Microsoft Missed a Trick in Tablet, Smartphone Market

Suresh Ramani
CEO, Techgyan
Microsoft India recently went to town with their repositioning as a devices and services from that of a software giant. This messaging made at the recently concluded Partner Summit in Mumbai caused great anticipation among the channel community, who sought to understand how this would impact their overall fitment in the company’s distribution and retail plans. Techgyan, one of Microsoft’s cloud partners was at the summit and its CEO Suresh Ramani speaks to Channel Times in an interview…

Q: Microsoft changed its event format from a national one to a regional one. Your views

Suresh: It has its pros and cons. Previously, we would have 400 partners from all over country converge at one place annually. Now, we had 400 partners converge at three locations. So, effective coverage was 1,200 partners thus giving good exposure to many partners who previously did not get the opportunity.

Q: So, everything went off well? Or was there a downside too?

Suresh: There was an obvious downside. And that was we could not network with partners from other regions, which is always something that I look forward to. Another downside was that it was a one-day event as compared to two days which is the normal time. So, I was absolutely rushed as I normally meet up with many Microsoft Executives during the MPS event. So, this time I really had to rush through my meetings. In fact I had no time to check out the various stalls, which were put up. So, maybe a two day regional event could be tried out next time.

What was the key learning out of this summit?

Suresh: For someone who is absolutely keyed in to Microsoft and its plans, I was aware of the focus areas which were cloud, mobility, big data, enterprise, social and devices. It was however, good to know the progress Microsoft India is making in each of these areas as well as their plans for them individually.

What’s your take on the company’s shift from software to devices and services?

Suresh: The shift was much-needed and much-delayed. The key driver today is the cloud and the consumer-driven IT. As the shift happens to the cloud, the importance of owning the device ecosystem increases. So, in my opinion, the move of Microsoft to devices is more to ensure that it can lead the customers to Microsoft cloud if it has enough devices out there. And, let’s not forget that Microsoft makes good hardware. Check out X-Box, Kinect, Microsoft keyboards and mouse as good examples. But what Microsoft needs to ensure is that it’s hardware group is treated just as another OEM. It can then compete with other OEMs.

Do you believe the company took long to make this change?

Suresh: Microsoft has taken long no doubt. It could have owned the tablet and smartphone market if it had shown some urgency and flair. But it was too focused on Windows and MS Office to notice the change. Thankfully, it has seen the change and is now putting all its might behind. And if it can leverage the Fantastic Partner Network it has built, then success will come. I have no doubts on that score.

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