Hi, my name is Andrew Kisslo and I am Sr. Product Manager inside the group that delivers Office, SharePoint and Exchange, including all our cloud offerings. The best part about my job is the unique opportunity I get to meet with customers of all different sizes who share a common goal: ‘Use Technology to Drive Impact.’
The key part about that statement (which is clearly my own wording) is the fact that everyone’s idea of what technology to use and what impact looks like varies greatly. Now more than ever, given the macroeconomic climate, every CIO or IT Pro I’ve met is taking a strategic assessment of what they have and how they can use this to deliver real results for the business without increasing costs or risk.
Do I slash costs? Do I replace assets? Do I leverage the cloud for agility? Do I segment users? Do I do nothing? Do I consolidate applications?
Inevitably, I am always asked “So why Microsoft? I am looking at other vendors to help me drive results.” This is music to my ears because for me it’s actually not a question but an affirmative statement and the purpose of this blog.
Now more than ever, customers have choice. Ever walk down the cereal aisle? Then you get my point. Choice is everywhere and that’s a good thing! Without choice, you’d never be able to confirm why you really prefer Magic Sugar Puffs over Plain Granola etc. (maybe it’s just my sweet tooth) With technology it’s really no different.
With the proliferation of blogs, vendor attack ads, IT pundits, social media, etc. the amount information (and sometimes misinformation), can be overwhelming. We know many of you want to compare how we differ from some alternative approaches and that’s normal. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been asked to offer my opinion on a competitor’s product.
I am very proud of the software we build and let the solutions speak for themselves. When asked all I can do is provide as much factual evidence and insight about why our approach differs and how those differences map to a customer’s needs. Today's we've made some materials available on our existing web properties. For ease of navigation, you can go to www.whymicrosoft.com .
Why you should care?
We are betting huge on the cloud and re-defining productivity while giving you solutions on your terms. I strongly believe Microsoft builds the best productivity experience across the PC, Phone and Browser you can buy. (some Industry Analysts agree)
For IT, Choice and Value really matters. Some customers want to go the cloud today, we know that and it’s why we are betting so heavily to make this possible for companies. Microsoft Online and Windows Azure are leading us to build data centers for this next wave of computing. When you decide to go the cloud, it should be on your terms and not full of compromises. Products should have a roadmap and an easy migration experience. Going to the cloud also shouldn’t be a penalty on IT or end users. Other CIO’s need to drive out costs on the desktop, they see technologies like application virtualization as a way to enable the ‘desktop of the future’. Some IT Pro’s want to do it all; run some systems on premises, put others in the cloud, deliver apps in different ways we enable all of this.
· Does the alternative approach give me options without compromise? If you have Lotus Notes, will the roadmap give you what you need?
· Is no choice really just an ultimatum? Will Google’s offline capabilities work for your organization?
· Do other options increases or decrease risk?
· Are their hidden costs? When I use OpenOffice, what do I do about email and collaboration?
Every technology leader must balance the needs of end users with the potential impact of any new technology. Our approach is the deliver the Best Productivity Experience for every end user. When you consider most people spend more time per day with Microsoft Outlook than their spouse/partner you realize how personal work can be. In Office 2010, features like live preview for cut/copy/paste are a huge help for every user. Consistent user experience across every modality helps to reduce training costs. Much more content and topics to explore here, but if you’d like to understand more about how we build our products I really like reading the Office Engineering Blog.
· Does the other product have the features for all my users? How will my Notes users keep up with changing times?
· Does this new vendor really get productivity? Does Cisco’s positive track record in hardware translate to messaging software?
· Do the compromises outweigh the costs? How will I efficiently manage updates to OpenOffice?
· Is it a compliment or replacement to what I already have? What is the total cost of using a compliment or migrating? Can Google Docs replace Office?
Finally, our approach is the build a unified business platform that works with what you have or replaces some assets in a more innovate way. For example, using unified communications software to replace a PBX is not only financially wise, it’s helps drive scenarios like integrated presence across applications leading to better collaboration. You can enable enterprise search to help you find information to gain critical business insight or even use PowerPivot to deliver self-service BI for business folks. This means less strain on IT to build and maintain data cubes. All of it together means lowering operational costs, driving efficiency and scale.
· Does an alternate approach drive cohesion for my IT folks or does it introduce more parts? If I deploy Google Apps, will I have to still manage servers or install new desktop bits?
· Does another option seem cheap but in the end drive a point solution that increases IT costs elsewhere? Will Cisco’s approach to UC work through all my end user touch points?
· Can another platform deliver ROI from sunk costs in other areas like bringing LOB shelf ware right to the end users in their everyday applications? How will I effectively migrate my Notes applications?
We have lots of future topics and ideas yet to explore so I hope you’ll take time to read some of the new content, watch some the video’s and get a sense for “Why Microsoft.”