The Executive Briefing Center (EBC) visit was organized by Microsoft the Netherlands. They invited an interesting mix of partners that either host Microsoft solutions or develop on the Microsoft platform. This mix was very interesting, because the emerge of SaaS and cloud computing does create a greater dependancy between the different disciplines. Not without reason one important goal of the visit was to network.
The name of the event 'Dutch BPOS & Azure EBC' goes into Microsoft buzz words, but it would have been better to call it 'Microsoft Online Strategy'. The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) consisting of various different solutions and the Azure Services platform are important components of the online strategy. Microsoft shared a good level of detail on the future roadmap, but I can't due to 'Non Disclosure Agreements' go into much detail. However some of the Microsoft messages I did pick up are:
- Software + Services is important, because Services grow faster in terms of percentage, but in absolute value the Software industry still grows faster. Don't ignore the Software components and On Premise solutions.
- Coexistence between On Premise and Online solutions are an absolute necessity
- Identity is key, federation and syndication are essential for dealing with identity
- Microsoft is reengineering most of their solutions to improve the online capabilities. This allows to drive scale up and costs down.
- High scale computing and improved data center design brings the computing (energy) costs down. The reason for Microsoft to invest in large scale data centers.
These are just some of the messages send out and based in the discussions within the group everybody has their own interpretations on how it will effect you business. All in all it was a very good visit and very well organized.
However the coolest part of the trip was a visit to the Microsoft Studios. The studios are in building 127 just behind the old company store and it's really cool. It's huge and there is a relaxed and creative atmosphere. I was there to record a Exact testimonial for Windows 7 and I will of course let you know when that is ready. It was great fun and it gave a really good Hollywood feeling...