Just 10 minutes into the TechEd Conference, 2014, Keynote Address, Mr. Brad Anderson, a Microsoft® Corporate Vice President landed on familiar ground, a podium before an audience of IT professionals assembled from global, enterprise businesses and their peers in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Mr. Anderson’s audience was then treated to a rather old fashioned rhetorical construction, more of the same elaborate argument from authority I noted in the very first few moments of the video recording of his presentation.
The construction goes something like this: Microsoft is one of only 3 vendors, anywhere, with the capabilities to support the needs at the top of the enterprise computing market – meaning the very largest organizations. I should note Mr. Anderson didn’t mention Microsoft’s two competitors, but it wouldn’t take much to assume them to be Google and Amazon.
Mr. Anderson illustrated this point with a play on the old “mandatory requirements” pitch, which goes as follows: Any organization in the target market should only discuss its needs with a supplier capable of supporting “hyper scale,” meaning a supplier who has demonstrated its ability to deploy “hundreds of thousands of servers per year” and is “going through incredible growth”. After all, only this select group of 3 suppliers can call on the necessary level of innovation required to support the enterprises represented at the conference audience with the best infrastructure.
“Public Cloud” Suppliers on this short list must also be “Enterprise Proven”. They must be able to demonstrate the right “capabilities” and an “enterprise-grade cloud”. This type of supplier has the financial capability to back “its SLAs financially [meaning with cash reimbursement to customers in the event of service outages, or other lapses in service quality]”.
Finally, supplier must demonstrate superlative performance with “Hybrid Cloud”, which Mr. Anderson defined in a somewhat different manner than the more familiar use of this term in IT circles. The common denominator for a supplier with the right experience in this area is a familiar Microsoft theme – scalability. A supplier with the right experience set with Hybrid Cloud will be very comfortable designing, building and supporting the same applications across any type of cloud. This is the core of Microsoft’s “consistent user experience” claim, which not only powers their promotion at this conference, but also powers their effort to provide the same user experience across tablets, PCs, and even smart phones.
It should not be a stretch to assume Mr. Anderson’s audience liked what they heard. If the audience meets the criteria of an assembly of IT professionals picked from the very largest enterprise businesses, then this is actually a group of some of Microsoft’s best customers. They certainly know how to ring those bells for these guys.
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