Sanjay Parthasarathy: Worldwide Partner Conference 2006

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2006
Sanjay Parthasarathy, Corporate Vice President, Developer & Platform Evangelism Group
Boston, Massachusetts
July 12, 2006

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sanjay Parthasarathy.

SANJAY PARTHASARATHY: Good morning. Great to be back here in front of all our partners, and for every year, the past three years I’ve been at the Partner Conference, giving you an update on the progress we’ve made with .NET and the Microsoft platform, based on the research that we’ve been conducting over the past years or so. In 2004, I told you that just two years after the release of .NET, .NET overtook J2 in the U.S. marketplace. Last year, I told you that .NET had progressed even further. It had exceeded J2 in all the major regions and extended a lead to about 14 points. Now this year, in April of this year, we got the research back that shows that that lead is extended to 24 points worldwide. This is incredible momentum. There is very strong momentum for .NET, especially in the application platform layer.

Now, this momentum is strong across all segments. It’s strong across ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), across VARs (Value Added Resellers) and Corporate MIS (Management Information Systems). And if you look at this chart, Corporate MIS, the lead has extended to 25 percentages, in ISVs it’s 23 points, and with VARs it’s 23 points as well. Especially satisfying is the recent momentum in the VAR category. That has really come on strong, and I’m really pleased that the partners are embracing that .NET all across the board.

Now, developing momentum is also very strong for SQL Server. As you can see, the developers are embracing SQL Server, and ISVs are embedding SQL Server in their applications to make sure that they can take advantage of the capabilities in SQL.

Now, there are plenty of reasons why the momentum is so strong on the platform level for .NET and SQL. Number one, SQL 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 are great products, great, great, great products. But I think the main reason is the enthusiasm and the commitment that partners and developers and IT pros really have shown for the Microsoft platform.

You know, last year and early this year, we had the launch of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL 2005, and the launch far exceeded our expectations. We expected about 150,000 developers and IT pros and partners to attend, and over 225,000 showed up. Now, we should have figured this one out based on the demand there was for the beta version for the software, but the excitement was really, really, really awesome.

So, I wanted to say a thank you to you because I wouldn’t be up here year after year telling you about the good progress of a platform without your commitment and without your support. So, thank you once again for really helping the platform succeed. And I hope it’s a good sign for the times to come.

So, the platform’s doing well; what about partners who’ve bet on the platform? We’ve been following about 600 ISVs over the past three years with the help of Beta Monitor and another research firm, and we’ve been looking quite deeply at their revenue growth, their adoption of the platform, adoption of Windows, .NET, SQL, and we’ve been trying to figure out whether there is a correlation between platform adoption on one hand and growth of revenue on the other hand. And this year, when we looked at the largest 350 of those ISVs, we found that the ISVs that have bet on .NET and have just .NET solutions, grew at about three times the compound annual growth rate, adjusted for size, three times as much as the ISVs that just had a Java solution. And if you had a Java as well as a .NET solution, the compound annual growth rate over a three year period was twice as much.

So to our ISVs out here with just a J2 solution, you can get an average of 5 percentage points just by getting it over to .NET. So there is a correlation between betting on .NET and growth, especially for ISVs.

How about in terms of growth of the ISVs and betting on Windows, both Windows clients and Windows servers? We looked at those 600 ISVs again and looked at their preference for operating systems, and we found that ISVs that bet on Windows, both on the client and on the server, had the fastest rate of growth again over a three year period.

And what’s very interesting is if you look at the commitment, the more you bet on Windows, the faster the ISV’s growth. So in a way I could argue that betting on Microsoft is betting on growth.

And what’s really incredible is we’ve got another wave coming, Vista and Office “12”, Office 2007, that I think will really accelerate this opportunity for growth for ISVs, for VARs and all our partners.

Now, I want to do a demo to give you a little bit of a taste of what partners are doing with Vista and with Office 2007. But before I do that I want to take a step back and put it in a little bit of context. In a way, I think what we’ve done as an industry for the last five to seven years is really focus on the infrastructure. We’ve got bit-level connectivity with the Internet, we’ve got application level connectivity with Web Services, we’ve got a basic way of representing data using XML, we’ve got a basic way of viewing data through HTML, and we’ve got standard approaches to having people interact with systems through graphical user interface.

These are all building blocks for what I believe is the next generation. I call the current generation that the industry has been working on Generation Infrastructure. Really the focus has been on the plumbing and the foundation of what I think is yet to come. I think over the next five to seven years you’re going to see a fundamental shift, and the fundamental shift is going to put people right at the center of all of the work that we do in the IT industry. People are going to be incredibly important. I call this Generation User.

Now, Generation User is different from Generation Infrastructure in a couple of very important ways. Generation User is much, much, much more visual. Now, I don’t mean you’re going to do word processing in 3D, not at all, but I think applications are going to be smart enough to figure out how to present data in a visual way so that people can make better decisions, can take quicker action. Research has shown that people make 20 to 50 percent better decisions when presented with visual information, compared to that same information as text or data. So, this is real opportunity for the industry to drive more productivity, better decisions, more profitability, more growth for our customers together by having a much more visual experience.

Another difference between Generation User and Infrastructure is the way XML is going to be used. XML is going to be used very fundamentally to represent workflow as well as user interface, and not just for interop and integration between systems. Applications will be able to figure out who the user is, what their preferences are, where they are in a particular process, the state of the machine, and be able to present the UI that is necessary to make a decision or to take an action. You can think about it as an adaptive user interface, if you will, but that’s really what it’s all about in this next generation, Generation User.

In Generation User, you’re also going to start seeing Web Services all the way to the edge, to the consumer, to the user in enterprises and not just for integration and interop in the back end.

And finally, you’re going to start to see user experiences that span applications; no more firing up a browser or a UI for every application that you need to go into to complete a process. There’s going to be I think a single simple experience across multiple applications on the Web for consumers and using Office 2007 in the enterprise.

So I’m personally very excited about Generation User, because I do think it brings a new value proposition to our customers together.

And what I want to do now is I want to invite Ben Riga, who is a platform evangelist working on my team and working with ISVs, to give you a taste of what some of our partners are doing. Ben, welcome.

BEN RIGA: Thanks, Sanjay. Good morning. (Applause.)

Over the next few minutes, I’ll show you a solution built by Accruent, a Microsoft Gold Partner that I’ve been working with. Accruent develops real estate performance management solutions with a particular focus on retailers. They develop solutions that are collaborative Web based and provide that end-to-end solution that manages the lifecycle for the real estate processes of organizations such as retailers. Their customer base is a veritable who’s who of retailers, names you’d probably know.

Their current solution already uses the Microsoft platform and, over the past few months, I’ve been working with the Accruent team to help them understand how they would integrate some of the next wave of Microsoft technologies into their next generation solution for retailers. In fact, I’m going to show you that this morning and I’m going to play the role of a real estate manager of a large retailer as he walks through making the decision for whether or not to renew a lease on an existing store. Let’s have a look.

So as a typical information worker, I would typically be spending a great part of my day on my desktop doing things like using Microsoft Word. In this case, I have a document open where I am about to renew a lease for a particular store. This is standard Microsoft Word, but you’ll notice that Accruent has taken full advantage of that extensibility built within Microsoft Word to add their own tab, which brings up a custom ribbon that allows them to pull line of business information from their back office servers and pull that directly down to the desktop where the information worker, the individual contributor is working on it and can take full advantage of it as they do their day-to-day tasks.

As I click on any of these objects, you notice that a custom task pane opens up that allows me to see the various pieces of information, in this case details about the store I’m looking at, or various pieces of analytics related to the stores I’m responsible for.

In this case, I am working on this document, and so I want to integrate some of the information coming from that line of business information and pull that directly into the document.

You’ll notice that the document itself has various fields. The document is a Microsoft Word document, but it is an open XML document, and those fields are embedded directly in there so I can maintain the security of the document even as I pass it on outside of the company, for instance.

I’ll update that document and that allows me to start the process of renewing this lease.

Now, the question here is what were the steps that I took to make that decision to renew the lease? Let’s have a look at that. A little while ago I received an e-mail, in Outlook obviously, and that e-mail showed me that I was being notified, in fact, that I had a workflow that had been assigned to me. This workflow is assigned by the Accruent Store Lifecycle Management System. That Lifecycle Management System is using the Microsoft Office System Workflow on the server side to assign a workflow to me. At the same time it’s issuing an e-mail that’s giving me some information. It’s notifying me of the workflow, of course, but it’s also giving me information related to that workflow and helping me to make that decision. It gives me some related information about the store that’s related to the task at hand, but more importantly it’s allowing me to look at the store home page.

Accruent, about a year ago, made a big bet on Visual Studio 2005 and the ASP .NET Web part technology. They took full advantage of that by re-architecting various pieces of their system using Web Services and Web parts so that by doing that they could very quickly build portals and dashboards for their existing solutions.

They are now reaping the benefits of that investment because the exact same architecture that is used in ASP .NET 2.0 Web parts can be used exactly without change, literally, in SharePoint 2007.

So those Web parts that we had are now — the Web parts that we used in this custom portals that we were building before — are now used in this collaborative environment where I’m not only building on top of my own solution, but I’m building on this investment that Microsoft already made on this SharePoint collaborative environment.

So, I need to make a decision about this renewal. It is a lease renewal, and so the first thing I’ll want to do is have a look at the existing lease. Let me open up that lease. You’ll notice that I’m in Internet Explorer, the entire solution is built on a Web-based solution. And what’s happened here is I’ve opened up an XPS document viewer. XPS is the XML Paper Specification and the XPS document allows me to maintain control around security and various pieces of information related to the document.

At the same time, I can collaborate with others on this document. So, for instance, you’ll notice that there are some annotations that have been made by others on my team related to that document, so that as over the period of the 10 years or so that we have this lease there is institutional knowledge that we can gather related to the lease that is embedded directly in the lease.

So, I can see from this option to renew clause that there is some information there. I understand what’s related to that lease. Let me go back and have a look at some additional information about this store.

Another important piece of information are competitors. And you can see over here on the right that I have a list of competitors, and that’s important information, but it’s given to me in a list view. What Accruent has done is they’ve taken that information and used Microsoft’s Virtual Earth to build a mash-up that combines both the information coming out of their line of business information about competitors, as well as information, visual information and mapping information related to that store location.

And so as a result I have full control over this the same way I would with standard Virtual Earth or Windows Local Live, I can look at traffic and whether I have access, good access to this store, how close I am to highways and so on. I can switch into aerial view and look at this from the point of view of top-down photography. And an important, unique feature of Virtual Earth is the bird’s eye view. From a retailer’s perspective, looking at that location from a 45 degree oblique view gives me much better information about what is the neighborhood around that store look like, an important part of making that decision.

Another piece of information that is important to whether I renew that lease or not is sales information. And here you can see that I have a table of numbers giving me gross sales, employee sales and so on.

This table is actually an Excel spreadsheet. It’s not your Excel spreadsheet that you would see on your desktop, it’s actually running Excel on the server side, and we’re using that as a business intelligence piece where I now as an individual contributor or information worker can build my own information portal and share that with others in my team, without losing control over the formulas and the external data connections that are related to building this type of information.

I can, of course, see the numbers and I can see charting, of course, as well. So if I wanted to see the trends, for instance, it’s a much better way to see that, of course, using the chart.

As I said, this is Excel and if I wanted to look at this on the desktop and I had the rights to do it I could open it in Excel 2007 and make changes and post it back so that I can share that with others, or I could open this snapshot and take advantage of that.

So I’ve seen a bunch of different pieces of information related to whether or not I want to renew that lease for that particular store. The piece that’s missing though is the customer piece. We’ve seen sales, we’ve seen competitors, we’ve seen the legalese in the contract; we haven’t really looked at where the customers are. And to do that I’m going to open up my demographics application and we’re going to switch gears a little bit. We’ve been in SharePoint now; now I’m opening up an application which is actually a Window’s Presentation Foundation application embedded in Internet Explorer and running, in this case, on Windows Vista.

When it comes up, you’ll see that it actually looks like a map similar to the one that we saw a few minutes ago in Virtual Earth. The difference here is that this is actually a three-dimensional map and shows me my store as well as my competitors in the same way that I saw it a few minutes ago in Virtual Earth. And I can zoom in and change the tilt so that I can look at that. And that’s really interesting, but it doesn’t really give me much more information than what I saw earlier in Virtual Earth.

What I want to see here is the customer data, and so I’ll select my store which is the blue pushpin here, and I’ll move over to my data menu, and here I can add some interesting information related to the store. So, for instance, I can show the distance, here I’ve added a one-mile radius around my store. I may want to change that to five miles, and show that.

Now, here we’re actually looking at the San Francisco Bay area and that five-mile radius puts us out into the middle of the Bay where there probably are not a whole lot of customers. So I’m going to switch that from a distance radius to a drive-time radius. And here we’re actually querying MapPoint on the server side to give us a drive time polygon so that I know where those customers are. And I may want to change that from five minutes to seven minutes. And again, that gives me a sense of where my customers are.

So now I know where my customers are, but I don’t know which customers are in that polygon. In order to do that, what Accruent does is they package up various pieces of demographics, for instance in this case we may look at household income, total population, male population, household retail expenditures and so on, package those up in a standard customer profile. And in this case I have different types of profiles depending on various different store configurations.

I’ll choose the standard customer and what that does now it is actually retrieving census data. It’s figured out which census tracks are within that drive-time polygon and retrieved the customer profiles for those census tracks. Let me close that up so we can have a closer look.

So, now I’m looking at my census tracks and, of course, the higher and the greener the better the indication that this is closer to my ideal customer. And so if I click on a particular census track, this one’s a 42, which is actually a pretty good score. I may have another which is 11, not such a great score. Here I have a white one; this is a score of zero. For those of you who know San Francisco, that’s actually the Golden Gate Park and there’s probably not a lot of customers there, at least not customers that are buying a lot of our products.

And so now I can actually get a very good sense, very quickly, visually, of what’s going on with the customers and the demographics around the store. I can change the perspective of how I look at that particular store so that I can look at it from different angles and change the perspective again to look at it from wherever I might want to see.

Now, I can see immediately that the store that I have is probably not in a very good location with respect to my ideal customer profile. And so what I want to do is look at what my market development team is doing. They’ve been out scouting new locations that have become available for me to open stores in. So, let me come back to my data and show those available locations. And I can see that there is one store that is actually available in a particular place that is actually a pretty good place related to my ideal customer profile.

Now, of course, I could actually go out and look at and go and talk to my market development team or look at the reports that they’ve provided, but what we’re trying to do here is build an immersive experience that the end user enjoys working in and enjoys staying in, and hopefully makes better decisions, faster decisions related to those stores.

So, rather than going out, I’m just going to zoom into that store and have a look at some of the information related to things like demographics. For instance, in this case there is a pretty good space for parking, which is a good thing in San Francisco, so I like that. And I can look at other information related to that parcel including store contacts and perhaps even some bird’s eye-view photos to look at what that store looks like.

So, just from looking at that I can have a pretty good sense that that store is probably one where I’ll want to move my location from where it is now to this new available location.

So, over the past few minutes, I’ve shown you a number of things. I’ve shown you how by taking advantage of Microsoft Office on the client side, Accruent is able to pull line of business data directly out of their back office servers and pull them down to the desktop where end users can take full advantage of them to make decisions on a day-to-day basis.

I’ve shown you how Accruent has taken advantage of SharePoint to build on top of the collaborative environment that Microsoft has provided and many customers are already using.

And finally, I’ve shown you Windows Vista and some of the technologies in Windows Vista that allows you to take that three-dimensional view and allow you to build visualizations that help your customers and your end users to make better decisions faster.

I’m going to stop there, but if you do want to get a little bit more detail we actually posted an interview of the Accruent team that built this solution. We posted that to Channel 9 on MSDN this morning.

I should also mention that Accruent is actually here, they have a booth in the Exhibit Area, Booth 314, so if you actually want to go and have a look at the solution and maybe ask them some questions. Feel free to do that.

Thank you very much. Thanks Sanjay. (Applause.)

SANJAY PARTHASARATHY: Isn’t that cool? The cool thing is you don’t have to be a videogame programmer to do that 3D stuff, to do the visualization, it’s simple. With Windows Presentation Foundation, with SharePoint, we make it really easy for developers to build these types of immersive applications where visualization, workflow, user experience all counts to helping people make better decisions at the right time, at the right place, with the right information.

In fact, there’s a lot of companies who are really involved very deeply with building this next generation application. My team of evangelists around the world has been engaging with thousands of ISVs over the past two years to help them build and design and architect this next generation of application. And we’ve been working particularly closely with about a thousand companies, a thousand companies on Vista and a thousand companies on Office. And the momentum is quite incredible. There are companies like UGS and Autodesk and Dassault in the PLM space for integrating the 3D environment with the Windows Presentation Foundation in Vista. There’s also small companies like Accruent, like iBloks who are really pushing the envelope in terms of the next-generation user experience and features and functionality.

The same momentum exists in Office as well. You have companies like Epicor, you have OpenText, and even eBay who are taking advantage of the capabilities in Office 2007 and they’re really excited about the XML document format, the workflow capabilities in SharePoint, the business data connectivity and all of the very interesting capabilities in Office 2007 that really bridges the gap between structured information and unstructured information.

So, what’s the opportunities for partners? These are exciting times and the next two years I think are once in a decade type of opportunities. With Vista we have the potential of close to half a billion PCs that could be running Vista in two years. Three-hundred million of them will be new PCs and there’s about 200 million out there that are potentially upgradeable. That’s an opportunity that no one should pass up on so I beg you, please bet with us and take advantage of the Vista opportunity.

I also think that there’s an opportunity for ISVs and VARs and customers to differentiate themselves by taking advantage of the new features in Vista, features like Windows Presentation Foundation and Communications Foundation and Workflow Foundation. And this differentiation I think points to an opportunity for market share for those who are in the lead.

And finally, I think you’re going to see us with a massive, massive, massive demand generation campaign, and I urge you to take advantage of that demand generation campaign and go-to-market campaign, because again it’s a once in a decade type of an opportunity.

What’s the opportunity with Office System? Well, first of all, Office 2007 really does bridge the gap between structured and unstructured information. It bridges the gap between transaction-oriented and unstructured information that is in e-mail, in Word, in SharePoint. And I think this gives rise to a whole new category of opportunity and application that partners like ISVs and VARs can take advantage of to provide new offerings to customers.

There’s also an opportunity to take advantage of the 400 million Office users out there. These people are familiar with the Office interface. They live and work pretty much full-time in Office. Use that to connect more closely with the customer. If you’re building a line of business app, deliver that application, deliver functionality for those applications through the Office interface.

And not just for the specialists; ERP is used by a few people in an organization, why should that be the case? By posing ERP as a set of Web services you can have everybody in every organization really touch the ERP system, depending upon what decision they have to make and what process they’re a part of. So Office presents an opportunity for you to expand your user base and really build new applications using the capability in SharePoint and with Office as a smart client.

We are running out of time. Both of these are pretty close to ship, and with Vista you’ve got to be testing your application, your existing applications for compatibility. On your chairs, on every one of your chairs there’s a Jump Start CD. Take it. If you’re a developer, use it. Otherwise go back and give it to your developers. Make sure your applications are compatible. We’ve put a lot of good content on there. We’ve put whitepapers, videos, how-to’s, sample codes, to really make sure that your apps are compatible with Vista.

We’ve also provided a set of resources online at where all of this information is available online.

So get your applications, your existing applications, compatible with Vista. But don’t just stop there; make sure that you’re taking advantage of the new features because you do want to differentiate your apps from your competitors.

Make sure you ride the demand generation wave. We’re going to pay particular attention to those applications that take advantage of the premium services in Vista, so make sure you build the bells and whistles and then take advantage of the demand generation. And finally, make sure your app is certified for Vista because along with that comes a whole set of new benefits.

With Office again, the beta 2, is out there, 2.5 million copies of the beta have been downloaded, so it’s time, it’s time to go make sure that you’re building the capability that takes advantage of Office 2007. Make sure you’re part of the Information Worker Competency. There’s tens of billions of dollars in services that go with this competency and with Office 2007 that’s out there for you, partners, to take advantage of.

And finally, the Office campaign is also going to be very massive, and this is an opportunity for you to surf the Office 2007 wave.

So let me close by saying we’ve got great progress on the platform, because of your help, because of your commitment. We’ve got some incredible opportunity coming up over the next two years with Vista and Office that I believe will continue to grow the platform for Microsoft and grow the opportunities and profitability for you.

And I hope to be back here again next year giving you an update on how well Vista and Office 2007 are doing. Thank you very much, and it’s great to be here.

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