Next week, Microsoft is headed to Consensus 2017 in New York City to meet with blockchain developers and share new additions to our Microsoft Azure Blockchain portfolio. We’re thrilled to sponsor and participate in a forum that brings together businesses, partners, and communities who are passionate about taking blockchain to enterprise.
More and more, blockchain is emerging as a topic of interest in our conversations with business leaders. A growing number of enterprises are experimenting with the technology as a secure and transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets across trust boundaries, opening new opportunities for cross-organizational collaboration and imaginative new business models.
Microsoft’s vision is to help companies thrive in this era of secure multi-party computation, delivering open, scalable platforms and services that any company, from ledger startups to governments, health organizations to global banks, can use to create new value.
Empowering business to build with blockchain
Over the past year, we made significant progress building an open, ecosystem-driven platform for blockchain app development and continued learning through deep customer engagement.
Last fall, we introduced Cryptlets, a blockchain specific middleware that enables secure ‘off-chain’ computation and addresses a number of issues that frustrate businesses attempting to build smart contracts. We also began integrating Azure services with blockchain, including identity, key management, data ingestion, storage, and analytics services. Throughout the spring, we introduced support for a growing number of blockchain implementations through the Azure Marketplace and launched new tooling aimed at simplifying development. Our goal with all these efforts has been the same, empowering businesses to build with blockchain.
The response has been overwhelming and we’re thrilled to see so many customers using these new tools to create innovative solutions to intractable, shared problems.
In Australia and New Zealand, Webjet is looking to transform the way the travel industry manages online reservations with its blockchain-based booking service.
Mojix is reimagining how physical assets can be tracked across the globe, building an IoT offering that allows members of a supply chain to view their RFID related transactions on Ethereum and Azure powered smart contracts.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in partnership with Microsoft Treasury, recently received industry praise for their blockchain-powered trade finance application which optimizes the standby letter of credit process, reducing issuance time from several weeks to potentially just several hours.
The road ahead
This week, we are excited to share several new offerings aimed at accelerating end-to-end blockchain app development on Azure. At our roundtable on Monday, we’ll be showcasing support for additional blockchain implementations including Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, and Quorum and will also dive deep on a developer framework that streamlines blockchain proof of concept deployments for our customers and partners.
Enterprise enthusiasm for blockchain is real and while the scenarios are diverse, what’s clear is that businesses want to use different chains and platforms for different purposes. We believe our roadmap should reflect this with consistent support both on-premises and in the cloud, for the ledger of your choice.
While it will take time for blockchain to achieve enterprise assurance, the best way to meet early performance and integration challenges is with an open platform and set of partners that are rapidly expanding their capabilities.
Getting started with blockchain should not be overwhelming and simplifying development is a huge opportunity. That’s why Microsoft remains laser focused on expanding our middleware integrations to make ledgers more approachable for developers and enterprise end users.
We're looking forward to connecting with you to talk about your scenarios and how we can help make it easier to realize them using Microsoft Azure.