I recently had the pleasure to speak with Julia White, General Manager of the Office Division at Microsoft at the Microsoft TechEd 2014 North America conference that was held in Houston a few weeks ago. Over at SharePoint Pro, a sister site to SQL Server Pro, Julia provided her insights on Microsoft's overall collaboration strategy for Office 365, SharePoint, and Yammer. Notably, she also provided her thoughts on Power BI, which should be of interest to our SQL Server Pro readers.

White had recently noted that business intelligence and big data analytics weren't "in the hands of data wonks anymore." We asked White to expand on this concept, and she stated that with offerings such as OneDrive for Business or Yammer, collaboration is "brain dead easy for even the least sophisticated user." She elaborated that there's "massive compute power and storage to tap into" for Power BI or OneDrive for Business. Additionally, White emphasized that it becomes simple and easy to create meaningful user experiences once an individual doesn't have to figure out how different pieces of the puzzle (i.e., servers and clients) works together.

Paul Thurrott on Windows IT Pro has previously noted that the Office team has been making bold strides and urged that other divisions within Microsoft do the same. Speaking to this notion, White said that "investments in Azure, Power BI, and Office 365 and Intune are great cloud offerings that are innovating fast and providing holistic, integrated solutions to customers." In particular, White noted that Oracle's recent partnership with Azure is helping to better integrate "all forms of data within the BI tools."

"I see both Office and the Cloud and Enterprise teams working in very aligned ways now – each group in a unique phase of this journey, but being successful in their own right," White added.

You can read the full interview over at SharePoint Pro.