Microsoft Services: Made in IBM Globals Image?

Microsoft manager and former IBMer Shahla Aly answers (and avoids) our questions on what's cooking in Microsoft's worldwide services organization.

There was some turmoil in Microsoft Corp.s worldwide services organizations in late November, when Corporate VP Michael Sinneck abruptly resigned to "pursue opportunities outside of Microsoft." Microsoft quickly appointed its chief information officer, Rick Devenuti, to act as both CIO and the head of worldwide services.

Coming from IBM Global Services, Sinneck was a big catch for Microsoft. But theres another IBM Global veteran on the Microsoft services team who is still on board: Shahla Aly. Aly is general manager of the worldwide strategy and enablement team within Microsoft worldwide services. In that role, she oversees the Services Global Partner, Intellectual Capital Exchange and Global Learning Services teams. She also is responsible for Microsofts worldwide services strategy, managed services programs, consulting offerings, professional development, marketing and communications.

Aly has worked in IT services for more than 20 years, at companies including Xerox, Gulf Oil and, for the last 18 years, IBM. Alys last IBM assignment before joining Microsoft in December 2002 was as VP of Communications for IBM Canada. She also spent some time as VP of e-business services for IBM Global Services.

Microsoft Watch spoke with Aly via e-mail in September about whats cooking in Microsoft services. Heres the transcript, edited for length:

Microsoft Watch: A couple of questions about your responsibilities. Are you responsible for more than Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS)? What constitutes "managed services," with which you also are charged?

Aly: I am responsible for the Microsoft Services strategy which includes Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) as one component. As for managed services, this refers to our managed support programs, such as Microsoft Services Premier Support, which is available to our customers and partners.

We have taken a more centralized approach to how we develop and deliver services to our customers and partners globally. We are no longer operating as two distinct business units (MCS and Product Support Services, or PSS) rather we operate as one global business that develops and delivers consulting services and product support to our partners and customers around the globe.

Microsoft Watch: Given your IBM history, are there specific things that IBM Global Services does/did well that youd like to see Microsoft do more of? In the same vein, are there things IBM Global Services does/did that you want to make sure Microsoft does not do?

Aly: I can think of best practices and lessons learned from every company that I have worked for. With our partner network, Microsoft Services applies the resources of the worlds leading technology company to help customers discover and implement high value solutions that generate rapid, meaningful, and measurable results for their business.

Microsoft Watch: Microsoft seems to be very committed to building a set of frameworks/blueprints upon which its own consulting division and its third-party partners can build. Is building out this set of frameworks a key goal for Microsoft right now? Do you have milestones as to how many such blueprints youd like to have by a certain date?

Check Out Microsofts List of Patterns and Practices

"Microsoft and Unisys: Blueprinting Business Processes"

Aly: At Microsoft we call these frameworks and blueprints "service offerings." These are "repeatable solutions" which capture and harvest the experience — intellectual property, if you will — then brings this rich knowledge base to a customers specific business solution. Enhancing our service offerings, of which there more than 30 available today, and bringing them to market is a key goal for Microsoft Services. We are aligning these offerings with our corporate marketing strategies.

As for timing of new offerings, we are working on a defined schedule, however, we have nothing to announce at this time.


To read the full interview,

click here