Cloud – A new way of working

Throughout the last years I have been working closely with corporations, suppliers and vendors on Software As A Service (SaaS red.) and cloud computing. As the IT industry often looks at the technology, I have experienced a radical changing behavior at the offices I visited. We are not only changing on the technology side – but also the way we work.

During the 1960s John Shiflett, had great momentum with his new “action office”, giving birth to the cubical office. For privacy, focus and productivity – employees were arranged in small enclosed one-man configurable cubicals. The mantra was, that employees became more productive, the less noise their experienced and the more you screened them in. Knowledge was shared by meetings and memos. The everyday work was to work, document and re-cap of the work done. Security, paper copies and memos was kept tight in cabinets in each cubical and a central archive. Continue reading

42 – Strange Week of Change for Microsoft

Mark my words – this week will be remembered as the moment of change for Microsoft. And 42 is again the answer.

Throughout the last five weeks, Microsoft have been on a wave of great announcements with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Windows Phone 7 and the launch of new initiatives. But Microsoft also suffered a loss when president of Microsoft  Business Division – Stephen Elop moved to Nokia.

Coincidence or planned? Is Microsoft rattling the crate to stir up new roles and transition the company management?

All though the weeks have been exciting, this week of 42 2010 have been a tipping point for Microsoft. The week started as Ray Ozzie, CTO for Microsoft, announced his retirement from the company he made a change for. Microsoft lost a great asset i Ray, and the solutions invented under his management will set the stage for Microsoft the next 10 year. Starting low – Microsoft made its comeback with the announcement of Office 365. Finally a clear indication of “all in”. And what a statement. I believe it is the right model, I believe it is the only model for Microsoft. Unfortunately I do not believe in the execution of the model, as too many partners of Microsoft are trying to cope, and find their balance in the act. It is hard times with margins targeting zero – and customers declining professional services.

The IT market is undergoing a dramatic change and, this week have marked the transformation of Microsoft. Personally I do believe that the change in management is planned. I do believe that Microsoft is seeking new innovative and smart people to continue the path of cloud computing. For the thousands of partners this means new faces, new models and new business development.

But it also mean hard time for cash and collect, and I do believe that partners should recap their business model, and start changing. I follow many independent software vendors every day – and yet these companies have the best opportunity and model to fit for cloud computing, they still act as yesterday.

Ray Ozzie, Stephen Elop and Office 365 are marks of change. Consider your change today!

Microsoft is “leading with online” – should you?

This year, at Microsoft’s World-Wide Partner Conference in Washington (WPC), used any moment to tell its partners that they now are leading with online. But what does this mean? And why the sudden change towards online? Should you adopt the same strategy – and why should you?

First of all – Microsoft have done some big mistakes before. Focus on their Internet Explorer product, made them loose half a century to play catch-up with Netscape. Windows Phone is another great example on a loosing strategy for Microsoft. Half a decade lost here too. So is Microsoft misleading the ecosystem? I doubt not – I believe Microsoft already lost 2-3 years of great momentum – they just got better to spot their strategy mistakes. Reality is that Microsoft’s Hosting partners have been preaching the Software + Services business model for nearly 12 years now. Since Microsoft Exchange 2000 – and a bit before – Software + Services has been a part of Microsoft, but now – truly now – customers are in fact telling Microsoft they don’t want to:

  • Update any application anymore. Dealing with updates and redeployments are often 40-60% of time spend in the internal IT departments, and over 40% of the external consultant fees.
  • Stay up to date, with latest features and functions.
  • Pay for what they consume, and use. Customers want to have an easy opt-in options, and a structured and predicted opt-out.
  • Outsourced management of their infrastructure and applications, moving focus for the internal IT department to become internal business advisors in IT usage. Continue reading