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Consumerisation, Identity, Mobile and Cloud - hot topics for all at the Microsoft Interoperability Executive Customer Council

From NCC’s Dr. Andy Hopkirk

Having just got back from a two day meeting of Microsoft’s Interoperability Executive Customer Council (IECC), I’m thinking, “There’s a lot going on!” We can all see that the market is, right now, experiencing an explosion of internet-enabled Cloud services-oriented ICT innovation and diversification. New service niches and ways of working are being opened up and explored, and old ones are being disrupted by the sheer power of large economic forces pressing down upon them.

Simultaneously, there are another two new paradigms in hand for consumer-oriented Mobile (telecommunications + computing) and Cloud services; and another in IPTV clearly coming soon. The ‘big beasts’ in ICT, including Microsoft, are moving in reaction to these – seeking to adapt to and incorporate the new as quickly as they can. Why? Because periods of innovation and diversification are inevitably followed by consolidation and standardisation on the most effective way(s) of moving forward – and that’s the outcome space all of the competing providers, old and new, want to be in.

If history repeats, and it generally does, it will be the provider(s) with the best integrated and most interoperable suite of products and services that will win out, for these will prove to be simply the most effective choices for most types of customers. Given so many end users, developers and business partners use its current products and services, what’s Microsoft’s perspective on all this?

Well, they say they are “all in” with the new Cloud paradigm (see NCC news). And the content and tone of the presentations and discussions at the Council meeting last week certainly reflected that.

For their part, the Council members – all customers – clearly saw themselves as being equally “all in”, but with widely differing business requirements in detail and capacities to absorb change – especially when the effects of consumerisation of IT and matters of identity management overlap with cloud and mobile.

As we all begin to get our heads around the new ways of mixing and matching ICT services provision, Microsoft is unsurprisingly very keen to hear about, and act upon, actual and potential customer’s needs for interoperability at any and all levels in, and between, the areas mentioned here. A number of Council members and other vendors of ICT products and services are already working together in background Council work streams, targeting specific, customer-led interoperability scenarios.

NCC will be following up with Members shortly; to find out what you would like (or is that need?) to see happening and how you might engage directly in Council work stream activities, if you want to.

Please feel free to contact me directly to get the latest on Council business and NCC’s engagement with it. There’s information about the Council on the web at



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