Last week at Microsoft Ignite in Seattle, WA, Own Company was excited to attend in person as a partner showcase sponsor, where over 100 announcements were made from Microsoft across a broad range of topics, including infrastructure, Microsoft CoPilot, Microsoft Fabric, and the future of work. Check out the complete list of announcements from the Microsoft Book of News. Over 4,500 attendees attended the conference in person, and over 175,000 attended the digital sessions online. The biggest takeaway was that Microsoft is committed to enabling its customers, developers, and partners to thrive in the era of AI.
Over the last year or so, we have been slowly introduced to Microsoft Fabric, and last week, it became generally available. Microsoft Fabric provides a unified data architecture by integrating all the trusted data PaaS tools of Azure, and introduces some new ones from Microsoft (as well as early partners like Informatica). This creates a cohesive platform that enables seamless data accessibility, usage, compliance, and more. While an enormous amount of emphasis was presented on what it can do, very little shared the levels of effort it will take to use this PaaS platform to perform routine tasks. Likewise, the time to market for a solution specific to a company's operations and enterprise application domain is still variable and presumably highly volatile.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referenced throughout his keynote that we're in the 'Age of CoPilots,' which refers to democratizing access to AI through Microsoft's Copilots initiative. Copilots are AI-based tools that can help users navigate complex tasks & automate repetitive processes by enhancing the productivity & work quality of the user. The CoPilot initiative extends across several Microsoft platforms and solutions, making it easier for users to access AI capabilities and integrate them into their everyday workflows. The Age of Copilots is a vision for the future where AI is ubiquitous and accessible to everyone regardless of their technical expertise. Scott Guthrie reminded us later in the keynote that "Data is the fuel that powers AI," a critical theme validating the importance of protecting your data in this new 'Age of Copilots.'
So what is the biggest news?
- AI (CoPilot) is everywhere
- Fabric is everything (except restore)
CoPilot for Microsoft 365 is also generally available. This version integrates Copilot into Outlook, Teams, and Excel and comes with plug-ins, so it is compatible with other technologies. Microsoft recognizes that every business is unique, so they introduced CoPilot Studio to ensure that organizations can tailor their businesses around their data, workflows, and security requirements. Because it's so simple to integrate CoPilot with any technology seamlessly, you can also ground it in whatever CRM you use, whether it's Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, or something else.
Fabric rolls in all the PaaS power of trusted tools like Azure Data Factory and Synapse Analytics but also introduces new tooling like Data Activator and Purview to provide full-scope planetary-scale data tooling. The world's most complex and powerful data innovators, like Informatica, have even built into the platform further to espouse Fabric's massive computing and storage opportunities. Albeit powerful, the announcements did not include any that focused on data restoration (specifically the flagship storage mechanism of Dataverse), so this side of data management still needs to include Microsoft.
How Own can help
Own is a leading data platform trusted by thousands of organizations to protect and activate SaaS data to transform their businesses. By partnering with some of the world's largest SaaS ecosystems, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, Own brings together everything vital to protecting SaaS data from backup, recovery, data security, archiving, seeding, and anonymization–with tools that enable you to activate your data and amplify your business. So, no matter what happens as a result of your experimentation with CoPilots, you can rest assured that your data will be safe and recovery will be at your fingertips, instead of another looming project to learn, design, and build on the Fabric PaaS platform.