Microsoft embraces competitors to optimize customer experience


Microsoft Corp. is consolidating a new approach in the technology landscape. The company is enhancing relationships with competitors to more broadly serve customers looking for the best and easiest technology solutions but not necessarily from the same vendor.

“Six, seven years ago, certain companies, whether it’s IBM or Oracle, or even Red Hat, were enemies to us,” said David Totten (pictured), chief technology officer of the U.S. partner ecosystem at Microsoft. “Now we embrace those relationships, because we’re all trying to make sure that we optimize the experience for the customer and we think you can do it best through our shared-services environment.”

Totten spoke with Stu Miniman (@stu) and Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Microsoft Ignite event in Orlando, Florida. They discussed Microsoft’s market approach and recent company’s releases (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Offering best-in-breed point solutions

This partnership approach is necessary because customers are now looking for best-in-breed point solutions, according to Totten. “When I started at Microsoft 15 years ago, you were a Microsoft customer, and that meant you bought Windows, you bought Office, you bought Windows server,” he said. “Now it’s a little bit different. You might use a security ISV solution here; you might use a data transfer or an identity management solution here. Microsoft has embraced that proliferation of purchasing based on point-in-time solutions.”

This strategy is possible due to tools like Azure that integrate across all the platforms. This week Microsoft launched, for example, Azure Arc, which gives enterprises an easier way to deploy Azure Cloud services on any kind of infrastructure platform, including on-premises servers and rival public clouds.

“Arc is about really connecting all sorts of data services. Wherever your data center is, we’ll come meet you,” Totten stated.

Microsoft wants to envelop and surround all technologies with its service layer, showing a true connected experience.

“Customers are getting less and less picky about the baseline infrastructure that runs all the services that they need,” Totten pointed out. “They’re really about what’s the application or the experience that integrates, that’s secure, that is easy to implement, and that does a specific job to make them more efficient.”

The company believes that its technology stack will win in the long run.

“We’re OK integrating our back end with SAP on Azure, for example. We’re OK with this data exchange with Oracle that we just announced a few months ago,” Totten said. “We are officially an open-services company … and, eventually, you’ll see that Microsoft parties, and our services, and the ISVs that are built on our services will win out in the long run. We really believe that.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Microsoft Ignite event. (* Disclosure: Cohesity Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Cohesity nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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