and pushed in the right places so we can manage this relationship on a long-term basis.

We’ve now moved from a lead to an opportunity. We’re looking at this opportunity. As soon as it’s an opportunity that kicks off the workflow that my company can use based on Microsoft CRM to work a lead, to use standard business processes to make sure that we use the best practices that we know of to convert leads to sales.

So I’d go ahead and save this with one exception. When I talk to the account they ask for a discount based on the volume. And we do have discounts based on volume and I’m going to go ahead and open this and get a new special pricing here. And what we see is we drop the price from 13,000 before to about 10,000 based on this new special pricing.

But we share in that discount with our supplier, A-Datum, so behind the scenes what the automation has done is once again packaged up the information, this time packaged up with a request for authorization of that special pricing and sent it off to A-Datum.

So let me save this and then let me flip back to A-Datum and take a look in their Allegis again and let me go to the dashboard here and do my special pricing and I have a pending approval and there you see the approval that I was asked for at Kontosa has now arrived up to A-Datum, A-Datum is able to look at it, see all that same information, go ahead and approve it based on knowing that this is a good opportunity and we should go ahead and do it.

What happens now is that information is automatically recorded, of course, in this Allegis system, it’s sent back to my marketing department so they can keep track of what’s happening with the leads they’re generating and, of course, it’s sent down to my channel partner and we go back there and look and what you see is an e-mail has arrived telling me that the special pricing is approved. That information also again comes by XML Web services. It’s then pushed into my Microsoft CRM system and it’s kicked off more business automation, for example, perhaps sending out the invoice right away to the customer so they can go ahead with the order.

So it’s a quick view of how XML Web services allowed me to take information, move it between systems in a company, move it between companies, but even more importantly it’s about how my business processes have been expanded. I’ve taken a business process of converting a lead to a sale, I’ve taken a business process of offering special pricing and having it approved and expanded those beyond my corporate confines to span multiple companies working together and that’s the richness and the power that XML integration can bring.

Thank you.

JEFF RAIKES: Great. Thanks, David. That was super.

So as David says, that gives you a picture of using XML Web services in the context of business applications but really extending them across the complete business process. A small company, the partner that’s trying to take advantage of that opportunity, is not going to be able to implement a system as large as Siebel. They can use Microsoft CRM but they want to make sure that their system integrates in and so using XML Web services provides that kind of a connection, not only across the business applications but also into the collaborative environment, in this case based around Microsoft Outlook.

So in enabling information work again I think today we’ve touched on three core themes: Productivity applications, business applications, collaboration solutions, the depth of what’s possible by supporting XML Web services within each of those contexts but then also how it brings them together.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, my responsibility today was to bring us beyond the opportunity of using XML Web services within the context of the programming model, sort of that historical analogy to event loop programming, and bring it up more to the level of the kind of impact that a rich graphical user interface had on computing in the 1990s, in this case the way in which we can use smart clients like Microsoft Office as a way to connect into the key information that we need from our organization, the key business processes and the key people that we want to connect to.

It is that opportunity of bringing together people, data, process and organization that provides the kind of rich ecosystem that will really advance productivity in information work during this decade.

So with that, I thank you very much.


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