Delegates get hands-on with latest digital-transformation technologies, through interactive Experience Zones built around Azure, Internet of Things and Microsoft HoloLens.
Aimed at helping Middle East organisations – regardless of size or industry – achieve more through digital transformation, the solutions spanned productivity, business intelligence, security, the cloud, mixed reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Visitors were able to get hands-on experience of these solutions in interactive Experience Zones, built thematically aroundAzure, Internet of Things and Mixed Reality.
Microsoft’s Participation at GITEX this year, under the banner of ‘An Empowered Future’ reiterates our ongoing commitment to support UAE in its global competitiveness in areas of technological readiness and innovation” said Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. “As we usher in an era of digitization – more than simply digitizing traditional processes, digital transformation requires a complete rethinking of how a business operates in the modern world. Our solutions enable organizations embark on this transformation journey, to reimagine their products, improve customer experiences, enhance operational processes and even evolve their business models to take on new market opportunities and achieve more”
Gartner has forecast Middle East IT spending will reach $212.9 billion in 2016, a 3.7% increase on the previous year. In its report, the analyst firm referred to a regional IT industry that “is being driven by digital business” and “a connected world”.
Solutions at the Microsoft stand have been built on the company’s Digital Transformation Framework and GITEX delegates from around the world responded positively to the solutions’ potential to allow organisations to engage with customers, empower employees, optimise operations and transform products.
Azure Experience Zone
The Azure Experience Zone proved to be an eye-catcher at the stand, with some visitors taking the opportunity to meet the Microsoft cloud for the first time. The zone mapped out the milestones on the Azure journey and illustrated how cloud migration can accelerate innovation across teams and skillsets. It also showed how cloud travellers could benefit from integrated business intelligence platforms that deliver real-world operational insights, all while protected by industry-leading security.
Other capabilities, including artificial intelligence, Microsoft Cognitive Services and the company’s Bots Framework, were also on display in the Azure Experience Zone.
“The Azure Experience Zone underscores our steadfast belief that cloud plays an indispensable role in New-IT, for all size of business,” said Samer “Eighty per cent of the Fortune 500 may have migrated to the Microsoft cloud, but that cloud is just as relevant, and indeed vital, to the small businesses that form the backbone of many economies, such as those in the GCC.”
Microsoft hosted an IoT Partner Showcase Area with Ankararef, Dunavnet, Saviant, Iconics. Cybercom and Lego Volvo. Partners exhibited solutions in predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, asset management, real-time intelligence, operational insights, big data analytics and 3D visualisation. Innovations touched upon a number of industries, including government, education, cultural heritage, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, logistics, apparel, manufacturing, electronics, food and smart cities.
Microsoft HoloLens Zone
At Gitex, Microsoft also showcased the world’s first self-contained holographic computer; the Microsoft HoloLens, which was recently adopted by the Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA) for its own digital-transformation programme. The utilitywas able to enhance operations, improve productivity, accelerate innovation and optimise the efficiency of service-delivery to customers. DEWA used HoloLens for scenario visualization, data-gathering and remote maintenance of its Smart Power Plant. The HoloLens solution has helped DEWA staff to promote rapid decision-making; manage and forecast future demand; and reduce power consumption by as much as 30%.
Running on Windows 10, Microsoft HoloLens represents a leap forward in computing solutions. The device is a headset capable of generating interactive, high-definition, 3D images and overlaying them on real-world environments. VIP Delegates got the opportunity to interact with holograms in the zone, and contemplate the near-limitless applications of HoloLens for enabling real-time decision-making in a number of fields. Delegates also got the chance to see, first hand, HoloLens’ potential for optimising operations, transforming products and bringing ideas to life.
In addition to the HoloLens, Microsoft also presented an assortment of devices at its stand, including the Surface Hub, Surface Pro 4 and a variety of devices from our partners including: the Acer switch Alpha, Asus UX360, Dell inspiron13 7000 with Windows hello, Fujitsu R726, Getac RX10H, HP Spectre 13, Huawei Matebook, Lenovo x1 Yoga and Panasonic Toughbook CF-20; all of which deliver innovative Windows 10 experiences. Windows 10 is running on over 400 million devices worldwide, including desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s, all-in-ones and smartphones.
Modern Windows devices offer customers more choice and more opportunity to deliver innovative solutions than ever before. With Windows 10 there is one Kernel, One Store, One device driver model, one universal app platform, one security model, and one deployment and management approach.
Microsoft’s regional partners and ISVs were also in attendance at its GITEX stand. Each of them showcased solutions and services built on top of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, including IoT, machine learning, disaster recovery and Web apps. Azure has become the platform of choice for thousands of cloud service-providers around the world, in addition to serving as the home for industry-leading tools such as Dynamics, Office, Skype and SQL Server.
Platinum partners this year include AuraPortal, Sitecore, Riverbed, NEC Payments, Icertis and Akamai. Gold partners are Emitac Enterprise Solutions, Fotopia, Spusht, Citrix, HortonWorks, Netways, Parallels, Pyramid Analytics, Cloudera, TechMart Solutions, LINK Development, Mindtree, CEM, Alpha Data, ZingHR, II and Veeam.
“Microsoft sees a region eager for change and we want to be partners in that process,” added Samer. “We truly believe that hesitation will mean lost opportunities, and we stand ready to work with our customers to help them find the right mix of tools and services for their business needs. GITEX remains the most powerful enabler for us to get that message out to the region and beyond, so we can continue our mission of empowering people and organisations achieve more.”
About Microsoft Gulf:
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. . Microsoft Gulf opened its Dubai-based headquarters in 1991. Microsoft Gulf today oversees Microsoft activities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Yemen.