On December 12 more than 150 customers and partners gathered in the Event Lounge in Brussels for an update on the vision and roadmap of Microsoft for the Enterprise. This one-day event has once again proven to be the unique opportunity for local Belgian customers to get inspired with the latest Microsoft enterprise innovations.
The Microsoft Discovery Day has a strong ambition: give IT decision makers at enterprise customers an insight in the novelties and updates in the Microsoft solution portfolio for enterprises, so they can go home with the necessary inspiration to reimagine their IT operations and drive innovation in the area of Mobile, Big Data, Cloud and the Social Enterprise. Microsoft Belgium had scheduled more than 20 presentations and demonstrations scheduled along 4 tracks: Data Insight, The Modern Datacenter, Windows 8.1 and Productivity & Social Enterprise.
As we want to share the insights of the event as broadly as possible, you can download the presentations here
Comprehensive overview of Cloud OS
The Discovery Day was the first opportunity for Belgian customers to receive a comprehensive overview of the recently updated Cloud OS vision. “Cloud OS is our vision for an IT platform that is more unified, flexible, and responsive. It’s our roadmap to deliver solutions that span the datacenter and the cloud, empowering users to work anywhere on any device. The extensive innovations we’re delivering as part of Cloud OS are making IT departments more agile and efficient,” explained Kris Vandermeulen, product marketing manager at Microsoft Belgium.
“With Cloud OS Microsoft is also unlocking insights on any data, big or small, to a billion Office users worldwide”, outlined product marketing manager Ritchie Houtmeyers in the Data Insights content track. “Our vision on BI and Big Data is to provide a powerful platform to integrate all types of data and empower business users to build insights using familiar tools.”
Compelling presentations unveiled that with a unified application and data platform, customers can leverage their existing investments and take advantage of new levels of automation, self-service, and management control. At the Discovery Day attendees received clear insights on how Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, the latest updates to Windows Azure and Windows Intune are bringing the Cloud OS vision into reality.
the presentations of the Modern Datacenter and Data Insights tracks
Windows 8.1 is Enterprise grade
A much visited spot at the event floor, was the Devices Bar, a showcase of the most recent devices running Windows 8.1 –from phones over tablets to All-in-Ones. Including the recently launched Surface 2, the newest Nokia Phones, as well as devices from several OEM partners. “With touch experience and full mouse and keyboard support, a Windows 8.1 device delivers the convenience and mobility of a tablet, the power and familiarity of a full PC, and the ease to effortlessly move between work and personal activities”, explains Tom Mertens, product marketing manager at Microsoft. “Windows 8.1 delivers seamless access to corporate environments and helps ensure data and apps are always available across the Windows platform—from PCs to tablets to mobile devices.”
With the general availability of Windows 8.1 in October, also all of Microsoft’s essential deployment tools were updated. Tom Mertens: “At the Discovery Day we have demonstrated that Windows 8.1 is truly enterprise grade, with the necessary proven deployment strategies and management processes. And of course Windows 8.1 takes care of the enterprise essentials – now letting you manage personal devices in your organization, utilize your investments in your enterprise infrastructure, and enhancing the security of your environment.”
the presentations of the Windows 8.1 track
Also in the center of attention at the Discovery Day were Microsoft’s social enterprise and collaboration tools, which help to connect enterprise workers and drive more impactful engagement with customers and partners. “By working social, companies can align and adapt quickly to change by breaking down geographical and organizational barriers, open communication channels and access to information, and bring people together to achieve a common goal”, says Erik Pelemans, Business Group Lead at Microsoft Belgium. At the Yammer booth attendees could see how in real life –a year after being acquired by Microsoft- Yammer is becoming more and more integrated with other Microsoft solutions, such as SharePoint and Office 365, enabling enterprise wide social collaboration. Office 365 itself also received major functionality updates, which were broadly demonstrated during the day. “It is clear that Office 365 truly enables enterprise customers to take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud”, Pelemans concludes.
the presentations of the Enterprise Social & Productivity Track