It’s time to reach up to the top shelf of the closet and dust off the white cowboy hat….Microsoft is back on the “good guy” horse and is ready to drive value to the enterprise like no one else can. There was a lot of excitement coming out of WPC, Microsoft’s annual partner conference held last week in Los Angeles. But one post in particular from independent analyst, Frank Scavo, has become one of my favorites and I would like to share an excerpt from it in case you haven’t already had the opportunity to read it.
In his blog posting Frank sees Microsoft having a real opportunity become a “good guy” in the Enterprise IT marketplace with a focus on three areas:
1. Offering Safe Platforms
2. Focusing on Cloud-Value
3. Enabling Entrepreneurs
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the key points from the blog posting: (in Frank’s own words)
Focusing on Cloud-Value:
Based upon interviews with Dynamics executives, it's clear that there is some deep thinking going on about the cloud. Specifically, what is the value of cloud computing to customers? Is it only in cost-savings through outsourcing the infrastructure to a low-cost platform? Is it with all workloads equally, or with certain workloads? Are there parts of the enterprise suite that customers will more likely want to retain in-house, or with a trusted third party hosting provider, while moving other parts to a shared multi-tenant environment? What scenarios favor multi-tenant as the preferred architecture, due to the relationship between the tenants? Microsoft is thinking hard about where customers find the most value in cloud computing and is working to prioritize its migration to the cloud to focus on those value propositions.
Attending the WPC is a real eye-opener: thousands of partners, mostly small businesses, many entrepreneurial, enabled by Microsoft's channel program. During these economic times, when everyone is championing small business as the key to economic prosperity, Microsoft is enabling thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide to grow and compete successfully. In fact, IDC recently estimated the total 2010 revenue of the Microsoft partner ecosystem at US $580 billion. Compare that to Microsoft's revenue of approximately $60B, and you can see that every dollar Microsoft makes results in about 8 or 9 dollars of revenue for its partners. That's a big opportunity for Microsoft's 640,000 partners worldwide. With some other enterprise IT vendors, being a partner is a risky bet, as you sometimes find yourself competing against the vendor's direct sales force. Or, the vendor has a shifting strategy on where it wants to allow its partners to do business. Microsoft, by running 95% of its revenue through the channel, has no such conflict.
Here’s to the good guys….it’s fun to wear white again!