By Vinnie Mirchandani on October 23, 2014
Mike Ehrenberg, CTO for Microsoft Business Solutions was describing his new CEO Satya Nadella’s management style – the senior leadership team meets twice a week. “It plays havoc with planning international trips, but allows us to iterate rapidly as a company”
Kirill Tatarinov, EVP of the Business Solutions group says they have moved from Steve Ballmer’s “hub and spoke” management style to much more of a “connected tissue”. It’s allowing Microsoft to evolve to a “single P&L”
Sidebar conversations during the Fall Analyst Event this week showcased the evolution of “One Microsoft” that I had described here. I like to write about Polymaths and Microsoft is a formidable one with competencies in
- Operating Systems
- High Value Apps
- Cloud Services
- Machine Learning
- Natural UI
- Consumer/Enterprise (comfort with both)
Of course, analysts like to carve the market into neat acronyms, and most customers still buy discrete pieces of technology, so the event mostly showcased Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM customers and product evolutions. In a q&a, Satya invited us to keep reminding Microsoft about the broader opportunity and under non-disclosure we heard of newer examples similar to Delta where Microsoft had pulled together retail, mobile, cloud technologies to deliver their in-flight POS
What was nice was even the ERP/CRM customers who presented during the event reflect a “New Age” economy:
- Trupanion– provides pet insurance and their actuaries uses Big Data to price premiums by breed, age etc. I hope to profile them on New Florence after a call with one of their data scientists
- KEXP – a non-profit radio station in Seattle which invites new bands to perform live (an impressive list including Nirvana and Death Cab for Cutie to Shovels & Rope and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) talked about how Youtube has expanded their audience and funding sources beyond just the local market.
- True Blue – a temp agency described how texting and other mobile technology is reshaping blue collar work assignments
- Microsoft Retail – described point of sale and other innovations they have pioneered in over a hundred stores and how that feedback has helped evolve omni-channel industry features in Dynamics
- Carrefour –the grocery/retail industry is evolving with same day delivery and a new set of tech savvy competitors
Another changing marketplace is that of IT services. Microsoft showcased a spectrum of 6 partners ranging from from $ 28 million in revenues PowerObjects to ABeam Consulting ( a SAP SI strong across Asia which is doing two-tier Microsoft projects) to $ 100 billion revenue-strong IBM.
Microsoft has invested significantly in lifecycle management tools around its applications and it was interesting to see the enthusiastic attitude about these tools from the smaller partners compared to that of the bigger ones.
Microsoft sells Office and other tools to white collar workforces but it has also seen massive scale efficiencies from machine learning and cloud infrastructures. Satya responded to my question saying “He wants customers to “become software companies” by creating unique, differentiating code and reducing labor needed for back office functions.
That is the another major opportunity and challenge for Microsoft: to prevent a repeat of what bigger SIs and offshore firms did in creating a massive labor intensive economy in spite of SAP’s ASAP , Solution Manager and other tools and methods.
All in all, an invigorating couple of days on the shores of Lake Washington. As a dog lover, I particularly liked the Woodmark Hotel’s resident pets and Trupanion bringing two canine panelists to their session.
I hope to profile some of the newer “One Microsoft” customer examples on New Florence as soon as the non-disclosure embargo is removed.
By Bob Warfield on October 9, 2014
I just finished the Vanity Fair piece on Gates, Ballmer, Nadella, and whether Microsoft can be rebooted to its former glory. It’s a good article, but it’s all about the past mistakes and there’s little about the future there. Mostly, it is the account of how two best friends (Gates and Ballmer) broke up over […]
By Denis Pombriant on October 3, 2014
Say what you want about the big software vendors like Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and others but if you want to peek into an alternative universe of walled gardens look no further than this article in the New York Times about how hard it is to share medical records despite billions spent on electronic medical records […]
By Denis Pombriant on September 19, 2014
I was going to write a post about Larry Ellison leaving Oracle after he announced his retirement on Thursday but it is probably pre-mature. Ellison will become the executive chairman while Safra Katz and Mark Hurd run the shop as co-CEO’s and I have a lot of doubts. It’s not that Safra and Mark are […]
By Vinnie Mirchandani on September 11, 2014
Starting next week I will get briefings from a wide range of enterprise players – Infor, Workday, Oracle, Rimini, Salesforce and Microsoft among them. Conference season is in full swing. I have not been so excited in a long time. The reason is I feel a thaw in the enterprise market. My SAP Economy book […]
By Denis Pombriant on August 27, 2014
Last week’s CRM Evolution conference in New York was interesting for multiple reasons. Most importantly, perhaps, is the perception that the market is moving into a higher gear, slipping past the restraints of a recession that would not quit. Good things are in store for the industry, I think, as buyers step up their games […]
By Tom Raftery on July 17, 2014
We’ve mentioned the issue of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with cloud computing once or twice in the past, and we’ve even ranked cloud computing companies based on their emissions. Obviously not all cloud companies report on their emissions (shame on you Amazon), and consequently those that don’t are at the bottom of the rankings. […]
By Louis Columbus on July 7, 2014
From manufacturers looking to gain greater insights into streamlining production, reducing time-to-market and increasing product quality to financial services firms seeking to upsell clients, analytics is now essential for any business looking to stay competitive. Marketing is going through its own transformation, away from traditional tactics to analytics- and data-driven strategies that deliver measurable results. Analytics and […]
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By Jason Corsello on July 7, 2014
As human-like machines begin to perform more advanced tasks, we fear that they will replace us, take our jobs even. But the truth is, machines are making our lives easier and allowing us to focus more on what humans do best, such as making subjective decisions and using our emotional intelligence. Robots and machines, in effect, […]
By Denis Pombriant on June 10, 2014
Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, gave the speech of his life a few days ago, one that Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft should study for its content if not its style. Tzuo’s company Zuora, started the subscription billing market back when billing was a big and the only deal that SaaS and other subscription companies […]