Under the direction of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft team has created an impressive variety of initiatives that have succeeded in reinventing the company, helping the company to zoom back to relevance.
The Redmond, WA–based company is leading the way in helping their clients understand the possibilities of IoT. When you talk to information and operating technologies leaders, Microsoft’s name consistently ranks near the top of their list. In a 2016 IoT Institute poll, the company was tied with Google for being the IoT leader.
In a number of important respects, however, Microsoft is on top. Its Azure platform is second only to Amazon’s cloud platform. And the company is developing a range of innovative products such as the HoloLens.
The company’s success is a result of three key elements; the people, the product, and the partners.
Microsoft has leveraged key relationships across the enterprise. They have chosen to go after projects that have an incremental impact on their client organizations. From what I’m told, their market development strategy boils down to getting their clients to implement a simple four-step plan. This approach allows clients to see what is happening and ROI can be measured on early pilot programs.
Microsoft has been adding strong people to their organization over the past 12–18 months. In IoT today, people are the critical element to an organization’s success. Great teams develop better IoT solutions. At one time, Apple was viewed as the most innovative company in the world. But Microsoft is now more innovative, says FastCompany.
Today, Microsoft is attracting many great millennials to their organization, people who are looking to be involved in a more innovation-driven culture. Microsoft is beginning to recruit talent earlier as well, getting involved in high school STEM initiatives to attract a more diverse and talented workforce. This focus on diversity allows more women to come into the technology workplace.
When I talk to people who work with Microsoft, my clients tell me they enjoy what Microsoft brings to the table. Their people seem to better understand the clients, their goals, and objectives. This happens from initial contact to project engagement. I believe Microsoft is just starting to hit their stride.
They have taken what they learned from their consumer segments and applied this knowledge to what people expect from emerging technologies. Their consumer products continue to attract future customers to the Microsoft brand.
For example, Microsoft HoloLens is a tool that makes the clients feel more confident in how they apply creativity and innovation to many traditional business models. It’s breathtaking.
When you add gamification to your new products, the possibilities are endless. Keeping your workforce engaged may be the difference between IoT’s success or failure in your organization.
Now, the ultimate differentiator I see is the understanding of how data moves across the enterprise. Microsoft has begun to create integrated supply chains that span from your organization to your clients to, ultimately, the customer.
Many IoT early adopters are looking for the IoT partner to provide both the business expertise and their people to help them deploy this solution across the cloud. IoT Azure provides many of the tools, the platform, and the capabilities these clients need as they begin to implement their IoT initiatives. To complement these activities, they are working with their business partners and channel executives to create deeper knowledge and specialization in targeted markets. I believe this is a formula for long-term success across the markets they work in.
For these reasons, I believe that Microsoft is poised to have a breakthrough year in 2017. Let me know what you think.
Tripp Braden partners with clients, transforming their organizations by reimagining their recruiting efforts and succession programs for the digital age. He has proven success recruiting, assessing, and onboarding executives that match clients’ unique culture and business goals. Today he works with clients on building their IoT capabilities, leveraging advanced analytics, and implementing their strategies to Industry 4.0.
Tripp does strategic recruitment for privately held early stage, high growth, and mid-market manufacturing and technology organizations. He understands the unique challenges privately held and family led organizations have in recruiting, onboarding, and retaining executive and technology leadership.