Satya Nadella: Ignite 2015

Remarks by Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, on May 4, 2015.

ANNOUNCER:  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Satya Nadella.  (Cheers, applause.)

SATYA NADELLA:  Good morning and welcome to Ignite.  It is fantastic to be here in Chicago.  We have a fantastic lineup today of the keynotes and a great conference.

In fact, this is the very first Ignite, and we felt in this time of change and opportunity, it was very important to bring all of our IT communities together, because to seize this opportunity it is going to take all of our collective skills and ingenuity to be able to take all of this technology innovation and to bridge it to true business transformation and success.  That’s what Ignite is all about, and that is what IT professionals are all about.  And so we felt that we wanted to come together as one community.

In fact, it’s the very same opportunity that is driving Microsoft’s transformation.  If I look at what has happened even in the last 12 months, we are changing.  We have significant momentum.  And that momentum comes from you all.  Every business out there now is a software company, is a digital company.  And so it creates an amazing opportunity for Microsoft, which is greater than ever before, in terms of driving the impact of our products and technologies.

That’s what’s in fact shaping the product innovation that you’re going to hear a lot about today.  It’s fundamentally changing what we build, how we build and how we deliver.

It’s not just about technology.  It goes far beyond that.  It is even the approach we take to our business.  It is how we partner, how we create the flexibility that speaks to the real-world needs of our customers.  That is the transformation that is afoot, that’s the momentum that we have inside of Microsoft, driven by you.

The source of this transformation is the enduring mission of Microsoft.  It is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

We are the only company that cares deeply about both individuals and organizations, and bringing them together to achieve transformation.

We’re the only company that cares deeply about taking the technology that we have and making it available to every company in every vertical industry in all parts of the globe.

And when we talk about empowerment, and empowerment of both people and organizations, it of course has to start by empowering you all as IT professionals.  In fact, that has been the trend that we have had when we talked to our business users at Convergence, when we talked to developers last week at Build, and this week here to IT professionals.  It’s that magic that gets created, that happens when we can harmonize the interests and the impact that comes together when you bring end users, developers and IT professionals together.

And that’s what Microsoft has always stood for, that’s what we as a company have always done, and we now get to do it in a new IT landscape of mobile first, cloud first.

It is important when we say mobile first, cloud first to spend a few minutes understanding not just where we are in this revolution, but more importantly where the arc of technology is going, because that’s what we all are in business for.

When we say mobile first, it is not the mobility of a single device that matters.  In fact, it is the most irrelevant thing.  What matters is the mobility of the experience across all of the computing devices in our lives.  And that only happens because the cloud enables it.

When we talk about cloud first, it is the cloud back-end for all of your devices, all of your applications, all of your data, and, in fact, it is about adding intelligence to your experiences.

So we want to have a broad sense of what a distributed cloud infrastructure is that supports the variety of workloads that are going to create not today, not tomorrow, but over the coming years.

So that’s the broad definition of mobile first, cloud first that we should start with.  That’s the understanding that we need to have as we drive the technology choices going forward.

Every layer of our IT stack is going to be profoundly impacted.  We’re going to have a proliferation of devices.  There are going to be more devices than people on the planet.  And this is not even counting all of the sensors that are going to be running general-purpose compute.

That means there are going to be applications that are going to get deployed to all of these computing end points.  These applications are both going to generate data and consume data at unprecedented levels.

And all of this is going to require the distributed cloud infrastructure that we all will need to provision to support them.

And, of course, it’s not just these tiers of technology.  These tiers of technology live within a landscape or a context where things like security, privacy, regulation, data sovereignty will all matter.

So this sets up, in fact, our context.  It, in fact, sets up even the tension that we have as we look out to manage this changing IT landscape.

We want to be able to enable our end users to have the friction-free mobile experiences, to make their own choices in some cases for their devices, but yet we need to be able to ensure the security, the management.

We want to enable our business units to be able to choose the SaaS applications of their choice, and yet we want to be able to have the compliance and control and efficiency.

We, of course, are going to manage the data deluge that we are going to be faced with.  We are going to have the sophisticated data lakes, data marts, data warehouses to store and process all of this information.

But just because you have big data doesn’t mean your organization is going to have the insight, but that’s what we are really in pursuit of.

We also will make choices or have to create the balance between when and how we use the public cloud for which workloads, how do we build out the private clouds, when do we create the hybrid cloud infrastructure, because the diversity of the workloads we deal with is going to require that.

And, of course, all of this challenge is something that we have to do while we have all the challenges of IT spend.

But therein in this challenge lies the opportunity for IT.  We move IT from delivering information technology in our organization to driving the innovation and transformation in our organization.  That is the theme of this conference, that’s the theme of Ignite.

And that, in fact, is the driver of our company’s strategy.  We want to be the productivity and platform company in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  We want to deliver those platforms, productivity and business process services that you in turn can use to achieve your business transformation.  That is the core to our strategy.

And the way we are going to drive our strategy is to focus on three interlocking ambitions that we’re going to talk about throughout this conference.

The first, it is about the era of more personal computing.  Second is it’s about reinventing the very nature of work with productivity and business process coming together.  And lastly, it is about building the intelligent cloud back-end for the world’s applications.

These are the three big technology agendas we have, these are the big ambitions we as a company have, and they all interlock to create that one platform for you to be able to use to transform your business.

So let’s talk a little bit in depth on each one of these areas, first, more personal computing.

The core vision behind more personal computing is about the notion that what matters most in our devices is the mobility of the human experience across the devices.

We also want to make sure that the way the human interaction is mediated across all of these devices is done in the most natural of fashions.  That is the reason why we are investing very heavily to make sure that all the various natural interface modalities, from speech to ink to touch to even holograms and mouse and keyboard, are all available depending on the context, depending on the device, depending on the use case.

And in a world where we talk about more personal computing, by definition you’re using personal data.  And so therefore it is very important for us to build trust into the core of the operating system, because we want to ensure that the data is being used to benefit the user and the organization.  And that’s not something that’s a bolt-on, you’ve got to build that in, starting with the way you authenticate and authorize personal information.

We also are creating new categories.  This is not just about having great PCs, which of course Windows 10 will ensure we have, but we are also breaking new ground in terms of the categories that we want to create.

The two-in-ones now have become mainstays, tablets that can replace your laptop.  You’re going to see other form factors today.  You’re going to see a Surface Hub that is a big-screen touchscreen with ink.  You’re going to see a holographic computer where vision or computer vision is the input, and the output is holograms.  These are new personal computing devices that are going to be part of our digital life and work.  And it requires us to bring together innovation in silicon, hardware and software together, and this is where we will have a rich ecosystem of partners as well.

Perhaps the most profound change is how we think about Windows.  Windows 10 for me is not just another release of Windows, it is a new generation of Windows, and it’s about Windows delivered as a service.

In fact, I want to announce today a new capability, which I think is going to have significant impact in the coming years in how we deliver the Windows value in the enterprise.

Windows Update today has significant reach in consumer PCs, and we want to add new capabilities with Windows Update for business where it’s going to fundamentally change how we deliver the compatibility, the security and productivity of knowledge-worker PCs and workstations.

So now let’s talk about the second big area of technology innovation for us, reinventing productivity and business process.

First, it is about building for dual use.  We know the choices that users make around their core productivity needs when it comes to anything around communication and collaboration.  This is where they don’t want to have that schism between what they use at work and what they use in their lives.  And that’s the reason why our innovation between OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Skype, Skype for Business, Outlook and Exchange, all of these span both your digital life and work and dual use, and it’s a very important investment for us.

Equally important for us is bringing together both the communication, collaboration and creation tools with business process, because a fundamental way to improve productivity is to have business process in the context of your productivity tools and communication tools.  And there is an amazing opportunity Microsoft has to both open up what we do as a platform and to create that convergence.

Everything that we are building is going to be built for this mobile world where the mobility of the experience across devices matters, where social collaboration and co-creation is core to what we do.

All of the experiences will have intelligence built into it.

And you would have noticed that even in the last 12 months, we have been innovating in new categories.  It’s not just about Word, Excel, PowerPoint.  Of course, we have those tools that are now available on every device on the planet.  But it’s more important that we keep on the forefront of innovation.

It’s new categories like Sway, and I had a chance to meet some kids in education using Sway to create interactive documents like never before, and I believe that every marketing department and every sales department is going to be creating their artifacts using Sway.

What has happened with OneNote, in terms of the radical change in OneNote, in terms of organizing all of the information that you have, Power BI, Cortana and even our sales productivity solution where we’ve brought CRM and our collaboration tools together, these are innovations that are coming to market as we execute on our vision of bringing both productivity innovation and business process innovation.

Of course, one of the things that is key to us as we think about all this new innovation is to do it in ways such that you can have end users make their choices in friction-free ways, but you as IT professionals can have the compliance and governance.  So right in the core of all of our services is built in all of the things that are needed from a control plane perspective for you as IT professionals, and you’ll hear a lot more about that throughout today’s keynote.

And I’m very pleased to announce at this conference Office 2016 going into a new public preview.  We are going to have Skype for Business, have broadcasting features.  We also are continuously advancing the state of the art of Office Delve, which is this intelligence feed of Office, with new capabilities around organizational analytics.  And we will show you all of these as the keynote proceeds.

Now let’s talk about the intelligent cloud.

At the core of the intelligent cloud is the back-end infrastructure that drives all of your enterprise mobility needs, because in order to be able to have that mobility of experience you need that cloud back-end, and the innovation in the Enterprise Mobility Suite gives you that control plane.

Driving application agility, if there is one thing that is true in our lives today, it is the agility that we need to have in terms of creation of new value, new applications.  And so what we do in terms of dev-ops and new workflows to create things and maintain things and manage things, that’s where you need the best tooling and platforms coming together, and that’s where innovation in Visual Studio, Visual Studio Online, as well as Azure and our server infrastructure come together.

Unlocking insights from big data, as I said earlier, it’s not just about having all of the variety of big data infrastructure, which is important, but it’s about being able to have tools like Power BI to be able to get the insights that each of us need inside of our organization.

And it’s also about transforming our datacenter so that you have the flexibility to be able to drive the choices that you make in terms of public cloud deployment, private cloud deployment, or even tiering the two together to achieve what you want to achieve.

We have a huge set of announcements to make in this area at this conference.  You’re going to have a preview release of Windows Server and System Center 2016, which is an amazing set of server releases which enable private cloud.  In fact, the Azure stack is going to make it possible for you to have Azure in your datacenter, which is consistent with the public cloud Azure.

SQL 2016 is perhaps the biggest breakthrough in database technology that you have ever seen.  It is some fantastic technology that you’re going to get a quick preview today, but in the coming months you’re going to get a chance to look at what we have done in terms of creating an infinite database where you can take even a single table in SQL 2016, your datacenter, and stretch it to Azure, without any of your applications having to change, without having any of the queries you write to SQL having to change.  So it’s some breakthrough technology that’s now going to be embedded into SQL 2016.

The Operations Management Suite is something that I’m very excited about.  Just like the Enterprise Mobility Suite was about to building that IT control plane for everything from identity management to device management to data protection, we now have an Operations Management Suite that is going to have one consistent IT control plane for all of your virtual machines, all of your servers, irrespective of which datacenter they are in, in terms of disaster recovery, backup, in terms of being able to do log analytics, server health and availability, and most importantly orchestration.  So that means you can orchestrate all of your cloud using one control plane.

And lastly, since security and especially this class of threats called APT is so top of mind for each of us, we’re introducing an advanced threat analytics solution which will make it possible for every organization to analyze behaviorally all of the authentication logs, all of the things that are happening inside Active Directory, to detect any of these advanced persistent threats, any of the anomalous logins, and to be able to take action as an organization to isolate them and protect ourselves.

So these are some of the breakthrough announcements that you’re going to get, much more information throughout this conference and in this keynote.

But really all of this technology is about business transformation.  And when I think about the business transformation, it’s best to talk about it in terms of customer stories.

The first one I wanted to share with you is Delphi.  I in fact distinctly remember talking to the CIO of Delphi just before they launched the service, but Delphi has been a very successful company building devices for the aftermarket in the automotive industry, in the consumer automotive industry.

But now you can think of them as a consumer services company, consumer SaaS company.  They have effectively built a connected car service.  This service of theirs allows every smartphone to become an auto key.  They also have the ability to notify you as a customer of their devices if one of your teenagers happens to be driving your car and they’re not exactly driving the way you want them to be driving.  You’ll get to know of it.  You also get notified just before your spouse is about to come home and you want to put the finishing touches on your dinner.  (Laughter.)  So think about all the kinds of things that a consumer company would do.

See, that is the kind of innovation that every business is now doing.  And that’s possible because of some of the cloud technology, some of the machine learning technologies, some of the analytics technologies.  But ultimately, it is about the automotive industry changing.

But let’s take a look at another customer story, Fujitsu.  Of course, Fujitsu is a storied name in technology, known for supercomputers, but what’s fascinated me about their transformation is what they’re doing in IoT.

They picked perhaps one of the oldest industries in the world, agriculture, and said, how do we transform it.  And, in fact, it’s a fascinating story.  They took an old factory of theirs, they took the clean room in that factory, and used that to grow lettuce, a low-potassium lettuce, which is very important for any diabetic patient.

And the way they did it was fundamentally by creating a controlled environment, a feedback loop.  So it’s no longer just agriculture, it is, in fact, a system which is controlled by an Internet of Things.  So they’re taking that entire system and now making it a software product for agriculture.

So think about it, here’s a tech company that is not only transforming themselves but they’re transforming other industries through what they’re doing in terms of creating software solutions.  And again the cloud, data, analytics, machine learning, are very much part of what they’re doing.

And another industry which is real fun to talk about is sports.  In fact, there isn’t another industry that is being so fundamentally being transformed with data and digital technology like sports.

Real Madrid is an amazing brand and everybody knows about them.  They have 450 million fans worldwide.

And so I wanted to share this story with you, but I wanted to do that by introducing the CEO of Real Madrid, Jose Angel, to come up onstage and share his thoughts.  Jose?  (Applause.)

Thank you so much for being here.

So Jose, of course, Real Madrid is such a storied brand, an amazing sports team.  Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your organization and your journey?

JOSE ANGEL SANCHEZ:  OK.  First of all, it’s great to be here in Chicago, which is a city with a very, very strong sports heritage.

We have a similar heritage at Real Madrid.  But Real Madrid is not only about sports success, it is also very unique in its social mobile.  It’s a members’ club owned by 90,000 people who just want to promote football through a set of values:  excellence, endurance, respect to the open end, and a culture of sacrifice and aspiration to victory.

And yes, this personality has brought to the club many trophies.  The club was named as the best soccer team, soccer club of the 20th century.

We have won 116 official trophies in 113 years of history, and just last season we won our 10th Champions League as the best team in Europe.

SATYA NADELLA:  That’s amazing.  How has digital technology played a role?  I know you’re transforming Real Madrid.  Can you tell us a little bit about that?

JOSE ANGEL SANCHEZ:  Well, yes, we have three, basically three major areas of focus when we talk about technology, how technology is transforming our business.

The first one is fan engagement.  We just want to make sure that we can connect with the fans wherever they are.  For this purpose we have created Real Madrid app, an application for mobile devices that is going to play a key role to enrich the connection with our fans.

SATYA NADELLA:  So this is the 450 million fans, or even a billion fans on the game day?

JOSE ANGEL SANCHEZ:  Yes, exactly.  The point is to provide them unique experiences and content that can also reposition their relationship with them.

Technology is helping us also to improve business operations in general.  In this sense we just want to focus and to make sure that we are using insight from our fan engagement and connection with our key business partners, and this is to help driving the business.

And finally, we are equipping our team players with technologies such as Microsoft Surface and using big data analysis to help driving the business.

SATYA NADELLA:  That’s amazing.  That’s amazing.  It’s fan engagement, your own operations with your partners, as well as player analytics, all coming together as one digital system.  You’re like a software company now.

JOSE ANGEL SANCHEZ:  Well, yes, basically Microsoft is helping us transform our entire club and our business consequently in a digital world.  In the end, all the effort we are making is for this.

The industry of sports, like every industry, is being transformed by technology.  And it will be crucial to our ongoing success on the pitch and around the world as we get more engagement with our fans online today and in every other way.

The Real Madrid app that we are announcing today and that will be available on May 19th is just another step on that journey, both as a way to engage more deeply with our fans, and also as a way to drive business results as we get more insight into those fans.

But above everything, it is the old dream of bringing together a community of millions and millions of people who share a common passion and a common love for our club, which is Real Madrid.

SATYA NADELLA:  Thank you so much for coming, and good luck next week.

JOSE ANGEL SANCHEZ:  Thank you very much.

SATYA NADELLA:  Thank you.  Thanks a lot.  (Cheers, applause.)

Real Madrid has a very important game in the Champions League next week, and so good luck to Jose and the team.

It’s not just sports or automotive, every industry is going through this.  If there has been anything for me in the last year that’s been the greatest source of energy for what Microsoft stands for, what we need to drive, it’s been these transformation stories.  It could be every company from Virginia Tech and how drug discovery is changing, or what’s Carnegie Mellon doing with what they’re doing across IoT in terms of energy and building, and you know, the buildings on the campus, what Rockwell Automation is doing in energy.

So industry after industry is being transformed as we speak, and that’s the real opportunity for us collectively.  This is perhaps more so than ever in our history where technology is not just adding capability but it’s changing business models.

So I wanted to close out by orienting you to the rest of the keynotes.  You’re going to hear from Joe Belfiore next when he’s going to come out and talk about more personal computing and how Windows 10 is going to usher in the new era of more personal computing.

And then Gurdeep Singh Pall will come up and talk about how we are reinventing productivity and business process, and in fact the interlock between what we are doing in Windows 10, Office 365, Dynamics, how do they come together to transform the very nature of work.

And lastly, Brad Anderson will come and talk about how you can manage, secure all of the productivity services and the device experiences inside of your organization, as well as the back-end infrastructure, the data infrastructure that spans cloud.

These are three interlocking ambitions and technology agendas for us, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.

But the most important thing for me is that this is only going to happen as this community of IT professionals brings it together to transform your businesses.

So thank you very, very much for being at Ignite and have a great keynote and the rest of Ignite.  Thank you.  (Applause.)