Inspire 2017 DC Recap

This week I went to the Microsoft Inspire conference that was held in Washington DC. It was my first time at this particular conference, and I have to say it was a bit overwhelming. I am used to conferences that have maybe upward of 1,000 attendees, with a single Expo hall. This conference had well over 10,000 attendees, and the expo area seemed like it occupied an entire conference center.

Security was super tight, so it took for ever to get through, and we were waiting for long periods of time in the sweltering DC heat. We had accounted for an extra hour to find a good seat, and we were too late getting in, the keynote had already started.

Our main reason for being there with Cloud Ready Software was to attend the announcement for the ISV Development Center program, because we are one of the 7 initial companies that were selected by Microsoft to be part of this program.

Some things that I took away form the conference is that Satya Nadella is a really captivating speaker. It was a pleasure listening to his keynote and learn about the new initiatives out of Microsoft. Two of the most important ones that stood out for me is Microsoft 365 and the one commercial partner program.

Seeing Microsoft’s corporate leaders present their vision was inspiring to me. Connecting things together in ways that you just don’t think about is just mind boggling. There was a demo of a drone that does a physical inventory and picking. There was an example of how you can subscribe to a store’s discount program, and it can track your movements and know when you are near one of the stores, and invite you in for a good deal. The last one is kind of creepy, but at the same time it would be awfully convenient to walk past my local music store and get a reminder that it’s been 2 months since I last purchased guitar strings, and to come in for a good deal on something related.

I have to say I was woefully unprepared to be at Inspire. We booked our tickets just a couple of days in advance so we did not have any time to really prepare. We were there mainly for the ISV Development Center program. We will definitely go to next year’s event in Las Vegas though, and I will try to pay more attention, and to be more elaborate when I write about it.