Jeff Raikes: Convergence 2007

Remarks by Jeff Raikes, President, Business Division, Microsoft Corporation
Convergence 2007
Copenhagen, Denmark
Oct. 23, 2007

KLAUSE HOLSE ANDERSEN:  Good morning.  Good morning and welcome to Copenhagen, for those of you who don’t live here, and welcome also to Copenhagen, and to Bella Center for those of you who happen to live in Copenhagen.

It’s a great pleasure to see this many people coming to this conference.  It’s a growth over last year, and I can promise you now that you’ve done your morning exercise, and you’ve got the rhythm, that there’s a great conference awaiting you this week.

Convergence has been happening for a number of years.  This was a tradition that was started by the Great Plains organization before they were acquired by Microsoft, and it is a tradition that we’ve continued within Microsoft after that.

We’ve done Convergence in many, many cities around the world, and it has been a growing success over the years.

This Convergence in Copenhagen is the second Convergence we do in Europe.  We did the last one in Munich last year, which was the premier, if you will, for Convergence in Europe.  This year I can tell you that here in Copenhagen we are going to be 3,300 customers and partners, and then you add a bit of Microsoft people to it, and in this room today we’re going to have 4,000 people at Convergence.  So, I can proudly tell you that we are sold out for the day and for the week.  So, that’s a very, very great thing.

I can only encourage you to really take the opportunity this week for the next three days to engage, engage with all of the Microsoft people here, engage with your partners that are here, that you came here with, really have that triangle working, engaging Microsoft, you, and the partners, and get the most out of this.

I think there is great stuff at the expo, and there is great stuff at all of the sessions that you have the opportunity to go to.  There are the main sessions here, and then there are a lot of extra sessions out there.

So, I think you will have fun, I think you will have good engagement, and hopefully you will learn a lot when you walk out of here, you’ll have learned a lot when you walk out of here Thursday afternoon.

The first speaker of the day that’s going to come on and talk to you is Jeff Raikes, who is the President of our Business Solutions or our business division at Microsoft.  So, a warm welcome to Jeff who’s going to come up and talk to you now.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

JEFF RAIKES:  Well, good morning, everyone.  You know, as I was getting ready to come here and see you, they said that a key theme would be global business orchestration, but I wasn’t really prepared for the session this morning.  I’ve got to work on my drumming skills.  You all were fantastic, so thank you very much.

It’s a great honor for me to join you here for the second EMEA Convergence.  As Klaus said, as the president of the business division for Microsoft, I have the tremendous opportunity to oversee what we do in the information worker business centered around Microsoft Office, to work with you on Microsoft Business Solutions and our Dynamics product line, and also our Server & Tools business, Windows Server, SQL Server, and Visual Studio, and the underlying infrastructure that makes the solutions possible.

All of you are business leaders, all of you are a part of driving your businesses forward.  As businesspeople we face many similar issues.  We’re constantly looking for how we can grow our businesses and do that profitably, how we can keep customers, how we can attract new ones.  At the same time, the business landscape is getting more challenging to navigate.

So, what I want to do today is to kick it off by looking at a couple of the mega trends that we see in business that affect all of us, and how we are able to move our businesses forward.

In order to prepare to see you today, I recently reviewed an interesting study that was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and they had interviewed more than 1,400 CEOs in 45 countries, and that was across a broad cross-section of industries.

In that context there were two key trends that emerged as being on the top of the mind of these CEOs.  One of those important trends was globalization or what you might describe as business without borders.  Business without borders has become a strong strategic focus.  The imperative of generating new customers and revenue really outweighed the effort required to enter these new markets.  These CEOs, like you, are focused in on some of the opportunities of emerging economies of today.  We used to talk about BRIC, B-R-I-C, Brazil, Russia, India, and China.  Now we talk about BRICET, including Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico.  These are great examples of emerging markets that are growing very rapidly, they’re growing fast, and they’re likely to eclipse developed countries in the future in terms of the overall market opportunities.

So, the new mantra has become access to markets rather than just access to lower cost labor, and we’re moving very quickly beyond this outsourcing phenomenon.

Now, the other key finding in the study by PricewaterhouseCoopers was related to complexity.  The key finding was that increasing complexity is just a fact of doing business today, and the theme, as they heard it from these CEOs, is that complexity actually has to be embraced and managed.

Part of the complexity comes from extending operations to new territories.  In fact, that was cited by about two-thirds of the CEOs that were surveyed.

But complexity came in other forms.  It came from engaging in mergers and acquisitions.  That was also cited by about two-thirds of the CEOs.

Launching new products or services was referenced by about 60 percent of the CEOs.

Of course, globalization, the first mega trend that we talked about, really compounds that complexity.  There are multiple stakeholders, there are differing agendas, there is a myriad of regulations, and too much information to manage.  The explosion of information in a global information-based economy is just incredible.  There is more than an order of magnitude more e-mail now than just seven years ago.  There are almost a billion instant messaging or text messaging accounts in the world.  So, this explosion of information characterizes a lot of the world in which we live.

The most successful businesses are those which can smartly move across this new global landscape with sufficient vision, tools, and the savvy to anticipate and manage the inevitable complexity of the effort.

The key in the minds from these CEOs was that what you have to do is you have to manage complexity where it’s to your advantage, and lose complexity where it doesn’t add value to the business.

Now, another interesting finding from this survey is that the CEOs cited the key asset in all of their businesses is their people.  It’s businesspeople that are constantly discovering insight, making decisions, setting direction and goals, taking action and collaborating with others.

Whether your business has five or 20 or 25,000 employees, people make the difference.  People make the difference between a satisfied customer or an unhappy customer.  They make the difference between attracting new customers or seeing existing customers walk away, between great products and so-so products, and ultimately between turning a profit or just getting by.

So, really it’s important to think about your people, because your people are the ones who have the ideas.  They drive innovation.  It’s your people that know their customers and what your customers want.  They build those connections.  It’s your people that know where the waste and inefficiencies are in the processes.  They are the ones that improve operations.  They make the most of every relationship.  They’re the ones that develop the broader value chain that adds to your business.

As a business owner you know that the quality of your people and colleagues determines what you can delegate, and when you can go home at night with that personal piece of mind.

But in this fast-paced business world it’s important to emphasize that all businesses face constant change and new challenges.  The rise to the challenge of globalization, to be able to thrive on complexity and empower your people, we believe the key underlying asset is software.  The success of business is about people, but with the right tools enabling people in the right way, you can be successful.

Take, for example, your business vision and plan.  There’s a key set of triggers that affect that vision and plan.  Perhaps it’s a new product launch or it’s geographic expansion or an acquisition.  You must be able to react quickly and seize advantage.  You need flexible software that’s adaptable to change.  You need software that allows you to be able to avoid years of expensive reprogramming.  You want the agility in being able to use the tools to help your people respond to the needs.

Take, for example, the people and process in your business.  How can software automate your financial management, your supply chain, your sales process?  Too often these are viewed as back-ends, and they’re disconnected from the real work that most of your people do.

AMR, a leading analyst firm in our industry, estimates that up to 85 percent of employees don’t have access to the quote/unquote “back-end systems.”  There’s a role for software to seamlessly connect your people into your business processes in an easy to use way, focused on the job that they do.

Take the company and ecosystem, how software can automate how sales works with customers, how operations works with suppliers.  We all look for ways to expand beyond these simple transactional relationships.  How do you use the power of the Internet to engage in richer collaboration across your value chain? 

So, the key theme across all of these areas, it’s making connections, and it’s Microsoft and our commitment to you making deep software investments.  That is where we deliver the value to you, the vision to guide your investments and how we use our investments to help move you forward.

To help you thrive in this world shaped by these mega trends, the Microsoft Business Division is investing across a number of key areas.  I mentioned this area of office productivity as one of the key focuses for the overall division.  Business and productivity applications, the combination of servers like Exchange and SQL Server and Windows Server, and the productivity applications in the Microsoft Office System, bringing these together in ways that deliver the user experience that so many users are comfortable working with, and doing it in a way that gets people access to the information they need.

We’ve made huge investments for the current 2007 product line, and that’s going to continue in what we do with the next wave of Office, what we call Office 14.  We have over 500 million people using Microsoft Office tools every day, and it’s extremely important that we continue to understand the evolution of how people do information work so that your people can thrive in this world and manage the complexity to your competitive advantage.

Take, for example, what we’ve done with SharePoint.  SharePoint is perhaps the sleeper of the latest release of the Office System.  It’s become the hot topic with our customers as they see how much value it delivers in document management, in enterprise search, in electronic forms, in workflow, in Excel services for business intelligence.   We invested in SharePoint for you so that SharePoint can become a platform for how you interoperate with business information and business process.

We have a deep investment in software as a service.  You know, this is a term that we use in our industry; we talk about services, but in this case we really mean hosted software or software as a service as an additional way for us to bring you value.  Because this is such an important priority for the company, and how we can help you in advancing your business, we’re going to touch on this more in a bit and make some exciting announcements related to this area.

And, of course, in business applications the Dynamics product line, our deep commitment to you, we have continued significant investments in ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning, and Customer Relationship Management, and Office as a foundation for how business applications can be connected to the user.  Dynamics is a key focus here, and we’re very excited about the continuing value that we can bring to your business in this area.

Another key area of investment for the business division on your behalf is unified communications.  This is a huge investment.  It’s a very exciting area.  It’s probably a new term to you.  But a lot of people are talking about VoIP, voice over IP.  This is a very important trend, but I ask you, is it that exciting to change the underlying plumbing of your telephone network?  The real value comes from getting voice and video onto the IP network, integrated into the office productivity and business applications that you and your people are using every day.  That is where the huge productivity gains are going to come, and that is where you should expect Microsoft to make the investments, to build the software platform that allows that kind of productivity advancement.

Last week, Bill Gates and I were in San Francisco to launch Office Communicator and Communications Server 2007, and our Roundtable product line as a way to bring this value, as a way for 100 million or more people within three years to click to call right from the applications in which they’re working, and to be able to have these kinds of voice and unified communications systems in your business at half or less the cost of what they are today.  It’s a very exciting area.

Another exciting area is business intelligence.  We are investing substantially across the business division in order to facilitate your access to the right business information to make the right decision at the right time, all the way from the underlying SQL Server platform to the Excel user experience and how it connects people, to the data, the data models, the data marks that represent your business intelligence information.  SharePoint is the connecting fabric; PerformancePoint is our new application server set that provides business intelligence applications like reporting, forecasting, planning.

We see this as one of the great areas where we can add a lot of value to our customers to use, and to the relationships that you have within your organization and to other organizations.

Because historically business intelligence has been a little bit of a backroom process.  You have to go to the high priests of data.  What we want to make it possible to do is to use the Office user experience, in particular Excel, as the way that you get to the information you need in order to manage your business more effectively, for all of your people to be able to do that.

So, this just gives you a brief overview of the significant investments that we make in order to help facilitate your ability to thrive in this global information-based economy.

As a company, Microsoft invested over $7 billion in research and development in those last fiscal years, and that’s because we know that that investment can bring innovations to you that will help you drive your business forward.

Now, with business applications we have never had such a compelling, exciting lineup.  Our CRM 3.0 product is very strong.  We’ve had incredible interest.  We’re adding tens of thousands of customers every quarter, and that’s because of working right from within the Outlook user experience as a way to manage those customer relationships.

Dynamics AX 4.0, a landmark release in terms of the maturity of the product line, its scalability, its reliability, its capacity to be able to help you manage a global business.

Dynamics GP 10, the first of the lineup in GP to get this new role-tailored user experience, which revolutionizes the way that people work; it’s far more intuitive.

Dynamics NAV 5.0, terrific work by the team in terms of the depth and richness of functionality while maintaining the simplicity that’s been the hallmark of the success of the Navision product line.

Dynamics SL 7.0, which continues to focus in on a set of verticals, which have been strongly grounded in what it is that those companies want to do in order to help facilitate their industry success, and we’re continuing to invest there as well.

C5, very important here in Denmark, a great product for out of the box financials that really helps small businesses.

And a new investment, Entrepreneur, a new offering for small businesses that moves beyond financials, and also automates the core business processes. 

When you take C5 and Entrepreneur, it shows our deep commitment to our customers, because we know our customers are going to grow.  So, both these products have a great migration story that helps you start with great financial support as a smaller business, and then move up into the broader Dynamics product line as your companies grow, so that you do not outgrow what you can do with the software; we want to grow with you.

So, we are absolutely committed to all these product lines, and that’s one of the most important things I want to emphasize today.  We are investing in each of these products to enhance them, to be able to make sure that they help you in your business.  We’re going to continue to improve and extend these ERP products in the markets that they serve today.

Yes, we’re sharing code, and that sharing of code is a way for us to better and better enhance each of these products, and deliver new capabilities faster than ever before, again so that you can thrive in this global economy.

Now, although the current products I think are amazing, we hope you agree, I want to emphasize we’re not done yet.  We have lots of innovation opportunity ahead for the business applications.  We’re very pleased with the support that you’ve provided us.  Our business applications area, our Dynamics product line is now more than a billion dollar business for Microsoft, and that’s a huge milestone.  It really says how important this business is to all of you and to us. 

As I mentioned, Microsoft is committed to the level of R&D that’s required to continue significant breakthroughs.

Our business has become increasingly global.  To date, we have people in more than 150 countries that are actively buying and using our technologies.  Across the globe we’re using our R&D capacity, Microsoft Research, our development centers, so that we can continue to take on this challenge of meeting the needs of a diverse set of customers.

Our Copenhagen development center right here is an absolutely key investment, and many people from our development team have joined us at Convergence here today. 

So, to help underscore our commitment to the future of using business applications to help you move your business forward, I want to show you some of the great work that’s coming out of the R&D labs.  We’re going to take a look at a prototype we have for exploring new ideas that will help the future versions of Dynamics, to combine software and advances in user experience and hardware innovations in ways that I think you probably haven’t seen before.

If you’re aware of the work that we’ve done on Surface Computing and how that new technology is going to affect the consumer world, now I want you to think about Surface Computing in the context of what it can do for the business world.

To help me do that, I’m going to invite one of our R&D leaders, Craig Dewar, to the stage.  So, please welcome Craig Dewar to take a look at Microsoft Dynamics, the future production plans.  (Applause.)

CRAIG DEWAR:  Thank you.  Good morning.

I’m going to show you this prototype we put together, as Jeff said, using Surface-based technology, which gives us a very rich touch-based user interface, and we’ve combined that also with some advanced graphics and visualization techniques.

We’re really going to take a look at what the future of Microsoft Dynamics could look like for the role of a production planner.  So, let’s take a look.

Over here I have what we call the Digi Desk.  The Digi Desk is a pretty nontraditional looking computing format.  What I have here is two different things.  I have a heads-up display, and this heads-up display is giving me a view of things that are going on in my production line right now.  So, I can see the personnel schedules, who’s working, who’s coming in later.  I can see actual production line diagnostics, and I can also see the production line schedule that we’re working on.

Down here on the main part of the desk itself I can actually see information that’s more directly related to myself.  So, I can see my calendar, I can see communications that I’ve had here with different colleagues recently.  Then I also have a whole bunch of different key performance indicators that are related to my role as a production manager.

Now, the way I interact with this desk is merely by touching it.  So, for example, I can go ahead and touch on the desk here, and I can take a look at a different schematic of different parts of my factory.  You can see as I click on this, different parts of the factory are coming up, and I can actually see different work that is taking place, or different roles that are happening on that particular part of the factory.

Another thing I can actually do with the Digi Desk is capture information.  So, for example, if I had a paper-based document here, and obviously in the future we also have a lot of paper-based information, I could just come ahead and put this onto the desk, and I could actually take a photograph of that paper, capture that image, and automatically recognize it, search for that, look for it in an OCR, bring that document back, interact with that document.

But let’s take a look at the role of the production planner.  So, what I’m going to do for this is I’m actually going to go ahead and I’m going to search for a production plan for a compound that we’re actually manufacturing.  In my particular case we’re a company that’s making a compound that’s used for drug testing.  So, we’re making this pharmaceutical product.

So, I’m going to click here on the search icon, and you can see that I get a search box that comes up.  In this particular case what I’m actually searching for, I don’t have to type it in, I don’t have to know any hard SQL commands; I can just used voice recognition.  So, I can click on the “listen” button, and say, “Show production requirements for SNX RX clinical trial compound.”  So, I’m done, and you can see it’s recognized that text, and actually put in there that search query that I was looking for.  All I need to do now is go ahead and click on search, and it will now go out and search both the Digi Desk, all the servers on my network, and also all the different files that I have on my intranet, and bring those back for me.

You can see the first hit in my list is actually my production plan.  So, I can go ahead and open that production plan, and as the production plan comes up, you’ll actually see here that it’s not just a static document.  This is something that I can interact with on the Surface in real time.

So, for example, I could just move this production plan up and down a little bit, and you can see that it’s directly wired to my material requirements, and also to my HR database, and understanding what labor requirements I’ll need.

Now, in this particular case I’ve been asked by my management to go ahead and take a look at whether we can manufacture 300 percent more of this compound.  So, I’m going to slide this graph all the way up to 300 percent and see what happens.

And in this case you can see that it’s alerting me there’s a workflow, and it’s saying, you do not have enough inventory to actually get this done.  So, I obviously need to go ahead and increase my inventory.  So, I’m going to click on that, and it now goes ahead and it takes a look at not only the stock I have in hand, but it’s now reaching back into my supply chain, it’s seeing what I need to order, and it’s seeing which of my approved suppliers can actually supply that to me in the required timeframe.  So, it looks like my suppliers can meet my capacity, and I’m going to go ahead and order that.

Okay, so now that I’ve ordered that, you can see it’s actually adjusted my production plan, and I can see it’s going to take a little bit longer to do that production than it would with just 100 percent of production.

What I need to do now is commit this production plan into the actual system itself.  I can do that by selecting on it, and just throwing it up onto the heads-up display, and it now gets committed to my main production database.

Now, the final thing I need to do in this scenario is I’ve been making all these decisions on my own.  What I now need to do is communicate to the rest of the people in the factory, the rest of the management team, that we’ve made this change.  I need to publish my work.

So, I’m going to click on this little radio dial here, and that brings up different actions that I could take based on this document type.  So, I could save it, I could print it, and so on.

In this case I’m going to click on the “publish to intranet,” and it’s now going to go ahead and take that production plan, and put it out to the SharePoint site that we’ve been using to track and monitor that progress as a team.

So, that’s been a quick look at the Digi Desk.  As I said, it’s just a prototype we’re looking at right now to test these different user interface interaction techniques, and just different functionality that may potentially come to market in Dynamics of the future.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

JEFF RAIKES:  Great, thanks very much.

Well, I hope that gives you a sense of how we are bringing together all of the resources across research and development at Microsoft to help explore the future of business applications and running your business.  It gives you a glimpse of some of the interesting ways that we can think about the future of information work, and see how business processes are evolving.  We are deeply committed to advancing the state of the art, in being your leading partner in delivering this kind of value to your business.

Now I want to move on to another transformation that’s occurring in our industry.  It refers to this word that is sometimes just simply services, but services can be confusing, because there are lots of types of services in the world.

In our industry we mean software as a service, software delivered as a service, hosted software.  And our approach and our commitment to you is to deliver the best of the traditional software model, in combination with software as a service, because only Microsoft can deliver a business productivity experience that uses the best from client software, server software, and software as a service, helping businesses to empower their employees and enable IT to better manage and maintain control of the environment.

Users want to be empowered.  They want to have the information they need to do their job at their fingertips.  They want to be able to deliver the results for the organization. 

And our goal is to deliver the best user experience that spans the client, that provide a rich and familiar experience, and allow that type of integration.  We want to do that from the client and then to the servers where you get strong manageability and the security and the ability to have that control on-premise.  And we want to do that to accessible services that deliver rapid value.

This enables a consistent, seamless experience that can span multiple PCs and devices, mobile devices, so that you can support your people when they’re on the go, when they are roaming.  It exploits the full capabilities of any device, and the variety of service delivery methods, whether it’s from traditional on-premise to partner hosted to customer hosted, this opens up new opportunities. 

Our approach in this area of software as a service really differentiates us, because we believe that it’s the combination of rich local computing capability, all of that horsepower that’s right there at your fingertips, along with all of that horsepower that’s in the Internet cloud, and that combination of horsepower, that service capability, delivers the best experience, as well as the choice and flexibility. 

We are working very hard in the Microsoft Business Division to bring great software-based services that complement the innovations that you see across the product line.

Now, we’ve already had several software plus services offerings in the marketplace:  Outlook Web Access, Office Online, and we’ve recently announced Office Live Workspace, and, of course, Dynamics Live CRM.

In particular, we have a strong opportunity to provide this combination to further advance what we can do in Microsoft Business Solutions.

So, I’m very pleased today to be able to make some exciting announcements. We are seeing a groundswell of support from leading hosting partners for delivering on-demand versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, based on the upcoming Titan release.

So, today we announced several new Dynamics CRM partners:  Mondo from Denmark; Everywhere from Switzerland; Increase IT, headquartered out of the UK; and JayThom, headquartered out of Australia.  These companies join nearly 100 existing partners in 30 countries around the world that deliver on-demand solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP products.

And to help our partners create more affordable CRM technologies for our customers, through on-premise deployments of Dynamics CRM, we are also altering the subscription licensing fees in order to make this even more attractive as a way to help you in running your business.

Now, we want to give you all a sense of how we are investing in the Dynamics CRM product, and anticipating this industry transformation to services, bringing software as a service together with on-premise, the client and server software.

So, in order to put this all together for you, please join me in welcoming Brad Wilson, who’s the GM of our Dynamics CRM business.  Brad?  (Applause.) 

BRAD WILSON:  Good morning, Jeff.  Nice to see you.

JEFF RAIKES:  Nice to see you as well.  Let’s take a look at what we’re doing with Titan.

BRAD WILSON:  Let me give folks a brief preview of the new CRM 4.0 release.  This is great stuff, whether you’re a customer or a partner.

I’ll start off here by showing what we call our Deployment Manager, one of the big new things that we have in the release now with multi-tenancy, which allows either a large organization to have multiple groups in the company provisioned as separate CRM instances, or it also allows our partners to offer very scalable, very economic hosted, on-demand services for our customers.

So, here I’ve got my Deployment Manager up here.  I can go ahead and look at my deployments.  I could add a new organization if I wanted to.  This can be, for instance, my small business unit.  I could add that.  I could pick a base currency for my deployment, because we are fully multi-currency in this release.  I could come in here and say that I’m in Denmark; therefore it’s Danish Krone, click on that.  I could move forward, provision it, and create a 20 seat or a 50 seat deployment for a new business unit within my organization.  And again partners can also do the exact same thing on behalf of our customers around the world.

Let me go ahead and just cancel out of this, and I’ll move into my favorite application, where I spend most of my day, which is Outlook.

JEFF RAIKES:  Yep, me too.

BRAD WILSON:  So, what I’m going to go ahead and do here is show a few new improvements in the application that make things a bit more interesting, especially for our international audiences.  We’ve added some powerful new multi-language and multi-currency capabilities here.

I’m going to go ahead and create a new opportunity here.  This will be called — I’ll just call this my “Denmark opty”.  I’ll go ahead and say this is my — my customer here is called Contoso.  Let’s type in C-O-N and hit the tab, and you’ll notice there’s a little alert here that says it can’t resolve this.  If I click on this, what it’s doing is it’s doing real time data checking, I’m doing real time data checking to make sure that we’re getting the accurate information captured at every step in the process.

I’ll click on Contoso here, go to my lead area, just type in A, hit tab, hit resolve, right, to the correct business here.  It’s the same kind of thing you’ve always had in Office and in Outlook to help you complete things successfully, but bring that into the biz app space, make things more productive for people.

I’m going to go ahead and pick my currency for this.  Again I’ll come in here and pick Danish Krone, click okay.  I’ll come down here and do a user provided amount for the opty.  This is again in Krone.  I’ll go in and save here.

Now, when I hit save, what we’re going to do here as part of this process, we’re going to provision a SharePoint site for collaboration around this.  In this case we’re showing off both SharePoint inside of CRM, surfacing lists and documents and things you have to do on the opportunity, as well as just a little interesting thing here, we have the new Windows Live Translator beta, and we can translate Web Services on the fly, which lets you do more interesting things and combine technology.

JEFF RAIKES:  That’s great.  So, you’re bringing SharePoint or using SharePoint as that foundation that brings together the Office capabilities with the Dynamics capabilities.

BRAD WILSON:  Yeah, because between SharePoint’s handling of unstructured information, and the way that biz apps handle the structured piece, it’s a perfect marriage of technology to solve the kinds of problems that our customers are having.

JEFF RAIKES:  Excellent.

BRAD WILSON:  So, I’ll come in here into workflow.  Now, a big thing here is we’ve moved to Windows Workflow in Dynamics CRM 4.0.  I’ll go ahead and click on my existing customer sales process, because Contoso is an existing customer of mine, kick this off automatically.  I’ve added some new tasks.  I’ve gone ahead and put in a percentage probability of closing for the opportunity.  Now it’s waiting for us to go ahead and complete this step, the opportunity feasibility assessment, then we’ll keep going through the process here, we’ll move from qualification to generating proposals, and then to closing the sale.  It’s a fully workflow driven system using Windows Workflow Foundation.

JEFF RAIKES:  Which is part of SharePoint.

BRAD WILSON:  Exactly.  And so that way you can also connect workflow not just within the business application itself, but across SharePoint into other applications in your organization.

So, let me go ahead and show a great new thing now in terms of reporting.  As you noted earlier, a lot of times reporting has been locked up in back office systems, you’ve got to ask analysts to go run a report for you.

JEFF RAIKES:  The high priests of data I like to say.

BRAD WILSON:  Exactly.

So, we have a new reporting wizard built into CRM 4.0.  Just click on this, and you’ll come in here and start a new report.  We have user selectable multi-language support in CRM 4.0, 25 languages, I have five provisioned here.  I could pick any of 25 languages, and run this application of those.  I’ll just keep this in English for now.  I’ll say next.  Report name is my Denmark report.  I’m going to go ahead and pick a record type.  I’ll pick opportunities here.

I could go ahead and pick other related things like close activities.  Now in 4.0 we’ve got full end-to-end many-to-many relational modeling in the system to be able to express the most complex kinds of relationships you have in an organization.  So, you can do really powerful things to link information here.  I’ll click next on this.  I will mostly just click next through here the rest of the way.

I’ll pick a saved view to kind of be the basis of my report, which is my opportunities closing next month.  I’ll click next here.  I’m going to add a couple of columns real quickly, the topic of the opportunity, and I’ll go ahead and grab my base currency of my opportunity, click okay.  I could go ahead and add grouping and sorting, I can move things around.

JEFF RAIKES:  But it’s very easy to use.  I don’t have to be trained as a data specialist in order to build these reports.

BRAD WILSON:  Not at all.  This is really meant to put this kind of report in the hands of the typical user in an organization. 

Pick a vertical bar chart, I can do further formatting if I wanted to.  I’ll skip right to the end. 

And then what it will do is it will go ahead and create the SRS report definition automatically based on an end user just picking next, next, next to the application.


BRAD WILSON:  SQL Reporting Services.  Sorry about that.

And here I can go ahead and assign this, share it, make it available across my organization, or just simply go ahead and run it.  So, I’ll go ahead and just run this, and you can see in a few clicks in a matter of maybe 90 seconds I’ve gone ahead and generated a report that’s about my opportunities.  I didn’t have to ask someone to go do this.  This is hitting my core CRM operational database, and getting the information in front of people really quickly and really easily.

This is just a really brief glimpse of some of the key things like around Windows Workflow and multi-tenancy, multi-currency, and multi-language in the application, but it’s a brief kind of a highlight really of what we’re doing investing across Dynamics CRM right now.

Jeff, thank you.

JEFF RAIKES:  Well, Brad, thanks very much.  I’m sure you’re going to show the audience more throughout the show, throughout Convergence.

BRAD WILSON:  We’ve got more than 31 sessions on Dynamics CRM between session and chalk talks.  We’d love to have people come out and take a deeper look at it.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  Well, super.

BRAD WILSON:  Thank you.

JEFF RAIKES:  Appreciate it very much.  (Applause.)

So, as Brad indicated, that’s just a quick glimpse of the exciting work that we’re doing in the area of Customer Relationship Management, and again it really is symbolic of what I was saying earlier.  When you put things in the context of what people know — Office, and the Outlook user experience — when you make it possible for them to be easily connected to the important information that’s represented in your Dynamics system, you enable their productivity, you empower them to be able to look at the opportunities, be able to take the action, to be more successful in the business, and their important actions on the business helps your business be more successful.

So, I want to wrap up my presentation by emphasizing a few key points.  I began the talk today by discussing business without borders, the key issues that are on the minds of business leaders, the mega trends of globalization and complexity.  These are certainly a given in today’s world, and they must be embraced and turned into your competitive advantage. 

We also emphasized people empowered by software.  We talked about the critical role that your people play in this transformation in your business in the context of these mega trends, people enabled by powerful tools, people empowered by great software, software that enables them to respond rapidly and to turn the changes in the marketplace into the opportunities for your business.

We also emphasized the long term partnership.  I hope we gave you an exciting glimpse of the commitment, the deep commitment that we have to software R&D and how we can bring that together in ways that give you new possibilities for your business; the glimpse of our work on the future of ERP, the idea of the power and choice offered by the industry shift in software as a service, and hosted solutions.

So, I want to thank you for the time this morning, I want to thank you for your partnership, and for choosing Microsoft solutions.  We are absolutely committed to being the best long term business software partner for you, working with your partners in enabling you to thrive in this new world of borderless business.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

What I’d like to do next is I want to introduce the leader of the Dynamics business, Kirill Tatarinov. 

Now, before I ask him to join us, I want to give you a little perspective on what he brings to this business.  Kirill has a deep passion for helping customers get the most out of software and their software investments.  Customer focus is a longstanding trait of his.  He created his own company, called Patrol Software, as a way to deliver the software capability of distributed management.  And then Patrol was acquired by BMC, and Kirill’s absolute focus on customer value helped them to rise to the management systems space over the following decade.

Now, Kirill brought this passion that he has with him to Microsoft in 2002.  He joined us to lead our management and solutions business, and over the last five years he’s created the same kind of customer focused success that he’s done previously in his career, and I know he’s going to share some of this passion and focus in his talk tomorrow morning.

Now, both Patrol and BMC were key Microsoft partners in the management era.  So, what that means is Kirill has a deep understanding of what it means to be a partner with Microsoft, and how you can take that partnership, together with Microsoft investments, in order to deliver the best capabilities.  And he brings a very global point of view, which is so important in the business applications space, where our products are used very widely, localization is so key.  He’s lived and worked across the world.

Finally, Kirill has a great technical mind, and he thrives on taking technology, reducing the complexity, and turning technology into the advantage for the customer.  He does this with deep business acumen.   He’s built and run successful global companies.

So, he is a great choice to bring the different Microsoft software assets together to enable great scenarios for our Dynamics product line.

So, please join me in welcoming Kirill to the stage for a Q&A.  Kirill?  (Applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Thank you, Jeff.  Thank you.

JEFF RAIKES:  Well, it’s great to have you here, great for us to be able to join our audience of customers and partners from around the world.

You and I have had a chance to work together and share our excitement about the business applications space and Dynamics, but why don’t you share with the audience a little bit about this excitement and your motivation in this area?

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Sure.  Well, first of all, I must say that I’m deeply passionate about business applications.  That’s been my passion for many years.  As an ISV I had a chance to deliver solutions to help large organizations manage their implementations of SAP and Siebel, and I have firsthand experience how hard it can be.  This passion to simplify, to give people the opportunity to get the business applications that are easy to use, easy to deploy, and really gives you the value and the magic of software, that’s really what’s drawing me to this business and what’s actually made me throw my name into the hat and ask Jeff to give me a chance to run this business.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  Well, it’s certainly great to have you.

Now, Kirill and I want to take your questions, and if we can maybe adjust the house lights a little bit.  I think there are microphones in the audience or there are folks with microphones.  So, if you have a question that you want to ask, go ahead and go to the microphone.

Before we do that, one of the things that I think I probably should update people on is the discussion you and I have had about the importance of the Dynamics business to the business division.  Beginning in 2001, I helped initiate this priority for Microsoft.  We made an important commitment to enter into the business applications category, and I’m very proud of the work the team has done, and I’ve even more bullish about the Microsoft Dynamics business today than I was back in 2001.

We built a global business.  You see that represented here today, and it’s exciting to think that we have more than 250,000 customers that are able to take advantage of what we’re doing in software, and we’re certainly committed to preserving the investments today, enhancing them moving forward.

Okay, let’s see where we are in terms of the — lighting here makes it a little tough.  Microphones are available if you want to ask your questions, and there were some that were submitted.  I think I see somebody coming to microphone number six, so can we go to microphone six, please?

QUESTION:  Good morning.

JEFF RAIKES:  Good morning.

QUESTION:  And I have a very simple question.  We are grateful that all the Dynamics products will be merged into one, but the question is that do we internally or have you finally decided on a deadline?  Because all the roadmaps say that it’s going to be 2010 plus.  My name is (Sodan Hamdani ?).  I’m from Pakistan.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  Kirill, do you want to take that one or — go ahead.

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Yeah, I’ll take that one.  The important message that we want to bring to this audience today at this conference is we will continue to invest in all of our ERP products.  This is part of our very important commitment to you as our customers and partners.

While we’re converging this product over time, we’re converging them on the Microsoft platform.  That’s really magnetic north that draws all these products together.  But as far as our commitment to the products that you’re running today, you’re deploying in your environment, and our partners that are helping you to deploy, we’re absolutely committed to continue into the future and provide complete continuity as those products evolve and converge towards that magnetic north.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  Yeah, I want to underscore that a little bit, because perhaps maybe we made it a little bit confusing.  There is a great advantage of being able to share code across the products in order to move forward more quickly, but that shouldn’t be confused with not advancing the individual products of Dynamics GP, Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV and SL.

So, the key message Kirill and I want to emphasize to all of you today, and especially to the gentleman’s question, is that we are advancing all of those products, and we are committed to do that.  In fact, here at the conference you’re going to hear some exciting announcements related to Business Ready Customer Care, and what we’re doing in terms of our long term commitments on each of these product lines.

Okay, let’s see here.  Do we have another question in the audience?

KIRILL TATARINOV:  You want to take one from comnet perhaps?

JEFF RAIKES:  Okay, great.  Let’s see, a question from comnet.  Given all the areas of innovation or investment, why is Microsoft interested in business applications, the Dynamics space?

Well, maybe I’ll take that since I kicked this off six years ago, and you’re welcome to chime in.

Back in the year 2000, 2001, I had returned to this world of office productivity, and it was very clear to me that Microsoft had a unique ability to be able to bring the capabilities of office productivity together with what people do in the structured information of business process applications.

We felt that we were uniquely positioned to be able to deliver new and better value to small companies, mid-market companies, divisions of large companies through what Great Plains was doing, through Navision Damgaard, and through our own internal investments.

So, it’s this deep commitment to bring together a new wave of productivity through business applications and office productivity, through the underlying platform of Windows Server and SQL Server that has led us into this business, and we are very, very excited about how the business is developing.  It’s really five times bigger now than it was just five years ago, and a great example of our ability to take R&D investments, work with great partners, and now serve more than 250,000 customers around the world.

So, this is a very important way for us to contribute to the value of our customers by bringing together business applications and the rest of the Microsoft software R&D.

KIRILL TATARINOV:  That’s great.

JEFF RAIKES:  Super.  Other questions from the audience?  I’m looking to see if there’s anybody at the microphones.  I see microphone three.  Okay, let’s go to microphone three, please.

QUESTION:  I would like to have some information regarding the Microsoft strategy on the SOA technology, and if we compare with competitors at Oracle, there is a strategy to buy some companies, a lot of companies, and their strategy, if I understood, is to have a collaborative application around people, PeopleSoft, Oracle.  Thank you for your answer.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great, thanks.  So, the question is about service-oriented architecture or SOA, and how what we’re doing compares to some of the other plays in the industry.

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Yeah.  Service-oriented architecture and Web Services basically go very deeply across the entire portfolio of Dynamics products, our CRM products and our ERP products.  Effectively what we’re doing is we’re opening up a wealth of APIs and a wealth of access points to our ERP and CRM products, and opening it up to other technologies.  We’re also building connectors, and we’re building mash-ups, and we’re effectively opening up to the new world of service orientations, and we’re building very exciting connect points that you’ve seen, for example, in this demo from the CRM team earlier today, CRM connection to SharePoint, and you will see more of that tomorrow during my speech with our ERP products connecting with each other and connecting with SharePoint.

So, it’s deeply embedded in our architecture.  We actually believe that the modern software must have it.  It’s a key attribute.  That’s why perhaps we’re not talking about it as much as Oracle and SAP does.  For us it’s just a given that must happen, and it is indeed happening.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great, thanks, Kirill, and thanks for your question.

Let’s see; are there additional questions?  Six, please, go ahead with microphone six.

QUESTION:  (In Russian.)

JEFF RAIKES:  Kirill, I think that one is for you.  (Laughter, applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV:  You don’t want to take it, Jeff?  Well, let me try to translate it in my head.

So, the question was, how quickly are we planning to roll out a product focused on strategic planning, and including key performance indicators effectively opened up through the portal.

We have significant investments in that area already, and basically introduction of portals and introduction of key performance indicators is something that we’re absolutely focused on.  Some of it is already available, became already available with AX 4.0.  But most importantly, this is one of the core areas of investment in AX 5.0, and I encourage you to attend AX 5.0 sessions, which is going to be hosted here at the conference, and I’m happy to talk to you in your native language offline.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  Well, thank you very much, and thanks for your question.

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Thanks for your question.

JEFF RAIKES:  I’ll take one of the questions off comnet.  Is Microsoft running its own business on Dynamics?  Do you want to dive in on that?

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Yeah, absolutely.  Well, obviously CRM is something that we use to run the Dynamics sales force.  That’s what we’re using internally, and we’re now using CRM 3.0, and we’re in the process of moving to CRM 4.0, the Titan release that you saw earlier today.  Dynamics ERP is used across multiple business units inside Microsoft.  The manufacturing plants are run by Dynamics, and it’s being introduced in many other areas.

But perhaps one of the most exciting developments that is happening right now is introduction of Dynamics AX in our headquarters operations.  This is one finance project that was announced between Microsoft and Accenture about 45 days ago, and it will effectively bring AX into the headquarters, delivering very important applications such as expense management and procurement to the core Microsoft employees.

JEFF RAIKES:  Great.  And just to add a little bit to what Kirill said, we already today have more than 5,000 Microsoft employees using CRM, and we’ll be up to about 15,000 in the next year, and we’re excited to be using Dynamics ERP in places like our Puerto Rico manufacturing plant, and it really shows how companies, a global company like Microsoft can take advantage of what we are doing in the Dynamics product line.

Is there perhaps one last question from the audience?  I can’t see. 

Okay, so one last question from comnet.  Kirill, what are your plans to make it easier for customers with things such as access to resources, training, technical information?

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Well, that’s a very good question, and actually tomorrow in my speech we’re going to focus on that, and we’re going to demonstrate some of the technologies that we are developing.

The core technologies I want to talk about, and will be mentioned and demonstrated tomorrow, is the portal that we call Customer Source, and this is really a one-stop solution for you to get all of the information, to get training, to get online learning, and to really get deep into all the knowledge about our products.  That’s available to both customers and partners, and you will see more about it tomorrow.  There are people here around the conference with “The Source” written in big letters on their shirts, and you should grab those people, and they will tell you all about it.

JEFF RAIKES:  That’s great. 

Well, if we didn’t get to your question, please use the comnet, and we’ll try and follow up. 

Again, on behalf of Kirill and I, we want to say thanks very much for your attendance in Convergence, but in particular thanks very much for the opportunity to be partners with you and helping move your business forward.  Thank you.

KIRILL TATARINOV:  Thank you, folks.  (Applause.)


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