Tag Archives: showcase

Intelligent Retail

At NRF Microsoft will showcase connected solutions for customer engagement, workforce empowerment, operational insights, and business transformation that combine the excitement of the latest innovations around Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality, Internet of Things & Blockchain technologies with the trust of the industry’s most reliable and secure platform. Together with our customers and partners, Microsoft is building the future of intelligent retail.

From digital experiences that make shopping fun and rewarding, to the productivity and collaboration solutions that allow retail employees to provide outstanding customer service, to the intelligent systems that provide deep insights and empower advanced decision making and personalization. Microsoft is transforming the future of retail by empowering people throughout the shopping experience. 

Questions? Contact us here.


Booth Tours:

Thank you for your interest in a booth tour with Microsoft at NRF 2018 in New York, New York.

Join us on a Booth Tour. Explore our latest and greatest industry solutions and hear firsthand stories of innovation from your industry peers as to how they are transforming their business. Booth Tours are 45 minutes in length, and are first-come, first-served – complete the request form below to secure your spot.

Booth Tours


Request 1:1 Briefing:

Do you have a specific business challenge or topic you’d like to discuss with a Microsoft executive? Then let’s meet one on one. We’ll take the time to understand your business and demonstrate the significant ways Microsoft can help you realize your potential.

Please click on the link below and complete the information as thoroughly as possible so we may assign an appropriate Microsoft representative to meet with you.

1:1 Briefing


Startup Showcase:

The extremely popular Microsoft NRF Startup Showcase is back for 2018! This exclusive, invitation-only event will host more than a dozen disruptors in retail technology. Please contact your account executive directly to RSVP. Each company will showcase select solutions that help retailers and brands to thrive in today’s competitive environment. Major global retailers have credited the 2017 event with inspiring fresh, strategic conversations around reimagining retail. These engagements will be hosted at the Microsoft 5th Avenue Flagship Store and has a capacity of 40 guests per event. Please note: unless previously arranged, we are unable to offer private showcase events for individual customer accounts.

Sunday, January 14 | 4:00PM-6:00PM
Monday, January 15 | 4:00PM-6:00PM
Tuesday, January 16 | 4:00PM-6:00PM
Wednesday, January 17 | 4:00PM-6:00PM

Please contact your account executive directly to RSVP.


Get a FREE pass:

Are you a retailer? Retailers are eligible for FREE passes to the event. Register for your pass here by entering your company name, email address and the Microsoft Customer referral code below.

Code: 831

Having trouble registering? Your company might not have a membership with NRF. Non-members are still eligible for a pass, but will need to contact nrfconcierge@nrf.com for assistance.


Join MINECON Earth Viewing Parties at Microsoft Store!

MINECON Earth, a livestreamed, interactive showcase of all things Minecraft, is on the horizon, and to celebrate, we’re inviting the Minecraft community to join us and watch this one-of-a-kind event at Microsoft Store viewing parties across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Also, for those of you in Atlanta, we’ll be hosting a pair of Build Battle competitions in early November, with winners taking home tickets to MINECON Earth itself!

MINECON Earth Viewing Parties – Coming to a Microsoft Store Near You

Viewing parties will take place across Microsoft Store locations on Saturday, November 18 at 9:00 a.m. PST. Visit our MINECON viewing party page to get more information and find the location closest to you. Attendees will be admitted 30 minutes prior to the broadcast start time, so come early to ensure you get a seat!

In addition to taking in the show itself, attendees can participate in costume contests, giveaways and competitive and collaborative gameplay with other members of the Minecraft community. Watching the MINECON Earth festivities with local Minecraft players is sure to be a blast, and we hope you’ll join us!

Microsoft Store locations will also host some Minecraft content creators, YouTubers and streamers you may be familiar with! They’ll be taking a break from creating videos and streams to experience the MINECON Earth stream as spectators, along with the rest of the Minecraft community. They’ll be hanging out with attendees at the following locations:

  • Flagship Microsoft Store in New York: Thinknoodles
  • Microsoft Store at Lenox Square Mall (Atlanta, GA): xNestorio, Tylarzz
  • Microsoft Store at SouthPark (Charlotte, NC): CavemanFilms, BlackieChan, Guude
  • Microsoft Store at Prudential Center (Boston, MA): Carnage The Creator, AntVenom
  • Microsoft Store at NorthPark Center (Dallas, TX): Jojopetv, AviatorGaming, RyguyRocky, MeganPlays, BurtDude, BAHMLounge
  • Microsoft Store at The Florida Mall (Orlando, FL): FireRockerz Studios
  • Microsoft Store at Oakbrook Center (Oak Brook, IL): Aureylian, MangoTango

Throw Down in Build Battle to Win Tickets to MINECON Earth

If you’re in the Atlanta area, you can join us in the leadup to MINECON for our Minecraft Build Battle competitions, where the winning team will walk away with tickets to the MINECON Earth show on November 18! Players will be tasked with projects revolving around a series of fun Minecraft themes, so imagination and quick thinking are a must. Like the MINECON Earth viewing parties, these events are great for meeting up with other local players (and putting your building skills to the test).

Players will have to successfully navigate three different Build Battle challenges, with the team that wins each challenge receiving points. At the end of the three challenges, each member of the team with the most total points will win two tickets to MINECON Earth apiece! Even if you aren’t competing, you still have a chance to win tickets, so come cheer on your favorite team and get entered to win a pair of tickets to the MINECON Earth show!

The Build Battles will take place on Friday, November 3 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EST at the Microsoft Store at Lenox Square and Saturday, November 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST at the Microsoft Store at Perimeter Mall. Players can begin registering for the Build Battle outside each Microsoft Store location one hour prior to the start of the events.

We can’t wait to see the Minecraft community’s passion, talent and creativity at Build Battle and the MINECON Earth viewing parties. See you there!

ONUG conference: SD-WAN and automation continue to grow

NEW YORK — The technology showcase floor at this fall’s ONUG conference teemed with the typical vendors displaying various products and technologies. But a significant number of these suppliers could be lumped into a single, albeit continually shifting, category: software-defined WAN.

By now, SD-WAN’s benefits are well-understood. Among other advantages, the technology can simplify the WAN and streamline traffic management. It also gives enterprises the ability to transition away from more expensive connectivity links, like MPLS — or to add broadband internet in conjunction with existing MPLS services. As a result, SD-WAN deployments continue to blossom, with IDC predicting the market will eclipse $8 billion in sales by 2021.

Yet, as SD-WAN continues to mature, customers are now looking for new ways to exploit the technology. One concept gaining traction: network infrastructure consolidation. This change pushes SD-WAN from a sole “solution” to a framework supporting additional functions in a broader network package. Versa Networks, for example, offers its FlexVNF platform that inserts multiple functions, like SD-WAN, routing and security, into the broader platform. FatPipe Networks also launched a virtual network functions platform that integrates SD-WAN functionality earlier this month.

The ONUG conference also featured a session dedicated to its SD-WAN working group, the Open SD-WAN Exchange (OSE). Currently, the group is developing an interworking architecture framework that will contain reference points, or open APIs, to enable standardization across domain orchestrators. The group settled on RESTful architecture with JSON support, according to OSE group member Steve Wood, principal engineer for enterprise architecture and SD-WAN at Cisco.

Wood said the goal, for now, is not to get individual SD-WAN devices to talk with each other, but to automate and standardize the gateway between different domain orchestrators. The working group also hopes to standardize APIs that will enable application identification.

The OSE group has yet to release any APIs, however, and has only a handful of enterprises working with it to develop the standard interfaces.

Move away from just networking

Earlier this year, ONUG announced its rebranding to move the group away from being solely focused on computer networking. This transition was evident from the range of sessions throughout the ONUG conference — from discussions dedicated to containers and container orchestration to hybrid cloud and machine learning.

One session focused on automated container orchestration, especially related to hybrid cloud environments. Panelists from GE, Bank of America, Intuit and Citigroup discussed their companies’ current use of containers — if any — and hesitations they had with the still-emerging technology.

Bruce Pinsky, a distinguished engineer at Intuit, based in Mountain View, Calif., agreed containers are the next level of virtualization, but said more progress is necessary. Harmen Van der Linde, global head of Citi Management Tools at New York-based Citigroup, had similar concerns, among which was the question of how vendors will deal with patching containers on a large scale.

Process trumps the product

The cloud isn’t always easy. As Maria Azúa, senior vice president of distributed hosting at Fidelity, based in Boston, spoke those words during her ONUG presentation, a few audience members laughed in agreement.

“Everybody thinks the cloud is the best thing since sliced bread; everybody thinks it’s really easy. But it’s not that easy,” she said.

Automation is the only way to standardization.
Maria Azúasenior vice president of distributed hosting at Fidelity

For Azúa, an important consideration when moving to the cloud is to know where the data goes. This entails creating a digital signature for the data and ensuring if the signature is compromised, you’re in possession of the key and can kill the data.

“Don’t patch anything in the cloud,” she said. “Everything is immutable.”

Despite data management and security challenges, Azúa said companies will continue to shift their workloads to the cloud. By 2020, she predicted 85% of workloads will be in hybrid cloud environments, with the top five cloud providers controlling about 75% of those services.

By 2025, she estimated cloud usage will be at 53%, surpassing enterprise reliance on legacy infrastructure.

Automation is also making inroads, Azúa said, especially as standardization becomes more important.

“Automation is the only way to standardization,” she said. “You can buy any tools you want, but you’ll never get there [standardization] if you don’t automate, because the human being is very bad at repeating tasks.”

Companies can potentially bypass these errors with automation. And to Azúa, this automation means more than getting a computer to automate a single task. She defined automation as a standardized declarative process for multiple workflows. These processes then become more important than the products themselves.

“More importantly, you need to understand that your processes trump any product that you have,” she said. “Process trumps product.”