Microsoft CEO and Chaiman Satya Nadella took the Inspire 2023 stage and hammered one point above all others: “The era of AI is now!” During his keynote at the partner conference, being held virtually July 18-19, Nadella called AI the next platform shift, comparing it first to the computer interface moving from a keyboard and mouse to a natural language interface and adding a reasoning engine over all your data behind it.
The second part will be what Nadella called, “a massive platform opportunity,” equal to the three previous eras of PC/server, web/internet, and cloud/mobile. He predicted this new AI era will increase the global GDP of $100 trillion by $7-$10 trillion additional dollars. The partner ecosystem opportunity will add another $2 to $2.5 trillion dollars to the $4 trillion in IT services spent now.
How to reach these huge numbers? Three ways: AI, AI, and AI.
Over 40 announcements and innovations will be presented during Inspire 2023, and during his keynote address, Nadella highlighted five: Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft Sales Copilot, Power Automate Process Mining, and Meta’s Llama 2 on Azure and Windows.
Bing Chat Enterprise, an AI-powered chat for work, eliminates organizations’ current worries about ChatGPT that lead to many AI bans. Bing Chat Enterprise provides commercial data protection by not using any private data to train AI instances, which spreads that data, so a company’s confidential information remains private. Prompts will allow users to create presentations that can use public data for some answers and even compare that to private data, such as comparisons to a competitor. It promises the next step in GPT productivity with full confidence.
Microsoft 365 Copilot adds the Bing Chat Enterprise tools to your office suite. You can pull information from company data through any Office application while keeping it safely within the company, even while bringing data from outside sources like the Web.
The workhorse for spreading the AI gospel is the Copilot stack, consisting of a Microsoft Cloud at the bottom, AI infrastructure on that, client/company data, then an AI orchestration layer supporting Microsoft Copilot applications. Partners will provide a Copilot ecosystem of plugins and applications. Together, these will give Microsoft and partners an AI advantage.
Microsoft Sales Copilot allows you to pull CRM data from Salesforce or Dynamics365 without leaving your current Microsoft 365 application. Power Automate Process Mining maps out any workflow system, such as procurement through bill paying, and uses AI to optimize that workflow.
The fifth, Meta’s Llama 2 on Azure and Windows, integrated Meta’s now Open Source Llama 2 Large Language Model with Microsoft Azure. Developers can use the ONNX Runtime with PyTorch to create a developer experience in Azure. Adding the Llama 2 tools for Windows makes it possible to have the same experience on Windows.
Microsoft Security Copilot will use AI to help ease the lack of trained security techs by analyzing incidents and creating reports, including an attack diagram and even the ability to reverse engineer the attack code. To support SMBs, MSPs can connect with MDR partners like Blackpoint to provide 24/7 monitoring and support. MSPs are urged to introduce Microsoft Defender and Sentinel to their clients since cloud services are required to power the Security Copilot applications.
In addition, the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner program is receiving new investments and incentives, and existing partners will be transferred automatically, keeping all benefits and credits. To help resellers move the millions of servers and applications still on-prem to the cloud, Microsoft is tripling its investment in Azure Migrate and Modernize and pledging $100 million in new investment in the new Azure Innovate program. The Microsoft Customer Engagement Methodology (MCEM) will be available for partners, and FY 2024 is tagged as the “Year of Marketplace” with Azure IP Cosell benefits.
Images courtesy of Microsoft