Microsoft New Zealand boss Paul Muckleston outlines the company's vision and what it means for New Zealand businesses.
It would be something of an understatement to say that 2014 was a big year for Microsoft. Twelve months ago in this magazine I wrote about how Microsoft had set itself on a path of reinvention. The word that best captures the journey that we are undertaking now is transformation.
In the last year, we’ve welcomed a new CEO, Satya Nadella, and with his background in Microsoft’s cloud business has come a new focus on being the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.
Put simply, this means we want to empower every person and organisation on the planet to be able to do more and achieve more. It means that in a world where devices outnumber people and we deal with infinite levels of data, we need to rethink the way we make and use technology, rather than simply adding to the clutter.
In a recent interview, Nadella described Microsoft’s business today in very simple terms. Paraphrasing slightly, he said: “I just think about three things. There is Windows, there is Office 365 and there is Azure. That’s it. From a business model, those are the three big things that we are very focused on.”
For a company with the global reach and impact of Microsoft, that focus is transformational.
We’ve already made some significant steps in that direction with Windows 10, which has been designed for the way more than one billion real people work and live - a single, connected Windows experience that works across multiple devices. As one Microsoft exec put it “The world doesn’t need another operating system, it needs the right information at the right time.”
Windows 10 is the most collaborative version of Windows ever. Fuelled by the Windows Insider programme, we have over 1.7 million customers helping the design process by providing early feedback in the development cycle. It’s also made for developers who love to write apps - a single, unified application development platform across PCs, tablets, phone, Xbox and large screen environments.
In 2015, you will see a Microsoft that is driven to deliver the most complete cloud for every business, in every industry, to enable a more productive workforce.
We aspire to help organisations be more responsive to the needs of mobile workers and to increase collaboration and communication with Office 365, Azure and Dynamics, all delivered through the Microsoft cloud.
As a local company with 200 Kiwi employees, Microsoft New Zealand is passionate as ever about the work we are doing with our network of more than 3000 partners. Together we are driven to create a smart, connected and competitive country, empowering New Zealanders to build success, inspire, innovate and grow a stronger economy.
Nadella has said “Our industry doesn’t respect tradition, it respects innovation”. This is what is fuelling the transformation of Microsoft, in some ways back to our innovative roots, but also pushing us forward into a mobile-first, cloud-first world.
Let me be clear; this change isn’t easy, but it is exciting and energising. Personally, I can’t wait to see where Microsoft’s journey will take us. We look forward to meeting you on the road with us.
Paul Muckleston is managing director of Microsoft New Zealand.