Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a challenge and a warning to CIOs and other IT managers attending the company’s Ignite 2018 event: Gear up for “tech intensity,” and pick your digital technology platform partners wisely.
Microsoft Ignite 2018 drew some 30,000 attendees in Orlando, Fla. It generated more than 80 product announcements from the software giant and still more from partners in its ecosystem. Thematically, the annual event for enterprise customers, IT professionals and developers focused on the “intelligence cloud and intelligent edge” — the catchphrase Microsoft uses to describe the ongoing technology shift toward ubiquitous, embedded computing infused with AI.
Ned Bellavance, director of cloud solutions at Anexinet Corp., a systems integrator and technology management firm based in Blue Bell, Pa., said Microsoft has been advancing the trust-your-partner message for several months. He suggested Microsoft may be responding to a concerted effort by Amazon Web Services to court enterprise customers.
“Microsoft is saying … if you are an ISV or an enterprise trying to build a product on the Azure platform, Microsoft is not going to swoop in and release the same product and start competing with you,” Bellavance said.
The same argument applies to acquisitions, he added.
“Microsoft is saying, if you are a pharmacy delivery business and have built a platform on Azure, we are not going to buy a pharmacy delivery business and start competing.”
Amazon announced plans to purchase PillPack, an online pharmacy, earlier this year.
“Microsoft is more firmly and clearly focused on developing and delivering technology solutions that don’t directly compete with its customers’ businesses,” added Jeff Kaplan, managing director at THINKstrategies Inc., a strategic consulting firm. “This makes many of corporate customers much more comfortable working with Microsoft, rather than Amazon.”
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