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Hardware?! Why are we talking about Hardware?

CEO Tony DiBenedetto co-founded Tribridge and leads our strategic direction, growth and development. Read More

It seems like there is a lot of Microsoft and Steve Ballmer bashing lately. I read a recent article in Yahoo Finance laying out a nightmare scenario for the future of Microsoft. The article talks about several hypothetical situations that could create a dramatic domino effect of failed devices, applications and platforms.

Tribridge is one of the leading Microsoft partners for Dynamics and platform solutions, and a significant part of our services are built around helping mid-market customers leverage Microsoft technologies to better manage and grow their businesses. But here’s the thing: I actually agree with some of the points in the article.

Are the iPad and the iPhone beating out sales of PCs, the Surface and the Windows Phone? Undeniably, the market share is what it is. I believe that in the battle of Microsoft vs. Apple or a Surface vs. iPad, the best devices will ultimately win – both in the consumer and enterprise markets. On the flip side, why is the media so focused on devices? It feels like we have gone back in time when we talk about hardware. I understand why devices are important for personal use because we all need access to information. But when it comes to business it’s the applications that make us more innovative and productive.

So let’s stop talking about hardware and start talking about the future and what Microsoft is doing right.

Take a look at Microsoft Lync and the ability to communicate across multiple applications and devices (Microsoft or not), like IM, voice and video conferencing. Lync is changing the way we do business internally, and as the market matures, I think we will see increasing numbers of customers using it as their communications platform.

Then there’s SharePoint, which has already proven to be a great tool for collaborating and sharing documents across the enterprise. SharePoint has several new social computing and search functions that will enable companies to be even more efficient in years to come.

What about CRM? The media is still enamored with the original concept of SaaS. Yes, Benioff was a pioneer in cloud computing when he founded Salesforce in 1998. But haven’t we grown beyond wanting a public cloud solution designed for the masses? Every business has different needs, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM has given partners like us a platform to build niche applications that are industry-specific and customizable. Customers can still take advantage of a subscription-based model, but it doesn’t force-fit them into the same mold as everyone else.

Thanks to Microsoft’s Hyper-V, System Center and Azure, we have entered into a new age of SaaS: Solutions as a Service 2.0. Customers are quickly discovering how Dynamics CRM, ERP and other Microsoft business apps can be easily integrated, tailored and securely stored in a virtual private cloud. That’s where we are headed.

There will always be winners and losers in technology. Say what you want about smart phones, tablets and who owns the current market share, but Microsoft remains a great business innovator.

What do you think?  I would like to hear from you.

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