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Microsoft’s Brad Anderson and Michael Park Discuss Cloud Strategy and Long-term Value for Customers

Microsoft’s CVPs Brad Anderson and Michael Park, from the Management and Security Division and Business Solutions Division, respectively, talk to Microsoft News Center about Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy and the new ads and incentives they are rolling out this week.

“With adoption of and interest in cloud computing on the rise — the global market is expected to grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion by 2020 — Anderson and Park see this as a great time to showcase the value of Microsoft’s cloud offerings versus those from competitors VMware and Salesforce.com,” Microsoft stated.

The software giant’s VMlimited site and video are direct jabs at VMware, and the content pretty much speaks for itself.

Can we start by getting a more specific look, from both of you, at what Microsoft is doing this week, and why these new programs are rolling out now?

“One of the biggest challenges facing our business customers today is confusion around where to place their cloud computing bets. The industry is at an inflection point, and customers are critically evaluating their approach to cloud computing. We believe now is the time to provide the information businesses need to make informed decisions about where to invest — and with whom. That’s why we’re rolling out a new offer and information to help customers understand our private cloud solutions versus VMware,” said Anderson.

Park said “Building on what Brad said, we also see a lot of hype in the market that is creating confusion for customers — that’s true in the CRM space as well. We also realize there are some hard costs associated for customers that decide to move vendors. As customers are evaluating their options, we want to make it easier for them to make a move should they choose to do so. So we are offering Oracle, Salesforce.com or SAP customers $150 per user that can be used for services such as migration of data if they switch to Dynamics CRM. This offer is valid for up to 500 users per company.”

So when it comes to cloud computing, how does Microsoft’s strategy get customers on a better long-term path and what are the benefits?

Anderson said that “With Microsoft, customers get a comprehensive approach to cloud — that’s our strategy — because customers have told us they want to get to cloud on their terms. So we are focused on giving customers the ability to deliver applications and create business value — in the public cloud, the private cloud, as software-as-a-service or a combination of all of these — and that’s why we have real offerings available, today, in all those areas. This is pretty different from VMware’s approach — as a virtualization company, its strategy is virtualization-centric and focused on the deployment and consolidation of virtual boxes.

That difference in approach continues with how we pass on the economic benefits of cloud to our customers. Microsoft’s business has been built on democratizing technology, making it easy to use and offering it at an affordable price — and we are doing that with cloud. With private cloud solutions, in particular, we have studies illustrating that customers could pay roughly four times to nearly 10 times more for a VMware private cloud solution.”

Microsoft has been taking some stabs at Salesforce.com with the “Don’t Get Forced” campaign. What differentiates Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online from Salesforce.com?

Park said “Our customers choose Dynamics CRM for the simplicity, agility and overall value it delivers. Microsoft is the only vendor that gives customers a choice in how they deploy the software, with a fully functional public, private and hybrid cloud offering. Salesforce.com customers that want private cloud solutions to meet technical, regulatory or business policy requirements are simply out of luck. A successful CRM system is one that is actually used by salespeople. Dynamics CRM seamlessly interoperates with Outlook, Office, SharePoint and Lync, as well as cloud services such as Windows Azure and Office 365, providing a familiar experience to users and maximizing the value businesses get from their existing IT investments.”

You mentioned that Dynamics CRM offers a better overall value for customers; can you expand on that point?

“Dynamics CRM also offers customers a strong ROI. A recent Microsoft-commissioned study by Forrester, “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011,” found that a 2,000-employee composite organization with an initial deployment of 50 users would experience a three-year, risk-adjusted ROI of 243% over a payback period of 4.1 months, as well as streamlined processes and operations leading to lower cost of sales, marketing cost savings and productivity savings,” Park said.

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