Microsoft touts holistic approach to enterprise tech

The firm's Scott Guthrie explained the company’s approach to emerging technology and how it wants to revolutionize businesses the world over.
26 March 2019

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft. Source: AFP

Any business with its fingers on the pulse of enterprise tech may have been keeping their eyes on Microsoft in the last few months.

The computing giant has been busy; besides launching a new mixed reality platform and its HoloLens2 AR headset, it also rolled out its enterprise security offering Azure Sentinel and Game Stack— a set of tools to help game developers build with Azure.

Microsoft was also found to be one of the biggest recruiters of AI (artificial intelligence) roles— with the technology forming the basis for over one-third of its vacancies at the time of this report.

To an outsider, and at surface level, all this work with emerging technologies could seem quite disparate, but Microsoft’s Executive VP and overall enterprise head, Scott Guthrie, claims it all forms part of a big picture; packaging up its technology and providing business customers an easy to use solutions for complex situations.

“We’ve focused a lot on how we provide kind of a comprehensive cloud that we think really appeals to all those different audiences in unique ways,” Guthrie told Business Insider, adding that Microsoft’s goal is to think beyond individual technologies and focus on how it enhances “end-to-end” customer experience.

That breadth of solutions, Guthrie said, gives Microsoft the edge over its rival in cloud Amazon Web Services. The Microsoft executive said, unlike AWS, “we’re not just an infrastructure cloud and an application and data cloud”, but able to be integrated with Office 365 and Dynamics 365.

In regard to Hololens, for example, Guthrie encourages customers to look beyond the hardware at the opportunities to integrate things like Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365— software they’re already using— to its mixed reality platform, and other apps will follow suit.

On the headset’s high-profile launch at MWC, ZDNet noted that Microsoft could give the headset away for free and still benefit from cloud subscriptions to other programs. Or, back to Guthrie’s more marketing-friendly way of putting it: “That ability to kind of integrate Azure, HoloLens, Dynamics, and Office together is what really gets enterprises excited […]”

The same is true for Azure Sentinel, which utilizes the firm’s AI technology to comb through the vast volumes of data that companies generate each day for security vulnerabilities.

In Microsoft’s vision of its products, they are not disparate but a form various “pre-built building blocks”, with a common and familiar security and management model.