India all charged on cloud front: Susan Hauser, corporate VP, enterprise & partner group, Microsoft


Businesses are rapidly adopting mobile and cloud-based technologies with an eye on strategic goals, helping power growth for Microsoft, its corporate vice president for the enterprise and partner group Susan Hauser said.

What is your view of the enterprise market?
We look at our business as really shifting to the cloud and mobile world in a very big way. As an example, Office 365 is the fastest-growing product in the history of the company. We’ve reached about $1 billion last year; it’ll be $3 billion at the end of this year. Azure (cloud platform) is growing 200%. What is exciting is that India is really leading the way in many ways when it comes to cloud and mobility. We see India growing faster than the rest of the world.

What are clients telling you in India?
My sense is that there is a big commitment now to really explore cloud and mobility, and in particular looking at cloud as a way to enable the business to transform. Lots of companies we’re doing business with now are looking at how we change the business model. The mobility piece too is very exciting. And it’s not just about selling devices. As we look at the marketplace in India, we truly are looking at India as a sort of growth opportunity for us.

How fast is the India market growing?
From a Microsoft standpoint, it’s growing faster than the market. I think as you look at cloud in particular, if you look at Azure, we’re growing our cloud 200% worldwide and India is growing faster than that. A lot of it has to do with the fact there is a strong business benefit and the marketplace has been very mobile, and bringing together the cloud and services that you can deliver from a mobility standpoint, it’s just sort of a perfect natural fit there.

Google and Amazon are very aggressive in the cloud market …
We have had experience in terms of the enterprise and that differentiates us. As you look at service outages, we’ve far surpassed the competition when it comes to vulnerabilities. Third-party studies show that. I think the second differentiator is the flexibility that we have. As we look at customers, there’s no one size fits all. As we look at cloud, we very much support a hybrid approach.

There is a perception that Microsoft has been upstaged by younger companies.
We spend more on innovation than any company, I think, in the industry. We’ve not done a lot of visibility around some of that. You’re going to see more and more of that. There’s huge focus now on getting more of that innovation and be more exposed. Look at Windows 8.1. We’re introducing Cortana, which is a sort of new voice assistant. We’ve been working on a lot of that innovation for a lot of years and I think now we’re going to see that one after the other. Look at what (CEO) Satya (Nadella) announced a few weeks ago, making available the Office 365 on the iPad.

What is Nadella doing differently?
From a cultural standpoint he brings in a very different view and clearly his influence both as a technology visionary, his ability to get the hearts and minds of our engineering internally, it’s just been amazing. He’s really just getting people to think differently about how we’re going to market. Number two is bring focus around customers and experiences that people have and how he’s looking at products not from a products standpoint, but he’s really engaged this whole notion of high-value experiences. And he’s building this whole view about how we have to think about the high-value experiences that customers have. The third is around digital business and digital life. No longer do you say ‘I am going home to shop.’ We work from home and we shop from work. From an IT company standpoint, we have to take care of our assets, we have to be able to make people run their lives from any device to be able to do that. That’s what he’s doing — bringing that focus to digital work and digital life.

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