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How One Microsoft India program drove Azure consumption influencing revenue of $.5B in 5 years

Despite India having a huge base of system integrators and GICs of multi-national companies, by 2012, Microsoft India subsidiary was really struggling with sales to enterprise customers in India. It was not even $1B subsidiary.  

Customers in India were not convinced about the Microsoft story. Discussions with account & sales managers indicated lack of credible evidence of Microsoft stack performing at scale.  Most meetings with customers were delivered by account & sales managers.  It was primarily sales pitch with very little on technical depth.

What was the anticipated consequence

Microsoft India was at serious risk of letting down its customers and letting competition beat it

What was my role

I saw an opportunity for Microsoft India Engineering to make business impact by influencing the revenue for Microsoft India. It was my role to identify solution to this challenge … to do it fast … establish a sustainable rhythm of business.

What action was taken

I researched how Microsoft Engineering was influencing revenue in Redmond. I met with the key drivers of executing briefing program (EBC) to learn how the program started & sustained in Redmond.

I came up with a proposal to pioneer cross company collaboration within India – engineering, sales, marketing – coming together for One Microsoft India program. This program would drive Azure consumption by evangelizing the insider’s view of business and engineering best practices on how Microsoft runs its digital transformation powered by Azure at scale. The USP of this program is Microsoft engineers talking with customer’s engineering team, tech-2-tech talk to establish credibility.

Customer Engagement End-2-End Process

What was the decision making process

Presented my proposal to leadership of engineering, sales, marketing –

• Establishing strategic value proposition by delivering on a pilot
• Defining success KPIs (market share in terms of revenue influenced, mind share in terms of number of engagements and attendees)
• Ramping up team of key subject matter experts (SME)
• Minimizing impact to engineering team’s business by having a predictable rhythm of business
• Scaling the program by establishing quarterly cadence for seamless execution

Received executive buy-in and funding support

What was the outcome

• Scaled engagements by ~900% (130 to 1300+) and active subject matter experts (SME) by ~1200% (10 to 130) in 5 years to meet customer demand. Average revenue influenced ~$110M+/year for 5 consecutive years (Total $.5B+).


• Improved the quality of delivery of executive briefings to customers in India, Egypt, US

• Pioneered breadth engagement on design thinking with engineering undergrads at premier (IIT, NIIT, IIIT, IIM, ISB) and Tier-2 institutes across India. Average mindshare (i.e., number of attendees) 45K+ attendees/year (225K+ attendees in 5 years)

• Mentored setting up Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) at Sri Aurobindo Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Indore, India

• Orchestrated publishing of digitized content – 11 case studies, 8 blog posts, 3 webinars with average rating 4.4/5

Framework for setting up Microsoft Innovation Center

What has most value

Leadership is about goal definition, vision creation, mission articulation. An absence of leadership as it relates to scale is detrimental to your objectives.

People are the most important piece of the scale puzzle. The right person in the right job at the right time and with the right behavior is essential to scale organizations, processes, systems. The USP of One Microsoft India program was having the right person, Microsoft engineers, talking with customer’s engineering team, tech-2-tech talk to establish credibility.

How do you drive cross company collaboration in your organization ?

How do you measure its effectiveness ?

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