On day 2, the Summit contained breakout sessions that allowed us to dig into some of the topics that were introduced on the first day. More specifically we were able to dive into topics such as Windows 8 and the Consumerization of IT, Dynamics AX 2012 and CRM “R8”.
Consumerization of IT
With worker demographics changing, employees are now placing new demands on organizations to use more modern technology or let them use their own. For many recent College graduates, they don’t remember a time when there wasn’t an internet. For many employees, they have more computing power and modern equipment at home than they have in the office. These situations are creating headaches for Infrastructure managers, IT Directors and CIOs.
Windows 8 provides some tools that address some of the needs of this emerging demographic.
Windows 8 for the Enterprise
- No compromise business tablet
- The flexibility of a tablet with the productivity of a desktop
- Picture Password - No longer are you forced to remember some password with ridiculous password requirements.
- Touch first experience – introducing touch into Microsoft’s latest Operating System is not an afterthought. This Operating System was built with touch in mind.
- “Always” Connected applications through live tiles. No longer do end users have to open applications to determine whether they have received a new purchase order or be glued to their inbox for new alerts. This information can be presented in form of a Live Tile much like you have on your Windows Phone 7.
- When in “Windows 7 mode” applications behave the same way as in Windows 7. Not all applications will be “Metro” ready at launch or any time soon after that. If you have an application that will run on Windows 7, it will run on Windows 8.
- You can dock “’Windows 8” applications beside “Windows 7” applications. You know that feature in Windows 7 that allows you to dock applications side by side? You can still do this in Windows 8 and can even doc a Windows 7 application with a Windows 8 application.
- Tablets can be managed by existing infrastructure tools like SCCM
- Innovative Devices
- Long battery life
- Thinner, lighter, faster footprints
- Convertibles – want the traditional experience of a keyboard and mouse but the ability to detach your screen and use it as a tablet? If so this functionality will available
- Workers who require more durable footprints will have the ability to use ruggedized laptops.
- Booting from a USB device
- They showed a demonstration where they had a Windows 7 computer and they inserted a USB key that contained a Windows 8 corporate image. They rebooted the computer and they were able to boot Windows 8 off of the USB drive. They then showed a demo where they were playing a video from the Windows 8 computer. They pulled the USB drive out from the physical computer. The video freezed. The presenter then plugged the USB drive back in and the video resumed. If you plug the USB key in within 60 seconds life is good. If you take longer than 60 seconds then the machine will be shut down.
- This feature provides a lot of potential for people who want to bring their own device to work or where you have contractors who bring their own laptop but you want them to run your corporate Windows 8 image.
- Enhanced Bitlocker support
- Windows 7 introduced the ability to encrypt a USB key. The problem was that you had to encrypt the entire volume of the drive. If you had a larger USB key, like 32 GB or 64 GB, this operation took a long time. New in Windows 8 is the ability to just encrypt the data instead of the entire volume. This is a great balance between performance and security.
- New Security features
- New boot loader features will detect when OS files have been tampered with upon boot up. If the boot loader detects malware, it will make a connection to obtain Anti malware drivers, load them and remove the malware.
- Virtualization and management
- VDI is a technology that allows organizations to operate a farm of virtualized windows clients. Much like organizations can run virtualized server farms, they can also run virtual desktop farms. Windows 8 offers a superior experience over Windows 7 VDI experience.
- Scrolling over VDI is very fluid even when using Touch. This is rather remarkable considering that the Server hosting the Windows 8 image has no hardware support for touch.
- End users can pinch , zoom out and zoom in
- Full fidelity – watching video is flawless over LAN and WAN configurations
- USB re-direction allows you to plug in a USB device on local machine. A signal then gets sent to the Host Server and is then rendered in the VDI session
- Storage Pools allow administrators to manage a pool of disk instead of have hard quota set for each client
- Windows 8 Market
- With 525 million Windows 7 users, Microsoft has high expectations for Windows 8 adoption and plans to offer a Windows Marketplace that supports 200 locales
- Consumerization of IT an Opportunity or Risk?
- It can be both
- Consumerization Device Scenarios
- On your own (low control)
- Bring your own (medium control)
- Choose your own (Enterprise full control)
- Here is your own (Enterprise Full Control
- Microsoft has different policies depending upon the scenario
- Classify devices and then provide the appropriate enforcements
- Access Strategy
- User Based: who are you (e.g.. No Access, read write, full control)
- Device Based: How much to I trust the device (e.g. managed vs. unmanaged)
- Location Based: Where are you? (e.g. intranet vs. Internet)
Dynamics 2012 AX
Prior to this event, I have not had a lot of exposure to Dynamics AX. What became extremely evident is that Microsoft is very aggressive and committed to the ERP segment. They are also not only interested in establishing a platform but are also interested in providing industry specific solutions.
- Knowing where we have been is no longer enough, we now need to know what is going to happen next
- End users need a UI based upon their role (Role Tailoring). The CFO needs different info than the shipping clerk and the information better be populated on the front screen.
- Workflow Inside
- Can’t be a bolt on. Needs to be inherent in the application
- Use external data and make it apart of how you use internal data for forecasting. For instance the weather having an impact on inventory positions. We can use this data to compare patterns. This will allow for additional insights from both internal and external data that has been collected.
- Out of the Box integration with Dynamics CRM so that you have 1 view of the customer
- Simplicity and Agility
- Business Processes are subject to change so quickly that your ERP needs to have more agility than it has had in the past
- CRM online or on-premise
- This time next year you will be able to run AX in Microsoft’s cloud
- Microsoft Technology
- Dynamics is leveraging existing investments in other Microsoft technologies like:
- Office 365
- SQL Azure
- Windows Phone
- Microsoft Lync
What is Dynamics 2012?
- Core ERP
- Industry solutions
Cloud on your terms
- Embrace Hybrid
- Pay as you go and Grow
- deliver choice
- Microsoft is working on a Metro screens of Dynamics 2012
- Lines between AX and CRM are starting to blur
- Around 2000 people actively work in the AX organization
CRM – What’s coming down the pipeline?
Big trends in CRM
- Big Data
- Core CRM
- More Mobility options
- CRM on an IPAD will be released within the next few days
- IPAD version has synchronization capabilities you can go online-offline.
- Browser flexibility (support for other browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari)
- Partnerships with LinkedIn
- Both at the company level but also at the contact level
- News aggregation about your customers gets sucked in from external sources.
- CRM users also have the ability to share information from CRM to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email or the CRM Activity Feed Wall which is a internal “posting board”
- Industry templates
- Repetitive Intellectual Property that has been acquired from ISVs and Partners
- Capital Markets/Wealth Management
- HealthCare/Health Plans
- Processed based Manufacturing
- Microsoft continues to be certify their offerings with industry standards
- CRM is one of the fastest growing business within Microsoft
- Extensive Customer list across industries:
- Financial Services
- Professional Services
- Hitachi Consultin
- STAT Oil
- Public Sector
- City of London
- Kent Fire and Rescu
- Cold Stone
- Health and life sciences
- Travel and entertainment
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trailblazers
- Toledo Mudhens
- Arizona Diamondbacks
So this concludes the 2012 Canadian Leadership Summit. Overall, there was some good sessions. I really enjoyed seeing what is coming down the pipeline in areas of Windows 8, Dynamics AX and CRM.