Microsoft Inspire: Our final thoughts

Final session at Microsoft Inspire and more great stories about digital transformation.

And I make no apology for hammering on about digital transformation, because it’s happening and the quicker businesses jump on the wave, the better.

We heard about the management of epilepsy in real-time with remote sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help patients get on with their lives in spite of their condition.

Police forces are now using Surface Pro devices to take digital statements and photos of incidents – especially traffic-related, drawing sketches of the scene. It’s allowing them to get the job done much more quickly and effectively and it’s getting a great response from the public, who have more confidence as a result.

On the subject of the Surface Pro, it’s been interesting to see the lack of iPads in evidence at the conference. I remember the launch of the first Surface device and the lack of enthusiasm, verging on derision. No one thought it would last and now it’s without doubt the device of choice. OK, this is a Microsoft conference but I certainly wouldn’t have predicted it (and yes, I am typing this blog on a Surface!)

Aggreko, who supplies temporary power solutions, is installing telemetry on all of its generators with the aim of zero breakdown.

One of the speakers today – lost track of who! – suggested that we need to poke and prod our customers to ensure they take advantage of the new tools that are available; tools that are already available if you have Office 365.

So, this is probably a good time to throw out the challenge we’ve been putting to our customers for a while now; tell us what you want to do better and we’ll show you how technology can help.

What are your challenges? What’s on your wishlist? What keeps you awake at night? I’d love to know.

And we’re working hard to capture stories of others that are maybe a couple of steps ahead on the journey (again, if that’s you then please work with us to share your success – even if it might not have been an entirely smooth ride).

It is about steps, and it doesn’t need or want to be everything at once.

It’s also about learning, because the world is changing at such a rapid pace and the challenges of the future require new skills as we move through what one speaker described as the 4th industrial revolution, powered by cloud rather than steam.

This week has been a massive learning experience for me. And I can only hope that some of what I’ve heard sticks!

I’m conscious that I’m in danger of rambling now, so once again it’s time to sign off. You can read my blogs from day 1, day 2 and day 3 too, for more highlights.

And if you haven’t already checked out the videos recorded by my colleague, Steven Osprey and myself then please do – if only for the entertainment value and not the profound insights.