Reading the variety of post-event comments from Microsoft Envision 2016, it is very clear that two strong camps have emerged. Which is not to say that they are in conflict with each other. Just that, in my opinion, there were two important outcomes from the event. The outcomes aren’t even exclusionary. I believe that those individuals who care about one are also those individuals who will care about the other.
Digital Transformation Visionary
Outcome 1 belongs to what I will call “the digital transformation team”. These people are the ones who get the message, understand the risks of jumping on the bandwagon either too soon or too late, and are aware that this train is in the station.
An article I found friendly was posted by Jason Gumpert, the editor for MSDynamicsWorld. In this article “After Envision 2016: Will New Event Strategy Thrive After Slow Start?”, he quotes Chris Caposella, Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, as saying:
“The key goal is to plant the seed for these decision makers that they need to become a software company. They need to transform their company to be a digital company. The reason we share all these customer examples, the reason we share the amazing things people are doing on our platform is because if we don’t do it, someone will do it to them and that is the transformation we see in the market.”
It is my opinion that prospects and customers are not terribly fond of the word need in conversations with them. But I am willing to give Chris the benefit of the doubt here in terms of possessing a genuine concern that companies who fail to grasp exactly where or how digital transformation in their industries will change the game may find that they lose out to more adventurous or nimble competitors. He is also making a very clear point that Microsoft’s investment in the cloud platform – which will enable this transformation – makes them clearly a go-to source.
Those who are in the process of such evaluations, I expect, will enjoy and be inspired by the variety of content that is posted on the Microsoft Transform Blogs. I certainly did.
Outcome 2 belongs to those I will call “the great adapters”. These individuals and businesses are alert to the change in the landscape of events that put customers and partners together in the Microsoft arena. They are already well along on their paths of establishing new venues and channels, such as GPUG Amplify in Anaheim, to enable those communications. They truly recognize that the timing for on-boarding concepts like digital transformation is not the same for every business. They recognize that the continuing availability of quality products are still a key ingredient for those organizations who need to take a more measured path to the kind of success that will allow transformation.
I particularly admire Kelli Sexton and the team at Rockton Software; they were very forthright in her blog Microsoft Envision 2016 Recap on how her organization adapted to Envision and what their go-forward plans for continuing to engage with customers, prospects and partners look like.
Supporting Non-Line of Business Applications
With our Quality Essentials Suite product, we at Horizons are well equipped to participate in the digital transformation. Whether your organization’s transformation is aligned with smart manufacturing or IOT, a product like ours addresses the need for collecting, managing, analyzing and communicating that non-line of business data that has never been included in traditional ERP solutions. While our target customer is certainly the quality control or quality assurance department, we recognize that the data generated in those tasks must be easily and widely available to staff and customers and is no longer only the purview of quality.
Many of the events that these departments are required to support are extensions to traditional manufacturing and distribution that have been established due to regulatory and other global requirements. Legacy ERP solutions in particular were not originally designed or architected for such activities. This means leveraging existing investments by extending functionality with best of breed options will be critical to organizations meeting both their budget and regulatory goals.
If you would like to know more about how to utilize the functionality in Quality Essentials Suite to extend data collection, analysis and communication for non-line of business activities such as statistical process control, six sigma analysis or simply monitoring performance points, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.