The first thing you notice at the WPC 2016 in Toronto is that even though there are more than 20,000 attendees, they managed to make it feel small and intimate. Much of that credit goes to the Dutch Microsoft team for managing the more than 450 Dutch attendees with an open and interesting agenda.
What has the WPC2016 brought us so far?
What did we see and, most importantly, what did we learn? As expected, Microsoft is pushing very much on their cloud strategy. While it is still mainly a technology-driven push, there is also a lot of focus on the issues around it. In my previous blog, I wrote about the changing business models. And it is indeed noticeable all around us. Even the traditional new models are changing.
Of course, it depends on who you talk to about this. For the more traditional monthly recurring service providers, there is a change ahead to make that switch from fixed monthly model to a subscription usage-based service solution. And what choice do they make next about how they will serve their customers?
Here, in North America almost everything revolves around self-service portals, which we have seen interesting examples of, by the way. I believe the North American consumer is better able to work with these portals than the European consumer. For the European consumer, this is still a step too far. The cloud is more of a thing between the end customer and his IT partner. It is based on trust and knowledge. End customers simply lack the knowledge and trust to order IT services through a portal. They would much rather do this through an IT partner (reseller, service provider, consultancy firm etc.).
So cloud provisioning in Europe is still a process which lies with the service provider. The idea of providing the cloud in a fixed monthly model has to do with (lack of) trust but also with lack of knowledge and insight.
Creative in the cloud
So things need to change on the service providers' side. Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation about this: what type of employee should a service provider invest in? We came to the conclusion that there are 2 types to invest in. The data analyst, who keeps a daily eye on what is happening in cloud delivery. And product management & marketing. The position of cloud services needs to change. It can all be more creative. The technology is already there, now we need to work on the proposition and positioning.
Only two more days to go at the WPC 2016! I am already looking forward to the many discussions that are going to take place and the insights that will come from them.