I believe technology can be exploited to greater levels than we have allowed. We are constrained by 20th century business models and ideas. Collectively, we need to move past technology for the sake of technology and truly focus on moving markets beyond the status quo!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Red Sox Nation and Microsoft?
I spent a productive afternoon of doing nothing taking in all that is Boston. Boston is one of the greatest, if not the greatest American city. It has history, music, culture, art, august educational institutions, an efficient and well used transit system, architecture and, of course, the Boston Red Sox. I love Boston and I love the Red Sox, but I do not randomly clad myself in their logo. As I meandered from one section of town to the next I was struck by all of the Bostonians showing their support for the Boston Red Sox. These were not people on their way to or from a game – these were people out for Sunday brunch, shopping, meeting friends, enjoying the bucolic Sunday afternoon. There were people in pink Red Sox hats, the St. Patrick’s Day green Red Sox hats, jaunty tweed Red Sox hats in the tony Beacon Hill area, Red Sox t-shirts, jackets, blankets, and umbrellas, and the traditional good old fashioned Red Sox logo hat. Why was everyone so willing to express their support for the Red Sox? The team was not engaged in a summertime showdown or playoff game with the reviled New York Yankees nor had they just won a championship. I thought about this and then realized – this city is on message. They are all saying “we are loyal to and support our Boston Red Sox”, the city is passionate about the team and the support transcends everything. I submit that no other American city shows this much enthusiasm for a team on a regular basis. Throughout the afternoon, I noticed a few interlopers trying to distract from the Red Sox message – there were some from Detroit, some from Chicago, some from the University of Rhode Island, and certainly a smattering of MIT supporters. None of the interlopers were able to achieve critical mass to overtake the zeal and support found for the Boston Red Sox.

I thought about how on message the city was with their support of the team and realized that Microsoft Tech Ed was in the perfect city in 2006. Microsoft is the company it is because they have an uncanny ability to stay on message. The company has a well crafted communications plan and everyone in the company is passionate about it. There have been and continue to be technology interlopers who attempt to gain recognition but none can stay on message quite like Microsoft.

At the opening keynote for Tech Ed 2006, Microsoft unveiled its vision of “People_Ready” software and its four tenets:
Manage complexity and achieve agility
Protect information and control access
Advance business with IT solutions
Amplify the impact of people

And, true to their amazing ability to stay on message, several Microsoft product people used the keynote as a platform to describe through demos how these tenets are going to be realized now and within the near future.

Long after Tech Ed 2006 is through, Microsoft will be touting the promises of “People_Ready” software and its tenets. And, anyone you encounter from Microsoft will be able to tell you the tenets and their value propositions. That is staying on message and that is truly powerful.

What’s next?...technology disruptions – where do we go from here?

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