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Get your voice heard at Microsoft's Global Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council

25-26 May 2010

NCC representing Members at Microsoft's Global Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council

As announced in the Weekly News on 19th March, the NCC accepted an invitation to represent its members in Microsoft’s global Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council.

The next Council meeting is on 25-26th May, so this is your opportunity to flag up where you think something needs to be done – for example, to help you make the most effective use of Microsoft technologies you already have or plan to use. Example customer questions / comments brought to a past Council meeting have included:

On Unified Communications…

  • Can you elaborate on how CISCO Telepresence works with OCS?
  • Is Microsoft working with 3rd party provider of tools that enable levels of interoperability between OCS and other UC products?
  • How do you interoperate if a new disruptive product/technology hits the market?
  • Caller ID issues when integrating OCS into the CISCO based environment

On Cloud Computing…

  • Scaling up and down is critical to enterprises
  • Where is auditing addressed in the different types of cloud scenarios?
  • Billing is a concern. Can it be fine grained to help customer’s understand the value?
  • Will Microsoft cloud offering ever consume VMWare VMs? There is a world outside of Microsoft. Need to have non-windows VMs in the cloud along with Windows VMs.
  • Need BizTalk on Azure
  • How is migration from old to new versions of applications handled in Azure?

For your information, we’ve appended some details about the Council and the work stream scopes below: the latter are briefly in:

  • Office Productivity and Collaboration Tools
  • Systems Management
  • Identity Management
  • Developer Tools and Runtime
  • BPM and SOA
  • Public Interoperability Policy
  • Cloud Computing (the most recently added)

Please send your interoperability thoughts / concerns / comments / questions to by or on Friday 21st May for inclusion in this round.



Microsoft established the Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council in June 2006 as a means of regularly interacting with customers to obtain valuable feedback regarding their specific interoperability requirements. The company meets twice a year with the IEC Council to discuss interoperability issues, and then meets throughout the year with technical and business working groups comprising representatives from the member organizations to drill down on interoperability details.

To date, IEC Council members have identified approximately 50 key areas for improved interoperability across Microsoft products and those of the software industry at large. At least 70 percent of these issues have been resolved or are on track to be resolved. For those issues that are most complex and difficult, the IEC Council and Microsoft are continuing to work together and with other vendors and organizations to find solutions.

In addressing the interoperability issues articulated by the IEC Council, Microsoft has employed or encouraged the development of different types of solution – either by integrating features into Microsoft products, developing open source bridges between products, or using strategies and solutions such as documenting protocol documentation, participating in standards evolution, and collaborating or supporting development of third-party products.

IEC Council members and Microsoft share the common industry view that software users will continue to see a mixed IT environment of open source and traditional commercial or proprietary software.

These IEC Council efforts are directed by executive sponsor, Bob Muglia, president, Microsoft Server & Tools. All the information gathered from the IEC Council process has been categorized into areas of focus called “work streams”. Work stream efforts are led by executives from numerous Microsoft divisions and product teams who interact and partner with council members’ technical architects and CIOs to identify and develop scenarios, issues and solutions within these specific areas:

Office Productivity and Collaboration Tools Work Stream

  • Open XML Interoperability: ODF, Office Binary, and HTML
  • Support for Additional File Formats
  • Promoting Choice and Expanding Opportunities
  • Additional Standards Support in SharePoint
  • Enterprise Content Management System Interoperability

Systems Management Work Stream

  • Integrated Management of Virtual Machines12
  • Cross-Platform Management
  • Simplifying Operations Management
  • Managing Virtual Machines from Various Vendors

Identity Management Work Stream

  • Cross-Product Federation and Identity Management
  • Information Cards That Use WS-* Protocols

Developer Tools and Runtime Work Stream

  • Silverlight for Eclipse Developers
  • Enhanced Services for Visual Studio Integration
  • Easing Access to Key Technologies
  • Development Kits and Toolkits for PHP Developers Released on CodePlex

BPM and SOA Work Stream

  • Industry Collaboration on Platform Interoperability
  • UML in Visual Studio 2010
  • Sharing “M” Language Specification with the Industry

Public Interoperability Policy Work Stream

Cloud Computing Work Stream

  • Infrastructure as a cloud (IaaS)
  • Platform as a cloud (PaaS)
  • Software as a cloud (SaaS)
  • data portability
  • industry standards
  • developer choice
  • crossing infrastructures
  • centralized management
  • scale-out of capacity on demand

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