Microsoft’s Jeremy Thake on Why Azure is More than Just Infrastructure as a Service [Video Interview]

Post Date: 10/18/2016
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Cloud storage and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are probably the first things that come to mind when you hear, “Microsoft Azure.” But Azure does and provides so much more.

With over 60 different services—including Big Data analytics, Open Source app development, and even an Internet of Things (IoT) management hub—thinking of Azure as simply a bunch of virtual machines is a huge underestimation of its power. To help grasp the breadth of what Azure can do, and why is Azure not just an IaaS, but also a true Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, Jeremy Thake, Senior Product Marketing Manager for the Azure Development marketing team told us about what some customers have done!

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Video Transcript: Dux Raymond Sy (@meetdux) and Jeremy Thake (@jthake)

Dux: Hey gang. Welcome back to another episode of Dux Quax, still here at Ignite with Jeremy Thake.

Jeremy Thake: Hey man. How are you?

Dux: Hey, it’s been forever.

Jeremy Thake: I know, right?

Dux: Jeremy, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell everybody, what are you doing these days?

Jeremy Thake: Sure. So Jeremy Thake. I work at Microsoft in the Azure development marketing team. I actually used to work with AvePoint for three years and I had great fun here and it’s nice to see everyone at the conference. I’ve had a bunch of stuff for this week including Azure app service sessions, Azure function sessions and a bunch of Azure solution stuff as well so it’s been a really, really busy week.

Dux: I mean, speaking of Azure, from the Keynote itself, Azure is like the new poster child, right?

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: I love the whole message around Azure, you know, the supercomputing AI. But one of the things…and speaking with customers too is there’s still this idea that Azure, all Azure does is IaaS, right, because they’re comparing you to all the other competitors out there.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: What’s your message to those folks on how they should think about Azure beyond just moving VMs in their data centers?

Jeremy Thake: Yeah, it’s a good question. I mean, most cloud vendors come from that space.

Dux: Sure.

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Jeremy Thake: We did too, much like AWS did, and much like Google did. But I think with the platform application service that we have, the PaaS, is it’s more of a levers and pulleys and configuration rather than kind of owning the operating system, owning the patching and security, and how many VMs you run and how they’re distributed around the world, we kind of simplify that and make all that work for you and put things on rails like cognitive services, like Azure functions, all of the databases. Like I can actually go into the portal and go, “I want a new database.” And it just spins it up. I’m not worrying about installing Windows, installing SQL Server and configuring it and managing mirroring and all that stuff. It’s just ticks of buttons. And I think that’s really the value of PaaS and Azure, and it’s where the future is I think.

Dux: Absolutely.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: And even the advanced workloads. The other Keynote where they translated Wikipedia.
Jeremy Thake: Yeah, it’s very cool.

Dux: It’s insane.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: There’s no way you can build that on prem.

Jeremy Thake: Right.

Dux: Or even the last Olympics where everything was streamed through Azure. I mean, imagine if they had to build that infrastructure.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah. And I think the case is the…there are 60 plus services now in Azure where, you know, you can start integrating these things directly into your mobile app or your web app or even in your API, SQL service of your own customers.

Dux: Sure.

Jeremy Thake: One of the big ones that we just did in the session today was a mobile app for an insurance company.

Dux: Okay.

Jeremy Thake: Contoso Insurance.

Dux: Oh, Contoso.

Jeremy Thake: Right. And you’re taking the photos of the crashed car and then taking the number plate and taking the license plate of the person who hit you and then using cognitive services with two lines of code to OCR all those images and store it in their database alongside the record. So it takes the process of kind of rather than on your phone, typing the license plate in, typing out the VIN number.

Dux: Sure.

Jeremy Thake: We all know how hard that is. Just two lines of code by the developer and the mobile app and you’re away and running. And so the value you can add to a scenario very quickly with these services is cool.

Dux: And now I started thinking about well, in comes Dynamics 365, full case management, right?

Jeremy Thake: Right.

Dux: You can tie into that and track the case and all that good stuff.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah. Yeah.

Dux: Phenomenal. Now, let’s talk about Ignite. What do you think about this year’s Ignite?

Jeremy Thake: It’s crazy. It’s a big, big event. It’s been funny kind of just bumping into people in the Expo Hall like surprising when there’s 25,000 people here or something. There’s been a lot of great content. I was super impressed by the Keynote. I think it told a great story for the audience that’s here. They’ve done a great job of understanding the attendees and what they want. For me with developer side of the thing, I’ve been quite surprised how much attendees we’ve had in our sessions from pro developers.

Dux: Got it. Got it.

Jeremy Thake: Which was good. I think people assume this is the TechEd Conference, it’s IT pros only, it really isn’t. It’s all the business decision makers in here and a lot of devs as well.

Dux: Exactly, absolutely.

Jeremy Thake: So…

Dux: One of the things that impress me, you were speaking about the keynote is Azure monitoring.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: I mean, your buddy, Donovan, he…

Jeremy Thake: He was great. He did a great demo.

Dux: Absolutely.

Jeremy Thake: He’s been excited about that. He’s known about it for a while and it’s been nice to see him grow as he’s come from different Keynotes and smaller events and gets to be on a stage of this size. And he nailed the demos too.

Dux: Awesome.

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: Now before I let you go, Jeremy, other than Azure, if you’re a Microsoft product, what would you be and why?

Jeremy Thake: Wow. So I’m a photographer. And so I use Microsoft Pix, P-I-X, which came out of the Microsoft research team, it’s available in the App Store in Apple and…

Dux: Oh, so it’s a phone app?

Jeremy Thake: Yeah. Yeah. And it takes a really cool approach to taking photos and the quality of the images that comes out of it is far superior than the default phone app you get with Apple.

Dux: Oh, really?

Jeremy Thake: Yeah.

Dux: Okay.

Jeremy Thake: And so they’re doing a ton of work on that. So I, as a photographer, I’d love to own that and message it and come up with cool ideas of what they can add to it.

Dux: Awesome.

Jeremy Thake: So if you haven’t checked that out, Microsoft Pix, P-I-X.

Dux: All right. Well as always, Jeremy, it’s been a pleasure.

Jeremy Thake: No, you’re welcome man. Good to see you.

Dux: I remember the first time we had an interview a long time ago at SharePoint Conference.
Jeremy Thake: Right. Actually, that was funny because it was about what would you do if you weren’t in SharePoint.

Dux: Yeah. And you said you wanna be a president.

Jeremy Thake: And I said I’d be president.

Dux: That’s right. Well…

Jeremy Thake: I probably would do a better job this time.

Dux: Exactly. Let’s not get into that. Anyway guys, awesome time here at Ignite. Check out Jeremy Thake. Follow him on Twitter. Check out all his work in Azure. Till the next episode, thank you. Bye.

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With over 20 years of business and technology experience, Dux has driven organizational transformations worldwide with his ability to simplify complex ideas and deliver relevant solutions. He serves as the Chief Brand Officer of AvePoint who has authored the LinkedIn Learning course How to Build Your Personal Brand, the book SharePoint for Project Management, as well as numerous whitepapers and articles. As a public speaker, Dux has delivered engaging, interactive presentations to more than 25,000 people at leading industry events around the world. He also hosts the modern workplace podcast #shifthappens that focuses on how leading organizations navigated their business transformation journey. Dux advocates tirelessly for inclusion, using technology for good, and philanthropic initiatives. Connect with him:

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