By Sean Hannah, our roving reporter in Las Vegas

Microsoft Inspire – day 1

It’s day one of the Microsoft Inspire event – the world’s largest partner event taking place here in Las Vegas. We’ve heard some fascinating keynotes, or as Microsoft calls them “Corenote” speeches as part of the opening sessions:

Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, presented some compelling and even slightly controversial propositions around security, ethics and hacking. He suggested that the best way to minimise the impact of these global viruses, such as WannaCry, is to actively lobby Governments. He proposed drawing up a type of “digital Geneva Convention” for every country to adhere to in order to address the global security challenges around the world.

Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft, discussed the latest Microsoft partner strategies, which seem to be more of an evolution rather than revolution since the major changes introduced last year. We can expect to see some new partner incentives and the creation of new specialist roles, focussed on customer acquisition and strategic enterprise accounts.

Microsoft Channel Chief, Gavriella Schuster also suggested, based on revenue forecasts from the New York Stock Exchange, that there is a trillion-dollar market out there for Microsoft Partners in the coming year. How? Using figures from IDC, she stated that for every $1 of Microsoft revenue, partners generate $9.64 in services revenue. And as Wall Street estimates that Microsoft revenues will hit $100 billion for the fiscal year 2018, in simple maths that’s $9.64 times $100 billion, which is nearly a trillion dollars of Microsoft services. She added that with a predicted continued double-digit growth in cloud this coming year, and the fact that Microsoft is not just attaching to 1 or 2 billion PCs around the world  – but to over 10 billion IoT devices and climbing – that makes a potential  $4.5 trillion of total addressable market in five years feel addressable.

Microsoft Azure, 365 and Dynamic 365 were all featured as part of the Corenote speeches, along with Data and Artificial Intelligence, as a key focus for next year. Interestingly VR, AR and Hollowlense were all off the agenda, despite being heavily pushed last year.

It’s not all work work work – I also threw myself off the Stratosphere – a cool 850ft drop – and I’m $150 up on the casino tables!

See you tomorrow!


Join in the Microsoft Inspire excitement on Twitter using #msinspire or #MSInspire2018