There's been much said & written about the credit crunch, the downturn, the recession - whatever you call it yourself, it means that the future's looking a good bit less certain than it was, and pretty much everyone is tightening their belts and bracing themselves for whatever is coming.
Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, wrote an all-staff email a couple of months ago highlighting a number of things that could save customers money, and since then, there has been an avalanche of papers, presentations, initiatives, marketing plans etc etc, focused on that theme.
My problem statement
The problem I see in a lot of this stuff is pretty simple: the good people who put together the collateral start with a conclusion in mind...
- Sharepoint marketing folks will write a proposal about how Sharepoint can be used to make people more productive, therefore save money through efficiencies.
- Windows Server guys will talk about how Windows Server 2008 can cut power usage, which has a direct correlation to reducing both the carbon footprint and the utility bills.
... and so on. All well and good, and some of the output has great stories about real people using the technology to make a real difference. A cynical viewer might observe, though, that the message sometimes looks like "Cut your operating costs, by implementing Microsoft™ Office Sharepoint Server 2007® etc". Yeah, very good, but it wasn't the act of installing Sharepoint that cut your costs, it was what it allowed you to do differently, or better.
It's coming together, though
What takes longer than the initial flurry of "this product can save you money" information, is weaving together a more holistic view of the kinds of issues that real world customers are experiencing, then figuring out what all the different capabilities & features of products can do, and applying them in order of importance to help solve the problems. Fortunately, there's some cracking collateral now, at
I'm going to write some more on the specific topic of reducing cost, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...