Microsoft's Big Picture Experience event in Sydney showcased its latest technology in a “theme park of possibilities” that showed new ways to interact with customers and business data in real-life business and home scenarios.
Microsoft Australia partner strategy and programs manager, Toby Bowers, opened the event with an array of statistics and numbers that demonstrated Microsoft’s position in the Australian market.
According to Bower, Microsoft will invest $5.8 billion globally in its partner ecosystem in 2012 and will bring new services and support to its Australian partners.
Microsoft’s worldwide partner ecosystem has already generated revenue of $580 billion, and the software giant expects that partner-to-partner opportunities will exceeded $10 billion.
Bower emphasised Microsoft’s determination in “winning the Cloud,” whether it is the public, private, or hybrid iterations.
Microsoft’s recently revamped Partner Network has worked out well for the company, with its encosystem doubling size since the overhaul, and gold and silver competencies attained by partners growing from 4000 to 8000.
“Overall, our partners grew 23 per cent compared to the overall industry, which grew less than 0.5 per cent according to an IAMCP report,” Bower said.
To continue stimulating this growth, Microsoft will make new investments around Cloud and in rebates for partners.
With a large number of Australian businesses still using Windows XP and Office 2003, Microsoft also expects upgrade opportunities to be realised in 2012 as companies carry out hardware refreshes.
Society for Knowledge Economics (SKE) president and Telstra non-executive director, Steve Vamos, followed on to talk about how technology has changed the world and how we are all "playing catch-up."
He explained that the world is highly connected and rapidly changing, and that a connected mindset has become the centre in what we now do.
“We’re not really good at managing change, but IT is a good proxy for that,” Vamos said.
As an example, Vamos reminded the audience that some of the most successful IT companies from the 80s and 90s are no longer in business, and they failed because of their narrow mindset to change.
Vamos is a big proponent in getting people and businesses to think a way that “embraces change,” and he himself admitted that he only started to think this way after five years of running NineMSN, which experienced its own troubles in keeping up with changes in the market.
“It reached a point where we stopped talking about technology and discussed change instead,” he said.