Kirill Tatarinov: Convergence 2015

KIRILL TATARINOV: Thank you, Satya. Thank you so very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

Well, good morning, everybody. I’m so delighted to join in and welcome you to Convergence 2015. This is my eighth Convergence, and I know that many of you make this event your annual business conference. Welcome back.

For those who are joining us for the first time, I hope you like what you see and I hope you come back.

This year, the word “convergence” has even a deeper meaning. This is about convergence of powerful industry forces that Satya talked about. This is about the convergence of business and technology where the two truly become inseparable.

And, of course, for all of us here at this event, this is about convergence of ideas, sharing, learning from each other, growing, and getting better at what we do.

Satya shared an incredibly powerful vision of the future. Future of transformation of business, future of systems of intelligence.

What I’m going to do in the next 45 minutes is to share with you how that vision applies to all of us. Applies to people in business, people in organizations. Because, fundamentally, it is people who drive business success. It is people who create. It is people who invent. It’s people who imagine.

At Microsoft, we deliberately take a unique, people-centric approach. We studied deeply what people do in business. We design and build our services, our solutions and our go-to-market approach based on those individual roles. And no matter your role, technology plays a very key role in making you better, in transforming you, in helping you move into the future.

In a way, we want to think of our approach as humanizing the enterprise, helping the enterprise be incredibly people-centric in its approaches, and helping people connect and work much better together.

Business process truly serves as connective tissue in every organization, uniting people, helping people work together towards achieving a singular goal. Making people execute towards that goal with precision, knowledge and with deep insight.

Well-written business process, well, it’s like poetry. There is a reason I shared with Satya that Russian poetry write-up. Well-orchestrated business process is like a melody. And at Microsoft, working closely with our partners, we’re committed to helping you implement robust, smart, predictable, and yet dynamic and flexible business processes.

We bake business processes in our solutions, and you will see many examples throughout this event on how those business processes enable you to do amazing things. How do business processes help you get more insight? And how does business process help you serve your customers in a very unique way?

Fundamentally, a customer is at the center of every business. The customer is at the center of every organization.

The customer who previously was viewed as an outsider, today is an integral part of every business venture. We must treat the customer as if they’re part of our organization; that is what is expected.

Customers want to be involved in the act of creation of process or service or technology that will be served to them. You need to draw them in. The customer can participate in helping you advance your brand if you turn them into brand loyalists. They’re truly a persona that you need to connect and work with the most.

Customers have very unique and different expectations today. They’re more knowledgeable than ever before about the world of technology and about the multitude of choices that the modern world gives to them. And you need to be a step ahead. You need to know even more about this environment, and you need to gain this insight from both inside and outside of your organization to continue to serve them well.

Customers expect a very personable approach today. It is almost like the segments of one is what serves as customers. It’s almost like going back to the artisanal times where relationship was incredibly custom and personable.

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s business-to-consumer or business-to-business or business-to-business-to-consumer, at the end of the day, this is about people. This is about people working with people, and this is about people helping people do amazing things through delivering great services, great technologies and delivering brands to them.

So with that, customer engagement is really the most critical business process of them all. Ability to make sure that every customer interaction is truly fulfilling, and ability to make sure that all of those customer interactions are delivered in the way customers expect at the time when they expect.

And at Microsoft, we’re committed to make sure that you have the most amazing customer engagement processes delivered to you through our technology. And today, we do it with a multitude of tools that work very closely together to help you engage with your customers in this mobile-first, cloud-first world.

So let’s take a few minutes and talk about several typical roles in organizations and how those roles in the business engage with customers and how they participate in transforming the business and moving it into the future.

Satya already shared with you how his role is changing and how technology applies to moving the job of CEO into the future, gaining more insights, moving a company like Microsoft forward by utilizing technologies like Delve and Power BI. These are, indeed, technologies that all of you here can use to go deeper.

Let’s focus on a few other roles. Let’s look at a few categories of people in business. Let me start with technology led by CIO or chief technology officer. Today this is perhaps the most critical group of people that help businesses transform and move into the future.

At Microsoft, we have, obviously, worked with people in technology for the longest time. And we have longstanding relationships with CIOs and technologists, and we’re proud to serve as trusted advisors to many of you who work in the technology business.

But today, more than ever before, reimagining IT is an absolute imperative. Being able to bring in all the technological advances, keeping the organization on the leading edge, saying yes to devices that people want to bring to work, saying yes to requirements from the business, embracing the business, making sure that people in technology are true participants in driving business process. That’s what makes CIOs and people in technology much more progressive and moving into the future.

People in technology need to know their business so they can help advance it. That is an imperative today, and this is where we come in, helping you achieve that goal.

Of course, the fundamentals of CIO and the fundamentals of IT professionals never change. It is about delivering secure, scalable and reliable infrastructure. And as we’ve seen in the last 12 months, it’s the next wave of escalation in the sophistication of security attacks. So protecting the most precious assets of any organization, protecting data and protecting the organization become even more critical today than ever before.

We’re committed to IT professionals more than ever before. We’re committed to helping IT professionals become heroes again. We have a great lineup of technologies to enable you to do that, starting with something as familiar as System Center and many other tools in the Azure and Windows Server family. And to something new that we introduced recently such as Dynamics Lifecycle Services that help those who are involved in deploying business solutions and ERP systems make it with ease and make it with high precision.

The next group of people that I want to talk about is the category of folks who traditionally have been branded “back office.” These are the people in finance and human resources and in operations led by chief people officer, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

More than ever before, those folks today need to be involved in connecting with customers and enabling the customer-centric culture.

Satya talked about transparency. Data culture enables this completely new level of transparency where the information and data that’s historically been locked somewhere deep in the cellars of the enterprise can now be available to everybody. So every single person in the organization, of course, assuming they have the privilege and access to do that, can access that information and can serve their customer better and can get better insight.

Of course, knowing where the data is held and making sure that data is protected is part of that transparency. And being compliant with government regulations relative to the data and relative to the data location is also part of that transparency.

People in the human resource profession play an incredible role in helping you advance the culture of customer centricity. In fact, I can point back to Microsoft where our chief people officer, Kathleen Hogan, is helping us advance our culture of customer obsession. And I think all of you here can follow the lead working with your HR team.

In the world of extreme agility — and this is certainly the world we live in today — efficiency, being able to allocate and reallocate resources with high speed to ensure that you’re focused on the right requirement of the market, is of paramount importance.

So, yet again, being able to get insight and being able to run predictive scenarios to see where investment needs to flow today is an imperative for people in operations and in finance.

People in back office traditionally weren’t thought of as innovators. But today, we have unique opportunities to innovate what historically was viewed as backward-looking. And that innovation would enable you to create new business models, would enable you to create new approaches and would enable you to transform your organizations.

At Microsoft, we have over 15 years of experience in helping you implement and run back-office processes with our ERP solutions family. We’ve moved that family into the cloud-first, mobile-first world. And together with our partners, we’re ready to serve your needs in reinventing your back-office processes and move them into the future.

Customer care and customer service. This is certainly the front line of customer engagement, the front line of empowerment. Knowledge is the key for customer agents serving their customers better, being knowledgeable, not only understanding your products and your environment and the service that you’re delivering, but more importantly, getting complete knowledge and complete view of the customer. That’s the job of the technical people empowering the customer agents to be excellent.

Proactive service is what the world demands today. In most cases, organizations already know about potential issues in their customer environment, and they can serve those customers better in a proactive manner if they only have access to information, if they only have access to that insight.

Internet of Things plays a huge role in enabling this proactive and predictive maintenance. This is where things communicate with enterprises and enable them to know what’s going on. It’s one example of how Rockwell Automation is doing it, and you will see more throughout this event.

There’s a huge opportunity for customer care agents and for people who are involved in service to drive more business. In fact, I would say that successful service call is the No. 1 step to potentially sell more to your existing customers. Up-sell, cross-sell, and unleash, open and unlock more opportunities. Whether it’s online commerce, or whether it’s working directly with a sales professional in your company.

With Dynamics CRM and Parature, we at Microsoft are uniquely positioned to serve needs of your service agents. In fact, I was very pleased to read just before I walked on stage that both Parature and Dynamics CRM were recognized as leaders by a quite prestigious magazine, and yet again, another reason for you to consider this solution if you’re not using them yet.

The professional marketer. The professional marketer is perhaps the one that’s undergone the most deep transformation in the last few years. And yet, it’s not over. And yet, every technology advancement helps marketers to do a better job.

In fact, today, the job of marketer and the job of technologist is almost inseparable. A few basics, of course, remain the same. Deep knowledge of product of service, creating and writing and telling amazing stories, advancing your brand. Those fundamentals are here, but the way those stories can be delivered, the way the engagement can happen through multiple channels, the information that the marketer can gain from the broad audience of people he or she connects with has changed dramatically and unleashed and unlocked many, many potentials.

Through the modern communication and collaboration tools, marketers are also enabling every person in their organization to be able to advance their brand and move it forward, essentially enable every person in their organization to tell the story, to deliver the story, to deliver amazing brand advancement is what marketers can do.

At the end of the day, this is all about delivering visible and measuring outcomes and delivering impact. And also being able to measure this impact so people know exactly what impact and what return marketing generates. And with that, the requirements to be able to orchestrate and manage resource allocation amongst different marketing activities is of paramount importance.

At Microsoft, with Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, being excellent at marketing resource management, we’re uniquely positioned to serve the needs of the marketer of the future and help the marketer transform the business and move it to the next level.

In this event, you will have a chance to hear from our own chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela, and he’s going to share with you how Microsoft is transforming the marketing profession inside our organization and how can you learn from that experience and gain some of our insight.

The sales professional. They say if you’re in business, you’re in sales, and that’s indeed true. This is the broadest population of people. Every one of us are involved in the act of selling one way or another. Technology unlocks an enormous amount of opportunities for people and sales. And it seems that there is an absolute abundance of opportunity. There is no shortage of leads, there is no shortage of things to pursue. So focus becomes the most important priority for people in sales.

Focusing on the most important things, knowing whom to engage with, how to engage them, which channels to use, that is truly important.

Being able to optimize outcomes and being able to follow that outcome with precision. Enable you to accelerate your pipeline and drive it to impactful delivery. And, at the end of the day, help grow the scope and size of the opportunity so you can deliver great results and drive the business forward.

With solutions for sales productivity, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to solve the needs of the sales people. This is perhaps one of the most pivotal, one of the most important areas that we’re pursuing with Microsoft customer engagement portfolio of products, and most importantly, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

So I would like to welcome on stage Julia White. And she will show you a day in the life of a sales person. A sales person who is very progressive, a sales person who is driving their organization to the future. Julia, welcome. (Applause.)

JULIA WHITE: Thanks, Kirill.

Now, Kirill talked about the importance of sales productivity. Now I want to show you an example of how this comes to life and what sales productivity means using the Microsoft Cloud across Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365, Skype for Business and the awesome new Surface Hub that will be here soon.

So, in this case, I’m a busy sales person and I’m trying to get some deals done. And I start my day here in CRM Online and I’m using the spring release with all the new capabilities in it as well.

And this is where I manage all of my information, I have everything I need right at a fingertip. And down here, I have all of my leads.

Now, as a busy sales person, I have more leads than I can focus on. I want to know what’s the most important lead I should spend my time on right now.

Well, CRM now actually gives me a score and tells me which lead is most important. And they’re ranked here. So if I go, I see this 3-D printer upgrade. That right now is my most important lead based on the score. So I’m going to go ahead and select that and find out why.

Well, I’m excited to announce that Dynamics has partnered with, a leading sales acceleration technology company that now uses predictive intelligence to actually tell me which lead is most hot, what I should work on right now. And with this predictive intelligence, I get two scores. This neural score which uses public information to let me know if this company is ready — the likelihood to buy right now. And the contactability tells me their likelihood to engage based on their engagement with us in past moments.

And when I see this chart that both of those scores are high, I know this is the time to focus on this lead specifically. So if it’s hot, I’m going to go work on it.

So I’m going to go into my develop stage here. And as I do so, you can see that CRM offers integration with Skype so I can just contact my customer right here if I wanted to. But now with the spring release, I also have OneNote integration so I can have my team notes, all my shared meeting notes.

If I click in here to my OneNote notebook, I see there was a meeting — (Applause.). Yeah, applause, that’s awesome. (Laughter.)

I can see the people who we’re meeting. I can see the notes we’re taking. So even though I wasn’t there, I don’t have to miss a thing.

And I see in this meeting in particular, we talked about how the customer wanted some accessories with their 3-D printer. So I want to make sure that I include that backup cooling fan and extruder in the proposal.

So let me go back to CRM. And I’m ready to go into that proposal phase now that I know what they want. So I’m going to go to that next phase here into proposal.

And here are my product line items, and I have that 3-D printer going there. But also now I have suggestions. And if I open that, it’s actually bringing up all related products to the 3-D printer so I don’t have to remember what all the accessories are, CRM provides that for me. I can go ahead and just pick all those suggested items and go ahead and add it to the product list item for my proposal.

So now thanks to CRM, I knew which lead to focus on with that predictive intelligence. I had all of the notes from my team so I knew exactly what to do, and with the suggested items, I know that I have all the right items to move into that proposal phase.

So now I know it’s hot, so I’m going to go ahead and work on that proposal. Well, it turns out, a couple weeks ago, I was meeting with a colleague, Eric. He’s another sales guy with me. And he had this awesome 3-D printer proposal. And I haven’t really worked on this product very much, and so I don’t have an existing proposal. So I want to build on that work that he’s already done rather than start over.

So I don’t know exactly which meeting I met with Eric or what that was called, but I can go to Delve. And I can find that information.

So here in Delve, I can go ahead and just search right here on Eric. And what it brings up is all the information that Eric has shared with me that’s also relevant to the work I’m doing. So it finds that, discovers it for me.

And there, in fact, is that 3-D printing proposal. So I just found it that simply right within Delve. I don’t have to create my own proposal, I can just work from his and be that much more efficient.

So I grab that proposal down. Of course I’m going to save it to my OneDrive account where I can do editing, which is great.

But it’s not just about my input and my feedback, I actually want to make sure my team gets that as well. So I’m going to do the old-fashioned thing, which is use email to communicate because we love to try and use email to collaborate.

But I’m showing you here for the very first time publicly Outlook 2016. Yes. And I’m excited to announce today that technical preview of Office 2016 for IT pros and developers to get early access to the bits to start testing internally.

Now this build right here doesn’t have all the new end-user features yet, so I’ll show you one of my favorites. So I’m going to send that email to my team to collaborate. I got it sent to Eric and Ben here. I’m going to go ahead and attach that file.

And you see when I hit “attach file” it actually brings up my most recently used documents from across Office. So I don’t have to go search for it and browse for it, it’s right there. There’s that 3-D proposal.

And when I go to attach it, it’s giving me new options. I can just send a link from my OneDrive account, or I can go ahead and do the attachment the old way if I want. I’m going to make the right choice, and I’m going to send that link. And when I hit send, it looks like an attachment, feels like an attachment. And when I send it, it actually sends them access to that file, all the permissions are handled. So I don’t have to actually send a physical attachment and deal with versioning. We’re all working in a modern, collaborative way, using the cloud, all working on one document. (Applause.)

All right. So now let’s go out to OneDrive. I want to actually work on that proposal with my co-workers. So I’m going to go ahead and open it here from OneDrive.

And I want to go ahead and edit as well while we’re out here so we can all work on it. And true for all of the Office applications, I can do real-time collaboration. So we can all be editing the document together, so it’s both a conversation and an authoring process together.

So I’m going to go down here and use one of my favorite capabilities of Office. You see Eric’s now in editing there, I get a notice. And you can see, there he is, editing. I can see pixel by pixel.

But I want to put in a table. And sometimes I forget in all the various capabilities of Office where tables are. So I no longer have to know. I can just tell Office what I want to do, and it does it for me, using this new Tell Me capability. I just say that I want to insert a table, and you see — I spelled it wrong, but it almost got it. I want to insert a table, and it takes me right to that actual command. It doesn’t take me to help and how to, it actually does it for me, I do it right there from the Tell Me capability.

All right, so I added in what I want, I see Eric’s doing his edits as well. So I think they’re going to work on the proposal, which is great.

But I want to just let them know that I’m going to head off and see Trek, but before I do, I want to send this proposal so I can get going. So to do that, I’m actually going to open up this brand-new Skype for Business experience to send them an instant message about that.

So announcing today also the public preview of Skype for Business. Last November, we announced a new name for Lync, Skype for Business, and today it’s now publicly available for everyone to try.

I’m thrilled to be among the first to show you this new experience. It’s gorgeous, familiar, it’s inspired by Skype and enables faster adoptions thanks to the millions of people already using Skype today.

And I can use it to reach anyone across IM, I can text, I can call, I can video. Here I just want to let them know to kind of send the proposal. Proposal to Trek. And then, of course, who doesn’t love these awesome new emoticons? Hello, dancing man. Got to love that. So let them know that.

Also, it has all the same richness you’ve come to expect in business capabilities of Lync, but it’s also now connected with Skype. We’ve brought together the Skype for Business and Skype Network. So now all the Skype for Business users can connect with Skype from a contacts perspective and communicate with IM, voice, video.

So imagine a sales person connecting with any customer, a doctor connecting with a patient, an employer interviewing someone via Skype. There are so many possibilities with this new experience, fantastic.

All right. So Ben wanted to send the proposal off to Trek when they’re all done with that. So I’m going to go ahead and get over to Trek and show them the presentation about the 3-D printer.

But on the way there, I want to get prepared for my meeting. So I’m going to show you a new concept app that helps me prep for my sales meeting while I’m en route to the customer. And this is just giving you a glimpse of what’s possible when you bring together Dynamics, Azure Machine Learning, Office 365 and Bing into this experience. And I can get a view of customer insight as well as what’s going on related to that customer.

So if I go into my meeting here, and I can go to that 3-D printer upgrade meeting. There’s a link into that concept app that will bring me right into this information. So it’s pulling from all different sources right here. I see the location, I even get traffic information. I can go down and see who is attending the meeting, I see people from Trek as well as from my company.

And I see here David Peterson from Trek, and I see that little question mark. That means that he and I aren’t directly connected in a social network. But if I tap on there, it’ll show us all of our related connections. So I can find someone to connect with him through.

I can also go to the account area. You see this is now pulling information from my Dynamics systems. I see information about Trek, I see the opportunities we’re working on them with, what they’ve purchased in the past. And if I go down, I even get all of my communication history from Office 365, the emails, the documents that we’re working on together.

And then going over to news, I can see public information about what’s going on with Trek, and if there’s any kind of interesting notifications, I can get those as well. You see I just get a quick notice that says Trek is announcing a new contest.

So as I’m walking into the meeting, I have a full 360 view of the customer. Who I’m connected to, what our history has been, and even breaking news information. Then I’m prepared to have a really excellent sales meeting.

So for the presentation with Trek, I’m actually going to use my iPad using the beautiful Office for iPad experience. So here I have PowerPoint up on my iPad. You see it’s that familiar Office experience, the ribbon and the commands, exactly where you’d expect them, but great with touch. So I have a really natural experience on this device.

Well, let’s go ahead and do the presentation here. Go into presentation mode, and it automatically projects up. And I get a nice speaker notes. I have my notes, I have a timer, everything right here at my fingertips to have a really fantastic, high-impact presentation.

And I can swipe through, and you see all those rich animations that you’d expect from Office. But I also have some nice enhancements for this app specifically where I can kind of touch and hold, maybe I’ll need a laser pointer and highlight what I’m talking about. Or if I want to go ahead and add some ink, I can annotate here and maybe talk about how these parts come together. So some nice enhancements to make it a really impactful presentation using this device.

All right, well, my presentation went awesome. Trek is ready to move forward and ready to purchase. So I’m going to head back into the office to talk to the team. But on my way back, I want to go ahead and update the deal status. So I’m going to go back to my phone here where I can do that.

So right from my Dynamics app here, I can do that. So we’ve done the work to integrate Cortana with CRM. So I can actually just use Cortana, my digital assistant, to do this for me. Let’s do that now.

CRM open opportunity called Trek 3-D Printer Upgrade.

CORTANA: Opening opportunity called Trek 3-D Printer Upgrade.

JULIA WHITE: So that simply, using natural voice interaction, I just ask Cortana and she opens that for me. (Cheers, applause.)

As you see, I have the richness of my CRM experience right here in my mobile app, and I can go ahead and say I’m ready to close this deal. I’ve made that next step, closed the presentation, ready to move forward. So that simple.

So you see with both Dynamics CRM as well as Office 365, I have a great, rich mobile experience, native apps across Windows of course, iOS and Android. So I can be productive on all of my devices wherever I’m at as a busy sales person.

All right, now I’m back in the office and I’m meeting with my team here, and I’m going to use the Surface Hub for this. This is a stunning, 84-inch, ultra-high-def, 4K touch-sensor screen. The biggest one ever made. It’s a fantastic all-in-one device. High-def cameras built in, speakers, mikes, CPU, Bluetooth. It’s got everything. Literally, all I need is a power cord and I’m ready to go.

And this is really designed from the ground up for collaboration. So it’s in the room collaboration, but also across the world. And, of course, that means great Skype integration. So now, literally, I walk up and it has my meeting right here. I just tap to join that meeting, and with that native Skype integration, drops me right into that meeting experience.

And when it does, though, it brings me to a white board. Again, a very natural thing to do in a meeting experience, and I have my pen here. So for the meeting today, I want to go over our pipeline information specifically. Make sure we want to track that.

But I also want to — I just got back from Trek, so I want to go over the customer feedback, too. But because it’s not a physical keyboard, I can do things — sorry, physical white board — I can do things that I can’t otherwise, like while that customer information is top of mind, I actually want to bring that up and I want to talk about that first.

And you know what? Trek had some really specific information about both the deck that I showed them as well as the pitch, too. So that simply, I can move things around. Now everyone on the video — hey, guys, how’s it going? Everyone on the video can also see the white board just like they’re in the room with me. There’s not that difficulty because they’re not in the room. It’s a very natural experience.

All right, but it’s not just about white boarding, of course, it’s about sharing information. So the Trek team had feedback about that deck. So I’m going to go ahead and connect with Ben here, the Surface Pro he has on stage, to show that presentation so I can talk about the feedback that Trek has.

So I’ll go ahead and swipe. And you’ll see when I touch, it actually happens on the Surface, too. It’s not just a display, it’s actually a two-way experience. We call that “touchback.” So I can slide, Ben can swipe, but it’s also about inking, of course. So if Ben wants to mark up the presentation and make some suggestions, it shows up on my side.

And then I can do the same. So maybe I think, you know, Trek says they kind of like that — they want to maybe animate it and show how it fits right there. And, again, you see how the ink actually goes back to the Surface as well. So it’s a really rich, two-way experience.

And the same goes for the people on the videos, they could be engaging in that same way. So even though we’re in the room and across the world, we have that rich experience.

All right, so that is the feedback from Trek. So let’s go ahead and switch over to look at our pipeline.

So we’re going to go ahead and open our Power BI dashboard and see all of our sales information at a single glance. You see everything here on this device in a touch experience.

For me, right now, I want to look at this gross revenue in the U.S. and get a sense of what’s happening there. So I’ll tap in and go to that space.

Now, I see I have gross revenue and I have gross margins here, but I really wish I had that combined view.

Well, it turns out, I can do that right here as well. So if I select edit and I just tap on that, and literally I’m just going to drag this up and lay it right on top here and Power BI does this incredible work of actually combining those two charts and giving me a new view that looks at both. Pretty awesome. (Applause.)

And if I want to enhance it and see other things, it’s been simple. It’s just using standard pivot table experiences that all of us can do. So maybe I want to add my weekly estimated pipeline, I can do that and instantly get a new visualization.

And you see with this new view, I can see, wow, I can see how 3-D printers are, but I really feel that I want to focus on those 42-inch LCD TVs as well, all that great visualization helps me understand what’s happening across the business.

All right, and then at the end of this, all I have to do with this device is go and hit “end session” and it clears everything off of the Hub, and so there’s no information remaining. The next team or meeting can walk up and begin using the device, everything is taken care of.

And everything is on OneNote from my white board so I can just go straight to my OneNote notebook or I can email it, so everything is captured, too. So great, great meeting experience. Thanks. (Applause.)

So I showed you just one example of a mobile sales person being productive across the Microsoft Cloud using Dynamics, CRM, Office 365, Skype for Business, and of course the Surface Hub. This really is productivity in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Thank you so much, Julia. What an amazing demonstration. Thank you. Let’s give Julia a warm round of applause. (Cheers, applause.)

Let me just highlight a few things that you saw in this demo, a few very important announcements that we’re making today. We’re announcing IT professional and developer preview of Office 2016 that’s going to be available later this year. We’re announcing preview of Skype for Business, and of course we’re announcing Dynamics CRM Spring 2015 release that delivers amazing business process innovation, performance, productivity, deep integration with Office.

Microsoft Solution for Productivity is available today and it only gets better every step of the way as those technologies get rolled into the marketplace.

We talked about people in business roles. And let me emphasize how important it is for all of us to ensure that we stay connected with our customers. There is a commitment from Microsoft to all of you to continue to serve your needs through technology. We continue to advance every single one of our ERP solutions serving the needs of back office, and serving the needs of very critical business processes and operations, finance, manufacturing and many other industries. And, of course, customer engagement is a focus of paramount importance today.

Now, it became a very exciting tradition for us to celebrate success of our customers, celebrate success of our established customers at Convergence Conference. And today is not an exception. Every year, there’s over 200 organizations that are nominated by our partners and by our field-facing and customer-facing people, and then they’re brought back and they go through a rigorous selection process.

So now, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to announce Convergence 2015 Visionary Award winners. (Cheers, applause.)

These organizations are truly transforming the way they do business. This organization embracing technology, and this organization achieving results through deploying Microsoft Business Solutions and Microsoft technology end to end. Our top customers report tremendous growth in revenue, tremendous return on investment, amazing improvement in customer service. And those results, all of you who put technology to good use can accomplish.

Today, we have unique opportunity to hear from several of those award winners and we’re going to hear stories from Pandora Jewelry, AccuWeather and Wash.

Let me tell you the first story, the story of Pandora. This organization is revolutionizing the world of jewelry. They created a new business model, they created a new marketplace and they’re doing something truly amazing with technology. It’s a very powerful example. Let’s roll the video, please.

(Video: Pandora.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome Phillip Kennedy, who is head of IT for the Americas at Pandora Jewelry. Welcome, Phillip, good morning.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: Good morning. (Applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: You know, I didn’t recognize you without a beard.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: Yeah, same person. I was actually —

KIRILL TATARINOV: You’re the guy in the video, actually.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: That was actually a Thanksgiving Day bet with my two younger brothers, and I won.

KIRILL TATARINOV: All right, well, very good. Congratulations. Look, amazing story of Pandora. You guys are doing some terrific, terrific things. The business model is quite exciting. You’re based in Copenhagen, Denmark. You manufacture in Thailand, you serve in 90 countries. And the approach you take is really unique and different from everyone else in that industry.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: It is for us. I mean, we started out as a manufacturer largely, selling through our retail partners. And we’re just recently getting into the retail business a little bit more. So we are shifting the way we focus and the way we manage our business, starting to think more like a retailer.

KIRILL TATARINOV: So technology plays an important role, and people who touch those sellers, I mean, it’s multi-stage approach, multi-stage business process, how do you do that?

PHILLIP KENNEDY: Very tricky. (Laughter.) But technology is important for us. Two of the key development platforms that we use, one of the first ones is Azure. So we built a B2B portal from the ground up in Azure to support our franchise partners, give them a place to place their orders. We share documents with them, item information, marketing materials, things like that.

And we also have a self-serve reporting portal that’s been a big success for us. That solution is running 23 instances supporting about 35 countries. And we’re looking to get 60 percent of our wholesale business through that site by the end of the quarter.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s great. All right, and I see you holding a device?

PHILLIP KENNEDY: Yes, this is the other solution that’s key for us, development platform. Our partner, Hitachi, helped us develop this. This is the CRM mobile client. It’s free, you can download it from the app store. And this is a day in the life of our field representatives. Our sales reps and our visual merchandisers use this to collect data from the stores and provide us metrics so we can monitor scorecards and then correlate that with sales.

So you can see your daily activity, store visits, business plans. We write a business plan for every one of our retailers every year and help them manage through that. View your active accounts, and also view sales actuals to budget.

We’ll take a quick look at one of our store visits here. So this is what the field team does when they actually go into a store. They track metrics like outdoor signage, do they have a window claim, does it reflect the current campaign? We do in-store branding. We can see if they ran a training or not, how many people they trained, and this is a very intelligent touchscreen experience. We’ve issued them Surface Pro 3 devices.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s fantastic.


KIRILL TATARINOV: Well, it’s a great app. I’m sure they’re all empowered, they have the ability to collect data in real time, gain insights, make better, and communicate back with headquarters so you guys can make decisions.

Well, I really appreciate the partnership. And, Phillip, in the spirit of partnership, my team gave me this Pandora bracelet as we were coming here. (Laughter.) But, unfortunately, there are only four charms for men that are currently made.


KIRILL TATARINOV: Can you guys do a little more work for us as we’ve been doing for you, that will be fantastic.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: We will, all right.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Thanks so much.

PHILLIP KENNEDY: Thank you. (Applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: So Pandora has been an amazing user of technology and advancing their business through Azure, through Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX running in the back end, but all integrated, all united, all working together as one. And that is a powerful example of this uniting business process in a very progressive, forward-looking organization.

My next guest is AccuWeather. You already had a chance to look at AccuWeather applications in Satya’s speech this morning. But let’s look a little more into what AccuWeather is doing. Let’s roll the video, please.

(Video: AccuWeather.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: (Applause.) What a powerful story. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to welcome from AccuWeather, Dr. Joel Meyers, founder, president, and CEO.

JOEL MEYERS: Thank you.

KIRILL TATARINOV: And Casey McGeever, who is the chief commercial officer.

JOEL MEYERS: Thank you.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Welcome. (Applause.) Gentlemen, before we start, on behalf of all of us, thank you for providing amazing weather here in Atlanta.

JOEL MEYERS: You’re welcome, we’ll take credit.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Absolutely. Joel, you founded AccuWeather over 50 years ago.

JOEL MEYERS: Yes. Seems like just yesterday.

KIRILL TATARINOV: I’m sure it does. Can you tell us a little bit of insight how it started and the journey?

JOEL MEYERS: Sure. Well, I grew up in Philadelphia and was fascinated with snow when I was three or four years old. And by the time I was seven, I knew I wanted to be a meteorologist. And when I was 11, I got the idea of starting a company to combine my burning desire to be a weather forecaster with my entrepreneurial spirit. And I had the chance to start AccuWeather as a graduate student at Penn State, a long time ago.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Wow. Fascinating. What a story. And, obviously, when you started, there was no technology whatsoever, and now the transformation — you saw every step of the way. Mainframe, client-server and now mobile.

JOEL MEYERS: That’s the excitement. We’re constantly innovating, adapting and finding new applications and continuing to reinvent ourselves.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Well, that’s fantastic, that’s awesome. Casey, I’m sure you see amazing stories from your customers as you’re in touch with them every day. We had a bit of a glimpse on what CSX is doing in the previous demonstration, but what I understand, there is more to the CSX story?

CASEY McGEEVER: Yes, there is. I’d be glad to tell you that one of our rail clients had a fascinating experience. They had two trains heading towards Greensburg, Kansas, from opposite directions at 70 miles an hour.

We determined that there was going to be a tornado in the area. We asked them to stop the trains, they did stop them. The tornado shot right between the two trains, exactly where we said it would be. The conductors of the trains actually saw the tornado backlit by lightning as it passed between them. No trains were derailed, no one was injured on the train. It was a huge success story because the tornado was exactly where we told them it would be.

And we have another example. (Applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: Yeah, what an amazing story.

CASEY McGEEVER: Thank you. For those of you who are concert goers, in Chicago in Soldier Field last year, during the summer, Pearl Jam was giving a concert. And we warned them during the concert of a sudden lightning storm that was going to sweep across Soldier Field. It did, indeed, sweep across Soldier Field, but first they moved everyone to safety, the musicians and the concert goers. Lightning actually struck the platform where Eddie Vedder had been standing just a few minutes earlier, but no one was injured. And, again, that’s because of the extreme accuracy we have.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s incredible. That is truly saving lives with technology. (Applause.) Thank you for sharing. What a powerful story, what a powerful story.

CASEY McGEEVER: I would just say, one of the things about that is our false alarm rate is only about 11 percent, whereas the public warnings are about 88 percent false alarms. And so companies take this information and they monetize it, they make money by being in the right place at the right time and not being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

JOEL MEYERS: Making better decisions.

CASEY McGEEVER: Making better decisions, yes, Joel.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s incredible. Making better decisions through data and through data culture.

CASEY McGEEVER: And that’s all coming out of the Microsoft Cloud, it’s all driven by Azure.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s excellent. Well, thank you. Joel, what’s next for AccuWeather? There’s been an amazing transformation. Thank you for an amazing partnership. I understand you’re a deep user of our CRM solution, having switched from another tool. What’s next?

JOEL MEYERS: Well, we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. A lot of innovation. You saw the portal earlier, that’s going to be launched soon. We serve 1,800 radio stations, television stations and newspapers, constantly innovating for them, 245 of the Fortune 500 companies, and just in the last year, we’ve come out with MinuteCast, where we forecast minute by minute so people and companies can make better decisions. A 45-day forecast, we’re constantly extending the period where we can provide accurate forecasts, and a lot of creative products that allow people and businesses to make better decisions so that they get more out of their life, their planning, and more profit for companies.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Fantastic. Well, this is tremendous. Tremendous story, tremendous example and tremendous journey of transformation for over 50 years with technology. Thank you so much for your partnership, thank you for being with us here, and thank you for sharing with us your terrific, terrific examples of using technology and data. Thank you, Joel. Thank you, Casey. (Applause.)

Our next customer is from Wash Laundry. And this is the industry that is very traditional. This is the approach and the company that you would think involves some very traditional ways of servicing washing machines around condominiums, universities and Army bases.

But this is also the company that is completely revolutionizing their approach through technology. They’re world-class in customer service, and they use it by taking advantage of everything — essentially everything that Microsoft has to offer them. Let’s take a look at the video.

(Video: Wash Laundry.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to welcome John Buccola, who is chief information officer for Wash Laundry.

JOHN BUCCOLA: How are you doing, Kirill? (Applause.)

KIRILL TATARINOV: Good, how are you? Good to see you. What an amazing, powerful story of transformation. How do you guys do that?

JOHN BUCCOLA: Well, you know, first I think the only thing between this audience and a bio break is you, me and that washing machine.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Oh, yeah, I see we have another guest. (Laughter.) I guess for the first time ever, we have a washing machine joining us at the Convergence Conference. So let’s take a look, what is so special about this washing machine, John?

JOHN BUCCOLA: Well, I’ll show you. Wash was founded in 1947. And we used to think of ourselves as an old battleship that went out to sea and never came home. Everything worked, all the gauges, all of the “aye-aye, captain,” but it was inefficient.

And we went out on a journey to transform our business to become not just a laundry services provider, but a provider of technology and customer service.

And so we think about how we touch our customers. We install equipment, we service that equipment, and we collect from that equipment and then disperse that payment back to our customers. So a lot of transactions.

But the service transaction is one that happens all the time. You know, we do over a million truck rolls a year. And we’ve just made it stone simple for our residents and our customers to open service calls.

What the resident has to do — and we make this, again, very easy for them. They open the app. So in this case I’m going to use a Windows Phone. We have this available on Windows and all the other mobile platforms as well. But the user just scans the bar code on the front of the machine, the mobile app does a data exchange with Microsoft Azure.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s awesome.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Brings down the information from Dynamics, so we use Microsoft’s GP CRM and Azure Office 365 platforms.

Once that service call is opened, the resident will go onto another machine that’s working in the building. But that service call goes into our system of intelligence. It goes into our command center platform where we can see our calls, and you can see the maps. You can show at a glance a service manager has everything that he or she needs to deliver superior customer service to our customers.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s excellent.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Collecting tons and tons of data. So we have a mountain of data from service, from our revenue cycle processes and from our installation as well.

So all of this information lives inside Microsoft’s platforms, but we then surface it through Power BI and through machine learning as well.

KIRILL TATARINOV: What a powerful example of amazing customer service that you’re delivering.

JOHN BUCCOLA: It is. You know, we were a three-state company just a few years ago. And we’ve now grown to be the No. 1 laundry services provider in Canada, and the No. 2 provider in the United States, with superior customer service and best-in-class margins. (Applause.) Thank you. Quite a transformation for us.

KIRILL TATARINOV: I can imagine. All through the use of technology.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Absolutely.

KIRILL TATARINOV: All right. Is there something else you want to show us?

JOHN BUCCOLA: Well, what’s next for us is we are going beyond the laundry room and going into other verticals and other geographic areas as well.

So we’re expanding from being just a laundry services provider to being a multi-vertical provider to the multi-housing segment.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Of course, you can take this technology and apply it elsewhere and go horizontal.

JOHN BUCCOLA: That’s right. There are so many unexpected insights we get from our data. Microsoft’s technology allows us to see that, and we’re going to be presenting that in the next session.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That’s excellent. I see the app there.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Yes. We have the command center application. There’s also a number of screens that a dispatcher or a service manager can see.

You can see here, these are actually technicians. So they can see at a tech level, there’s kind of a Gantt Chart there that shows tech by tech, the productivity of that tech, how long they’ve been driving, whether or not they have coverage and then all the ticket flow as well.

So all these tickets are open sort of from smartphones from our users. And then they land on the technician’s smartphone on the other side, all automatically.

KIRILL TATARINOV: That is awesome.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Really exciting.

KIRILL TATARINOV: What a fantastic story. And as John mentioned, next session with James Phillips. John will be back sharing more on the Wash story. It’s an incredible example of the use of technology.

JOHN BUCCOLA: Thanks so much, Kirill.

KIRILL TATARINOV: Thank you so very much. (Applause.)

So today you saw amazing, powerful examples of how technology helps businesses transform. You saw how it’s applied to people in business roles. You saw how customer engagement plays a critical role as the most important business process. You saw how people unite through the power of business process embedded with technology.

You saw people who are becoming forward-looking organizations, forward-looking enterprises that use technology. All of these companies, all of those incredible organizations are here for you to learn from and to share. And this is essentially what Convergence is all about.

I want to make sure that you take full advantage of the learning and sharing opportunity in the next four days. It is an incredible event, it is an incredible opportunity, and there is a lot going on here for you to advance your organizations, advance your businesses to the next level.

I want to thank you for being here with us today. I want to thank you for joining Convergence. For those of you who are existing customers, thank you for your loyalty and continued support. Our commitment to you is to continue to deliver great technology to help you advance your businesses no matter what part of our solutions you choose, and hopefully advance to use it all.

For those who are here considering our solutions, I hope you come back next year as customers. And for all of our great partners, there’s an incredible partner relationship behind every one of those customer success stories. Our partner strategy remains invariant. We’re committed to your success. Together, we will reinvent the world of business and we will change the world of business again.

Thank you so very much. Please enjoy Convergence, and have a fantastic, fantastic event. (Applause.)