Microsoft’s future rests on forging strong ties with corporate customers, and it relies on a special framework called “horizons” to guide its partnerships.
Microsoft executive Peter Lee tells Business Insider how partnerships are categorized in “horizons,” based on how ambitious projects are and how much customization they require.
The framework fits in to a new focus Microsoft under Satya Nadella to dig deeper into what specific industries need from its products, versus developing something that works for everyone.
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Microsoft is all about corporate customers and, under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has made its mission to go deep into the needs of specific industries instead of trying to make one-size-fits-all technology that works for everyone.
Crucial to that new focus is forging stronger ties with other companies, and Microsoft uses a category system to get customers and partners to think not just about what the company’s technology can do now, but how they might work together to create new uses for the partners’ or customers’ needs.
When Microsoft is deciding how to work with a potential partner, it categorizes projects into what it calls “horizons” based on how ambitious the partnerships are, Microsoft executive Peter Lee told Business Insider this week. These horizons span everything from using the company’s “bread and butter” tools like Office to the most aspirational projects that are intended to “change the game.”
Lee said Microsoft uses the categories when it inks a “big partnership” with another company, but a Microsoft spokesperson said horizons are used generally to “help customers think about their technology deployment and goals.”
Lee is a veteran of Microsoft Research who has transitioned to running the company’s health care business at the behest of Nadella. Lee is responsible for finding new uses for technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing for Microsoft’s health care customers and partners.
What can we work on together that will change the game?
Horizon One is the “bread and butter” of Microsoft, Lee said. Think of Microsoft’s exiting tools, such as Office 365, Dynamics customer relationship management, and the Azure cloud. They require little customization.
Then there’s Horizon Two, which involves custom engineering. This describes Microsoft’s relationship with Walmart, Lee said, intended to take the company’s “retail systems to the next level.”
Microsoft and Walmart announced a partnership in 2018, which the companies describe as “a broad set of cloud innovation projects that leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data …read more
Source:: Business Insider