Microsoft pledges less complexity, new direction

Microsoft pledges less complexity, new direction

Admitting Microsoft has been too complex and feature-driven in the past, the company's local managing director Steve Vamos today pledged a new direction for the software giant that represents significant change for its partners and customers.

The Microsoft of the future will be quite different, Vamos told more than 500 delegates at Microsoft's Australia and New Zealand partner conference on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

“We really want to be one Microsoft when we deal with you, we want to be less complex,” Vamos said.

The Microsoft of the past, he said, is “product-feature rich, internal, individual, transactional, operational and complex”.

"But the Microsoft of the future will be very different; some things won't change, we want to continue to create great products.

"Features are great, but it’s much better if you can articulate what these features mean in business terms."

He described the Microsoft of the future as “customer-focused, value-rich, external, team relationship building, more strategic and simpler”.

“What doesn’t change is our commitment to our partners and partnering,” Vamos said, adding that the company's strategic goals and priorities include winning the hearts and minds of customers and driving satisfaction.

"It’s certainly interesting times in the IT industry, it’s never boring,” Vamos said.

“I think ‘do more with less’ is the best way to describe the industry today, and it’s going to stay that way for the next two years at least.”

Other industry trends that Vamos noted included increased security, Web services, mobility and open source.

He said the open source philosophy has become a reality.

“The IT industry is a graveyard of philosophies. But it’s no longer a philosophical debate; it’s about how do I save money,” Vamos said.

According to Vamos, Microsoft is nowhere near saturation point in any part of its business, but the company needs to do a better job at getting customers to realize how Microsoft can help them.

His keynote was followed by the company's partner group director Kerstin Baxter who provided an update on Microsoft's partner program launched last November.

“Partners are integral to the success of both Microsoft and our mutual customers,” Baxter said.

“Our goal in bringing these partners together at this conference is to share with them our strategies for the new fiscal year ahead and offer the support, training and resources they require to help customers succeed."

To date, Baxter said the program has attracted 113 gold certified Microsoft partners, 658 Microsoft certified partners and 3750 registered members.

Despite the success of the program, she said, partners are not taking advantage of the software giant's offerings.

“We need to become clear and predictable, especially when it comes to things like rebates and marketing funds,” Baxter said.

Siobhan McBride is at the conference as a guest of Microsoft

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