Conference day 2: Insight

More sessions today and a very fun billiard show! More details below.

Vision keynote

Satya Nadella (Server and Tools)

The details specified here are subject to my bad hearing 🙂
Windows Server 2012 will feature up to 4 TB of memory (RAM) and more than 300 CPU’s.
Jeff Woolsey showed a demo of a Win Server 2012 in Azure with an extreme setup, getting over 1000000 iops, which is 3 times more than what VMware claims is the maximum possible throughput.
System Center gets an update that allows administrators/customers see an overview of all of their clouds, be it on premise, privately hosted in a datacenter or in the public cloud (Azure, Amazon, …).
Windows Server 2012 will hit RTM in August and GA in September.
Microsoft is announcing the “Switch to Hyper-V” program to help customers/partner switch from VMware to Windows Server Hyper-V.

Kirill Tatarinov (Microsoft Dynamics)

Microsoft Dynamics AX will be added to the Enterprise Agreement / Software Assurance program, allowing it to be licensed in that way.

Laura Ipsen (Public sector)

Office 365 seems to be free for teachers / students.
Every region should have a “National Plan”, I’m checking out what Belux’ is, as we’re doing some significant things in the public sector.

Thom Grulner (Windows Phone)

New things in Windows Phone 8 (mostly recap):

  • Shared codebase with Windows 8: makes development easier and more reusable/consistent across devices
  • 7 of 10 highest rated smartphones on are Windows Phones
  • There are more than 100.000 apps in the Marketplace
  • The customizable start screen allows tile sizing in 3 states
  • Windows Phone 8 is secure: it will be encrypted with BitLocker
  • If you decide to create enterprise apps for your company, they no longer need to be added to the Marketplace, instead, they can be configured to be fetched from the local intranet. This is done using the “Company Hub” app that can be deployed using a management service.
  • NFC (Near Field Communication) is the core of interchanging simple information between phones, a phone and a slate, … The idea is simple: many apps have the “Tap + Send” action (e.g. contact sharing) which allows a limited amount of information to be sent by just proximizing both devices.

Jon Roskil & Steve Clayton (Next)

  • Bing social sidebar: you can ask your friend or subject matter experts to take a pick in your search results or suggest what they would like based on their search history (I personally don’t see all the social search buzz)
  • PhotoSynth app for Windows Phone, making stunning panoramas with ease
  • PxielSense: a great tabletop multi-touch interface demo shown of the galaxy with an incredible set of tools built into the software, making it possible to navigate around the galaxy with ease, with a price tag a lot better than the 82” from yesterday: $ 8000, affordable for business I’d say.
  • Kinect: cool demo of 3D scanning combined with a 3D printer to “clone” dead objects, seems ultra cool of course 🙂
  • Ubisoft has created a multi-touch screen with only 1 Kinect sensor and no actual touch screen, just some glass with a projection on it.
  • IllumiShare: another great innovation, having two lamps that scan and project the combination of both lamps to show as if you are collaborating in real life, far fetched, but cool.

See more at

Meeting (Gideon Bibliowicz): Business Critical SharePoint / LoQutus

I cannot disclose this information, it will be in my internal report.

Breakout session (Gideon Bibliowicz): Business-Critical SharePoint: Delivering Value in Heterogeneous Environments

The details of the only SharePoint partner program this fiscal year were layed out, but most of these things were already pointed out in the past (to me). Some key points I noted:
America + Europe have extremely high SharePoint penetration, Denmark having 100% in the upper segment. And of all these seats, more than half are already SharePoint 2010. However, very little is done with the platform.
Let’s recap last year’s session:
There, 3 customer stories were told: Initial Deployment, Broad Adoption and Business Solutions.
This “SharePoint Journey” fits in the BCSP program as follows.
More than 67% have actually broadly adopted SharePoint but there is huge momentum to leverage BCSP towards Business Solutions.
A company has on average 2.7 ERP systems.
Less than 5% connects SP to LOB systems (e.g. Siebel, Dynamics, SAP, JDEdward, …).
Call to action:

  • Inform customers by providing the right information to the right people
  • Enable efficient decision making
  • Improve business process efficiency
  • Drive visibility across teams

Tomorrow, there is a follow-up meeting with the details and benefits of the program, which I will be attending (strongly advised by Gideon).

Breakout session (Rackspace): Demystifying SharePoint in the Cloud

This sounds a lot like what we need (and even more maybe).
There is a huge $36 B opportunity in medium-sized business space for SharePoint deployment to the cloud.
The following barriers typically appear:

  • 78% of customers have security concerns
  • 43% of customers have concerns regarding expertise and experiences which they don’t have
  • 23% need external support
  • 70% need a hybrid infrastructure

So there is a great deal of work to be done!
An interesting definition for cloud: “It’s cloud if it is not in your data center."
There are typically 3 cloud types: IaaS, Paas and SaaS.
These are the key questions that need to be asked when considering SharePoint in the cloud: Security, Flexibility, Cost and Functionality.
Another quote: "SharePoint is the stickiest stuff I know."
Rackspace also has a partner program, but focuses mainly on marketing/sales support.

Belux Activity: CN Tower + Academy of Spherical Arts