I recently had an opportunity to attend the Microsoft Canadian Leadership Summit in Redmond and thought I would share some of my findings. The Leadership Summit allows Microsoft Canada to invite key customers and partners to discuss technology trends that are relevant to the Canadian business climate.  Below is a recap of some ad hoc notes that I made through-out the presentations.


Why use Microsoft products?

    • Standardization allows you to reduce costs
    • Flexibility is required to change directions as the economy demands it
    • Microsoft technologies allow you to manage costs and have agility
    • Microsoft provides building blocks that allows you to fill the gaps between legacy applications, 3rd party and core Microsoft offerings no matter whether they are on-premise or in the cloud.

Pressures continue to Intensify

    • New generation of workers
    • Security and Compliance continues to be a challenge as more and more integration occurs
    • Mobile and Distributed Workforces are increasing in numbers
    • Innovate without additional resources

Consumerization of IT

We use to go to work to have a more advanced IT Experience

    • Fast network download speeds
    • Stable email environments

Now people at home have more IT capabilities at home than in the office

    • Video conferencing
    • IM
    • Facebook
    • Wireless Access points

Customers can use Microsoft products to provide a balance between improved collaboration while implementing security and management of those services.  Some examples of these technologies include the Social networking features in SharePoint 2010 and Office Communication Server (OCS).

The Cloud

  • Decision to move to the cloud should be a business decision and not a technology decision
  • Need to trust in enterprise-class services that Microsoft provides
  • Delivering consistent connected experience across devices (PC, Mobile phone, Laptop, Consumer devices)
  • Microsoft has had success with a lot of large “house hold” companies moving their assets to the Azure cloud.  Announcements will be made shortly
  • Understanding Canadian Federal and Provincial privacy laws continue to create challenges

Low Cost Computing

  • More companies are able to leverage low cost platforms for mission critical applications.  Windows Server is an enterprise ready OS that is much more affordable than other enterprise offerings.  Migrating your traditional AIX/Oracle environments is feasible , and achievable , on the Windows Platform
  • Technology exists to maximize the efficiency of your IT infrastructure
  • Take advantage of new ways to acquire and deliver technology


Microsoft’s Commitment to Customers

  • Over 1 Billion active Windows Users
  • 500 Million Office users
  • $9.5 Billion invested in R&D
  • Long Term, tenacious and Partner-Centric

Business climates are changing faster than they have before

  • Every minute on YouTube, 24 hours of video is uploaded by users
  • Starbucks – Office Online
    • Growth through stores
    • More cross selling and up selling
    • needed to extend technology into the store level
    • Microsoft Online Services – Email and SharePoint Team sites available to 19000 employees in-store to allow employees to collaborate on  how to grow the company$

Deep investments in infrastructure

  • $2.3 Billion invested in cloud infrastructure
  • Geo-replicated data to multiple data centres
  • public and private cloud flexibility
  • 30 000 engineers working on cloud services

Microsoft’s Commitment to services excellence

  • Financially backed uptime guarantees
  • SAS 70 and ISO 27001 compliant
  • carbon footprint innovation
  • Rapid innovation model


Office 2010 launch

Some key features:

  • Ignore conversation – will remove current user from all future Distribution Lists emails and place related emails into the deleted folder
  • Pictures of email recipient, from “My Site” show up in the bottom of compose email message
    • click on the picture and you see additional context from Facebook, LinkedIn and SharePoint
  • SharePoint 2010 Search –
    • refined search and meta data
      • filter by author, date and other meta data
    • Specify content in links i.e. PowerPoint
    • Preview slides before opening document
    • People Search
  • PowerPoint over the web
    • high fidelity without the need of Live Meeting
  • SharePoint – My Site
    • status updates, similar to Facebook
    • tagging competencies allows you to easily search and identify an expert in the related competency
    • Post on “Note board’ – much like Facebook’s “wall”
    • Enriched Org chart including pictures and metadata
      • surfaced using Silver Light
    • Improved Blogging capabilities
    • Tags and Notes
      • tag pretty much anything in SharePoint – blogs, documents which create a Tag Cloud
      • follow tags via newsfeed
    • Offline capabilities – use  SharePoint workspace
  • SharePoint 2010 wide scale adoption – early adopters include:
    • Global Crossing
    • Sony
    • Associated Press
    • Six Flags
    • Telus
    • Constellation Energy
    • Energizer
  • 8.6 Million Beta Downloads
  • 80 % Beta users encouraged others to download
  • 450 Customers in early adoption program
  • Edmonton Oilers (Professional Hockey) use SharePoint to collaborate on potentials players by aligning video with meta data and statistics 
    • Player Dashboard
    • Current prospects
    • Player video page
  • Oiler organization feels that SharePoint 2010 is very intuitive and straight forward to use
    • leverage messaging and collaboration features
  • 1000 Microsoft Partners are developing SharePoint 2010 solutions
  • 20 000 Microsoft Partners partners trained
  • 500 000 developers are using SharePoint

Microsoft Online Services

Why Customers are embracing the cloud:

    • Reduce CAPEX & OPEX
    • Predictable & Pay per use subscriptions
    • Focus on Market differentiation
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Latest versions with no server upgrades
    • Choice, Flexibility and Resource Agility
    • Merger, Acquisition and Divestitures
    • Up and Running quickly

Interesting quote from a Gartner reference":

“By 2012, 20% of businesses will own no IT Assets”.  Quite frankly I have a hard time believing this statement.


Microsoft Azure data canters include: Chicago, San Antonio, Northern Virgina, Dublin, Amsterdam, Singapore

No plans for Canada to have a data centre

  • Concerns about privacy and laws due to provincial jurisdiction


Customers moving to cloud

  • McDonalds
  • Rexel
  • Staples
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Phillips
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Blockbuster

Microsoft Online Services

  • 40 million Online paid seats
  • more than 5oo government agencies
  • Over 50% of the fortune 500
  • 9000 business customers