The Biggest News from the Microsoft Ignite Conference 2018

Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella at Microsoft Ignite 2018
Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella at Microsoft Ignite 2018

Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center was once again the venue for the Microsoft Ignite Conference, held September 24-29. The event, which featured hundreds of sessions and thousands of experts on hand to facilitate education and idea exchange, is always the setting for a number of major headline tech industry announcements.

When it came to the news unveiled last week, this year’s conference did not disappoint. Topping the list of most newsworthy items were the promise to make sign-in on thousands of apps soon be password-free, and many astounding ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon be enhancing Microsoft Office and Microsoft products. For a summary of the many announcements, you can view the Microsoft Ignite Book of News as a PDF.

But perhaps the biggest news of all was the announcement made during the opening session on Monday morning, that Microsoft, Adobe and SAP are partnering to revolutionize the customer experience by moving data from silos to open access.

Why is this so important?

Right now, even in the most sophisticated organizations, customer data is often segmented because it is gathered on different platforms. By bringing the data into a secure central cloud platform, it can become bidirectionally assessable by applications and platforms. In other words, soon a company will be able to marry sales data with marketing data with buying histories and more, all in real time and in ways that have not previously been possible.

In other words, if you think you are receiving or sending customized marketing and advertising materials now, just wait. Personalized has the potential to move into a whole new stratosphere.

Is it a good thing? Absolutely!

Businesses will be able to reach the right person with the right offers. Consumers will see more and more marketing, messaging and opportunities that is “just right” for their needs and interests. There will be less time, energy and effort wasted by companies and by consumers, and that is beneficial across the board.

Although this is a complex collaboration and there’s no published timeline on when it becomes a working reality, one writer observed, “this is not a paper launch, there has been a lot of work already done.”

Note: Next year’s Microsoft Ignite Conference will again be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and is scheduled for November 4-8, 2019.

Photo: Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella at Microsoft Ignite 2018

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