Microsoft has said the UK enterprise market ‘is there for the taking’ and has revealed ambitious plans to build share through partnerships, increased spending and building new business products and apps.
The American company launched Office 365 with O2 in June and plans to release similar applications from the spring next year. Partner account manager Richard Warren said there were ‘opportunities’ in the enterprise market as BlackBerry’s fortunes decline and following Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. He said: ‘Look at the way O2 has gotten behind us, especially the Office 365 proposition. When you can offer that conversation to an enterprise customer that suddenly becomes very powerful.
‘If an enterprise customer approaches us about moving its mobile estate onto Windows we’ll draw on our partner expertise. Whether it’s Exertis Micro-P for supply, O2 for minutes and data, or Nokia for mobility, we’ll address the customer as a joined up team, and that’s our strength.’
Head of b2b marketing Rikke Rasmussen said enterprise market share was ‘there for the taking’, while Warren added the Windows Phone ecosystem was a better business fit than iOS or Android. He said: ‘We can go from those big data centres at the back end, all the way through to shiny devices in people’s hands and provide the exact same software on their phones, tablets, PCs and laptops.’
Warren said Microsoft would continue to cultivate relationships with operators and retailers after spending ‘18 months making sure they were well versed having the Windows Phone ecosystem conversation with customers’. He added levels of engagement with retailers had developed as market share increased, although Windows Phone still lags behind BlackBerry in the enterprise market and Apple and Samsung in the consumer arena.
He added: ‘You have to pay to play with the operators unless you can guarantee volume. Once we get to a position where we’re comfortably sitting above 10% of the market I think we’ll have the same level of engagement as Apple or Samsung.’
Warren said helping businesses develop their own apps with ‘Company Hub’ was an emerging priority that would dominate his focus in 2014. He added: ‘We encourage organisations to write their own line of business apps. The Company Hub will allow businesses to run their own on-premises store where they can develop their own line of business applications and servers.
‘There’s a level of trust with Microsoft. It has been in this business for 15-20 years, successfully supplying businesses with PCs and laptops. I think the launch of Windows Phone 8 and the coming enterprise releases really has solidified that. Mobility was the piece of the jigsaw missing, and now it’s slotted in nicely.’
Rasmussen added: ‘It’s good pressure challenging to be the number one business ecosystem. All of the blockers that we experienced before have disappeared, so as far as we’re concerned market share is there for the taking.’
Author: Matthew Campelli