M-Tech Marketing and Communications Manager, Tamar Keenan attended the Microsoft Education Summit, December 2017, to hear the latest news and updates.
Following on from the theme of the spring summit, the venue selected to host the event was the Design Museum London.
Craig Parker, UK Education Partner Lead, got things underway by welcoming the 105 partners in attendance and giving us some education market insights from the Microsoft research department. We were given valuable information, such as a school’s main focus for 2017/18 will be staffing, which makes up 80% of all running costs. ‘As a service’ technologies are also becoming more desirable and portable devices are one of the items schools feel they’re lacking in.
Ian Fordham, Director of Education, took to the stage briefly to enlighten us on Microsoft’s future plans and the journey ahead. Clearly very passionate about what he does, he then handed over to the new Education CTO Andy Nagle to make his introductions and discuss solutions selling.
The day then split out into sessions where attendees could pick and choose the talks to attend. Tamar headed firstly to the ‘Teaching and Learning’ breakout by Nicola Meek, Education Devices Specialist. Nicola, in her own bubbly way, pushed us to untether the teacher and untether the student. She highlighted how PC penetration in UK schools is under a third, at 31%, whereas the USA come in at over double this on 65%. A real advocate of leveraging technology to enhance learning, Nicola highlighted how it can save time, be easy to manage, and can result in better learning outcomes.
A beautifully prepared lunch was served in the Helene & Johnannes room of the Design Museum, with plenty of Microsoft team members on hand to chat to, as well as peers in the industry.
The program repeated again after lunch and Tamar took a fancy to the ‘Connected Campus and School Experiences’ talk by David Williams, Business Architect. David is from the non-revenue arm of Microsoft and so has immense freedom to explore and discover. We were given a few valuable stats; 50% of Education CIOs expect Internet of Things to have a major impact on their environment, and 70% of all Microsoft support calls are now handled by AI. David shared some fascinating anecdotes about the Smart Parking systems he’s been involved with around the world. One country had an interest purely in distinguishing by loyalty (the higher up the company you were the closer to the door you got to park) whereas another’s key aim was to have people not use the parking lot! The initiative of the time was promoting healthy living and the benefits of walking.
After a quick tea break, there was another round of talks, Paula Costa spoke about marketing and Rich Bowes the cloud. The whole group (or those of us who were left by the end of the day), got back together again and had a sneak peak at the Microsoft BETT stand. Looking very impressive!
Craig returned to his role of host and closed up the day with a wonderful quote from Enzo Ferrari (chosen last minute whilst walking around the 70 Years of Ferrari exhibition in the museum), “The finest victory is that which is yet to be won”.
A pleasure as ever Microsoft Education Team, ‘til 2018.