Scott Guthrie: WPC 2014 Keynote

ANNOUNCER: Please welcome executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, Scott Guthrie. (Applause.)

SCOTT GUTHRIE: Well, good morning, everyone, and welcome to WPC.

We now live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, and at Microsoft we remain committed to enable you as partners to deliver the very best solutions to your customers in this new environment.

Today, I’m going to talk about how you can power those solutions using the cloud, and some of the great work we’re doing to enable partners to build successful businesses on top of it.

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and enables you to move faster and do more.

A little over two years ago, we outlined our new strategy for Azure, a strategy that enables customers to use both infrastructure as a service and platform as a service capabilities together, a strategy that enables you to use the best of the Windows ecosystem and the best of the Linux ecosystem together, and one where we deliver unparalleled productivity and enable you to build applications and solutions for all devices. And since then, we’ve been hard at work fulfilling those promises.

This past year was a major year for us, and we shipped more than 300 significant new features and services.

The next 12 months is going to be even bigger. In fact, this week, we have a bunch of great new announcements that we’ll be demoing for the very first time today.

As we’ve rapidly expanded our features and footprint, we’ve seen the usage of Azure rapidly grow.

More than 57 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are now deployed and running on top of Azure.

Customers are now running more than 300,000 publicly facing websites on Azure and hosting more than 1 million SQL databases.

We actually have more than 30 trillion objects now stored in the Azure storage systems, more than 300 million users in our Azure Active Directory, and we’re processing more than 13 billion authentications every single week.

And we now have more than 1.6 million developers registered with our new Visual Studio Online service, which we launched just this past November.

This tremendous growth would not have been possible without the fantastic partners we have here in this room at WPC.

One of the things that makes Azure unique is the breadth of the partners who are now integrating with it, and it’s great to see both a lot of our longstanding partners on this slide, as well as partners you might not expect in the past, such as Oracle, Salesforce and Linux distributions.

The cloud provides an even bigger opportunity for all of us to partner together and deliver more value to our collective customers. And I want to say a big thank you for all of you joining this week to talk about how we do this together.

I want to start off by spending a few minutes talking about how we differentiate Azure versus others in the market. When I talk to customers and partners about Azure, I often show these three overlapping circles of capabilities: hyper-scale, enterprise-grade and hybrid.

The Microsoft cloud is the only cloud that delivers on all three, and combined they provide a truly unique cloud solution that enables you to deliver differentiated applications and solutions to your customers. And what I want to do is spend a little time drilling into each one of them now.

One key element of hyper-scale is having a cloud that provides truly global reach. We’ve been hard at work expanding Azure to run all over the world. The circles here on this map above me indicate Azure regions, which are clusters of datacenters where you can go ahead and deploy and run your applications and solutions.

Just last week, we announced two new Azure regions that we’re opening up inside North America, and together we now have more than 17 Azure regions deployed around the world. To put this in perspective, this is two times the number of regions that AWS provides, and more than five times the number of public regions that the Google cloud currently provides. (Applause.) And what’s great about this is it enables you to use Azure to deploy and run your apps even closer to your customers than ever before.

Now, what I think makes some of these regions truly unique is not just the global coverage they provide but also the huge scale of capacity each one delivers. And so what I want to do is actually just spend a little bit of time drilling into and giving you a perspective of what each one of these regions looks like.

So each one of these green dots is typically composed of multiple datacenter buildings that are close together. Our new North America facilities that we just opened up this past week support up to 16 datacenters clustered together.

And what makes each of these buildings sort of unique is it’s the size of a football pitch, each individual one. And if you’re not familiar with American football, that’s the equivalent of being able to store two passenger planes within each, minus the passengers. This is a feature I will say we’ve never taken advantage of yet, and I hope never to have to, but at least gives you some perspective on the scale.

And when you park all these things together, this kind of gives you a sense of scale and capacity in terms of the total amount of footprint that each one of these datacenters has, and it’s enough that you can actually store and run more than 600,000 servers in that one particular region. And remember, we have 17 of these regions now around the world, which gives you a sense of the scale and capacity that you can bet on when you choose Azure.

This hyper-scale capacity gives immense scale economics to us, which is going to allow us to continually cut our prices. It also gives you as partners the ability to instantly scale up and scale down solutions with confidence, anywhere in the world.

Now, ultimately, we think there’s going to be three large hyper-scale providers out there in the world that are going to be able to achieve this type of scale footprint, basically us — Microsoft — Amazon and Google. Our plan is to differentiate from the other two by the level of enterprise-grade support we provide you, as well as the unique hybrid capabilities that enable you to deliver integrated customer solutions. And with Azure, we’re committed to delivering the best enterprise-grade cloud service out there.

Gartner this past spring updated its magic quadrant surveys of cloud providers and credited Microsoft as being a leader in their infrastructure as a service, enterprise application platform as a service, public cloud storage services and X86 server virtualization magic quadrants. In fact, Microsoft is the only vendor listed as a leader in all four of the different magic quadrants. (Applause.)

This week, we’re also announcing extended support for our Microsoft Azure government cloud, which is an instance of Azure, which is operated by U.S. citizens with security clearance. This enables you to build and deliver public sector solutions now to U.S. federal, state and local governments, as well as agencies and schools, and provide even greater partner opportunity from the markets that you serve. (Applause.)

Now, Microsoft’s the only hyper-scale cloud provider with software that runs both in the cloud, as well as on-premises and in service provider environments. This enables partners to maximize their customer reach, leverage their existing customer relationships and deliver the types of integrated hybrid solutions that enterprises require.

We now deliver a suite of capabilities and solutions that enable you to easily connect and integrate every existing Windows Server environment to the cloud. You can now add, for example, backup, tiered storage, disaster recovery solutions to your existing infrastructure. You can also span SQL databases now between on-premises environments, as well as the cloud. You can share a common identity solution with Active Directory across both on-premises applications, as well as devices and cloud-based hosted services, including SaaS-based solutions from third parties.

And with our new Express Route networking service, you can now ensure that all of the traffic between an on-premises datacenter and Azure runs over a private, dedicated network fiber, which delivers total security, as well as guaranteed network quality of service.

Last week, we announced that Microsoft successfully completed the acquisition of InMage, a provider of business continuity solutions for the cloud.

With InMage technology, we’re going to enable you to deliver disaster recovery solutions for on-premises Hyper-V, VMware and bare metal servers, running both Windows and Linux, to the cloud. This enables customers to use the cloud to run their existing on-premises apps with even more confidence, knowing they can always failover to the cloud service if necessary, as well as enable much easier migration of existing workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Last week, we also announced an update of Microsoft Azure StorSimple, including the release of our new Series 8000 hardware appliances. This enables customers to easily build our storage capacity on-premises and automatically use the cloud for backup, disaster recovery, as well as tiered storage capacity. With StorSimple, you can now help your customers reduce their storage spend by 40 to 60 percent and enable a wide range of compelling new storage scenarios.

Beyond just integration, Microsoft is the only hyper-scale cloud provider that also is committed to delivering a consistent experience across public cloud, on-premises and service provider environments. This enables you to deliver solutions anywhere to be able to leverage Windows Server and System Center inside your own datacenters or inside service providers, enable you to bet on a cloud architecture that can adapt and meet any demanding needs, one with a common operating system and hypervisor, management APIs, administration portal and common programming model experience.

And we have dozens of hosting service providers here today that are already delivering on top of this promise and providing the ability for customers as well as partners to host their solutions in any datacenter around the world.

So hyper-scale, enterprise-grade, hybrid. Azure is the only cloud that delivers on all three. Combined they really provide a truly unique cloud offering that enables you to deliver truly differentiated solutions for your customers and provide enormous opportunities to grow your business.

This week, we’re going to highlight a number of these great opportunities across a number of different end-to-end scenarios, ranging from transforming your infrastructure to storing and analyzing data to managing mobile devices and mobile workforces and using the cloud to deliver great applications.

We’ll take a quick look at one of them, which is using Azure to build and deploy highly available SharePoint solutions.

How many people here have built out a SharePoint server farm in the past? A few people have. How long did it take you to do? Usually a couple days, a couple weeks, a couple months.

One of the things that we’re doing today with a new release of Azure is making it possible to build out those types of server farms literally in minutes, and providing a completely automated way that you can take advantage of our cloud-based infrastructure services in order to host and run those types of server farms in the cloud.

So what I have here in front of me is the Microsoft Azure administration portal, and this provides a nice view that lets me see the health of all the different regions around the world.

And I can choose to create new resources by clicking this New button or by exploring what’s called the Azure Gallery. The Azure Gallery basically gives me a view in terms of all the types of services that I can now go ahead and easily create directly inside the management portal.

And one of the things you’ll notice here, and we’ll talk about it in a little bit, is how this doesn’t just contain Microsoft solutions; this now also is flexible so that you can actually host your own solutions inside this gallery as well, and that we make it seamless so that you can integrate both for customers to integrate both Microsoft as well as any partner solution in one single portal experience.

What I’m going to take advantage of is the new service that we’re launching today that makes it really easy for you to set up a SharePoint server farm running inside infrastructure as a service VMs.

Creating it is really easy. All I have to do is just say, give it a name, give it a user, and with that I basically have the basics of being able to create a farm of multiple machines in one go.

Now, if I want to, I can drill into some of the other default settings that have been configured for me. One of the things you’ll notice here is that as part of creating this farm we don’t just create web servers and/or databases. We actually take web servers, databases, we also provide domain controllers as part of this template, and we stitch all of them together and wire them up for you automatically.

If you want to change any of the default settings, for example, say my database server size, I can just go ahead and click here in order to expand out and see my SQL settings. You’ll notice here as part of this I can actually look to see what size virtual machines that I’m actually using as part of this. And so, for example, here you can see I can run a standard A5 server or an A6. I can see full costing information to making any of those changes there.

I can also optionally choose to run this server farm either single instance or in what’s called high availability. And when I do high availability it will make sure that my SQL databases, as well as my domain controllers and web servers, are set up so that even if any of the individual VMs goes down, or if I need to update it for maintenance, my overall server farm always has total 100 percent availability for my customers.

And once I’m done, all I need to do is click this “create” button and then Azure will completely automate, building out this application and running it as a single instance, a single deployment unit inside our cloud.

Now, in the interest of time, I’m actually going to show you one that we deployed a little bit earlier. It’s right here called Contoso Corp Farm. One thing that’s nice here is that you’ll notice that I’m actually seeing when I drill into this deployment not a cluster of lots of individual VMs that I have to manage myself, but rather a single deployment unit that contains all of the pieces necessary to run the server farm inside it. So you can see there the domain name, the virtual machines, as well as the virtual network that I joined these VMs to. And I can just click on any of these individual resources now to drill in to see, for example, the individual VMs that make it up.

You’ll notice here I’m running in high-availability mode. So I basically have redundant databases, domain controllers and web servers for everything. If I want to, I can then click on any of the individual VMs in order to see even more details about it, and so for example, I can actually see what my total spend is on that particular machine. So it’s going to cost me about $65 a month. I can see any events or wire up any alerting rules for any of the individual instances inside here.

And even once it’s actually running, it will start populating and provide a little bit of a graph. It will show me the CPU utilization as well as the network trafficking announced between the instance, which makes it incredibly easy to basically manage everything in one experience and, again, in a completely automated way you can now stand up this size of server farm literally in minutes in any of our Azure datacenters around the world. (Applause.)

What’s cool though is not only can you stand up our software, but you’ll also be able to stand up your own. So, for example, if we go to the Azure Gallery again and click on virtual machines and scroll down here, one of the things you might notice is something called the Azure Certified Program, which is basically a bunch of virtual machines that our partners have actually gone ahead and built and certified and tested on Azure that are populated as part of this gallery as well.

And so in the same way, you can have that nice easy wizard experience in order to stand up your infrastructure, so you can actually drill into the gallery. You can see a nice view, for example, of this Barracuda web application firewall, which is a software appliance that you can run as a virtual machine that provides additional security protection against anything you’re running inside Azure.

This is provided by Barracuda, so you can actually see a nice description of what all it provides. We can click the “create” button here and in the same way I could stand up that SharePoint VM, I can now configure everything I need to stand up that Barracuda device in this one simple pane. Hit create, and then in a matter of minutes I’ll basically now have a security software appliance running inside Azure provided by Barracuda protecting my solutions. And this is just one example of the types of great partner VMs that we’re going to be populating within the gallery, and that we think that by having integrated this experience provides a wonderful opportunity both for our end customers to be able to be more successful in the cloud, but also for you as partners to be able to monetize even more. (Applause.)

As I mentioned, the Azure Gallery is fully integrated into the overall management portal experience, and all of these Microsoft Azure Certified VMs are now populating within it. Here’s a list of just some of the certified VMs that are now available as of today. You can actually go out to Azure and start deploying immediately.

We expect this list to grow even more in the future, and it provides a great opportunity where if you have any existing software that runs inside virtual machines, we’d love to be able to integrate it as part of this program. We also then provide a mechanism so that if you’re selling platform as a service, or SaaS capabilities, you’ll also be able to participate inside that Azure Gallery as well.

Another great thing that we’re excited to announce today is that we’re adding Microsoft Azure to the Open Program. This enables you to sell Azure credits to your customers. (Applause.) We’re making it easy for customers to activate their Azure accounts and credits directly within the Azure portal. And as part of this activation process, one of the things that we’ve really tried to do is make sure that we not only make it easy for the customer, but we also really make it easy for the partner to be successful as well.

So as part of this actual activation experience, you can see the customer actually provides the email address of the partner that they’re working with. And you’ll see in a few more slides, we’re providing a way that you can remain integrated as part of this experience as that customer ends up using Azure more.

Customers can now apply these Open credits that you sell them to any of the Azure Services within the portal. So, for example, they could use them to stand up a SharePoint Server farm, or use any of the other capabilities that Azure provides. We provide the ability for the customer to directly see inside the Azure portal how many Open credits are remaining that you sold them. And we, by default, wire up an automated alert to both the customer as well as the partner so that you can see as the credits start to run low, allowing you to reload additional credits to the customer and maintain a super-close customer relationship.

We think Azure and Open is going to open up even more business opportunities for you, and enable you to directly monetize the consumption of all Azure resources by your customers.

I mentioned earlier in the talk about how Azure is not just about infrastructure capabilities. We also provide a wealth of higher-level platform as a service capabilities as well. These include services to manage and store data as well as run rich analytics and visualization on top of this data as well.

What I’d like to do is invite James Stulz on stage to show off our Power BI service, which is one of the great data services that we provide.

JAMES STULZ: Thank you very much, Scott. (Applause.)

So I’m going to show Power BI. I’m going to show you where we’re taking the service in the next couple of months. For those who don’t know Power BI, it is a business intelligence service that we announced and launched in February of this year. It’s a single pane of glass that’s designed to be very easy, fresh, modern, a way for business users, ultimately end users, to surface the data they care most about to get a real-time view of their enterprise, and when necessary or when desired, to dive through that pane of glass into very rich interactive exploration capabilities.

Here I’m showing you a live real-time operational dashboard for a fictional company called Contoso. This was actually built by one of our service partners. And it is, as I said, live. You can click around. This shows at a glance, for the travel management part of Contoso, upcoming trips, where people are traveling, how much budget I have left, how much I’ve spent. We’re going to come back to this in a moment and drill through. But I want to show you how easy it is to get started building one of these dashboards.

So if I click over here to the right you can see a list of out-of-the-box data sources that are available to bring data in and begin modeling it. One of these is Salesforce. You may have seen about a month ago we announced a relationship with Salesforce, and as part of that relationship we are integrating Salesforce applications with Power BI, enabling you to bring that data over, model it, mash it up, visualize it.

And so I’m going to click on this and login as my good friend Ernest at Contoso. And when I do that we’re making a connection to Salesforce. We’re pulling the data over, modeling it, and just like that we’ve created a real-time dashboard that allows the user to get started, no coding required, very, very easy to begin to pull the data over that you care most about, visualize it, and this is, again, a live dashboard. You can drill in and start looking at sales here for 2014, for Q3, by month, and down to the individual opportunity. I can start to resize these if they’re ones that I don’t want that were pulled in. I’ve got the ability to delete it. And again, this is a starting point. This is where partners really come in. To make this really valuable building on top of this, adding additional data, creating mash-ups, using our data management technologies allows you to make this even better.

Now let me show you something really cool. So this is Power Q&A. So not only did we bring the data over and visualize it in a real-time mode, I’ve got the ability to drill through and begin asking questions. So one of the things, let’s say, I’ve heard is that we are light on opportunities for August. And I want to start looking and understanding what’s going on. So here I can begin typing, and you can see as I type in real-time, data starts to show up. I can ask questions using natural language. Let’s look at month. Yes, it looks like August is terrifying. So I want to understand why that might be. And you can see by asking a few questions that I have an issue here with utilities.

So typically a very good industry sector for me, we’re light in August, with a few simple questions I’ve been able to drill in and identify some follow-up that I can do now, talking to that industry group. I can even pin this now to my dashboard so that I’ve effectively operationalized this. So now I can continue to track how we’re doing. Once I go have the conversation, I can come back and, again in real-time, see if this pipeline begins to fill up — so a great way to keep a pulse on the business.

So I’ve shown you how easy it is to get started. Let’s go back to the partner-created dashboard. And I want to show you a very immersive analytics experience that we have built on top of this. You can see down at the bottom here that I have about $7.93 million of budget remaining in calendar year 2014, but I’ve overspent by about $1.38 million thus far. So I want to try and figure out how I can close this gap without impacting my business, and I’m going to go over here to the PPI where you can reach out and touch the data.

So here you can see those same tiles. I’ve got my variants. I’ve got my budget remaining. This is amazing, actually. I can literally touch my data. I drill in. Now what I’m about to see, this was partner-created, so part of what you get with Power BI is the ability as a partner to build solution packs for Power BI. In this particular case, the solution pack included data, it included connectivity to the data sources, it included visualization and this interactive report.

So let’s try and figure out how we can get out that $1.38 million, hit our budget, but let’s do it without impacting the business negatively. We want to save money, but we want to operate well. I don’t like pie charts, so I’m going to change this to a tree map. So now I’ve got a good view here of external travel, internal travel, trade shows, et cetera. We can see over here in the upper right my budget remaining. Clearly I’ve overspent. I already knew that. That’s why I’m here. So I’m going to get rid of that and make a little bit of room.

I’m going to look down here. So here I’ve stratified out travel costs by booking time. I’m going to pull up here my zero- to six-day you can see cost per mile. I’m going to change this to the additional cost for traveling business class. What you can see now is that I’m spending almost $2.5 million remaining in the year on business travel above and beyond what I would have spent on coach for the zero- to six-day travel. So this offers an opportunity perhaps for me to cut back.

For those people booking travel in the zero to six-day time period, we can create a policy, which is you must fly coach. But, we don’t want to do that. There may be times where flying business class is important; you want to show up fresh, you want to ensure that you’re going to have a good customer meeting or a meeting with one of our partners. So we can begin to explore here what if I cut out training travel on business class, it doesn’t really do a whole lot for me, perhaps trade show travel not much there, internal travel. And so you can see through a few touches here, I’ve been able to identify now if I set a policy, which is for zero- to six-day travel, business class is no longer allowed for internal visits, book coach. I’ve now found $1.38 million, and I can go implement that policy. I can pin this back and follow it.

So this is a quick look at Power BI, where we’re taking it. If there was ever a partner opportunity, this is it. Microsoft has a wide range of data management tools. Microsoft is a leader in business intelligence, and we give you now a tool that is easy for customers to adopt, but that creates a giant sucking sound for data. Demand for additional insights, additional data, and this is where you come in. It’s easy to get started. Go to PowerBI.com; sign up for a free trial. I urge you to do it today.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

SCOTT GUTHRIE: James showed you kind of one of the great services that we already have out there with Power BI. I’m excited to announce another great service, data service, that we’re launching today, which is the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Service. With Power BI, we help you get insight from the data on what happened in the past. With Azure Machine Learning, we also allow you now to predict the future. It’s a game-changing machine learning service that enables you to analyze any data and operationalize predictions based on it and, in doing so, radically transform your business.

As an example, tomorrow here at WPC, there’s a great talk from the Azure ML team that’s being done. And one of the partners that is going to be talking in the talk is Neal Analytics, which is helping a large e-commerce site optimize their marketing spend for Google search terms using a solution based on Azure machine learning as well as Power BI. And that machine-learning solution that they deliver to their customer is already going to enable the customer to save more than $40 million a year in search optimization spend and enable the customer to radically improve the growth of their business.

And I highly recommend watching the talk tomorrow to learn more about this great new Azure Machine Learning Service. And you can go out to Azure.com today in order to sign up and give it a try.

So you’re going to see many more talks and demos throughout the week on Azure and our overall hybrid cloud story and strategy, including all the great work that we’re doing with Windows Server and System Center. Whether you’re looking to help your customers transform their infrastructure, store and analyze data, manage their mobile workforce, create an Internet of Things, or use the cloud to build and deliver great applications, we have a great set of cloud solutions for you.

The new mobile-first, cloud-first world we are all entering is going to provide unlimited opportunities for all of us in this room. And we at Microsoft are committed to making sure that we have the best cloud for you to partner with. Partners have always been the backbone of our success, and we will not succeed without you.

So I want to thank all of you for attending WPC this week, and I really look forward to the opportunity to partner with you even more. Thanks, and have a great week.

(Applause.)

END

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