Another guy I interviewed yesterday up at Microsoft was Chris Capossela, head of a bunch of Microsoft Office stuff (they call it the Information Worker group). He’s a senior vice president at Microsoft. He told me several reasons why companies aren’t going with the latest shiny object coming out of Silicon Valley:
1. Everyone knows what Microsoft Office does, and how it works. Trying something new in business? Not easy to do when there are hundreds, or even thousands of people involved in the decision.
2. IT wants to stay in control inside corporations. Why? Cause they have many constituencies to serve. Lawyers. Executives. Regulators. Let’s say a company gets sued and the judge asks for all of their communications. Can they provide those if they happen, say on Twitter? No. How about Exchange? Yes.
3. They need to know these services will stay up. Twitter being down for a few hours? It’s a pain in the behind for everyone, but totally unacceptable inside big companies. IT departments get fired if stuff like that happens.
4. They need integration into their other systems. Chris showed me what happens when someone calls his desk phone. The phone call gets routed to his Windows Mobile smart phone and shows up on his desktop’s screen at same time. If he doesn’t answer it, the call goes back into voice mail, but the voice mail shows up as email in Outlook. That requires systems to talk to each other, something that doesn’t happen on, say, Gmail.
Anyway, today we’re interviewing Ismael Ghalimi, founder-producer of the Office 2.0 conference and keeper of the definitive database of Office 2.0 apps on our WorkFast.tv show. I’ll definitely ask him how Office 2.0 (er, Silicon Valley’s newest shiny work tools) are measuring up with Microsoft’s. You can watch that interview live and then participate in our “after show party” where Ismael will take more of your questions in our Kyte.tv chat room.