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Posted by Michael Barnes on November 21, 2013
Forrester attended Microsoft’s second annual Asia Pacific Analyst Summit in Singapore last week for an update on the company’s progress in transforming into a devices and services company. The event highlighted Microsoft’s strengths and exposed some obvious challenges, which I’ve shared below. Forrester clients can access further event-related analysis and implications here.
Day One: Impressive Capabilities And A Strong Understanding Of Customer Needs
Day one was well designed and delivered, with a clear focus on customer and partner case studies and go-to-market strategies based on three core imperatives:
Day Two: Product-Heavy Content Illustrates Microsoft’s Ongoing Challenges
Star Wars fans would likely refer to day two of this event as “The Empire Strikes Back” — or, more accurately, “The Increasingly Threatened Empire of Microsoft Product Managers Strikes Back.” The agenda and content were heavy on product discussions and feature/function updates and demos, but light on tangible connections to business and IT needs or solutions. Two examples stand out:
Given the impressive growth rates — more than 150% — for both Azure and Office 365 across Asia Pacific over the past 12 months, it’s clear that Microsoft has made progress transitioning its business to a pay-per-use model that depends less on “products” and an obsession with software licenses. While Microsoft’s capabilities remain massively broad and deep, organizations evaluating the company’s role as a strategic provider of IT-enabled capabilities now and in the future should closely monitor Microsoft’s ongoing evolution from product-centric to solution-led.
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