Guest Post: Giles Crouch is one of Canada’s leading thinkers on issues relating to our digital world including social media and civil society. He brings 20 years experience in the technology industry, including co-founding two software companies; a .com and a Big Data analytics firm. You can connect with Tris on LinkedIn or Twitter.
For years with Google Apps and such tools like Google Docs and Spreadsheets the pundits decried and hailed the death of Microsoft. The old software curmudgeon was a wasting laggard, isolated in it’s digital ivory tower and enslaved to the now fading enterprise era. Google was disrupting Microsoft and gaggles of Googlers were salivating at new revenue opportunities. Then out of nowhere, Microsoft quietly came up out of the deeps like Great White sharks do, and with it’s mighty jaws, took a bite out of Google. For now it’s not a deathly wound, but they hit a vein and it’s a bleeder.
Microsoft Recognized It’s Generational Advantage
Someone up high had an epiphany, or perhaps a good analyst pointed something out that the higher ups listened to; generational digital advantage. The Office suite has been around a very long time. How many of us grew up on Word, Excel and PowerPoint? Microsoft had a generational legacy of Office users. It also has the grip on the Enterprise market and like a pitbull, it’s jaws are solidly locked. It also learned from Vista and Windows8. Pushing out Google Apps shouldn’t be that hard.
The Church of Microsoft Became Agnostic
After that bright spark moment, Microsoft had another one. Subscription revenue is awesome sauce for cash flow and the battle is less about the OS and more about the ecosystem. In terms of the workplace ecosystem, they stood a chance. Although Microsoft is still struggling with the consumer ecosystem and has a long way to go to disrupt Apple. But with their release of Office365 as a web-based SaaS product even us Mac uses can leverage and putting it on the iPad, it was a key signal. Balmer was out and the bright mind of Nadella was in.
What This Disruption Really Says? Smarten Up. Fast.
But what this really says is that when digital players who are truly Digerati can disrupt each other in such a way, it means that even paint manufacturers and metal fabricators can be disrupted. AirBnB is disrupting the hotel industry while Uber is disrupting the taxi industry. In the murky waters of your industry, there is a Great White Shark rushing up out of the depths to take a bite out of you. Kick it in the nose and you might win. Are you ready?