The information revolution is strengthening its clasp over the business world, says Microsoft’s Susan Hauser, as Director magazine visits the tech giant’s campus in Redmond, Washington
It’s already changed the way we do business – now, information technology is completely taking over business, according to Susan Hauser, corporate vice president, enterprise and partner group for Microsoft. Speaking to a group of delegates at an intimate press tour of Microsoft’s campus Redmond, Washington State – Director among them – Hauser, who has worked for the company for two decades and now leads an 8,500-strong sales and marketing team, said: “Think about something like [San Francisco-based international transportation network company] Uber. Their market value is twice that of Hertz and Avis together, and they don’t even own a car.”
She also cited the fact that many are considering crowdsourcing lodging website Airbnb as a corporate travel solution – despite it not owning a single property itself – as further proof that technology can outweigh any amount of assets, estate or stock when it comes to staking a place in any given market.
Hauser – who is responsible for driving Microsoft’s sales to corporations, which counted for a vast portion of the $86.8bn (£56.6bn) in revenue Microsoft earned last year – went on to say that the Internet of Things will drive the next phase of the revolution.
“It’s one of the hottest topics right now,” she said. “Every one of our customers, every industry, is very interested [in it] at a very senior level. CEOs want to know what each company’s strategy is [with it]… The really important question is, how do you take intelligence out of it? How do you make decisions faster and change business models as a result of having an Internet of Things strategy?”
Innovative new ways of engaging customers is, according to Hauser, the key to harnessing the vast commercial potential of the Internet of Things. “One of the retailers we’re working with, GameZone, wanted to improve the whole retail experience. What we’ve done is given them the ability to offer a new experience as shoppers came through their store. We’ve given their shop workers on the floor better insight in terms of what games were the shoppers touching, showing an interest in, so when they approached them they knew that this shopper was interested in, say, athletics and sports games, and they can curate the shopper’s experience accordingly.”
Read the second part of Director’s trip, covering big data and cyber crime