Microsoft’s yearly Worldwide Partner Conference is over. After 4 days, 5 days with the national events included, of presentations and discussions it’s clear that Microsoft wants their partners to win, thus to sell. Moreover, it has to happen in this fiscal year (FY13). Microsoft’s chiefs stressed their products are ready to beat the competition. The marketing tools are in the right place. The opportunity to sell is “unprecedented”.There’s a new era of technology. It’s about the cloud, Windows 8, Windows Phone and many more. The Consumerization of IT drives the change and Microsoft is ready to offer any solution to make that the users can work wherever and whenever they want. A dramatic change can be expected. It’s about winning through execution to achieve the new Era – Together.
Kevin Turner is looking for winners
Last year I found Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s CIO, really inspiring. He managed to clearly show how all the impressive individual solution developments ended up to constitute one clear vision. Honestly, this year Turner was even more amazing. In about an hour he managed to energize the Air Canada Centre where about 16.000 Microsoft Partners were present. He made it clear to everyone that there are no longer excuses not to sell. From now on it’s about winning. Microsoft’s products are ready to beat the competition. The out-standing product specifications speak for themselves, or have I been brainwashed during the past days? Take a look at the Kevin Turner keynote online, it’s worth watching (start from 1:09 for Turner’s keynote).
Let Office 365 replace your Exchange and Sharepoint servers
Personally, I really fell in love with Office 365, the cloud based “mail and collaboration server”, over the past year. It serves me a lot better than Google Apps, although I have to admit the web interface of Google is a bit more user-friendly. But without any doubts, the phone and Outlook integration for calendar and e-mail is a lot better through Office 365. Besides, Sharepoint is incomparable to Google Docs. Also soon Office 15 will be shown to the public. This new release will also have its impact on Office 365 early next year.
Better believe Microsoft is all in the cloud
Several years ago Microsoft started heavily investing in the development of cloud based solutions. This was not necessarily being appreciated by everyone and others didn’t really believe Microsoft would manage. Today we can see what’s there and that’s rather amazing: Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, Azure.
Microsoft doing better than the competition
Really inspiering are the findings provided by third parties showing how Microsoft compares to the competition. Bing is still gaining search share and is delivering more relevant search results than Google. Dynamics CRM Online is doing better than Salesforce.com. Windows 7 has an amazing market share. Hyper-V is by far better and way more affordable than VMware and SQL Server is winning in the database environment. And these are just some examples.
Windows Phone the near future business phone
I didn’t mention Windows Phone because in reality it’s still small. Nevertheless, user reviews show that this might change. Several independent sources, among others Amazon.com, show that Windows Phones are reviewed best by the buyers. CIOs see Windows Phone as the phone of choice for business purposes. Windows Phone integrates wonderfully with i.e. Office 365. Apart from an up to date calendar and a great e-mail client, this also means you can review a Powerpoint presentation prepared by a colleague, check the latest company report (Excel), edit Word document together and communicate securely with your colleagues through Lync.
Knowing there are many business users addicted to Office, it’s no wonder that CIOs consider Windows Phone to be the best option.
Windows Phone 8 has even more to offer. It’s at least on par with BlackBerry when it’s about security. The integration with Exchange (Office 365) is by default available and doesn’t need any additional licenses.
Windows 8 is the key thing in FY13
Windows 8 especially, has to drive Microsoft’s success in the upcoming time. The new operating system, which has been build from the grounds up, offers a completely new way of working, by providing new opportunities. Together with the Windows Store it will be a new ecosystem.
Migrating clients to Windows 8 and developing apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (which is based on the same kernel) could be one of the main turnover generators for Microsoft and its Partners in FY 13.
Strategy for FY13 summarized
Turner presented a clear four points plan for Microsoft and its Partners for FY13:
- WIN with Office 365 & our cloud services every time
- Land & deploy Windows 8 and drive apps
- Drive deployment & drive customer satisfaction
- Make the shift -> speed/play/work/compete – To WIN!
But completing this and being successful demands a change.
According to Turner FY13 is different. He believes we need to rethink the approach. FY13 offers everyone a new day to really figure out what to do, “Just imagine what you would do if you started your company today”, he stated. “I love to study history”, Turner continued. He shared a lesson learned: “History may repeat itself and it often does, but opportunities don’t”. Working hard not to lose is no longer sufficient. From now on it has to be working hard to win!
Microsoft is ready and wants everybody to know that. The partners are invited to take their share, to sell with passion. The incentives should stimulate them to make Microsoft and its Partners win in the new era of technology.