Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the Cloud, Gender Equality
In his first TV interview since becoming Microsoft’s third CEO, Satya Nadella talked about Microsoft's cloud ambitions, as well as controversial comments he had made about women in the workplace.
Microsoft has already shown its muscle in the cloud era as one of three companies with the resources and knowledge to dominate the $100 billion cloud market, CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC's John Fortt.
"If you're not already spending a lot of capital in the order of four or five billion dollars each year to just grow your cloud, probably it's too late to enter the market," he said. "There are at least two other players like that, Amazon and Google in particular, but we are one of the three in that category."
During the interview, Nadella also addressed the remarks he made at a conference earlier this year, when he implied that women should not ask for raises.
"I was completely wrong in the answer I gave to the question that was asked around how should women promote themselves and make advances to their own careers," he said. "I gave a very generic answer, based on, quite frankly, what I’ve believed and how I’ve practiced and lived my life, without thinking through, what if someone was faced with bias in their career?"
As for the cloud -- Microsoft has invested heavily in the enterprise cloud, with data centers in 19 countries, he noted. "We have made sure we get the certifications to operate under the various regulatory regimes for vertical industries like financial services, or different countries' data sovereignty laws," he said. "In fact, we now are the only public cloud company from North America, or global public cloud company, that operates in China."
Nadella has occupied Microsoft’s CEO office for about nine months. His main mission so far has been to establish the company in the cloud infrastructure market.
Microsoft is positioned to do well in all three areas of cloud service: software as a service; infrastructure as a service (IaaS); and platform as a service (PaaS), Nadella said. It already has one of the major cloud software suites, Office 365, and its Azure cloud service offers both IaaS and PaaS. Microsoft Dynamics offerings, including Dynamics CRM, are also among the most widely used programs for customer relationship management, retail sales management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
"In the cloud I would say we absolutely caught the trend," he said. "It's no longer about, 'hey, is Microsoft in the cloud business?' We have a $4.5 billion business that's growing well and it's fantastic to see. It's just that in relation to our success of $70 billion it's a small business. "But the overall magnitude of our cloud business today shows that we've caught the trend at the right time, jumped on it with a unique value proposition and we're now further accelerating."
Breaking Up: Not Happening
When asked about talk that Microsoft should consider splitting its consumer business from its enterprise-focused cloud efforts, Nadella said that won’t happen.
"One of the things that's really been key to our success is what I term as dual-use -- people using Windows and Office for their personal use, and taking it to work," he said. "So to us, [it’s] let's go after the users and their dual use."
"I want to be the best in class around people who are these dual users, who want to use things which are our tools, our platforms for their home as well as work, and it crosses over."
Posted: 2014-10-23 @ 3:34am PT
One of the interesting aspects of the cloud is the hardening that has occurred in the area of security.
If you look at what Microsoft has implemented in regard to both physical security and procedural security at its data centers (including third-party auditing), it is easy to see why 75% of the fortune 500 have implemented the Microsoft cloud.
In regard to products like Office 365, Windows Azure, and Dynamics CRM, I think that Microsoft's progress has been somewhat 'hidden' - meaning that when we show customers the latest cloud technologies from Microsoft (and especially how to properly implement them), they are simply amazed: Office is in the cloud? And it runs on the iPad? Visual Studio is in the cloud? SQL Server is in the cloud? Didn't know that...
The future of the cloud definitely looks bright.
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