Transcript of remarks by Satya Nadella, corporate vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions, and Doug Burgum, senior vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions
San Diego, California
March 12, 2007
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, Doug Burgum.
DOUG BURGUM: Wow, what a fantastic way to kick off Convergence. And it was literally a human visualization of a coming together, of you might even say a harmonic convergence, how fitting for us to have that as we gather here in Southern California.
It’s my opportunity this morning to say welcome to all of you. And I want to say that welcome to all of our customers who’ve come from far and wide, and I want to deliver that welcome on behalf of all of us at Microsoft, and all of our partners. So, again, welcome to all of our customers that are here today.
It’s so great to have you here, and speaking of welcomes, what about last night’s event? I thought that was very fun. I had a chance to welcome a number of people in person at the welcome gathering. We had sunsets, we had sushi, we had surfing, or at least it was surfing on airbags, and we had Sliders. I know the people that are clapping, I saw some of them. How many people have ever been to a White Castle? (Applause.) A fair number, if you haven’t, Sliders are these little teeny how many people don’t know what a Slider is? Part of learning is being open to what you don’t know, that’s great. So a Slider is a little teeny hamburger, okay, a little teeny hamburger, an already preformed little thing like this.
So as I was walking around the event, foraging for food, checking out all the different things that were there last night, watching a lot of other people doing the same things, I run into a guy, we’re standing by the Slider thing, and he’s all excited about the Sliders, I’m all excited about the Sliders. And he says to me, and I’m not sure he knew who I was, not that that mattered, but he said, hey, I think we could take these down to the other end and sell them. So I love a conference full of entrepreneurs.
So we have had a great welcome ceremony, we’ve had that, we’re all here together. We’ve got as I said, we’ve got great weather, we’ve got great venues, we’ve got record attendance, over 8500 people coming to convergence this week. That’s amazing. This all started out with a single idea, it was 10 years ago, this is the eleventh Convergence, 1997 at our first Convergence in Orlando, Florida, we had 47 attendees, 47 attendees. So this is what’s happening in a short span of 10 years. I think today there’s more than 47 people just on the production crew backstage. So we’ve come a long way together as a community. We’ve been on a tremendous journey, and that journey has been a wonderful thing that we’ve been able to do together.
But, before I go any further, before I do anything else at the conference, I want to start with a thank you. That thank you goes out, first of all, to all of you here in the room. If you’re in this room this morning, you’re a smart individual, you’ve made a decision, you’ve balanced your priorities, you’ve had the tug and pull of family and business and career, but you’ve said, I’m going to dedicate some time, I’m going to this conference, I’m making a commitment. And that commitment is about to yourself, your organization, and it’s fundamentally about learning.
So first of all I want to thank you sincerely for being here, and for investing in yourself. I also want to thank you, we have many, many partners in the room, partners that help our customers and deliver solutions, and those partners in many cases we’ve had relationships with them that have existed for years, and years, and in some cases decades. And I want to say thank you to all the partners that are here. And I want to thank you for the relationships we have, I want to thank you for the business that you give us, and I want to thank you most of all for your trust, because if you’re a customer here, you’ve entrusted us with your most critical business systems. And if you’re a partner, you’ve entrusted us with your most important business relationships.
All of you are so important to us, we have 1,000 Microsoft team members here at this event, 1,000. I know that all of you are thinking about the expense, and it takes time and energy to get here, we’ve got 1,000 Microsoft team members from around the world here to support this event, to interact with you, to have dialogue with you, to present, to learn from you, and to help share information with you. So together we have, again, a tremendous opportunity for learning, but this opportunity wouldn’t exist without you making the commitment to be here, without you making the commitment to a relationship with us. And so for all of that, and on behalf of the 1,000 of us that are here, I want to specifically say thank you to all of you for being here. (Applause.)
I had a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to be in this industry for almost two and a half decades. And I’m full of gratitude for a number of different things. And that gratitude extends to the opportunities I’ve had, the relationships I’ve had, the people that I have known and interacted with. But, one thing that I’m particularly grateful for is the fact that I have had an opportunity to work in an organization and to help build an organization that has focused around a purpose, that’s focused around a mission that is service and externally oriented.
When we think about the mission of Microsoft today, when we talk about enabling people, and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential, this is a wonderful thing to get up every day and work on, this is a wonderful thing to use as a guide, as a North Star to think about how do we invest our resources, and what kind of solutions we try to create, how do we apply new technologies, because the planet that we live on today is a small planet, I think that everyone understands that we’re going through rapid, rapid, rapid explosions in change, in terms of new technologies, and rates of information, and changes in communication, and all of those having economic impact on the way we do business. So it’s an exciting, in some ways tumultuous time, because of all the new opportunities created by all the new technologies. But, I think this mission allows us to stay focused on what we want to do for you.
So as we focus on that mission, and we focus on the importance of it, and we think about, well, how does Convergence fit in with that mission, and Convergence fits directly in with that mission. If you think about any organization, and those of you that are here, one measure of realizing your potential is, is the organization that you work for, is it a leader, is it a leader in your field, is it leader in your geography, is it a leader in your industry, is it a leader in your niche? Is the firm that you’re working for, and helping to build, and helping to create, is it leading? And John F. Kennedy once said that learning and leadership are indispensable to each other.
So to the degree that Convergence, the next three days that we have together, is fundamentally about learning, it’s about learning, that learning is something that you can help and use in your organizations, that’s something that you can also use to help your organization become a leader. And if learning is something that you can use to help yourself personally, to help realize your own potential, so, again, the learning that’s going to go on. I think when we think about learning it’s easy to come to a conference like this and maybe say to yourself, hey, I’m going to take a break from the bombardment of information that comes at me in a normal day. Sometimes there’s an opportunity to step back from the normal flow, from the normal sort of over-wash of information.
I’m sure you’ve heard there are many statistics like this, I’m sure you’ve all heard something, but let me just recap a couple that I’ve had a chance to read recently. They say that there’s been more new information created in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000 years. Another source says that information doubled in the last five years, versus any previous versus all previous recorded history. I’m interested in how people come up with these, because it’s probably a very tough calculation to do, but I think that we all get the general feel.
Another interesting one was that a weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than the average citizen of England in the 17th century would run across in a lifetime, one daily issue of The New York Times. So we sort of say, how do we absorb and how do we take advantage of all this information? One of our I think our reactions as humans is that sometimes we actually even shut down, we can’t absorb any more, we can’t take on any more. So one of the things that I would like to, again, as part of the challenge to all of you to get the most out of your convergence experience, is to begin this morning, right this morning, and from Satya’s keynote all the way through Steve Ballmer’s keynote on Wednesday, is to really open yourself up to new learning, to allow yourself to be ready to absorb this stuff, and to drop some of the barriers to the wash of information that we may have applied.
I think the learning to sort of say, if you’re open, you said, okay, I’m open, how is this going to happen, how does learning occur? Well, learning can occur in a number of different ways. We’ve got a fabulous schedule of sessions, where we will be presenting to you, and that’s relatively it can be effective, and we work hard in making sure we’ve got the best presentations, and the best presenters, and the best demos, but it’s relatively passive in the sense that we’re talking and the audience is listening.
Convergence is much more than the sessions. There’s the opportunity at the expo, there’s the opportunity in the hallways, there’s the opportunity we’re going, I think this is the part why people keep coming back, and why Convergence grows every year, is because the people that come to Convergence are both open to learning, and they’re committed to participating in an active dialogue with everyone that’s here.
I think that as an interesting goal for all of us this morning is and I’m not sure what the Guinness World Book of Records is for active dialogue at a conference, we don’t have that measure, that metric hasn’t been established, but we do have a metric that we want to try to achieve here at Convergence. And there’s about 8,500 people here, everyone has the responsibility to be part of the active dialogue, which the active dialogue means asking questions. That’s probably my definition of active dialogue. So that if everybody here can commit to asking 10 questions a day, that’s not you guys will be working 10 to 12 hours, I’m sure, at these things, so one an hour, not too brisk of a pace. So 10 a day, that’s 85,000 questions a day for the next three days, we should be able to top, easily, a quarter-million questions asked at this conference, a quarter million questions. That’s our goal that we have set.
I think that one of my other favorite quotes from all time we’re in a sailing town here in San Diego, but the Olympic sailor Buddy Melges, Olympic gold medal sailor, once said you never have to recover from a good start, you never have to recover from a good start. So what we’re going to do right now this morning to get us off to a good start, we’re going to bring the house lights up, everyone has a you’ve got your quota, you get a chance, in the next 90 seconds you can knock off one or two of your today’s 10 questions by introducing yourself to someone you’ve never met before. Get up, move around. You have 90 seconds, find someone that you’ve I know you’re sitting by people you came with. Find someone. Stand up, everybody stand up, find someone you’ve never met, ask them a question. OK. Ready. Break.
Welcome back everyone. OK. How did everybody do? How many got one question in? How many got two? We are off to such a good start here on our goal. We could be close to 15,000 questions out of our 250,000 goal, and we haven’t even started the first keynote. We are going to have a quiz. On three you’re going to shout out the name of one person you met. Can you remember their names? If you can’t remember their name, then go ask them again after Satya’s keynote is done. OK. here we go, on three, shout out the name of someone you met. One, two, three.
OK. Great. Listen, we have great sessions. We’ve got a fantastic expo. We’ve got the best partner solutions we’ve ever had. We’ve got the best solutions we’ve ever had coming from Microsoft, and we’ve got three great keynotes over the next couple of days, starting off this morning with the one from Satya Nadella.
I’ve had the great honor to work directly with Satya for the last six years. He is one of those rare individuals that has great technical depth can understand and assimilate new technologies, but he also understands business, he understands business solutions, he understands your business, he understands how to bring those two things together. This is a rare, rare quality even in the highest echelons of the software industry. We’re so fortunate to have him as part of the senior executive leadership team at Microsoft.
This morning he’s going to talk to you about Microsoft’s aspirations, about our strategic intent, about how we want to deliver all of our capabilities, and solutions to help you run a connected business. Please help me welcome Corporate Vice President Satya Nadella. (Applause.)
SATYA NADELLA: First, I wanted to start off by thanking Doug for everything he’s done at Microsoft. I personally have worked for Doug for six years. There are many, many leadership lessons that will stay with me throughout, but most of all, I think Doug’s passion for our mission, which has always been externally focused, his passion for the customer community, and the partner community, are at this point so deeply ingrained in each one of us, and it will help drive us in everything we do going forward. So thank you, Doug, for all of your contributions to Microsoft and MDS. (Applause.)
The topic of my keynote this morning is to do with the connected business. It’s about the journey that we collectively are going to take, as you as business leaders are going to take your business forward to compete in a more connected world, in a more flat world, our goal is to be able to help you in that pursuit by building the best software platforms that enable you to pursue your dreams, your vision, your competitive advantage.
As we talk to you, interact with you, to understand some of the top of mind issues that you deal with on a daily basis, three things stand out. The first thing has to do with how do you operationalize your business vision, how do you take those strategies and really map them to software solutions that enable you to execute those strategies. You probably are looking to introduce new products, you’re looking to create competitive differentiation, you’re trying to get into new geographies, you’re probably growing by doing acquisitions. All of those strategies require software to be adaptable, and support for what you want to achieve. So that’s the first thing that we hear out every time we interact with business decision makers, are the key attributes that they want from software that they use.
The next piece is about being able to really empower the people across your organization. We all know we live in an age where it’s all about the ingenuity of the people inside of our organization, and amplifying that, providing them all access to information, putting them in control of continuous improvement of business process. That empowerment of people, connecting them to business process, is another key imperative, key top of mind issue that we hear back from you.
Lastly, when we talk about a connected world, we no longer talk about any business working in isolation. We talk about a business connected more broadly to the entire ecosystem, fostering new kinds of relationships, customers, partners, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and even the environment around us. So the notion of having a business that’s connected all the time with all the constituents is, again, a top of mind issue. So these three things, call them the Connected Business Pillars, is really what we use as inspiration as we move forward on the software innovation and the roadmap.
We have talked about our vision. You see us advertise this on TV, and other commercial media, as People Ready Business. This for us in MBS and the Dynamics Group is much more than an ad campaign. It is what we stand for. In fact, my entire keynote today is about how we, together, can operationalize this vision of People-Ready Business. The way we do that is to bring together what you today see as Microsoft Office System, and Microsoft Dynamics, get rid of all the seams between the categories of BI, CRM, ERP, document management, workflow, personal productivity. Our core goal is to be able to fuse these systems together to provide you with a connected a platform that allows you to build a connected business.
The three types of connections that we focus on is the connection between your software with business vision, and the software model that supports or operationalizes that business vision. It’s about being able to connect your people through rich process context so that they can continuously improve the business process, being in control of the business process. And, lastly, it’s about being able to connect your company with the broader ecosystem around you.
So that’s what the rest of my keynote is going to be about. It’s about being able to drill down in each one of these connections, the core attributes of the connected platform that we want to be able to provide to you by bringing together Office and Dynamics.
Let’s first talk about the people and process connection. When we start talking about people and process connection, the core goal that we should have driving us, we should make sure first that all software that you deploy, especially the business process software, is accessible to 100 percent of all the people you want to have access to it. Today, AMR has a research report out there that talks about perhaps 15 percent of the folks inside of organizations use business process applications. That’s a fairly limited usage footprint. So we want to be able to break free of that and expand it such that we can get to all of the 100 percent of the people inside of your organization having access to information, getting inside, being able to take action, change business process. So the way we go about doing that is by what we call building role-tailored experiences. The key sort of ingredient of doing that is to bring rich process concepts to every individual role, and we do that by building role-tailored experiences in Microsoft Office. We do that also by building role-tailored experiences in Microsoft Dynamics.
So let’s go ahead and take a look at the first big announcement of today. We are launching today Microsoft Dynamics client for Microsoft Office. This is a major step forward in this quest to make 100 percent of all of the people inside of an organization have access to information. We want to be able to take the rich data, take the business process, the insight that’s contained in Dynamics and democratize the access to it by surfacing it through SharePoint and the Office client. So this way, if you’re an employee inside any of one of the organization that deploy Dynamics, you can go up to SharePoint, look at your payroll information, you can go ahead and change your sort of address information, you can go in and submit a purchase requisition, you can approve a purchase requisition, and so on and so forth. So the idea of being able to take a familiar user experience of the Office Client, as well as SharePoint that in many cases is already deployed for document management or personal information work, and connecting it with rich process concepts opens up Dynamics for everyone inside of your organization. We’re going to aggressively price this. We want this to be very broadly adopted. It’s going to be available across all of our product lines.
So I wanted to bring up on stage Matt Gustafson to show us the new Dynamics client for the Office system. Matt.
MATT GUSTAFSON: It’s nice to be here. I cannot be more excited to show everybody the incarnation that you were just talking about, that whole business sense of bringing together the best of Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Office, in this case SharePoint Server.
Let’s take a look real quickly, and again this is Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office, and you can see today I’m going to be Kevin, the sale manager at Fabercam, and look at this, this is SharePoint everybody. I’ve got this customized for me, Kevin. I’ve decided to use standards and SharePoint tools to help make this my page. And I can see up here I’m coming to Convergence. I’m using SharePoint to help manage the things I want to get done while I’m at Convergence. I’ve also hooked up my news from back home, so while I’m here, I can get that information fed to me on my home page.
Kevin, he’s an Ohio State grad, and he’s subscribed to some of those RSS feeds from Ohio State, so he can get Buckeye news right on his home page, because that’s important to him. Again, showing off that personalization, and Go Buckeyes. Today we’ve got the GP version of the Dynamics clients, and that ships with a lot of these different sensors over here, and as a sales manager, as you expect, I probably want to spend most of my day in the sales center. So let’s take a look at what the sales center looks like inside the Dynamics client.
SATYA NADELLA: Can any of the ISVs in our expo go ahead and build their own extensions and centers?
MATT GUSTAFSON: This is what’s so cool. We’re using standard Microsoft Office technology to bring all of this information together, whether it’s analysis cubes for this particular KPI, or SQL data, or SharePoint lists, or something from the Excel server. All those Office tools that everyone is familiar with can be used to plug in. And so if I’m an ISV, and I’ve got an auto center I’m running, I have a little app for that, I can plug those parts directly right into this, and have that composite experience you were talking about earlier.
I can look from here on this particular performance indicator, and I can see as a sales manager that my Midwest customers, it looks like they’re falling behind in the Midwest a little bit, and I want to keep an eye on that, but I need to get more data on that. I’m going to go over here to my sales territory dashboard. Again, bringing in data from Excel server, and my back-office client, and whatever else it is in my system, I can take a look at let’s take a look at the Midwest, and you can see I can get more information down here for detail in the Midwest, and I can look at how my sales people re doing. We’ll take a look at David West and get that information as well. And I can see that as a sales manager, David and I have been talking about this quote that I’ve been waiting to come in from American Science, and that’s a big one, that’s supposed to bring up their numbers.
And I know, this is really kind of cool, as part of our process here at Fabercam, I need to do the approvals for these folks as they move through. So I can go over just right over here to the quote approvals, and I see all of the quotes that are in the system that I need to approve. I can just bring up the quote here for 10-31, and I can delegate it to someone, I can send it back, I can just approve it, as we will here, and the great part about this is, we’re using the back end of Windows Workflow Foundation. So, again, if you’re an ISV and you want to insert yourself into this workflow, you just use those standard tools to do that. Bringing together the power, again you said it earlier, the power of Office, and blurring those lines with Dynamics. We’ve got the business data going back and forth. I don’t really need to know what application I’m in, it’s all just being surfaced right here in SharePoint, which is sort of great.
SATYA NADELLA: We’ll work on the performance.
MATT GUSTAFSON: Performance notwithstanding, Satya, it’s a fantastic solution.
SATYA NADELLA: I love these live demos.
MATT GUSTAFSON: I do want to show this off while I’m here. Now that it’s been approved, and back to the system, I can go back into the quote history and I can bring up that quote. This is kind of cool. Everywhere along the way that it’s touched workflow, again, using the Windows Workflow Foundation, I can see where this task got approved, who did it, what you’re concerned about, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance-type stuff, all those standard workflow tools are working in there as well.
Let’s go back to the sales center. I want to show something else that’s kind of cool. I learned this in Sales Manager 101 classes. If I’ve got a region or something that’s struggling a little bit, maybe I want to run some promotions, I want to run a sale. What’s the best way to do a sale? Find out what’s overstocked. One of the great things about the information age is, there’s a lot of tools at my disposal, but one other thing is it’s kind of hard to find them sometimes. So SharePoint has a wonderful search capability. I’m going to type in here and look for all my overstocked items. Anything that has to do with overstocked, and put it on the advanced search. This is going to search my SharePoint site and show me all of any PowerPoint presentations, documents, whatever, what-have-you, and it will also crawl the structure data within my ERP system, so anything in there that might be overstocked.
In this case, I’ve got Kevin’s overstock report, and all the security being managed on the back end by my Excel Server, so only I get access to the information that I’m supposed to get access to. From here, I can see the items that I might want to go and target for my Midwest customers that I have overstocked right now.
Another thing you pointed out earlier was depending on which persona I am within the business, I might want to have a different look at these tools. I’m going to switch over to a different machine, and I’m going to pretend to be Tim. Tim is in the purchasing department, and he needs to approve all of the purchase orders. Let’s pull up Tim’s inbox. Tim spends his day in Outlook, he wants to see that information in Outlook. This is how the workflow system will look for Tim. He just gets e-mails. He doesn’t ever have to leave Outlook. He can look at the purchase orders and approve them right from here. So the right tools for the right jobs, mixing the best of Office, the best of Dynamics into one experience.
SATYA NADELLA: Great job. Thank you very much.
MATT GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Satya.
SATYA NADELLA: Thanks, Matt. (Applause.)
I get super excited with the work that we have done here. At some levels we have talked about portals for a while. But I just want to highlight that for the first time I believe we’ve got it right. We’ve got it to a point where every user can access business data. We believe that we have got it to a point where any ISV can build extensions using the sort of mainstream tools around SharePoint. And most importantly, we have put the end user in control. We have done, and you have seen, many, many workflow demos before. But this is the first time where the workflows that our end users can control, and these workflows are built on the SharePoint engine, and they are really simple to use. And I believe this notion of having ad hoc workflows, because we know that real work gets done by end users being able to continuously improve business process by putting in place ad hoc workflows. So the entire notion of bringing together Dynamics and SharePoint through the power of the Dynamics client for the Office system we believe is going to be a major step forward in how we get everyone inside of the organization to be able to take advantage of business apps.
So moving to the next piece is, how do we take advantage of the natural opportunities to bring all of the business process context? So what Matt showed you was a SharePoint based rendering of the information inside of Dynamics so that everyone inside the organization can get to the data, add workflows, search through information, look at some of the sort of cubes we have created for analysis, and what-have-you.
But we can even do more than that. In the case of sales, marketing and service, for example, with CRM we decided to build the rich business process functionality right into Outlook. We had that core design decision in front of us. We could have built a transaction lab outside of Outlook, and then had integration to Outlook, which is kind of what the first generation of CRM systems tried to do, but we realized very quickly that if we are serious about getting sales people to use our CRM system, not just the sales managers who are looking for reports, then you have to build in an experience that sales people feel is really helping them be productive. And so that core decision is what really helps us, to date, with all the success we’ve had with CRM. So the experience is built into Office. It reduces training cost, because you’re in Office, you are able to navigate like with Office, in this case Outlook. You are able to do exception handling because, in some sense, certain tasks like in the call center, or in sales, a lot of what you do on a daily basis is just not transactional data entry, but you’re dealing with communications with customers around those transactions. There is a late order, or there is an opportunity that now needs to get converted into an order, there is a change to an order, all of that requires today’s out of band communication, but now we can have all of that communication tracked along with the transaction in the most natural of user experiences. We also enable collaboration, because we know there is rich collaboration built into Outlook which is SharePoint integration.
So those are some of the things that we believe will allow us to build first class what we call Office Business Application role-tailored experiences for processes such as sales, such as marketing, and service. This can expand. In fact, later this year, you will see us launch our BI applications, and they also will carry forward this theme by putting forth example Excel as the front end on top of the budgeting process, or the forecasting process. So you will see us expand the class of Office Business Applications where the natural experience of Office will have rich process definition, and rich process context to make people inside of your organization more productive.
To give you a better feel for this, I want to welcome up on stage Ben Vollmer from our CRM team to show you CRM CT3. Ben. (Applause.) Welcome.
BEN VOLLMER: Thank you, Satya.
Good morning. What we’re going to talk about when say Microsoft CRM CT3 is really three main pillars we’re looking at today. The first one is a media productivity utilizing native Office experience we have in CRM. The second one is better business decisions based upon the real-time intelligence we have access to through the system. And last, but not least, I think that’s most important, is really informed and up-to-date with embedded alerts and notifications built into the system itself.
We’re going to start off here in a place I start my day off, right here in Outlook. I’m in sales, I’m not in the development organization, which is probably good for you folks, by the way, so I start my day off here in Outlook. My inbox isn’t bad, I’ve only got 15 messages in it. But I get a lot of messages from partners, prospects, and customers, and I can track them very quickly in the CRM system. Traditionally the way of doing that was cutting and pasting between the CRM system and Outlook back and forth every time an e-mail came in. Microsoft CRM reduces this to a one-click item. I click on my e-mail here from David, I click track in CRM. You’ll notice this little icon right here changed. That e-mail and all subsequent e-mails are now tracked in CRM, which is phenomenal.
However, I don’t do everything in e-mail. I also have my calendar, my contacts, and my task list. As you can see here, one of my teammates has asked me to follow up on an RFP that was due. You’ll also notice that there’s a track in CRM button in my task area. So tasks, contacts, and appointments all have the ability to track them back in CRM. If I click over this here, you’ll actually notice it actually tells me what this is regarding, so I know what opportunity I’m working on. I can make decisions based on that.
That’s pretty reactive. I do a lot of reactive work every day. My inbox just gets filled up, and I kind of manage things as I can. How about from a pro active perspective? I have the ability to create rich dashboard in Microsoft CRM. You have a few things here, here’s my pipeline, here’s my opportunities that are open. Q1 was really good, Q2 is getting better, Q3 is going to be phenomenal. I’m really worried I’m going to get fired over Q4. So we’re going to go we want to go from business intelligence to actually business insight. There’s a difference here. Now I want to drill down. So I have a lot of opportunities my team needs me to follow-up on. I click on Excel here, I can take all this information and export it directly to Excel as a live database link.
SATYA NADELLA: This is actual data that you can save up, and it will be live. It’s not sort of a dead spreadsheet?
BEN VOLLMER: It’s a live spreadsheet. And If I give it to one of my team members, when he or she opens it up, they’ll get access to whatever information they have rights to. So let’s go ahead and do this here. I want to see all of my opportunities over $100,000, and I want to color them my favorite color, green. So you can see here I have five opportunities over $100,000, which actually helps me meet that delta I had on my pipeline. So I’m going to go back and work with my sales team to make sure those five opportunities we’re working on here are actual.
That’s great when I’m in the office. And I don’t know if you know this or not, we acquired a healthcare company in D.C., and as a result I got kicked out of the office and lost my cubicle, which is great. I spend about 90 percent of my time visiting customers and prospects. I need to be able to get access to that information very quickly and easily. So one of the things Microsoft CRM does is, it gives you access to this data by a protocol call RSS, a really simple syndication. Notice here I put a link here called hot opportunities. Every time members of my sales team creates an opportunity over $50,000 closing in the next quarter, I get automatic RSS feed, which is free. So I actually get real-time alerts on the system. And it’s not cluttering up my inbox. As a matter of fact, the Outlook RSS is great, but I personally use a lot of Vista. So here’s my Vista, I have the Sidebar up there, all the gadgets, you see this gadget right here, I have a number of RSS feeds being fed into this. I can actually look at all of my information right here. I can actually drill back into Microsoft CRM natively from this gadget all in one click. So even though I’m not in the office, I can still use it.
A really cool thing about this, one, I can use this remotely, so I can work on an airplane, for my flight home I can work on it. Two is, the experience is the same whether I’m using Microsoft CRM Live in a hosted environment, or using Microsoft CRM, I get the same rich functionality no matter which I pick. I can always stay informed with e-mail as well.
So, real quick, immediate productivity, I can use Microsoft CRM today in the tools I’m used to using. I get better decision making in both intelligence and insight, and I can get alert and up-to-date with information fed to my system automatically.
SATYA NADELLA: Thank you very much, Ben. Great. Thank you. (Applause.)
As you can see, Ben is a real user of this system. He has a lot of passion for it. We are rolling our Dynamics CRM inside of Microsoft very broadly. We are carefully tracking the NSAT or the satisfaction of the customers or in this case Microsoft sales people, improving in a very good way given what they’re transitioning from. So we’re looking forward to sort of really testing this notion with you, as well as internal deployments, of how we can provide rich business process context in familiar tools like Outlook, and as I said earlier later this year you will even see us expand this concept of Office business applications even more broadly to other areas like business intelligence.
So the next thing I want to talk about is the role-tailored experiences for the core of what Dynamics ERP products contain today. It’s not as if we’re focused only on trying to get the other 85 percent productive, or to try and put rich business process context into Outlook or Excel, but we believe we have a huge opportunity to improve the user experience of the applications that you all on a daily basis use. We have done an extensive amount of research. I’m sure many of you participate at events like Convergence in our User Experiences Lounge. If not, I would really encourage you to go there, and take some time, visit the User Experience Lounge. There we have all our designers who will take you through some of the innovation pipeline that we have, get your feedback, and all of that usability feedback is what is really defining how we evolve our user experience.
The idea here is to be able to take, again, modeled from [Windows] Vista and Office, some of these innovations that work in the context of business applications. This is just not a simple copy. It is about being able to take that and apply it in the specific context of improving the productivity of every day usage of business applications. The key concept, again, here is that we want to design the experience of, say, a Dynamics GP, or an AX, or an NAD, or an SL, for the specific role. We want to get rid of all the clutter. We want to be able to have the navigation, the menu structure, the command presentation, the data, all these specifics for a specific role, a purchasing agent, a CSO like a controller. So that is sort of what we have started the journey on. We want to even build in, say, rich capabilities like search, what you saw in SharePoint we want to be able to provide that even in our sort of regular rich clients, so that you can search across your information inside of your business applications. We want to build in collaboration and workflow into the client. Just like, again, what you saw in SharePoint, we want to bring it even to the rich client experience.
So these are great innovations, if you sort of look at our user experience team and our development teams, we spend a bulk of our time really making sure that we are adding significant value with each release by making by studying the usage patterns of users, and end users on our applications, and improving their productivity, their path through their applications.
To really give you a feel for this, I want to bring up on stage Heidi Easler from our Dynamics GP team, to show you the next release of Dynamics GP, Dynamics GP 10.0, which in my opinion is perhaps the best ever release of GP we’ve ever done.
HEIDI EASLER: Good morning, Satya. (Applause.)
Good morning. One of our key focuses within the Dynamics product line is to deliver on a role-tailored user experience. Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 provides a great example of how we’ve delivered on that promise. I’m going to step into a role within shipping and receiving to demonstrate how the new role-tailored enhancements help streamline my daily task of picking, packing, and shipment of orders. I can utilize the Role Center to gain access to the tasks I use on a most frequent basis. I also have key business metrics, and reminders to the tasks I need to perform.
In addition to the Role Center, I can also take advantage of the new area pages in Dynamics GP 10, which show me all the areas that I have access to within a particular functional area, and the tasks are grouped by task or function, making it really easy for me to find the desired task. But, what I’m really thrilled about are the new list pages in Dynamics GP 10. They not only help guide me to the tasks I need to perform on a daily basis, allowing me to focus on my true task of getting shipments out the door, which of course is going to improve our customer service, but also provide the information I need to perform my job more competently.
The Dynamics team is really excited about this release, and very proud of the enhancements that have been made, and doesn’t it look great? (Applause.) The first area of the list pages is the action pane, and the action pane is extremely intuitive in that it provides guidance for the tasks I need to perform. As I select records within the list, the tasks that can be taken against that document become enabled. I can also work with the data in the list in a variety of fashions. So if I want to search for a particular document status or group orders by document status, I can use the column filter to display that. I could also use the click filter if I wanted to look for orders for a particular customer, very easily I could restrict that list.
However, if I want to apply a filter to a list to use on an ongoing basis, I can take advantage of the advanced filter functionality. So in this example I want to focus on my high priority customers. And I know Aaron Fitz is our favorite customer, and I want to make sure that I am satisfying the customer service levels for Aaron Fitz, so I’m going to restrict this list to just those orders. And what’s really great is I can save this list, I’m going to save this as my top customer list, and as I save it that new list is now available from the action pane, which not only makes it available for me, but also allows me to extend it to other users within my role.
SATYA NADELLA: Great.
HEIDI EASLER: You’ll also notice my position on the top customer list was in the address bar, and the address bar and the travel buttons allow me to navigate back and forth through the navigation path very similar to the experience you have in Vista and Internet Explorer. Additionally, if I need to see any information, related information to these documents, I can take advantage of the information pane. So I’m just going to expand this area here.
SATYA NADELLA: That’s like the Outlook preview brought to business applications.
HEIDI EASLER: Absolutely, and what’s really handy for me in my role in shipping and receiving is oftentimes I want to know the items that are being ordered, and in the past I had to navigate to another form or window to see this information, and now it’s all available to me within the information pane, really allowing me to perform all my tasks within this one location.
So I’m going to start the picking process, and I can perform this really easily. I want to work with all the orders. So I’m going to just simply select them all. I’m going to choose to print a picking ticket, and then this is going to send the picked tickets to the warehouse printer. So now my warehouse workers can pick the items from the shelves. So now that process is complete. You can see I have a status bar indicating that the process was completed successfully.
So my next step in the process is to print the packing list, and very similar to the last task, you can see the quick path opens, allowing me to select additional print options. I’m going to print out those packing lists.
SATYA NADELLA: You’re actually being guided through the process?
HEIDI EASLER: Absolutely, and you’ll see in the next step, because we have a workflow in process here, an advanced distribution workflow, that the confirm pack option is now available to me where it wasn’t in the past. So I no longer have to remember what my next step in the process is. The action pane is really guiding me towards that.
So I’m going to confirm the packing, and now I’m going to do a spot check of a couple of orders, and then my last step in the process is to confirm the shipment. So I’m, again, going to select all the orders, and again now you see confirm pack is disabled, and confirm ship is enabled, allowing me to, again, focus in on the tasks I need to perform.
SATYA NADELLA: If you had to compare this with I know we always sort of really don’t like to say this publicly, but if we had to compare this with our previous release, how would you sort of look at the process of streamlining this?
HEIDI EASLER: This process in the past used to take at least 45 steps and navigation to multiple windows and forms, and now we’ve really streamlined this process, allowing the warehouse worker, a shipping receiving worker, and actually all of the workers in the organization, because these action panes and lists, these are available in GP 10.0, to focus in on one area, and it really will help new employees get up to speed, as well, because now they can just learn one area, versus all the navigation and forms that they had in the past.
SATYA NADELLA: Would you say it’s a huge improvement in productivity for the users of Dynamics GP?
HEIDI EASLER: Absolutely.
One final note is if I wanted to perform additional analysis on these orders, I can easily send all of the orders to Excel, and then take advantage of all the powerful analyzation capabilities Excel has to offer. So not only is Dynamics GP 10 providing an immersive, role-tailored experience that looks and feels like Office, but continues to provide enhanced integrations to the Office applications I use most frequently.
SATYA NADELLA: Fantastic, thank you very much, Heidi. (Applause.)
So, what you saw there very quickly was a tremendous amount of innovation that is all user driven. It’s based on sort of observing, getting feedback from users of our systems today, and doing a major revamp of our user experience. A lot has been talked about in terms of what the Office team did with Office 2007 and how they changed the user metaphors in 2007 to improve the productivity. It’s of the same scale that what we have done with Dynamics GP 10.0, and this experience is something that will be available across all of our product lines as we go forward.
So, this is a major step in our sort of pursuit of making our business applications much more intuitive, much more role-centric, and as you use them, all of the terminology that we have started using — action panes, queues, fast tabs, search — these are some of the metaphors that you will be very familiar with, so hopefully next time you’re at Convergence we can have conversations about what’s working in fast tabs or not.
So, the next topic I wanted to focus on is the next major connection, the connection between your business vision and software. So, now that you have your people empowered, you’ve given them familiar user experiences or role-tailored user experiences, the next part of this journey is all about being able to connect these people with business process, and enable the business process itself to be tailored to your business vision.
There are three specific things that I want to talk about. The first one is how do you adapt business process software to model your business, to really take the core of your business model, your organizational structure, your process uniqueness and have it modeled in software.
The next piece we want to talk about is whenever you deploy business process systems, you want to integrate these with everything else you have in terms of infrastructure. We realize that we don’t live in a homogenous world. We have many systems, vertical systems that we need to be able to integrate with, and we want to sort of talk about how this business process platform of ours enables that integration.
And lastly, we want to talk about industry relevance. We’ve talked a lot about roles, individual roles being productive, having process context. We know that processes change by industry. So, we want to talk about how we support more industry relevant functionality, and more industry relevant roles.
So, let’s dive right into the first piece of this. We today are announcing a methodology which comes with documentation as well as tools called Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step. Sure Step will allow you to be able to implement Dynamics with predictability and best practices, because it’s based on many, many implementations of Dynamics. So we have been able to corral all the feedback from that and really get all the best practices, and have a step-by-step way of how you would implement Dynamics so that you have more predictability in that process.
So, what I wanted to show you very quickly here is one of the tools that’s part of Dynamics Sure Step. It’s called the Business Modeler. So, right here what you see is a visualization of your organization. For convenience sake we have named our company here the Connected Business. You have, for example, the design and engineering department, you have the financial department, you have the human resources, IT, operations, sales and marketing and so on. So, you now can clearly visualize the structure.
Having done that, you can even go ahead and look at all the people inside your organization. You can sort by name or department. And with each one of them you can even have the profile information for that specific individual role.
So, let’s go ahead and drill down into sales and marketing. So, when I go into sales and marketing, I can see that Ben is there, there’s Tammy, there’s James, all of these folks who work in sales and marketing. You can even see the organizational structure. I can even go ahead and reorg, which is one of those fun things to do when you can drop anybody into the org chart and you can change their organizational structure if you wanted.
The second thing that you can do is you can go ahead and drill into an individual’s role. In this case I clicked into Tammy’s role. And I see now all of the business processes that Tammy is involved in. So we now get visibility into all of the business process context that’s important. So when we try to design, configure, deploy Dynamics for Tammy, we should be cognizant of the fact that she’s developing marketing strategies, she’s involved in developing channel strategy, creating marketing budgets and so on. We also know all of the others that she interacts with: peers, management, structure, direct reports. So this becomes very important when you thin, about the collaboration capabilities, how you set up security inside of your application.
So, the notion of being able to document your organization, your business process, your individual roles, using a tool like the Sure Step Business Modeler, enables you to then go forward with a Dynamics deployment that’s that much more predictable, and also can help you model your business process, model your business vision, and have it translate into your software.
So, we think of Sure Step as a major step forward for us in being able to, in fact, get a lot of the feedback from all of our customers, all of our partners on what works and how we can get that best practice spread throughout the organization in terms of deployment.
So, this is not just a first-time deployment. So, many of you are existing customers of ours who have Dynamics, who are looking to add additional modules, who are looking to upgrade, and we believe Sure Step will add a tremendous amount of value and predictability to even that process.
So, we are very pleased to be able to announce the availability of Dynamics Sure Step, and tools such as Business Modeler going forward.
The next piece I wanted to talk about is the integration aspects. This is again a super important component of any connected business platform. Over two years ago, we started down the journey of enabling all of our products with Web Service interfaces. We wanted to make sure that we support service-oriented architectures out of the gate for all of our products. We did that, and now what we are seeing is case after case, customer case study after customer case study where there are real world benefits of having done that.
There are two examples that I just wanted to very quickly touch upon. (Lynn Pepco ?) is a Pepsi distributor out of Nebraska that was able to take Dynamics GP, they were able to expose Web Services, or they took advantage of the exposed Web Services in Dynamics GP, and streamlined the order entry and the mobile devices in the warehouse, and thereby improving the efficiency of the entire picking process and the ordering process.
(AES2 ?), which is actually based out of San Diego, into construction, they manage or they install high tech equipment in commercial and residential buildings, was able to deploy Dynamics GP, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics SharePoint. And one of the key objectives they had was to make sure that there was information flow across all of their departments in a very seamless way that means information flow across the various systems in a seamless way. So again we use the Web Services infrastructure both on CRM, SharePoint, and Dynamics GP to be able to support their business vision.
So, we believe there’s real world SOA in some sense. At Convergence I really encourage you to maybe connect with other customers. I know we have several sessions where we will highlight the success stories around the use of Web Services and service-oriented architecture.
So, we are moving beyond what used to be theory to actual practical usage of service-oriented architecture, in conjunction with our products, and we believe that this is what’s going to have a significant impact in reducing integration costs, and helping us drive this vision of connected business.
The next topic I want to talk about is industry relevance. First of all, I want to sort of emphasize that our core identity, our focus is about building a great CRM, supply chain and financial management system. That’s what you expect us to do. We will continue to invest to build great business processes across all of those categories. We are going to bring them together into an integrated suite, and that’s something that we are absolutely focused on.
But we also realize that when you even think about core horizontal functionality like financials or CRM or supply chain management, you need to tailor that by specific industry.
So, we have picked five industries as focus areas for us: Manufacturing, distribution, professional services, retail, and public sector. You will see us shape the horizontal functionality that we provide with these five industry focuses.
So, for example, when it comes to distribution, we are going to focus on available to promise. When it comes to manufacturing, we are going to focus on shop floor. We, in fact, in this conference are going to announce the availability of additions to our lead manufacturing capability. When we think about professional services, we are going to focus on project accounting, the ability to do resource management and combine that with billing. Public sector requires accounting, and that’s something again that we will focus on and change our financials or add onto our financials to support public sector.
So, we are going to keep the focus of these industries as we look to innovate in the core of financial management, supply chain, as well as CRM.
But that’s not sufficient. We really want to have the largest ecosystem of ISVs building on top of what we provide. Today, as you go to the expo, you will see many horizontal and vertical ISVs who have extended and built on top of the Dynamics system. We have over 5,000 solutions today in the Solution Finder, which is the place where any customer can go to look at all the solutions built on Dynamics. We believe that is the largest catalog of business applications built on any single platform.
We are introducing at this conference a new certification program, the Microsoft Dynamics Certified Solutions program, where we are going to take these industry solutions, take these ISV extensions, and put them through a rigorous test where they get certified, and thereby improving the confidence that you as customers can have where Microsoft technology, our third party technology can come together to give you the most industry relevant functionality.
So, as we add all of this industry relevant functionality, the way we want to bring this home in a very unique way is to again relate it to a role. So, for example, we want you to be able to take Dynamics, along with all of the third party application functionality, and at the end of the day empower individual roles; it could be a medical practitioner system, it could be an actuary, it could be a foreman, it could be a production planner. So, those are the individual roles, which have very rich vertical context, industry context that you want to enable, using all of the functionality from Microsoft, our industry layer, and all these 5,000 plus solutions that are available on top of the Dynamics platform.
To kind of give you a flavor for how all of this comes together, I wanted to welcome up on stage Darren Laybourn to play the role of a production planner in a furniture manufacturing company, and show us some cool demos. (Applause.)
DARREN LAYBOURN: Thanks, Satya.
Before I jump into the production planner role —
SATYA NADELLA: Are those dinosaur eggs?
DARREN LAYBOURN: They’re whatever you want them to be, Satya. (Laughter.)
SATYA NADELLA: Go with rocks.
DARREN LAYBOURN: Go with rocks. I think rocks are better.
Ok, we’re going to look, and I’m going to play the role of a purchasing agent first. And so in the sidebar over here I’ve got a set of gadgets, and one of those is giving me information on high priority events that have occurred in the system.
When I click on this, I can see what’s happened. And I’ve got 100 pieces of white oak board that haven’t been delivered. And I can go directly to the purchase order to work on it, I can go to the vendor page, I can go right to my homepage.
So, I’m going to go into my new purchase order task page, which looks pretty sweet I think. I’ve got additional information over on the right-hand side. So, through Office Communicator I can see that Patricia is available online, and I can actually call her directly with one click, give her a call on the phone, see what she’s doing, see what’s happening with my order. It sounds like we’re going to have to make a change.
So, using the Fast Tabs at the bottom here, I can see where my shipping area is, and it’s 3/10, but she told me she’s not going to be able to deliver it until April.
So, I’ll come down here and change my expected date till April, and go over there. And yeah, it was pretty cool, wasn’t it?
SATYA NADELLA: Yeah.
DARREN LAYBOURN: Changing dates has never been so fun. (Laughter.)
So, we’ll go ahead and make the change, and we’ll then cancel out.
So, I’m going to jump back into the role of the production planner, and we’ll go ahead and switch over to his homepage. And so we’ll just click on his homepage, and I can see the homepage, and I’ve got all the information that I wanted to get to. I’ve got graphs, charts, everything I need. I’ve got access to my calendar even. I can see what I need to do.
So, I’m going to go ahead and get to work. And the things that are most important to me is I want to work on the queues of work that I’ve got, and I’ve got BI information here at the top that’s telling me what I need to go do. Well, delayed supply, when that happens to me is just terrible, so I’ve got to go do something about it.
So, I can click on delayed supply. It takes me right into a list place or a role —
SATYA NADELLA: Role center.
DARREN LAYBOURN: Role center, is that what it is?
SATYA NADELLA: Oh, no, it’s actually a list center —
DARREN LAYBOURN: The role center was the one we did before.
SATYA NADELLA: We’ll get used to it.
DARREN LAYBOURN: Yeah.
So, I’ve got — this is just the suite. I could — one of the ways I could get down to the one I want to get down to is actually all the areas where I’ve got a warning I can go there, and if I have a long list it will take me right to it, and navigate to it, so I can quickly go in and start working on the things that are highest priority.
Now, the first thing I want to do is I want to go optimize my plan. How am I going to deal with the fact that I have 100 pieces of white oak board that aren’t in here? And so here’s where we’ve gone and taken a little next step. And so I have an environment that’s for this specific task we’ve been able to do something, so I’ve got a visualization of what’s happening.
If I hover over the white oak board that wasn’t here, I can get additional information up in the right-hand corner in the Fact Box with the select quantity. I can see that that’s going to go into 80 cut oval table tops, and then from there into an assembly for a desk, and I see what’s going to happen.
But if I want to understand what’s happening as a result of not getting this, I can select that, it gives me a visualization. Here’s all the places where you’re now impacted by that fact.
Now, the nice thing is blue here means that I’ve actually fulfilled the demand, orange means that I haven’t, and along the top we’re also selecting our customers, showing our bronze customers, silver customers, gold customers, and you can see I’m satisfying some bronze customers but I’m not doing too good for the people who are most important to me.
So, I have 80 pieces of white oak board over here on the left, and I can see where that’s going, but if I look even closer, I can see that I’ve got 40 pieces over here, and those are going to some bronze customers.
So, I’m going to go ahead and take a little bit different view of this thing. That’s pretty cool. You can zoom in, you can tilt it. You can really get a feeling for what’s going on and what’s happening in the system.
SATYA NADELLA: Can I use this on my Xbox?
DARREN LAYBOURN: It’s better than the Xbox. (Laughter.) I’m confident of that.
So, let’s go ahead, and what we’re going to do is you think this is great now if I could just visualize this, but I can actually take action here. I can pick this thing up, and when I pick it up, you can see a couple of hot spots for me, two places where white oak stock needs to go. And if I drop it over here on the right, I can see that. I can actually zoom in here, and you can see what happens if I move this tab. If I didn’t want to move it all, I can move part of it, and it’s dynamically updating it on both sides in the two different bars. (Applause.) Yeah, it’s really cool.
So, the left-hand side, so which way am I going to allocate this? Do I want to go to the left-hand side? Well, I’m helping some bronze customers, and that would be great, but I’d much rather help my gold customers over on the right-hand side, and which is what I was able to do by doing that, so that’s nice.
Now, so I could go ahead and accept that, but I’m going to cancel that, and I want to show this to you again. And I have a couple other Fact Boxes over here. One of them is the key indicators, and a second one is just the pending reallocations that are going to occur.
And so we’ve got a graph over here where we’ve captured some important metrics to make this decision: so, the percent of profitability, the percent of customers I’m satisfying, percent of orders that are getting delivered, percent of items that are actually getting pushed out the door, all the things that are very important to me.
And so let me go back over and do that same operation, grab the 40, put it over here on the 80, allocate it over to the right. You can see that the chart on the right-hand side is dynamically updating. Do you guys really see that? Look at the chart; this is sweet. (Laughter, applause.) This is just amazing; I love this demo.
So, what we can do is we can go ahead and commit that change. Now, I could keep playing around with this and tweaking it, and getting it as good as I possibly can, but we’ve also added some optimization technology and ideas. And so up at the top in my Action Pane I’ve got some additional ones.
So, I started with order sequence, but I could also go for most orders. So, when I select most orders, it will adjust the plan, draw all the new lines, adjust everything where it’s going to go. I can go, hey, this is the one for most items, this is the one if I want to fulfill my customers. If I can to maximize my profit, I can go with this one.
So, it’s nice I can see all those, but it would be great if I could see it side-by-side, wouldn’t it?
SATYA NADELLA: Sure.
DARREN LAYBOURN: I can. It’s amazing. Here you go, side-by-side comparison. See that transition?
SATYA NADELLA: Yeah, I love that.
DARREN LAYBOURN: Yeah, that’s just awesome.
So, I can actually see where the data is moving, and I can get to it.
Now, you think this is cool, but it’s actually an active chart. So, if I forgot what happened on the left, if I clicked over here to fulfill customers or maximize profit, we dynamically link the side on the right-hand side as well. I’m updating pending reallocations. If I go to maximize orders, you can see that the delayed order is being updated. And if that’s not cool enough, I can actually stack them up and compare them side-by-side as well.
So, we’re really trying to take it and draw not only from role tailored but almost task tailored to make this just a great experience for me as a production planner. I love it.
Talk to you later, see you. (Applause.)
SATYA NADELLA: So, that’s a real fun demo. I just wanted to recap because it kind of brings together many pieces of innovation. First, it’s about industry relevance. So it’s not about horizontal business process, but it’s about production planning in the specific case for furniture manufacturing or discrete manufacturing.
So, you can think about how ISVs can take the overall user experience of role-tailored experiences and extend them to specific roles in a given industry. ISVs can build their extensions to our business logic that can seamlessly integrate in and expand the user experience.
Some of the visualization capabilities that you saw are things that we are actually working with Microsoft Research. They will be real unique value that the Dynamics customers are going to get as they look and upgrade to our products.
So, there is a lot of great innovation in the user experience in how we extend it for industry, how we bring business logic together, and make it such that every person in any industry can be that much more productive.
So, then I wanted to switch to the last connection of our connected platform. This is about being able to take your company and connect it with the broader community.
To enable that, we will provide software and services. We will have products that will be shipped to you. We will even provide services that in many cases we will host or third party hosters will be enabled to host those services.
The software and services that we provide will enable you to create these connections. You can create your own customer facing and partner facing portals. You can use some of our sort of Live services to be able to make those connections.
But one of the key things that we want to be able to do beyond the connections to customers, suppliers, vendors and so on is to help connect you with your peers. You know, Doug did this great exercise this morning when he looked out to you and said, “How would you go about building the connections at Convergence?” He even did the math in terms of the number of connections and the number of questions that you all can ask each other, because a lot of us get motivated by that peer connection when we come to conferences like this.
The idea we have is how do we have a Convergence 365 days a year. So, how can we create a forum for all of you to be able to connect in your professional domain with others, other peers in those same domains?
So, in order to really do that we want to harness the power of the Web, and we are announcing Dynamics Live Communities today. We demoed this at the last Convergence. We are announcing the availability of the first community for financial professionals. We think that this is a fantastic way for you to be able to have a year-round capability to connect with other peers in your industry around best practices. So, for example, think of this as the MySpace for financial professionals. So what’s really applicable for teens definitely applies to all of us even in the business world, so we want to take the power of all the Web 2.0 technology and help you form these rich relationships.
So, to show you this, I want to bring up on stage Craig Dewar, who has been doing a great job of enabling our financial community and launching it today. Craig, welcome.
CRAIG DEWAR: Thank you. (Applause.)
Good morning, everyone. It’s great to be here today delivering on the promise we made last year to take the spirit of Convergence and bring it online 24 by 7.
To show it to you, I’m going to be stepping into the role of an accounting manager from a local company based here in San Diego. And we’ve just acquired some manufacturing capability a couple of hours south.
Now, my CFO has asked me to take on the challenge of building and setting up multi-company consolidated reporting. Now, as a Dynamics user, I have a lot of different rich resources available to me to help get this job done. One of them I’m sure many of you use today is Customer Source. And in Customer Source I have all the training, all the documentation, and all the support that I need to get this job done.
But before I actually leap into doing it, what I really want to do is I want to talk to a peer, someone who’s done this before, has insight, best practices to share with me, and could really help me think about what I might need to do. And that’s where the finance community comes in.
You can see directly in my role tailored experience in Microsoft Dynamics I actually have a link to the finance community pre-built-in for me. It’s right out of the box, because it knows that I’m a finance person. And all I need to do to access that is just click on the link, and it’s going to take me up to the online community.
Now, before I ask my question, Satya, I actually want to just spend a couple of minutes explaining some of the concepts in the community, and some of the ways that we’ve gone about building this.
Let’s start on the homepage, two things here. The first one is core tenet is community driven. So, we’ve created a fabric and a framework for the community to take place, but without all of you participating in it, it’s really nothing. So it’s community driven from day one.
An example of that is this naming voting that’s going on right now. So, we want to have a fun, friendly name for our community, but we don’t want to make it up. We want you guys to select it. And so there’s this vote that’s going on about what that name should be.
The second core tenet of our design was just make it really easy to use and really easy to find stuff. And here we’re using something called tags for that. If you’re not familiar with tags, basically they’re keywords that get associated with any content in the community, and they allow you to very easily find something across the entire span of that community. You can also tell by how large they are in this box here how much content is behind that particular tag.
So, for example, if I was interested in finding out about compliance, I could click on that tag. It’s going to bring back the collected information in the community right now on compliance.
That’s an ongoing interest for me, and I actually want to continue to monitor that topic. I’ve got an ability up here to actually go and subscribe to that. I can click on the subscribe to feed button, and now anytime something on compliance posts in the community, it will actually be delivered to me directly in my Outlook inbox.
So, content, on the subject of content and where these tags are used, what kind of content do we have? Well, we have a few different things. We have something called articles. And with articles we are running an editorial process, and we’ll be sourcing and finding articles we think will be really interesting for you.
But it’s community driven. You can suggest article topics. You can even write your own full article, and submit it to us, and we’ll publish that, and we’ll give you the kind of recognition that you did that.
We also have something called expert columns. And with expert columns we’re going out and recruiting people who are experts on a particular topic, and we’re having them write a series of articles around that. And we’re starting off with performance management, managing your career, and accounting and technology software. But again community driven; if you’re an expert or you know somebody, suggest them to us.
We have an area that’s not live today, it will be coming in about a month’s time that I think you’ll all find very useful. We call it Networking. And what it allows you to do is it allows you to create a working group inside of the community, and that working group can be public, anyone can join it, or it can be private and you invite certain people to participate.
In that working group you can collaborate, you can share documents, you can discuss things, so you can actually use it to problem solve on an issue together. We also think it will be a very good forum for user groups to actually establish their online presence in the community.
So, let’s jump back into my scenario here, and actually go and ask my question. I’ll come into the forum where I can actually discuss and talk to different people.
You can see there are a number of forums pre-built here. Again, come and tell us what forums you’d like to see, and also use the community feedback forum to tell us what you like and don’t like, and we’ll change things.
Let’s go into managing your business, and let’s write the inaugural post in the just-launched area of the community.
SATYA NADELLA: So, this is live on the Web today?
CRAIG DEWAR: Live on the Web today. Just go to Dynamics.com, and you’ll find the directions of how to get in there.
So, my thing is about reporting, and like a good demo cook I’ve prepared some text there. And I’m going to put some tags on so people can find this easier afterwards. It’s about reporting and we’re doing a merger. So let’s post that.
While it’s posting, a couple of interesting things here. You’ll actually see that we can rate different content within the community, and so you’ll actually see things that have value and things that don’t. And when you post things, you can also enable an e-mail subscription.
And so what this means for me now is I’ve asked the community, and I can just kind of kick back and wait and see what arrives in my inbox in terms of input and sharing from all of you out there.
So, in closing, just a few things: If you’re not in a finance role, don’t worry. Financial just happens to be first. We will be launching additional roles throughout the course of the year.
If you want to come and learn more about the community or talk to the people that built it, we will be in the community lounge after this session.
And the final thing is, as Satya said, it’s live today at Dynamics.com, and without all of you it’s just an empty place. So, I’d love to see you, let’s join the conversation, and let’s get the community going.
SATYA NADELLA: Great. Thank you very much, Craig. Thank you. (Applause.)
So, you’ve seen us demo this at Convergence last year. We have turned it around. We now have it live on the Web, and will repeat sort of what Craig said. This is a time when we really want you to participate and drive it, because the entire notion of communities is that they are user driven. And we will absolutely and rapidly expand this to all the other roles and all the other professions. We think that this could be a great way for us to carry forward the spirit of Convergence, and make it much more broader and throughout the year.
So, next I want to just sort of conclude by recapping some of the great announcements today. On the back of sort of two of the greatest product launches of Vista and Office 2007, we in the Dynamics group have the biggest ever launch at this Convergence. We are launching Dynamics NAV 5.0, Dynamics SL 7.0, and Dynamics GP 10.0. You got to see some of that today. They are fantastic releases. They have a ton of innovation, they have great integration with Office 2007, have great functionality that we have added based on your feedback. So, it’s a great balance of technology, functionality, third party support, as well as integration with the rest of the Microsoft platform.
On top of that, we believe the announcements today around the Dynamics client for Office is a huge step forward for us to be able to mainstream the access, democratize the access for Dynamics across all of your organizations.
The idea of live communities or Dynamics Live Communities, starting with the financial professional community, is another major step for us to be able to take advantage of the Web, to be able to foster new kinds of relationships, in this case the peer relationships that we all want to have across our communities.
Dynamics Sure Step is a major step forward to introduce predictability in how we deploy Dynamics, either first time, upgrades, additional modules, and do that knowing that we have a lot of best practices that have been discovered over the years that we can rely on.
And lastly, the notion or the concept of role tailored is going to shape a lot of the experience that we will build across Office where we will bring rich business process context as part of Office business applications, as well as in the core Dynamics client where we will bring the context of some of the Office ad hoc collaboration and unstructured data. So, role tailored experiences is going to be a central theme for us as we march forward to improve productivity of our business applications in support of your goals.
We have great momentum with the products in market. We are seeing tremendous reception and great growth, both on Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Dynamics AX 4.0. Business Ready Licensing has really helped us; listened to your feedback on what you want, and enterprise customers, how we can license them across multiple sites.
So, everything that we are doing around the current products, what’s coming down the pipe, what we announced is something that we absolutely would like to celebrate. And this is a promise that you have from us, the commitment that you have from us, that any product that you have chosen to deploy, you will get great innovation, great upgrades, great releases in a very predictable way from Microsoft.
So, I wanted to conclude with what I started. As we look into the future, as we move forward in our journey, our goal is to really provide you with a business platform that enables the connected business. This platform is going to fuse Microsoft Dynamics and Office together, fuse the categories of CRM, ERP, and BI together to really help you make the connections between your business vision, and software, between your people and business process, between your business and all the constituents that you work with and foster new kinds of relationships.
Thank you very much for being here at Convergence, being at this keynote. Please do visit our expo, visit our user experience lounge, our community lounge, and you will get to be able to see a lot more of all of the innovation that I’ve recapped this morning in a lot of the sessions.
So, thank you very much, have a great Convergence. (Applause.)