The day I met Microsoft’s CEO

In April 2014, I was surprised by an email that said: “Thank you for your continued support and partnership with Microsoft. As one of our top Cloud partners, we would like to invite you to an exclusive roundtable discussion with Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, taking place at the Worldwide Partner Conference to hear more about his vision for Microsoft’s future and how we can partner together to build profitable businesses”.

While at first I thought it was spam or a regular notification for anyone attending the international conference, I soon realized that Perception Group was indeed positioned as a key player in the transformation of Microsoft. On the other hand, I was struck as I realized that a few years ago, the invitation would have been my chance to meet no other than the number one Microsoft: the creator, the ideologist, the world number one billionaire, my admired Bill Gates.

Bill decided to appoint Satya Nadella as the new CEO of Microsoft in 2014. He was an executive who started in the company in 1992, working in various positions since and participating in the creation and transformation of great products. Satya has led the transformation, research, innovation and strategy of Microsoft in the cloud, one of the fastest growing business and he has increased the profitability of the company. As if this were not enough, prior to his Microsoft history, Nadella was a member of the technology team at Sun Microsystems.

What’s more interesting of this new era of Microsoft is that both in public and in a private meeting with Satya, Microsoft lands in the role of multinational leader with a relentless strategy for innovation and spirit of collaboration. Precisely,  the CEO states constantly that he joined Microsoft more than twenty years ago because he saw the clarity in which Microsoft allows people to do magical things and ultimately make the world a better place. And I have to agree with him on that many companies try to change the world but few have the ability to define a strategy, prepare their staff, partners, and execute investments with the perseverance needed to conquer markets around the world.

The discussion revolved around the current technological and innovative context. The fact that we live in a world of mobile devices and cloud services (internet or whatever you call it) has translated  users’ experience into constantly capturing huge kilos of information coming from sensors, displays, devices, rooms conference, homes, cities, cars, telephones, PCs, etc. This cloud of information has become a power  processing, scanning almost everything around us and drawing experiences of all data generated by the interaction between people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was extremely limited to a place where it is now almost unlimited, and where the true good scarce is human attention. We will soon have more than 3 billion people connected to the Internet, from a farmer from somewhere in the world with an excellently trained smart professional phone with multiple devices.

And while enjoying the discussion on technological growth, everyone present, each representing a continent, reached the same conclusion. This is not generating technological projects for the simple fact of creating something. This is contributing to the development of organizations, both public and private sectors to transform the way people work, produce, in an optimal and transparent way, leaving a trail of quality and excellence for future generations. That was where I felt that the vision of Perception Group, which since our inception has been to contribute to development and technological progress and hence the organizations operations, would be reflected.

In this context, the challenges Microsoft faces on Satya Nadella’s command for the coming years is to reinvent productivity. Microsoft is a business productivity platform based on the capabilities of the cloud world. Reinventing productivity means giving every person and every organization in the world the ability to do more and achieve more.

Therefore, having the chance to exchange experiences, learning together what the best strategy is now and next years, was how we understood that those who have the possibility to be part of this global change are the ones who have worked for years to improve information access of each of the organizations. This effort goes for those who wish fervently to lead the industries in which they work, constantly looking for operational excellence supported by a technology strategy according to this new era, the era of information and knowledge management. Thanks, Satya! We are all in!

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