ORLANDO — For the second consecutive year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke passionately about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning at his company’s leading conference.

During the opening keynote at Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Envision here, Nadella explained once again how Microsoft is committed to empowering people and institutions to use technology to solve the most pressing problems of our society and our economy.

More than 25,000 Microsoft customers and partners from around the world are attending the combined conferences, including Arke marketing technology director David Izenson.

Microsoft Ignite Plus Envision

Three years ago, Microsoft opted to bring all of its enterprise business applications together into one mega-conference called Microsoft Ignite. The event pulls together what the company described as the best of the best of Microsoft’s enterprise conferences.

This year — as further evidence of Microsoft’s goal to create one conference that’s really every tech event — it expanded Ignite.

It folded in Envision, its year-old replacement for the now-defunct Convergence conference, into the more developer- and IT-centric Ignite conference.

Microsoft’s Utopian Vision

Nadella sees technology and its promise of digital transformation as keys to a better world.

“How can we bring more people into as full participants in society, into our economy?” he asked. “And how can we build trust in how we are protecting data and ensuring privacy?

Ultimately, he continued, Microsoft cares about using technology to improve the empowerment of its employees, to connect with customers and optimize operations. The question, he explained, is, “How are we changing the very nature of our products and their business models?”

AI Infused Microsoft Products

During his keynote today, Nadella showed how Microsoft is infusing AI and mixed reality (MR) into products including Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure to help customers visualize and create “the future of business.”

MR is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

He discussed the potential of adding MR to Microsoft Teams, a platform that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments, to enhance workplace collaboration. Microsoft is moving all communications features into Teams —  replacing the Skype for Business client.

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Nadella also shared his hopes that quantum computers will help solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges. By harnessing data, AI, hybrid and cloud technologies, people and organizations can evolve business processes and innovate for the future.

Importantly, he added, “As we continue to drive AI, we need to be guided by the principle of ‘augmenting humans,’ not replacing them.”

Digital Transformation:  Everything

Digital technology is impacting all aspects of our society and economies, he acknowledged. But Nadella sees this as a hopeful development. “I’m optimistic and inspired by the ingenuity of customers, partners, and developers everywhere that are pushing the frontiers of what’s possible.”

All of this will incrementally change the culture inside of our organizations, he explained.  This is changing products, their usage, their creation of data, and the business model, he said.

Microsoft Plus Arke

Arke is a brand experience consultancy specializing in strategic implementations of marketing technology solutions.

We’re building on our roots in technology and experience design to drive the next generation of experience focused businesses. By leveraging the right people, processes, marketing technologies, and data, we produce measurable results.

As a Microsoft partner, Arke provides everything from strategy to execution to the support of Microsoft environments. Some of our core competencies include:

  • Creating a Marketing Technology Alignment Roadmap to leverage existing technologies
  • Getting clients started with Dynamics Marketing
  • Integrating Sitecore and other marketing technologies into Dynamics CRM
  • Implementing recommendations from Marketing Technology Alignment Roadmap

Arke. Experience, Results.

Interested in learning more about ways to put your customers at the heart of your marketing technologies? Arke’s Marketing Technology Alignment provides you with a clear customer-centric roadmap as well as a technology audit of all your current marketing tools.

Noreen Seebacher is the content evangelist at Arke, where she researches, writes and continues her long career in news reporting as a brand journalist. Noreen lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, her dog and four formerly homeless cats.