This is a renewal of my blog to reflect my new job at Microsoft.
My name is James Utzschneider, and I recently joined Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential group to run marketing and communications there. For the last 5 years I worked on Microsoft’s Dynamics team, and this blog used to cover topics involving Microsoft’s effort to build a business in the ERP and CRM space.
Well, Dynamics is doing over a $billion in revenue now, and I figured it was time to move on and try something new. And the UPG (as we call it) seems like a very cool place to spend the next five years.
The theory behind our group is pretty straightforward: Microsoft’s vision 30 years ago was to enable a computer on every desktop and in every home. As a company, we have largely succeeded on that vision … for about a billion people out of the world’s total population of 6 billion people. The remaining 5 billion — known in some circles as the "middle" and "bottom" of the economic pyramid — do not have the regular access to technology that the billion at the "top" of the pyramid use on a daily basis. And at Microsoft we are strong believers in the power of technology to enable sustained social and economic development for all people. So our team has been created to develop technology for PCs, phones and the web that will tackle this problem in a way that is relevant, accessible, and affordable for the "next billion". We are focusing our efforts in three core areas: transforming education, fostering local innovation, and enabling jobs and opportunity. Within each of these areas we are partnering with governments, NGOs, and local businesses on projects around the world to develop new products and solutions that deliver on this mission. Some of our work is new, but much of it builds on work Microsoft and our partners have been doing in areas like education for over a decade.
I plan to use this blog to tell the story of the Unlimited Potential Group. Hence the name — Inside UP. I will share with you what I learn from our partners and from our incubation projects around the world. (I am writing this from an airport lounge in San Jose, Costa Rica). So if you came here looking for the latest on Microsoft’s strategy on ERP and CRM … well, you can go to the Dynamics site for that. But I promise what I share with you here will be interesting as well, because our team is trying to develop new products and business models to solve a huge, huge problem.