Microsoft the digital transformation cool kids? – Andy Kent – Ep68

I recently attended a fascinating event with the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) and Microsoft. BIMA exist to drive innovation and excellence across the digital industry. One of the ways they do this is via community events and forum to help give industry leaders an opportunity to share ideas with their peers.

I personally believe forum like these should play a central part in an IT strategists role, the opportunity to share ideas with and learn from peers in your industry is essential in helping to gain the understanding needed to develop modern business strategies. The benefit of involving yourself in communities regardless of your sector should not be underestimated, that ability to build relationships with others who face the same challenges and opportunities is incredibly valuable.

One of the other things communities like BIMA do well is engage with influential organisations who are shaping the way industries develop and BIMA have done that recently for thier members with a series of roadshows with Microsoft. So, when I was invited to the recent event in Liverpool, I was fascinated to understand what Microsoft were doing in the digital agency space and how their technology was shaping the way digitally focussed organisations are innovating and bringing new solutions to market.

What I found however was the technology Microsoft discussed was the same as that they were sharing with all other types of businesses, their cloud vision of how Azure and Office 365 allows quick and easy deployment of technology and services that only a few years ago were out of the reach of most organisations.

Why was this message the same? While we may assume “digital” companies are ones focussed on marketing and media creation, the reality is most organisations are rapidly becoming digital businesses and starting to transform our organisations with technologies that only a few years ago were unavailable to most, cognitive services, AI, machine learning, deep analytics capabilities, bots and business intelligence just a few examples of the kind of technology that can transform the way we operate.

The event covered some fascinating topics and on this weeks podcast I share some of that with you, with my guest and one of the organisers of the BIMA event, Andy Kent CEO of Angel Solutions and the chair of BIMA Liverpool. Andy joins me to discuss the event, the technology Microsoft shared and how the new Microsoft is helping companies transform the way they do business.

We begin with a look at BIMA and the part they play and value they bring to the digital community.

We discuss the new Microsoft and ask if they are now the technology “cool kids” and how their change in attitude is encouraging people to engage with them and explore how technology can help them and their organisation.

We chat about some of the technology highlights Andy had from the show, how he sees AI as having a huge transformational effect and how Cloud is commoditising access to this kind of technology so that all organisations can benefit, big or small.

We look at some of the smart technologies Microsoft are now embedding into their more familiar tools and allowing that intelligence to do much of the “heavy lifting” for the end user, but how that does not replace a skilled and experienced professional, but does help keep them focussed on the high value work they do.

Finally, we look at how advances in technology has also advanced customer expectations and how theses advances are allowing organisations to do new things with and ask new questions of their data.

Andy shares with enthusiasm both the technological direction of this “new” Microsoft as well as the value that community has played in his business life.

If you want to find out more about Andy and the work that Angel Solutions do you can find them on twitter @angel_solutions.

You can find also find Andy on twitter @AndyCKent

If you want to know more about BIMA check out thier website www.bima.co.uk

Thanks for listening.

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