Microsoft M4: Digital transformation is here

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Above: Frances Correia, GM Microsoft West Indies, Luiz Marcelo Marrey, GM Microsoft LATAM New Markets and Heidi Alert, Country Manager T&T – Inova Solutions. Photo courtesy Microsoft.

As part of its drive to empower organisations and citizens in Trinidad and Tobago to achieve more, Microsoft hosted the M4 Conference on November 15th at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre. The M4 Conference featured international Microsoft speakers as well as presentations by local and regional Microsoft partners who highlighted how Microsoft is helping to advance the path toward digital transformation.

This event is part of Microsoft’s investment in the region, and is designed to enable local companies to understand the forces driving digital transformation, as part of the 4th Industrial Age. One of the key points that underscores the arrival of digital transformation is a recent Gartner survey, in which half of respondents said that they expect their company to be a digital business by the end of 2016 and Gartner expects that number to increase to 83% by 2019.

Speakers at the M4 Conference expanded on the four pillars companies need to consider as part of their digital transformation, which include: engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing business processes and transforming products. During this digital transformation and 4th Industrial Age, Microsoft is innovating for the future, staying a step ahead to lead this digital transformation for its customers’ needs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Speakers at the M4 Conference included regional leaders and industry stalwarts such as Frances Correia, General Manager, Microsoft West Indies; Luiz Marcelo Marrey, General Manager, Microsoft LATAM New Markets; and the Honourable Minister Melford Nicholas, Minister of Information, Broadcasting & Telecommunications, Antigua & Barbuda.

Presentations were focused on both the private and public sector, with topics on “Accelerating Digital Transformation with the Power of Cloud Services”; “Sales in the Modern Era”; “Digital Government – Transforming Government for Greater impact and outcomes”; and “Transformation through a Connected World”.

With businesses throughout Latin America and the Caribbean facing disruption in multiple forms, the trend to embrace digital operations which can equip organisations with a significant competitive advantage is rising. Leading companies and agencies in the region have adopted the Microsoft cloud to support their transformation to digital, and Microsoft aims to support more and more businesses.

Through its secure solutions and services, the organisation continues to create greater opportunities for monetization of information assets, business optimization and increased possibilities in competitive markets.

Luiz Marcelo Marrey Moncau, General Manager, Microsoft LATAM New Markets, gave numerous examples of global brands including McDonald’s, Heinz, and Renault-Nissan which have utilized Microsoft technology to optimize operations and transform products and services. He emphasised the necessity of businesses embracing digital transformation to effectively compete in a changing landscape.

“Businesses must find more effective ways to increase the customer experience while reducing cost,” he said. “Changes are no longer incremental – the digital transformation is worldwide, and within the next four year we will see a total reshaping in the marketplace driven by technology. Microsoft is providing secure and reliable solutions that enable organisations to transform their relationships, productivity, efficiency and traditional products, in a cost-effective manner.”

Frances Correia, General Manager, Microsoft West Indies, noted that the M4 Conference was a prime opportunity for business leaders to explore new possibilities for their organisations.

“Advancements in technology are fuelling not just the rate of change, but the types of change in our business – it is an opportunity for businesses to transform themselves,” she remarked.

“Even in Trinidad’s economic downturn, our businesses cannot fail. We have to find new ways of growth and new markets, new ways to reach our customers. We are no longer geographically bound, we have to innovate with our services and products in ways that will cause us to be the disruptors, instead of the victims in this changing plot.”

“Capitalising on all this change and opportunity in the market is the key to innovation and growth, and most basic of all to our very survival,” she added. “No business, no industry, no country big or small is immune and will not survive if we don’t take action and digitally transform.”

“The challenge and the opportunity for us today is to leverage this disruptive force in technology so our businesses can become more agile and shape our own destiny. We are proud to bring you today real solutions for real growth offered up on the trusted Microsoft platform.”

The BitDepth column for November 22 will report on M4 2016.