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Henko Kors about his contributions to the Microsoft Azure Synapse product team

Within Microsoft’s product team, Macaw was the only Dutch partner involved in developing Azure Synapse, which combines data warehousing in the cloud and big data analyses into one single service. Henko Kors elaborates on his contributions. “This way of collaborating is definitely worth repeating.”

azure synapse
Today marks the launch of Microsoft’s Azure Synapse, an extensive service combining data analytics and data warehousing in the cloud. Henko Kors, Technology Consultant Data & Analytics at Macaw, was involved in developing this entirely new service, which made Macaw the only Dutch Microsoft partner within the product team.

 How the collaboration on Azure Synapse came about? Kors: “It all started in the Azure Advisory Group, a community consisting of clients and partners who provide feedback to Microsoft about Azure. The Microsoft product managers are also active within this Azure Advisory Group. This way they have first-hand information available regarding suggestions about further development of existing Microsoft Azure products and it allows them to initiate new services and ideas. Through this Azure Advisory Group, the Microsoft Corporation from Redmond, Washington approached mepersonally about 12 months ago. Would I be interested in helping develop a specific feature within the latest Azure Synapse version? This feature makes internal data eco systems of organisations much more accessible, allowing them to get more information from the data collected.”  

 Kors indicated to be interested in participating. “It goes without saying it is a big deal to be asked directly by the head office. Macaw then gave me the opportunity to actually be involved.” 

At the forefront of innovation

Kors called the Microsoft Azure Synapse product team on a weekly basis. Not only to discuss progress of the developments, but also to go over the feedback provided by the client where the exclusive private preview of Azure Synapse had been implemented and rolled out. “This allowed Macaw to support one of our clients with the very latest in technology even before the release had become available around the world. 

 Innovating and being at the forefront of it all: aspects that energised Kors in his commitment towards developing Azure Synapse. “The client, Microsoft and I followed the procedure with a positive and innovative mindset. We mainly considered the options this cutting-edge technology provided and have seized this opportunity.” It enabled the client to get even more data from theorganisation, analyse them and use the information gained in reports.  

 UX

Kors specifically contributed in terms of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Kors: “I thinkthat if you claim to easily and quickly run queries based on data from a variety of file types, it isnecessary to ensure it is actually easy and quick to do so – that all it takes is clicking a file. I was involved in user experience and controllability – important requirements to us, as Macaw, and thatsuits me to a tee. In my opinion, the IT solutions we develop always have to be adoption-driven.When you have developed something wonderful no one can, or wants to work with, it ultimately is of no use at all to the organisation.” 

Continued collaboration

As of today, Azure Synapse is available around the world, but this does not mean that the contact with Redmond has now come to an end. “We are all of the opinion that this way of working is definitely worth repeating,” Kors says. Now, some other projects are getting underway“They involve data catalogues and unified data access control, he says, lifting a tip of the veil without going into detail. “In order to help our clients to the best of our abilities, it is important tocontinuously stay up-to-date on all developments in the field of technology: that is what it is all about in the end.” 

It allows Kors’ colleagues – and as such the entire Macaw organisation – to take steps forward. “By means of knowledge sessions, we ensure that the experience I have gained, for instance with Azure Synapse, is spread throughout the Macaw organisation. This allows us to keep operating at the technological forefront.”  

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