Transcript of remarks by Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, and Doug Burgum, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions
San Diego, California
March 12, 2007
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions, Doug Burgum.
DOUG BURGUM: Wow, what a fantastic way to kick off Convergence. And it was literally a human visualization of a coming together, of you might even say a harmonic convergence, how fitting for us to have that as we gather here in Southern California.
It’s my opportunity this morning to say welcome to all of you. And I want to say that welcome to all of our customers who’ve come from far and wide, and I want to deliver that welcome on behalf of all of us at Microsoft, and all of our partners. So, again, welcome to all of our customers that are here today.
It’s so great to have you here, and speaking of welcomes, what about last night’s event? I thought that was very fun. I had a chance to welcome a number of people in person at the welcome gathering. We had sunsets, we had sushi, we had surfing, or at least it was surfing on airbags, and we had Sliders. I know the people that are clapping, I saw some of them. How many people have ever been to a White Castle? (Applause.) A fair number, if you haven’t, Sliders are these little teeny how many people don’t know what a Slider is? Part of learning is being open to what you don’t know, that’s great. So a Slider is a little teeny hamburger, okay, a little teeny hamburger, an already preformed little thing like this.
So as I was walking around the event, foraging for food, checking out all the different things that were there last night, watching a lot of other people doing the same things, I run into a guy, we’re standing by the Slider thing, and he’s all excited about the Sliders, I’m all excited about the Sliders. And he says to me, and I’m not sure he knew who I was, not that that mattered, but he said, hey, I think we could take these down to the other end and sell them. So I love a conference full of entrepreneurs.
So we have had a great welcome ceremony, we’ve had that, we’re all here together. We’ve got as I said, we’ve got great weather, we’ve got great venues, we’ve got record attendance, over 8500 people coming to convergence this week. That’s amazing. This all started out with a single idea, it was 10 years ago, this is the eleventh Convergence, 1997 at our first Convergence in Orlando, Florida, we had 47 attendees, 47 attendees. So this is what’s happening in a short span of 10 years. I think today there’s more than 47 people just on the production crew backstage. So we’ve come a long way together as a community. We’ve been on a tremendous journey, and that journey has been a wonderful thing that we’ve been able to do together.
But, before I go any further, before I do anything else at the conference, I want to start with a thank you. That thank you goes out, first of all, to all of you here in the room. If you’re in this room this morning, you’re a smart individual, you’ve made a decision, you’ve balanced your priorities, you’ve had the tug and pull of family and business and career, but you’ve said, I’m going to dedicate some time, I’m going to this conference, I’m making a commitment. And that commitment is about to yourself, your organization, and it’s fundamentally about learning.
So first of all I want to thank you sincerely for being here, and for investing in yourself. I also want to thank you, we have many, many partners in the room, partners that help our customers and deliver solutions, and those partners in many cases we’ve had relationships with them that have existed for years, and years, and in some cases decades. And I want to say thank you to all the partners that are here. And I want to thank you for the relationships we have, I want to thank you for the business that you give us, and I want to thank you most of all for your trust, because if you’re a customer here, you’ve entrusted us with your most critical business systems. And if you’re a partner, you’ve entrusted us with your most important business relationships.
All of you are so important to us, we have 1,000 Microsoft team members here at this event, 1,000. I know that all of you are thinking about the expense, and it takes time and energy to get here, we’ve got 1,000 Microsoft team members from around the world here to support this event, to interact with you, to have dialogue with you, to present, to learn from you, and to help share information with you. So together we have, again, a tremendous opportunity for learning, but this opportunity wouldn’t exist without you making the commitment to be here, without you making the commitment to a relationship with us. And so for all of that, and on behalf of the 1,000 of us that are here, I want to specifically say thank you to all of you for being here. (Applause.)
I had a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to be in this industry for almost two and a half decades. And I’m full of gratitude for a number of different things. And that gratitude extends to the opportunities I’ve had, the relationships I’ve had, the people that I have known and interacted with. But, one thing that I’m particularly grateful for is the fact that I have had an opportunity to work in an organization and to help build an organization that has focused around a purpose, that’s focused around a mission that is service and externally oriented.
When we think about the mission of Microsoft today, when we talk about enabling people, and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential, this is a wonderful thing to get up every day and work on, this is a wonderful thing to use as a guide, as a North Star to think about how do we invest our resources, and what kind of solutions we try to create, how do we apply new technologies, because the planet that we live on today is a small planet, I think that everyone understands that we’re going through rapid, rapid, rapid explosions in change, in terms of new technologies, and rates of information, and changes in communication, and all of those having economic impact on the way we do business. So it’s an exciting, in some ways tumultuous time, because of all the new opportunities created by all the new technologies. But, I think this mission allows us to stay focused on what we want to do for you.
So as we focus on that mission, and we focus on the importance of it, and we think about, well, how does Convergence fit in with that mission, and Convergence fits directly in with that mission. If you think about any organization, and those of you that are here, one measure of realizing your potential is, is the organization that you work for, is it a leader, is it a leader in your field, is it leader in your geography, is it a leader in your industry, is it a leader in your niche? Is the firm that you’re working for, and helping to build, and helping to create, is it leading? And John F. Kennedy once said that learning and leadership are indispensable to each other.
So to the degree that Convergence, the next three days that we have together, is fundamentally about learning, it’s about learning, that learning is something that you can help and use in your organizations, that’s something that you can also use to help your organization become a leader. And if learning is something that you can use to help yourself personally, to help realize your own potential, so, again, the learning that’s going to go on. I think when we think about learning it’s easy to come to a conference like this and maybe say to yourself, hey, I’m going to take a break from the bombardment of information that comes at me in a normal day. Sometimes there’s an opportunity to step back from the normal flow, from the normal sort of over-wash of information.
I’m sure you’ve heard there are many statistics like this, I’m sure you’ve all heard something, but let me just recap a couple that I’ve had a chance to read recently. They say that there’s been more new information created in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000 years. Another source says that information doubled in the last five years, versus any previous versus all previous recorded history. I’m interested in how people come up with these, because it’s probably a very tough calculation to do, but I think that we all get the general feel.
Another interesting one was that a weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than the average citizen of England in the 17th century would run across in a lifetime, one daily issue of The New York Times. So we sort of say, how do we absorb and how do we take advantage of all this information? One of our I think our reactions as humans is that sometimes we actually even shut down, we can’t absorb any more, we can’t take on any more. So one of the things that I would like to, again, as part of the challenge to all of you to get the most out of your convergence experience, is to begin this morning, right this morning, and from Satya’s keynote all the way through Steve Ballmer’s keynote on Wednesday, is to really open yourself up to new learning, to allow yourself to be ready to absorb this stuff, and to drop some of the barriers to the wash of information that we may have applied.
I think the learning to sort of say, if you’re open, you said, okay, I’m open, how is this going to happen, how does learning occur? Well, learning can occur in a number of different ways. We’ve got a fabulous schedule of sessions, where we will be presenting to you, and that’s relatively it can be effective, and we work hard in making sure we’ve got the best presentations, and the best presenters, and the best demos, but it’s relatively passive in the sense that we’re talking and the audience is listening.
Convergence is much more than the sessions. There’s the opportunity at the expo, there’s the opportunity in the hallways, there’s the opportunity we’re going, I think this is the part why people keep coming back, and why Convergence grows every year, is because the people that come to Convergence are both open to learning, and they’re committed to participating in an active dialogue with everyone that’s here.
I think that as an interesting goal for all of us this morning is and I’m not sure what the Guinness World Book of Records is for active dialogue at a conference, we don’t have that measure, that metric hasn’t been established, but we do have a metric that we want to try to achieve here at Convergence. And there’s about 8,500 people here, everyone has the responsibility to be part of the active dialogue, which the active dialogue means asking questions. That’s probably my definition of active dialogue. So that if everybody here can commit to asking 10 questions a day, that’s not you guys will be working 10 to 12 hours, I’m sure, at these things, so one an hour, not too brisk of a pace. So 10 a day, that’s 85,000 questions a day for the next three days, we should be able to top, easily, a quarter-million questions asked at this conference, a quarter million questions. That’s our goal that we have set.
I think that one of my other favorite quotes from all time we’re in a sailing town here in San Diego, but the Olympic sailor Buddy Melges, Olympic gold medal sailor, once said you never have to recover from a good start, you never have to recover from a good start. So what we’re going to do right now this morning to get us off to a good start, we’re going to bring the house lights up, everyone has a you’ve got your quota, you get a chance, in the next 90 seconds you can knock off one or two of your today’s 10 questions by introducing yourself to someone you’ve never met before. Get up, move around. You have 90 seconds, find someone that you’ve I know you’re sitting by people you came with. Find someone. Stand up, everybody stand up, find someone you’ve never met, ask them a question. OK. Ready. Break.
Welcome back everyone. OK. How did everybody do? How many got one question in? How many got two? We are off to such a good start here on our goal. We could be close to 15,000 questions out of our 250,000 goal, and we haven’t even started the first keynote. We are going to have a quiz. On three you’re going to shout out the name of one person you met. Can you remember their names? If you can’t remember their name, then go ask them again after Satya’s keynote is done. OK. here we go, on three, shout out the name of someone you met. One, two, three.
OK. Great. Listen, we have great sessions. We’ve got a fantastic expo. We’ve got the best partner solutions we’ve ever had. We’ve got the best solutions we’ve ever had coming from Microsoft, and we’ve got three great keynotes over the next couple of days, starting off this morning with the one from Satya Nadella.
I’ve had the great honor to work directly with Satya for the last six years. He is one of those rare individuals that has great technical depth can understand and assimilate new technologies, but he also understands business, he understands business solutions, he understands your business, he understands how to bring those two things together. This is a rare, rare quality even in the highest echelons of the software industry. We’re so fortunate to have him as part of the senior executive leadership team at Microsoft.
This morning he’s going to talk to you about Microsoft’s aspirations, about our strategic intent, about how we want to deliver all of our capabilities, and solutions to help you run a connected business. Please help me welcome Corporate Vice President Satya Nadella. (Applause.)
SATYA NADELLA: First, I wanted to start off by thanking Doug for everything he’s done at Microsoft. I personally have worked for Doug for six years. There are many, many leadership lessons that will stay with me throughout, but most of all, I think Doug’s passion for our mission, which has always been externally focused, his passion for the customer community, and the partner community, are at this point so deeply ingrained in each one of us, and it will help drive us in everything we do going forward. So thank you, Doug, for all of your contributions to Microsoft and MDS. (Applause.)
The topic of my keynote this morning is to do with the connected business. It’s about the journey that we collectively are going to take, as you as business leaders are going to take your business forward to compete in a more connected world, in a more flat world, our goal is to be able to help you in that pursuit by building the best software platforms that enable you to pursue your dreams, your vision, your competitive advantage.
As we talk to you, interact with you, to understand some of the top of mind issues that you deal with on a daily basis, three things stand out. The first thing has to do with how do you operationalize your business vision, how do you take those strategies and really map them to software solutions that enable you to execute those strategies. You probably are looking to introduce new products, you’re looking to create competitive differentiation, you’re trying to get into new geographies, you’re probably growing by doing acquisitions. All of those strategies require software to be adaptable, and support for what you want to achieve. So that’s the first thing that we hear out every time we interact with business decision makers, are the key attributes that they want from software that they use.
The next piece is about being able to really empower the people across your organization. We all know we live in an age where it’s all about the ingenuity of the people inside of our organization, and amplifying that, providing them all access to information, putting them in control of continuous improvement of business process. That empowerment of people, connecting them to business process, is another key imperative, key top of mind issue that we hear back from you.
Lastly, when we talk about a connected world, we no longer talk about any business working in isolation. We talk about a business connected more broadly to the entire ecosystem, fostering new kinds of relationships, customers, partners, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and even the environment around us. So the notion of having a business that’s connected all the time with all the constituents is, again, a top of mind issue. So these three things, call them the Connected Business Pillars, is really what we use as inspiration as we move forward on the software innovation and the roadmap.
We have talked about our vision. You see us advertise this on TV, and other commercial media, as People Ready Business. This for us in MBS and the Dynamics Group is much more than an ad campaign. It is what we stand for. In fact, my entire keynote today is about how we, together, can operationalize this vision of People-Ready Business. The way we do that is to bring together what you today see as Microsoft Office System, and Microsoft Dynamics, get rid of all the seams between the categories of BI, CRM, ERP, document management, workflow, personal productivity. Our core goal is to be able to fuse these systems together to provide you with a connected a platform that allows you to build a connected business.
The three types of connections that we focus on is the connection between your software with business vision, and the software model that supports or operationalizes that business vision. It’s about being able to connect your people through rich process context so that they can continuously improve the business process, being in control of the business process. And, lastly, it’s about being able to connect your company with the broader ecosystem around you.
So that’s what the rest of my keynote is going to be about. It’s about being able to drill down in each one of these connections, the core attributes of the connected platform that we want to be able to provide to you by bringing together Office and Dynamics.
Let’s first talk about the people and process connection. When we start talking about people and process connection, the core goal that we should have driving us, we should make sure first that all software that you deploy, especially the business process software, is accessible to 100 percent of all the people you want to have access to it. Today, AMR has a research report out there that talks about perhaps 15 percent of the folks inside of organizations use business process applications. That’s a fairly limited usage footprint. So we want to be able to break free of that and expand it such that we can get to all of the 100 percent of the people inside of your organization having access to information, getting inside, being able to take action, change business process. So the way we go about doing that is by what we call building role-tailored experiences. The key sort of ingredient of doing that is to bring rich process concepts to every individual role, and we do that by building role-tailored experiences in Microsoft Office. We do that also by building role-tailored experiences in Microsoft Dynamics.
So let’s go ahead and take a look at the first big announcement of today. We are launching today Microsoft Dynamics client for Microsoft Office. This is a major step forward in this quest to make 100 percent of all of the people inside of an organization have access to information. We want to be able to take the rich data, take the business process, the insight that’s contained in Dynamics and democratize the access to it by surfacing it through SharePoint and the Office client. So this way, if you’re an employee inside any of one of the organization that deploy Dynamics, you can go up to SharePoint, look at your payroll information, you can go ahead and change your sort of address information, you can go in and submit a purchase requisition, you can approve a purchase requisition, and so on and so forth. So the idea of being able to take a familiar user experience of the Office Client, as well as SharePoint that in many cases is already deployed for document management or personal information work, and connecting it with rich process concepts opens up Dynamics for everyone inside of your organization. We’re going to aggressively price this. We want this to be very broadly adopted. It’s going to be available across all of our product lines.
So I wanted to bring up on stage Matt Gustafson to show us the new Dynamics client for the Office system. Matt.
MATT GUSTAFSON: It’s nice to be here. I cannot be more excited to show everybody the incarnation that you were just talking about, that whole business sense of bringing together the best of Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Office, in this case SharePoint Server.
Let’s take a look real quickly, and again this is Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office, and you can see today I’m going to be Kevin, the sale manager at Fabercam, and look at this, this is SharePoint everybody. I’ve got this customized for me, Kevin. I’ve decided to use standards and SharePoint tools to help make this my page. And I can see up here I’m coming to Convergence. I’m using SharePoint to help manage the things I want to get done while I’m at Convergence. I’ve also hooked up my news from back home, so while I’m here, I can get that information fed to me on my home page.
Kevin, he’s an Ohio State grad, and he’s subscribed to some of those RSS feeds from Ohio State, so he can get Buckeye news right on his home page, because that’s important to him. Again, showing off that personalization, and Go Buckeyes. Today we’ve got the GP version of the Dynamics clients, and that ships with a lot of these different sensors over here, and as a sales manager, as you expect, I probably want to spend most of my day in the sales center. So let’s take a look at what the sales center looks like inside the Dynamics client.
SATYA NADELLA: Can any of the ISVs in our expo go ahead and build their own extensions and centers?
MATT GUSTAFSON: This is what’s so cool. We’re using standard Microsoft Office technology to bring all of this information together, whether it’s analysis cubes for this particular KPI, or SQL data, or SharePoint lists, or something from the Excel server. All those Office tools that everyone is familiar with can be used to plug in. And so if I’m an ISV, and I’ve got an auto center I’m running, I have a little app for that, I can plug those parts directly right into this, and have that composite experience you were talking about earlier.
I can look from here on this particular performance indicator, and I can see as a sales manager that my Midwest customers, it looks like they’re falling behind in the Midwest a little bit, and I want to keep an eye on that, but I need to get more data on that. I’m going to go over here to my sales territory dashboard. Again, bringing in data from Excel server, and my back-office client, and whatever else it is in my system, I can take a look at let’s take a look at the Midwest, and you can see I can get more information down here for detail in the Midwest, and I can look at how my sales people re doing. We’ll take a look at David West and get that information as well. And I can see that as a sales manager, David and I have been talking about this quote that I’ve been waiting to come in from American Science, and that’s a big one, that’s supposed to bring up their numbers.
And I know, this is really kind of cool, as part of our process here at Fabercam, I need to do the approvals for these folks as they move through. So I can go over just right over here to the quote approvals, and I see all of the quotes that are in the system that I need to approve. I can just bring up the quote here for 10-31, and I can delegate it to someone, I can send it back, I can just approve it, as we will here, and the great part about this is, we’re using the back end of Windows Workflow Foundation. So, again, if you’re an ISV and you want to insert yourself into this workflow, you just use those standard tools to do that. Bringing together the power, again you said it earlier, the power of Office, and blurring those lines with Dynamics. We’ve got the business data going back and forth. I don’t really need to know what application I’m in, it’s all just being surfaced right here in SharePoint, which is sort of great.
SATYA NADELLA: We’ll work on the performance.
MATT GUSTAFSON: Performance notwithstanding, Satya, it’s a fantastic solution.
SATYA NADELLA: I love these live demos.
MATT GUSTAFSON: I do want to show this off while I’m here. Now that it’s been approved, and back to the system, I can go back into the quote history and I can bring up that quote. This is kind of cool. Everywhere along the way that it’s touched workflow, again, using the Windows Workflow Foundation, I can see where this task got approved, who did it, what you’re concerned about, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance-type stuff, all those standard workflow tools are working in there as well.
Let’s go back to the sales center. I want to show something else that’s kind of cool. I learned this in Sales Manager 101 classes. If I’ve got a region or something that’s struggling a little bit, maybe I want to run some promotions, I want to run a sale. What’s the best way to do a sale? Find out what’s overstocked. One of the great things about the information age is, there’s a lot of tools at my disposal, but one other thing is it’s kind of hard to find them sometimes. So SharePoint has a wonderful search capability. I’m going to type in here and look for all my overstocked items. Anything that has to do with overstocked, and put it on the advanced search. This is going to search my SharePoint site and show me all of any PowerPoint presentations, documents, whatever, what-have-you, and it will also crawl the structure data within my ERP system, so anything in there that might be overstocked.
In this case, I’ve got Kevin’s overstock report, and all the security being managed on the back end by my Excel Server, so only I get access to the information that I’m supposed to get access to. From here, I can see the items that I might want to go and target for my Midwest customers that I have overstocked right now.
Another thing you pointed out earlier was depending on which persona I am within the business, I might want to have a different look at these tools. I’m going to switch over to a different machine, and I’m going to pretend to be Tim. Tim is in the purchasing department, and he needs to approve all of the purchase orders. Let’s pull up Tim’s inbox. Tim spends his day in Outlook, he wants to see that information in Outlook. This is how the workflow system will look for Tim. He just gets e-mails. He doesn’t ever have to leave Outlook. He can look at the purchase orders and approve them right from here. So the right tools for the right jobs, mixing the best of Office, the best of Dynamics into one experience.
SATYA NADELLA: Great job. Thank you very much.
MATT GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Satya.
SATYA NADELLA: Thanks, Matt. (Applause.)
I get super excited with the work that we have done here. At some levels we have talked about portals for a while. But I just want to highlight that for the first time I believe we’ve got it right. We’ve got it to a point where every user can access business data. We believe that we have got it to a point where any ISV can build extensions using the sort of mainstream tools around SharePoint. And most importantly, we have put the end user in control. We have done, and you have seen, many, many workflow demos before. But this is the first time where the workflows that our end users can control, and these workflows are built on the SharePoint engine, and they are really simple to use. And I believe this notion of having ad hoc workflows, because we know that real work gets done by end users being able to continuously improve business process by putting in place ad hoc workflows. So the entire notion of bringing together Dynamics and SharePoint through the power of the Dynamics client for the Office system we believe is going to be a major step forward in how we get everyone inside of the organization to be able to take advantage of business apps.
So moving to the next piece is, how do we take advantage of the natural opportunities to bring all of the business process context? So what Matt showed you was a SharePoint based rendering of the information inside of Dynamics so that everyone inside the organization can get to the data, add workflows, search through information, look at some of the sort of cubes we have created for analysis, and what-have-you.
But we can even do more than that. In the case of sales, marketing and service, for example, with CRM we decided to build the rich business process functionality right into Outlook. We had that core design decision in front of us. We could have built a transaction lab outside of Outlook, and then had integration to Outlook, which is kind of what the first generation of CRM systems tried to do, but we realized very quickly that if we are serious about getting sales people to use our CRM system, not just the sales managers who are looking for reports, then you have to build in an experience that sales people feel is really helping them be productive. And so that core decision is what really helps us, to date, with all the success we’ve had with CRM. So the experience is built into Office. It reduces training cost, because you’re in Office, you are able to navigate like with Office, in this case Outlook. You are able to do exception handling because, in some sense, certain tasks like in the call center, or in sales, a lot of what you do on a daily basis is just not transactional data entry, but you’re dealing with communications with customers around those transactions. There is a late order, or there is an opportunity that now needs to get converted into an order, there is a change to an order, all of that requires today’s out of band communication, but now we can have all of that communication tracked along with the transaction in the most natural of user experiences. We also enable collaboration, because we know there is rich collaboration built into Outlook which is SharePoint integration.
So those are some of the things that we believe will allow us to build first class what we call Office Business Application role-tailored experiences for processes such as sales, such as marketing, and service. This can expand. In fact, later this year, you will see us launch our BI applications, and they also will carry forward this theme by putting forth example Excel as the front end on top of the budgeting process, or the forecasting process. So you will see us expand the class of Office Business Applications where the natural experience of Office will have rich process definition, and rich process context to make people inside of your organization more productive.
To give you a better feel for this, I want to welcome up on stage Ben Vollmer from our CRM team to show you CRM CT3. Ben. (Applause.) Welcome.
BEN VOLLMER: Thank you, Sat