I know - it's boring. But it's essential due diligence. If you're going to make a technology bet, you need to understand what's happening in the market. Fresh analysis by ZDNet with the title: "Google chase could trip up Microsoft" is attracting plenty of comment. For what it's worth, my 2 cents remains the same: Microsoft is giving the impression of having lost its collective mind.
When Ray Ozzie, the man in charge of technology and services strategy stands up and says:
"For enterprises, I think we've just barely scratched the surface aboutwhich systems can...be brought into the cloud in some way, shape orform," Ozzie said at a technology conference last week.
Is there a roadmap here? Is there any consensus on the direction Microsoft should take? At present it seems obsessed with ensuring Google doesn't run off with its crown jewels. Yet they are coming at issues from two different ends of the spectrum. The Google model is a one trick pony - it relies on 100% advertising revenues. If the market as a whole takes a bath, so does Google - big style. If Microsoft tries to compete, it too takes a bath. Because it cannibalises its business model.
There are no easy solutions for Microsoft. There is no corporate agreement on the 'right' path. That breeds uncertainty. Love them or hate them all practices rely on Microsoft technology. That's important. If, like me, you believe there is a big place for services and that commoditised software is basically worthless, then you've got to think about whether you need to re-engineer your technology to fit the business models that reflect this reality.
It's now possible to set up a fully functioning 80% automated accountants office in 3 days and for around £12-17K - including networked brand new kit, printers, DSL access, accounts prep, accounts production, workflow, document management, knowledge store, email, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. Consulting included. Monthly running costs work out around £250/500 (depending on the depth of service needed) - for a staff of 20. With annual recurring charges close to zero, that's a real alternative to the high priced, server based systems of today. The only thing that's missing is tax software - for which take your pick - as long as it's got a means for me to get to the data through XML. How does that compare with your existing setup?
I saved the best bit 'til last. On current assessments, I believe you'd be at least 15% more productive. Just how will Microsoft compete with that? And what will your Microsoft committed technology suppliers say to you? They can deride these stats as much as they like - My numbers can be at least 100% out and yet the model still beats the best on the street. They can say Microsoft is here forever (not true but hey which of the suppliers ever dealt in truth when it comes to IT?). They can say it will take years to happen. All the wrong answers.
Technorati Tags : Microsoft_Live