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On September 3, 2015, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and the Defense Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) hosted the 13th annual CIO Summit at Singapore University of Technology & Design. The conference coincided with the MINDEF PRIDE day, whose theme this year was “Smart Nation, Smart Defense.” The event showcased the smart technologies that MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) use to increase their strength and productivity and thereby produce benefits for both individuals and MINDEF/SAF as a whole. The focus of the meeting aligns with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, which centers on improving the lives of Singaporeans through better use of technology.

More than 300 technology leaders in the defense industry as well as military leaders attended the conference. I was fortunate to be a keynote speaker, representing Microsoft, which was one of three industry-leading technology companies selected for presentations. Speakers were invited to share both their current state-of-the-art technology for assisting military organizations and their vision for the future. IBM and Symantec were the other firms presenting to the audience, and many technology firms had display booths in the exhibit area to showcase their military solutions.

For our keynote session, I stressed our demonstrated strength in the productivity space. We assist our customers in taking advantage of Microsoft technology and devices to achieve productivity in the defense sector. We also assist them in building an intelligent cloud platform that can pull mission-critical data from the Internet of Things (IoT). We also help them use data analytics and machine learning to make better military decisions. Our presentation included effective on-stage demos. In one of the demos, we showed how Microsoft Band wearable devices can be used to collect an individual’s vital signs in the cloud, and how this information can be collected via the Cortana Analytics Suite to provide useful insights for mission-critical decisions.

Our team at the booth consistently handled a crowd that was larger than those at the other 10+ booths combined, with attendees most interested in our devices and big data analytics solutions. The presentation and booth certainly provided some insight for MINDEF senior leaders in setting an agenda for the EBC we hosted at our Redmond headquarters at the end of the month.