Recap of Microsoft Envision 2020 Toronto

Earlier this month, Microsoft hosted Envision the Tour in Toronto that brought together more than 200 senior business and technology leaders in Canada to explore how digital transformation can empower businesses and fuel the Canadian economy. The attendees were also privileged to hear from senior technology leaders and gained forward-thinking insights, innovative solutions, and actionable plans to realize their business transformation.

Here are some of the key milestones of the event:

Azure Availability Zones come to Canada:: Emma Da Silva, Vice President of M&O for Microsoft Canada, kicked off the morning to announce the largest expansion of Microsoft’s Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure since launching datacentres in Canada in 2016. As part of the announcement, Microsoft will be adding Azure Availability Zones in the Azure Canada Central region, increasing compute capacity by more than 1300% since datacentres were first brought online in 2016 . These availability zones will give users high availability for their most demanding applications and services as well as confidence and protection from potential hardware and software failures by providing three or more unique physical locations within an Azure region. Additionally, Microsoft will also be significantly increasing compute capacity in the Azure Canada East region and adding an Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver which will go live in the first half of the year. The expansion will help Canadian businesses have greater access to new innovations that will accelerate business development and builds on Microsoft’s significant presence in Canada.

Senior  Microsoft executives, Alysa Taylor, CVP of Microsoft Business applications and CVP of Microsoft 365 Customer and Partner experience, Bob Davis took the stage to deliver the keynotes and amplify industry-specific insights and solutions. Alysa Taylor sat down for a fireside chat with General Manager of Innovative Client Services at City of Ottawa, Valerie Turner, to share insights about the city’s digital transformation with some of the largest and most strategic customers. And Bob Davis shared how future growth across all industries and the business models of the organizations within them, will be driven in large part by applying a new breed of digital technologies.

Industry and innovation sessions: There we eight industry and innovation breakout sessions on a variety of topics such as the Intelligent manufacturing, intelligent financial services, Intelligent healthcare, discovering value from AI, Supply chain etc. These sessions were designed to give everyone a chance to step back and learn about smart strategies to tackle emerging issues, power new efficiencies and build new business models and revenue streams through industry-specific content and relevant insights. Carolyn Byer, Microsoft  Canada Human Resources Lead, delivered one of our eight industry and innovation sessions, on “Accelerating Culture Change” in which she shared the ten key takeaways that Microsoft has learned during our culture journey and provided insights on how to implement these learnings. Other industry sessions included customer speakers from CAA, Alectra, Magna, and The Ottawa Hospital Group. We also had some great sponsored innovation workshops around customer experience with Accenture, and another one on the topic of Intelligence supply chain with IBM. The most popular session in terms of attendance was “Discovering Value From AI: Overcoming the AI Adoption Gap” with Sarah Greenwalt, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, AI Marketing at Microsoft. The talk track of the session was how to build the AI strategy and take advantage of AI Business School.

The Industry Lounge experience: Throughout the day the attendees also explored exciting innovations and networking opportunities in the industry lounge. Apart from making connections and taking valuable concrete insights from their peers and other business leaders, the attendees also discovered real world transformation stories including inspiring examples from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Fabletics, Rolls Royce, Metro Bank to name a few. For a industry -focused immersive experience Microsoft also showcased a demo of HoloLens 2.

Closing Keynote: Envision Toronto event closed with Michele Romanow, Engineer, Serial entrepreneur and  “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den joining CVP for Microsoft Solutions, Corey Sanders onstage for a conversation on the upcoming global business trends, how large organizations can embrace agility in their digital transformation and her success as an innovator and tech titan



If you have missed the Microsoft Envision Forum—No worries, there are plenty of resources and opportunities available for you and your organization. We invite you to continue your learning by attending a Customer Immersion Experience or Microsoft Technology Center, You can also download our AI and industry reports to discover what senior executives from around the world think about artificial intelligence (AI) and how its use transforms industries, and finally you can engage with our FastTrack that gives you the confidence to move your business to the cloud.


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