As 2018 comes to an end, it is interesting to look at various parties that try to analyze the causes of Microsoft's "comeback". It's the change in culture, some argue. It's focus on open source, say others. This is because Microsoft is (or not) the next IBM link for the wallet.
My take: Microsoft has developed into an interesting mix of practical and aspiration. And this combination is what makes Microsoft cross these days. It drives the company's acquisitions, new product launches and downsizing.
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Instead of posting my regular look back / forward, I've decided to enclose some of the less understood but important business and strategy changes that Microsoft recently introduced and is likely to continue in 201
Since Satya Nadella took over the CEO almost five years ago, it has been difficult to avoid reading about Microsoft's new commissioner's statement: Strengthen every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.
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Chris Capossela, Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer, recently explained the impact of turning Microsoft into a "mission-driven company" under the appearance of the UBS Global Technology Conference.
"One of the most basic things I do not think people still understand about Microsoft is that we make this mission a reality in business models we've moved to, which is a consumer-based model," said Capossela.
When Microsoft broke a bunch of its sales force and reorgeback it back in 2017, created a new sales compensation model based on usage instead of sold units. The Azure, Xbox, and Office 365 customers are billed for what they user, meaning that if they do not use something, Microsoft gets an instant signal that a product or service needs a revolution.
"We feel more like a partner to our customers and less like a licensing machine," said Capossela about the change. (This is one of the reasons why Microsoft increases the number of customers as "partnership" instead of case studies.)
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Microsoft's decision to connect the Windows device to half and no longer includes a dedicated Windows representative at the Senior Leadership Team is in line with the company's ongoing and coordinated attempt to attempt to get away from its image as "Windows firm." Microsoft today prefers to throw everything about Windows as part of its "Microsoft 365" – Windows 10 plus Office 365 plus Intune Management strategy.
In addition to looking to create brand new cloud and sideline streams for the company, Microsoft also hides untapped niches, especially with Microsoft 365. An example: first-time workers – the group of individuals who need some productivity-focused software and hardware for to do jobs in customer service, factory floors and the like. This is going to be one of the places Microsoft focuses heavily on next year and beyond with Office.
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"It's a whole set of first-time workers who have never had technology, depending on how you measure them, it may be 2 billion to 3 billion people in the world who are employees or workers of any kind who mostly do not have technology, "Ron Markezich, Executive Vice President of Microsoft 365 Commercial, recently told participants in the Wells Fargo Tech Summit.
"We have really focused our technical efforts to meet the needs of the (firsline worker) population. Had tried to just take what we offered to information workers and made it cheaper and slim down for those first line workers and it did not work at all …. So there is a subscriber extension in a population that honestly never subscribes to any Microsoft room, "explains Markezich.
Microsoft's former sales manager also resulted in the company focusing on a handful of vertical markets. Microsoft is already looking for ways to make Office more appealing to health care, especially. I'm hoping we could see more "Office verticals" in the coming months.
Corporate employees say they believe they now have the right data and analysis tools in place to know how much it costs to get new Azure, Xbox and / or Surface customers. They have visibility in things like the lifetime value of an Azure or Surface customer to Microsoft. These calculations have helped Microsoft craft and justify a return to business and productivity roots after a number of lost years of trying to be Apple and Google.
From 2018, Microsoft had a product family exclusively focused on consumers, and it's game. Microsoft picks money on games and has decided to go all-in with this business. Officials are still not ready to say that Microsoft is a business company with a game industry, but. In 2018, Microsoft also decided to take another staff to win back consumers with its "Modern Life" plans. The idea is that Microsoft's productivity software, hardware and services have a place with "professional consumers" as well.
As shown in recent times, Keynote speakers from Nadella and other top Microsoft execs, Microsoft plans to continue to play its credibility and commitment to privacy (compared to companies like Google), a determination not to violate the customer's business area ( like Amazon). "AI" undoubtedly replaces "digital transformation" as Microsoft's most used buzzword in 2018, and I see no signs of slowing down in 2019.
Microsoft has deliberately trimmed the marketing expense as a percentage of revenue in recent years. It has moved to consolidate product reports around its handful of important conferences and industry events, instead of spreading them throughout the year (which can explain why 2018 felt quite quiet for a number of us journalists and bloggers). But never fear: We Microsoft Surveys are still planning to provide you with many new code names, reorg emails and product plans in the New Year and beyond …
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