Our customers have always counted on the Office family – SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Yammer, Office and Office 365 – to deliver exceptional experiences that enable individuals and organizations be more productive. As we head toward the SharePoint Conference (SPC) and the ExchangeConference (MEC), I couldn’t be more excited to engage directly with so many of our customers and partners about how we take our productivity vision forward.
I always look forward to these events to hear your feedback, share ideas and see the amazing work being done by our customers and partners. Typically, we’ve used these events to both introduce new ideas, and provide a lot of hands-on learning and Q&A sessions. This year will be no exception – we’ll have plenty of hands-on labs, feedback sessions and – what I’m most excited about – some really cool new innovations to share. We are going to show you an early view into the new technologies that will push the envelope, ultimately redefining what the future of work looks like.
New experiences and our guiding beliefs
As you’ll see us showcase at SPC and MEC, we are working on entirely new user, developer and IT Pro experiences that combine a holistic Office 365 platform with technologies such as big data, machine learning and a social fabric that provides a personalized experience for each user. When you see these new innovations, we believe it will change the way you think about productivity, and about Office. And, we’ll make sure we’re explaining how your organizations can benefit from these new innovations and, importantly, how IT becomes increasingly strategic to the employees and businesses they support.
As we begin showing our new technology, I wanted to provide context about what we are building and why. Our Office mission has always been to empower people and organizations to be more productive –this remains true today. To that end, our innovations are focused around a set of core beliefs about the future of work that guide the experiences we are building and areas of investment. These are:
- We believe the future of work is founded upon open, discoverable information sharing and constant collaboration that ultimately turns companies into networks. Today’s enterprise social and unified communication experiences are just the beginning.
- We believe personalized, pro-active experiences are a requirement for human productivity moving forward. Only through relevant, personalized insights and experiences can users take advantage of the information explosion.
- We believe an open development platform is foundational to create the solution offerings that are unique as each customer. A robust ecosystem of developers enabled with contextual apps, rich services, flexible tools, and unbounded business opportunities for partners, is essential.
- We believe that the future of work is only possible if employees are empowered to do their work anywhere, on any device, while ensuring a responsible approach to security and compliance for organizations.
Journey to the cloud
Several years ago when we began our journey to the cloud with Office 365, it wasn’t without reservation from many of our long time customers. I got lots of questions about what was really possible in the cloud over the first few years. And, except for recent start-ups, companies weren’t “born in the cloud” so the vast majority, particularly larger enterprises, needed a very thoughtful approach to moving to the cloud, as it’s not a one size fits all approach.
Now, several years down this path, even for the most traditional IT organization, the cloud has become a way to innovate faster, add new capability, improve customer loyalty, drive up employee productivity and control costs, among other things. I’m pleased to see 70% of our enterprise customers using Microsoft cloud services and 60% of Fortune 500 customers purchasing Office 365 in the past 12 months.
We have made significant investments over the past year in Office 365 and have transformed our engineering to a cloud-first organization. We’ve delivered more than 75 new capabilities to Office 365 over the last 12 months, and this pace is only increasing. This rapid, cloud-first pace allows us to get innovation into your hands faster. That’s exciting because of all of the new ways people can now get work done, enabled by our technology.
Partnering with you
As we move forward – leading with the cloud and introducing game changing new experiences — our focus remains on ensuring all of our customers have a path to embracing these technologies. We know this doesn’t happen overnight and we are committed to working closely with our customers and IT partners. And, we will continue with our on-premises releases of both SharePoint Server and Exchange Server on our traditional 2-3 year release cadence. We’ll also continue supporting hybrid deployments spanning both cloud and on prem technologies.
I look forward to talking with you about all of these topics, our future innovations and much, much more at SPC and MEC – these are going to be great events!
-Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President.