Top 5 Things You Need to Know for 2019 – Post Microsoft MVP 2019 Thoughts

The 2019 Microsoft MVP Summit is now over and I can’t help feeling positively excited about the direction in which Microsoft is taking and what it will mean for partners, customers and end users.

This was my second year attending the MVP Summit and it was an immense pleasure to spend time with others MVPs and the Microsoft Product teams.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to give you all an update on what are some of the top 5 things you should know about in 2019?

Without breaking my NDA, I would rate the top 5 things you should know and start doing in preparation for the year ahead are:

  1. Democratisation of technology. The Power Platform continues to make huge strides in this space, leading their competitors in the low-code citizen developer industry. There will be huge opportunities for established partners to create more value and innovation for their clients, as well as deploying these platforms and training end users.
  2. Build better customer experiences. When we look historically at the common channels in which we engage customers (e.g. social, email, call centres), think more about how the landscape will look in as little as a year from now. Consider emerging trends in computer assistance and how you as a partner can potentially leverage this for your customers.
  3. Convergence of technology. Whether you specialise in the Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Office 365, Analytics, or emerging technologies such as Mixed Reality, and AI, expect to see further convergence among traditionally siloed technology stacks. This will open up fantastic opportunities for your clients, and drive productivity far beyond what is capable today. As a partner, get ahead of the curve and start developing applications that leverage the Common Data Service, PowerBI, MRTK (Mixed Reality Tool Kit), and Azure services.
  4. Best practices lead to better outcomes. As we drive further into an app based and consumption based models, it is imperative that you take a good look at your ALM processes, how you manage and maintain your solutions, how you automate your environment builds. Microsoft are placing a higher emphasis on quality control and rigor around these processes, so it is important for systems implementers and ISVs to take greater care in how they build applications.
  5. Keep providing feedback to Microsoft. This is a journey that we’re all going on together, so continue to submit ideas to the various product forums (such as https://ideas.powerapps.com and https://ideas.dynamics.com sites), participate in Public Previews or give your feedback directly to product team members.

2019 promises to be an even more exciting year for Microsoft technologies, and we in the partner community are holding on with bated breath with what is coming down the pipeline and the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves. So, how will you bring about innovation in 2019?

Acknowledgements:

I would like to extend my gratitude to the fantastic Microsoft teams that have made this MVP Summit 2019 the best yet. In particularly I would like to thank the following: Purvin Patel, Charles Lamanna, Stephen Siciliano, Lana Montgomery, Shiva Ford, Ryan Cunningham, Rick Prologo, Sid Gundavarapu, Dileep Singh, Yogesh Gupta, Andreas Münzinger & Maya Dumesh & Nathan Helgren, Shan McArthur, Gautam Thapar, Hemant Gaur, Benoit Fabre, Deanna Hearns, Sumana Chatterjee, Sheri Turner, and Donielle Sims.

In addition, I would like to thank my fellow MVPs who do such amazing work within the community, in particularly: Mark Smith, Amr Fouad, Andre Margono, Antti Pajunen, Chris Huntingford, Colin Vermander, Daniel Cai, Daryl LaBar, Dave Berry, David Yack, Elaiza Benitez, Gayan Perera, George Doubinski, Guido Preite, Gus Gonzalez, Gustaf Westerlund, Jerry Weinstock, Joel Lindstrom, Jonas Rapp, Jukka Niiranen, Leon Tribe, Matt Wittemann, Michael Ochs, Mohamed Mostafa, Nadeeja Bomiriya, Natraj Yegnaraman, Neil Benson, Roohi Shaikh, Sarah Critchley, Scott Durow, Sergio Macias, Steve Mordue, Tanguy Touzard, Ulrik B. Carlsson and all the other MVPs I may have missed out.