I’ve had the great privilege to attend the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, this week with 11 members of the QuantiQ team and now, safely back home, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my time there. Simply…..it was a fantastic experience and chance to be around some of the brightest and best talents in the D365 space. So this post will highlight some of the key announcements and take away’s from the conference. Enjoy!
Starting with the keynote session presented by James Phillips, Corporate Vice President of Business Applications, kicked off the proceedings for the conference detailing some key business metrics around the PowerPlatform and Dynamics 365 stacks, some of which are incredibly impressive! 95% of the Fortune 500 use PowerBI……making Salesforce’ acquisition of Tableau seem a bit silly to try and catch up. Another great stat, 700% growth in PowerApps going into production, which matches up with what we are seeing with our clients at QuantiQ and the broader Microsoft story.
James also highlighted that we live in a data-driven world with applications producing more data than ever before and that data is now coming first allowing a business to understand their customers better than ever and turn reactive processes upside down to become proactive. Don’t wait for a customer issue to occur, proactively deal with it before it becomes an issue. Connected Field Service is a critical driver in this behaviour.
The digital feedback loop premise is still key to the wider Business Applications idea with data being fed from numerous sources and traversing the levels of the Business Applications stack. The capability under the Microsoft banner makes for a compelling story as they genuinely have all the bases covered which rivals are unable to offer. Microsoft Azure, the Power Platform, Office 365, Dynamics 365, LinkedIn……the list of amazing applications goes on and creates a fantastic ecosystem.
A key portion of the keynote was dedicated to the great story of innovation coming out of Virgin Atlantic who has jumped in with the Power Platform and delivering business change to ageing processes. The story of Manuela Pichler, who has championed the usage of PowerApps at Virgin Atlantic, was shown and is well worth watching to understand how the game is changing. Gone are the days of excel sheets and paper processes, switching up to simple but effective PowerApps are key. Check out the video below that explains the story.
The keynote also demonstrated several other customer success stories such as Grant Thornton who are using Dynamics 365 Sales Insights to stimulate the right conversations with their customers at the right time. Also, Malibu boats, who are utilising Dynamics 365 Product Visualise and Experlogix CPQ to provide customised views of potential boats. A number of other customer demonstrations and product releases were announced, but I’ll deep dive into them in other posts.
Another key area was the focus on community and the great work being done by groups such TDG and #PowerAddicts in promoting the Dynamics/PowerPlatform communities out there. They’ve put a tonne of effort into building the community aspect and promoting good causes such as the #hack4goodMBAS event creating PowerApps to help make significant change to charities. I didn’t get a chance to attend this but did pop my head in and it looked like a fantastic event.
Overall, the keynote set the bar for the rest of the conference, outlining a few days of substantial workshops, presentations and deep dive sessions into the extraordinary rate of change and frankly, market leading developments in the business applications space. Microsoft, under Satya Nadella and the business applications management structure, is continually readjusting the bar for application ecosystem excellence. The introduction of the PowerApps and the common data model has changed how we think about applications and the previously silo culture of data. Companies are now looking at a platform for their business applications rather than point solutions, and currently, there is only one major player in the game. Well done Microsoft, I’m looking forward to the next few years of business application excellence.