Microsoft has a new CEO, Satya Nadella, how has the first 12 months under him gone? Has it changed your strategy in A/NZ?
He has already had a big impact on the company, our mood, and just generally peoples willingness to try new things from product innovation through to the types of companies we're buying now.
It never stops really, in terms of the investment and acquisitions, and the big news just keeps coming. It's a combination of things that are very enterprise and channel focused, but then there's also a lot of cool stuff we're doing in consumer, such as on Xbox and virtual reality, through Microsoft Hololens. There's a ton of technology and innovation every where. It's a great place to work at the moment.
In Australia, we've got this great partner network that has got to be the envy of most IT organisations, and an amazing pipeline of products that just keeps growing.
It's not just the product innovation, but the individual feature enhancements and new capabilities that are coming on a weekly basis through all the Cloud services now. A lot of what we painted as the dream of the Cloud a few years ago is finally coming to fruition right now there's just a steady stream of almost daily new feature updates not just great for customers, but huge opportunities for partners.
You unveiled a new partner program at Microsoft's APC late last year, has that kicked into gear yet?
Our Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSSP) is a real game changer in how partners interact with Microsoft in terms of Cloud services. At the moment its mostly focused on Office365, but it will come to focus on Azure and CRMOnline.
We're in the process of appointing more two tier wholesalers for those products as well. Those are exciting convos, because at the individual partner level we're already seeing some great ideas, not just in terms of buying and selling MS services, but about innovating on our Cloud platform.
When we then introduce the wholesalers into the market, you're going to see massive reach that really changes the game in terms of the kinds of offers the broader partner eco system will have to offer.
That intersects pretty perfectly with the launch of local services for Office365 and CRMOnline, which will happen before the end of March. It's perfect timing for our partner ecosystem to get onboard. The last barrier to adoption has been put away with our local datacentre footprint.
There have been some worries that Cloud vendors may eventually cut out the channel and direct sell how do you quiet those concerns?
Our point of view is that we don't just want our partners to come on the Cloud journey with us, we want them to build their own productised IP and managed services around those Cloud platforms that makes them unique, that makes them high value to customers.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.