3 trending topics from the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
At an event attended by some of the most knowledgeable and experienced individuals in the industry, you’re guaranteed to come away with some unique and invaluable insights, and WPC definitely didn’t disappoint.
It would be impossible to try and fit four days’ worth of information into one single blog post, so instead we thought we’d try and sum up what we felt were some of the main talking points.
The following are 3 key takeaways from the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.
1The Internet of Things will shape our lifestyle
Speculation on the impact of the IoT on the channel has been at the forefront of our industry for years. At this year’s event, the conversation seemed to have shifted one step closer to understanding the real implications of the technology on partners and end-users alike. In our pre-event prediction gathering, we spoke to Alexander Waldhause from IT services specialists, Ideefix, who warned of the need for the channel to evolve.
According to Waldhause, by 2020,
Here at Tech Data, we have to agree. We’ve been dedicated to working with partners to monetise the connected opportunity for years, and in those to come, this will only become more vital to the health of the channel. Speaking exclusively on the stand, Tech Data Cloud’s director of cloud services for Europe, David Newbould, speculated of 2020:
The implications of this on the way businesses operate globally is undoubtedly vast. Rodney Clark, Global IoT Executive at Microsoft, spoke of how the expanse of data captured from the IoT will play a central role in organisation’s critical decision-making. Of course, it will be the channel’s job to facilitate businesses in both harnessing that data, and then transforming it into actionable insight.
Helping to join the dots for partners who are pondering how to realise the opportunity, Rodney revealed how the Microsoft Corporation is developing its products to support the connected tech advances through a four-stage process: Intelligent Devices, Intelligent Connectivity, Intelligent Insights and Intelligent Actions.
Watch the video below
2Communications hold the key for businesses looking to capitalise on the cloud
The cloud is opening up endless new opportunities for businesses across all sectors, and vendors need to be able to provide the services and support necessary to capitalise on these opportunities. While the cloud is making its way into more and more areas of business, communications is an area seen as an immediate priority for businesses.
How can businesses make the most of new opportunities brought on by the #cloud?— Tech Data Cloud (@TechDataCloud) June 29, 2016
As an increasing number of businesses look to switch to cloud-based communications, vendors and integrators need to switch their focus to meet these changing demands. In our pre-event predictions, Jonathan Wagstaff, country manager at CONTEXTWorld, speculated on what the future holds, saying:
Jonathan went on to discuss what he believes to be one of the key business benefits of cloud services from a commercial standpoint, adding:
3Security continues to be a major concern which vendors need to address
The IoT and connected devices are changing the way organisations think about connectivity, and have the potential to revolutionise our lives and transform the way businesses operate around the globe. New levels of connectivity means companies can have instant access to real-time data, bridging geographical and cultural barriers faster than ever before.
However, with increased connectivity comes increased concerns about security. As the news continues to be filled with stories of high-profile hacks, businesses and end-users will be looking vendors for assurances regarding security concerns.
What issue needs to be addressed for businesses to capitalise on the opportunities offered by connected devices?— Tech Data Cloud (@TechDataCloud) July 8, 2016
As discussed in another one of the sessions on the Tech Data stand, it’s much easier for hackers to target end-users, rather than servers, firewalls and applications. Because it’s people, rather than systems that are being targeted, security awareness training has never been more important.
While businesses have a variety of different security concerns when it comes to IoT and connected devices, it’s actually employees who businesses see as presenting the biggest vulnerability, as demonstrated by our poll of Microsoft Partners.
When we pitched the same question to our LinkedIn community, we got similar responses. Shonda Sparks said
Brandon Allison summed up the sentiment being shared by many vendors, adding: