(Stephen Parker, VP Market Research, rhipe)
After last year’s WPC (2014) I put up a post with a list of my predictions for Microsoft in FY15. As I am flying out to WPC15 I thought it would be interesting to see how I had done.
|Prediction||What happened||Accuracy rating (1 – 10)*|
|Microsoft seem to be moving to a world of use any hardware, ideally use Windows (which may be free), but most importantly pay for our services which will be available on all platforms.
|· Services are being delivered across all platforms and in a number of cases on non-windows platforms
· Windows 10 upgrade is free
|By getting the previous “waring” product silos to work together they have the ability to really deliver on the previous Microsoft slogan “better together”
|· The organisational re-alignments have been all about breaking down the separation of the business units||7|
|Microsoft would do well to focus on and heavily market the partner ecosystem asset.
|· Throughout the year Microsoft have increased their messaging about the value of the partner network||6|
|Rather by “challenging” the other 86% Microsoft can extend the overall ecosystem and create the end to end experience
|· Windows 10 as a single OS from PCs to IoT
· Commercial app agreements with Android mobile players
· Etc etc
|Directed at the various “monopoly” commissions around the world…”we are now fighting for our future, so get off our backs”
|· Bundling and “using our strengths” are acceptable again||8|
|It is not too difficult to imagine a very low cost, full blown Windows tablet, being connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor to replace many ageing desktops
|· Before we even knew about Continuum||10|
|The “Cloud Solution Provider” program was announced at WPC with little hard facts behind the announcement. BUT WATCH THIS SPACE. This is Microsoft’s play to pull their huge ecosystem towards the cloud.
|· CSP has launched and the interest we are received as a Wholesale/Distribution partner is huge||10|
|I also expect to see a major streamlining of Microsoft marketing that more accurately reflects the “One Microsoft” approach with a strong “better together” type message.
|· This has been Satya Ns message all year||8|
|Despite the high profile focus on their first party cloud assets (Office 365, Azure, CRM Online etc) I also expect to see a growing push for their wider HYBRID story (however it is a more complicated story to tell so…)
|· The message is there, but I think my final comment about complexity is the key.
· This is still the partners story to tell
|Over the past 10 years Microsoft have become increasingly conservative, driven by the need to defend a near monopoly. However by publically putting on the challenger boxing gloves I am expecting to see some interesting and unexpected behaviour as we progress through FY15
|· We have seen much this year and I expect it to continue
· $20Bn commercial cloud target for FY18
· 1Bn windows devices by FY18
· Further streamlining and redundancies
· Free Windows
· Apps on all platforms
So I’m feeling pretty good about 85/100 (* - non scientific and clearly biased!!).
This has been a hugely significant year for Microsoft. The new CEO has arrived and so far appears to have delivered the goal of all new CEOs – injected new life into the business, exciting and inspiring customers, without upsetting the partner ecosystem and keeping the markets on board.
I am looking forward to WPC15