NerdioCon day 2: New mindsets for AI & partner pump for virtual desktop business

Nerdio held its NerdioCon software engineering conference and expo this week in Punta Cana for in-person and virtual audiences.

Registered attendees for this event included business owners, enterprise partners and software application development engineers interested in routes to manage and cost-optimise native Microsoft cloud technologies. 

Nerdio is known for its software and competencies that are focused on IT team skills development for Microsoft Azure, Windows 365, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop and Microsoft Intune (a cloud-based endpoint management product) among other key technologies.

Listening in to the mainstage keynote on day two, the Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) downloaded the following report.

Applied AI

Nerdio chief revenue officer Joseph Landes started the day by introducing Joe Whittinghill, chief learning officer at Microsoft who provided a deep dive analysis on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is really going to be applied in our lives. This discussion was designed to inspire attendees with a discussion centred around the way AI is changing modern workplace roles, functions and tasks.

“We believe that humans will now adapt and change the way they work with AI as we start to implement these technologies into our lives – and every industry will be impacted. Places that deliver services like mental health care will drastically change. We will be able to use AI to make sure farmers in India (for example) are able to use precious resources like water and fertilizer more carefully,” proposed Whittinghill.

Looking at studies in this field… around half of firms identify the fact that the biggest challenge they face in implementing AI is managing the skills base inside their own organisations.

“At Microsoft, we believe everyone is a leader no matter what job title… if a product manager (PM) takes a leadership role in terms of using AI, then that’s good. Adaptive leadership has been around for some years and we are teaching it inside Microsoft. Known as ‘technical problems’ in leadership-speak, people need to work out the immediate problem in front of them in terms of how they should be manipulating, fixing and solving challenges. But that’s not enough for long term success now. The deeper thought here is the notion of adaptive challenges – this is all about thinking about whether or not a strategy discussion is focused on the right problem or not and checking whether or not our technical problem-solving is actually focused on taking the easy route out of a situation. Adaptive thinking is harder and takes longer, so management doesn’t always like promoting it, but it’s the smarter thing to do,” advised Whittinghill.

Quite broad at times but with specificity to key topics, the discussion continued.

Microsoft’s 3-CEOs

Whittinghill suggested that Bill Gates was Microsoft’s technical CEO, Steve Ballmer was the business CEO… and that thirdly Satya Nadella is the culture CEO – he will go down in history as the man who wanted to facilitate growth and change.

“So talking practically, AI with GitHub is already writing about 40% of our code – and, further, it is also changing the way we identify issues in our existing code to make it more efficient. Everyone is going to have to reskill. The pivot everyone is going to have to make is all about mindset changes and understanding whether we are looking around the corner about the things that we can’t see yet. The data that we are getting out of AI isn’t always accurate as we know, so the ability to discern and (as Satya says) find the signal through the noise also now requires that we work out whether we can trust the signal we are getting. Discernment and judgement are going to be key skills for humans in the immediate future,” said Whittinghill.

He suggests that people need to think about how they are going to ‘scale up with AI’ and that means getting in there fast and doing some experimentation – even if we know that some of what we create will be thrown out after the prototyping phase. 

“Authority is all about working with the known. Leadership is all about working with the unknown. Knowing how and when to switch between the two may be the secret to modern business. The AI revolution will require human evolution and the emergence of leaders to understand how we can succeed together with these technologies,” he said.

So then… as we move forward with AI, how will it impact the IT department workforce? 

“As we talk about software engineers and how it will impact them, there will probably be jobs around for about a decade that do not require a deep embrace of AI, but it will ultimately be the exception and software engineers are going to have to think about reskilling at various levels as the very real reality of citizen developers starts to bring more and more businesspeople into the software engineering function,” concluded Whittinghill, in an audience Q&A session.

Nerdio Enterprise Partnerd Program 

Moving back to the concluding parts of this conference, Nerdio presented news related to its Enterprise Partnerd Program (or programme for British spelling enthusiasts).

The company says that its latest programme updates underscore Nerdio’s ongoing commitment to co-selling with Microsoft and offering its partners a ‘distinctive advantage’ as they navigate the transition to cloud-based virtual desktop solutions. The team suggest that Nerdio’s 300% surge in deal registrations over the past quarter highlights the demand for cloud-based solutions of this kind and the pivotal role of partners in helping customers transition from legacy solutions.

Partner program tiers are calculated based on a partner’s revenue with Nerdio, product discounts, certifications and training, marketing development funds (MDF) and event experiences offered, which increase as partners move up to higher tiers.

“The significant updates to the Enterprise Partnerd program reaffirm that partners are a true extension of the Nerdio team,” said Nerdio CRO Joseph Landes. “This strategic program not only aligns with our commitment to empowering partners profitability goals but also presents an opportunity for co-selling with Microsoft as customers migrate from legacy solutions to modernize its workforce.”

The new Enterprise Partner Program offers benefits to partners at three different levels: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As part of the new Partnerd program, enrolled enterprise partners receive a new registration and deal protection System designed to ensure partners enjoy enhanced exclusivity for their deals, fostering a collaborative environment for successful co-selling. There is also proposal-based marketing i.e. partners can harness Nerdio dollars to fuel their individual marketing efforts to drive new pipeline. Funded-partner implementations means there are incentives for partners to demo, pilot and roll out implementations of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise.

“Collaborative sessions bring partners and Nerdio leadership together to strategise for success. The comprehensive agenda covers sales and marketing strategy, training and certification plans, and prospecting initiatives, ensuring a cohesive and aligned approach towards mutual growth,” noted the company, in a press statement.

Nerdiocon key takeaways

Coming to know Nerdio better as we have done, it’s interesting to see how and why the virtual desktop market is growing and look at application areas where there is significant market adoption (call centres, healthcare, teaching may be the first three industry sectors we can point to, but there are others and the list is expanding) today. Clearly there’s a key need for cloud provisioning support on Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop not because Redmond has engineered the technology in any lacklustre or haphazard way – it is in fact because Microsoft (and this is a trend played out across other hyperscalers in many of their core platform services) has built the technology to be extremely broad and applicable to the widest range of implementations and applications. Plus anyway, cloud provisioning and virtual desktop management services are complicated and not naturally intuitive to many software application development professionals, so again that’s why Nerdio is Nerdio.

Just remember, it’s now chic to be geek and never absurd (but in fact preferred) to be a nerd.

Nerdio chief revenue officer Joseph Landes.

Joe Whittinghill, chief learning officer at Microsoft.


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