In the last couple of years I have written about the One Microsoft strategy – its ability to leverage a wide range of assets. In a demo at last year’s Convergence event it brought together its CRM, Office365, Skype for Business, Cortana personal assistant, Surface Hub display, Delve and other tools. I look forward to hearing successes in corporate world as at Delta Airlines where Microsoft has Surface tablets for pilots, Nokia devices and POS software for flight attendants.
But as Brian Sommer writes, the wide range of Microsoft assets (Azure, Machine Learning) is finding even more of an audience in vendor world.
“Microsoft is providing some powerful tools and capabilities to a lot of ERP vendors these days. Unit4, SYSPRO, Acumatica and others have been provided some slick tools that plug into their product lines and cloud technology stacks. Your next application purchase could very well have some material Microsoft technology powering it.”
Brain also comments “What’s interesting with this is that Microsoft has a large enterprise application business of its own.”
I am not surprised. Nearly two years ago I wrote that CEO Satya Nadella is re-writing the book on co-opetition, after his moves with Apple and Salesforce. With Surface becoming a much more competitive tablet with each generation and what Brian describes in ERP world , that book continues to grow in page count. No question, much of it is due to Satya’s cultural influence – a relatively non-confrontational style which makes partnering with Microsoft less intimidating.
As I was reading Brian’s post, two questions kept going through my mind
- what impact will Microsoft’s ability to offer a wide range of tools have on other “arms merchants” like IBM, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and others who offer their own (albeit narrower) set of tools for other vendors to leverage?
- what impact is it having on Microsoft’s positioning in end customers like Delta where it can pull together multiple components and differentiate itself from every other competitor?
I don’t have the answers but will watch the enterprise tech market more from the lens of both questions going forward.