Microsoft Corporation took part in the JPMorgan Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that was held last month. Dave O’Hara, CVP and CFO, Applications & Services and Cloud & Enterprise talked about the different parts of the firm’s business and how they are very topical to most people these days. The Applications and Services group is what the firm thinks of as Office and Online, whereas Cloud & Enterprise is what used to be the old server and tools business, so it is Azure and SQL. So, these divisions essentially represent the bulk of the firm’s commercial business, with some consumer stuff thrown in. Dave added that most of the stuff that he deals with on a day-to-day basis has to do with the commercial business.
Microsoft Embracing ‘Openness’
Dave began by saying that there are a lot of things to be excited about. As per him, one of the very first people in the Great Plains acquisitions, certainly in the first week itself, was current CEO Satya and Satya was running what was then known as B Central and then Satya became a part of the Dynamics business. So they worked together back then and then also in the Bing days and he was running what is now Cloud & Enterprise. So, Dave feels like Satya is bringing a considerable breadth of understanding of the business, because the latter has worked in so many different parts of it, and Dave also thinks that it may be easier for Satya to see all the connected pieces.
Satya just brings a new openness to some of the partnerships that we have, Dave continued. He said that if you look at where the firm has come to in the last couple of years, it is fairly instrumental in showing where they are going, which is clearly visible in some cases such as Office on the iPad, SQL on Linux, etc. Those are just examples of where they are really more focused on, embracing what the customer wants and when they want it and in what environment they want that to run. So, it’s not about you’re either Microsoft or non-Microsoft. Dave thinks that it is just a new way of working in the world that we have, which is that you can be on Microsoft Corporation in some of your products and on open source on others and that Microsoft can make it all work together.
Early Mover Advantage in the Cloud
To sum up, Dave thinks that it is just that they are forming deeper partnerships, they are working with customers to run a more open environment and they are offering products that they haven’t offered in the past. The shift from on-premises to cloud and all other such things are things that the firm jumped on early. As per Dave, Steve started a lot of that and Satya has continued the same, in an accelerated way.
Also, as the firm moves into the cloud world, there are a lot of benefits to being there. Likewise, there is also a lot of ‘not everybody can be in the cloud‘. It is an expensive business to be in. And it takes a lot to get to scale. Dave feels like they are on the front end of that. They started early and Dave believes that that is one of the reasons why they are a leader in the cloud, i.e. they invested early and that led them to be in a good spot.
Shares of Microsoft Corporation were down 2.60% in pre-market trading.