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Technology for SMB's Without the Traditional Cost or Complexity

Microsoft executives meet with customers, partners and SMB influencers in Redmond

By Thomas Hansen, Worldwide Vice President, SMB @ Microsoft

Do you remember your first job? I certainly do: I managed a windsurfing shop in Denmark, my home country. The only technology I had available to help me run things was a telephone that I had to share with the electrician next door. We didn't have computers, a security system, or even a cash register. Somehow I made it all work; but looking back now, I'm amazed at how technology has made it so much easier for small businesses to operate smoothly and efficiently.

The rapid growth of technology was the theme of this week's event at the Microsoft campus, where we invited nine small business experts to come and talk with us about how Microsoft can help SMBs achieve more by giving them the right tools at the right time to make things—and make things happen. We also discussed how Microsoft's cloud solutions can enable SMBs to grow and compete better than ever before, and how our company can become an even bigger champion for SMBs across the board.

Why did we hold this on-campus brainstorm? Because every day, new technology comes into the world that offers new ways to do things, new ways to connect and new things to learn. And while each new technology holds the promise of helping us get more done with less effort, too often they become one more thing competing for our scarce time and attention.


We realized that we need to rethink the way we make technology instead of simply making more. We need to reinvent productivity for a world where infinite devices and infinite data collide with our finite time and attention.

Nowhere is this expanded concept of productivity more important than for small businesses. SMBs don't have dedicated resources to meet every challenge, or a specialist to fill every role. Because of this, that challenge of infinite data colliding with finite time is even greater. But while the need to reinvent productivity is especially critical for SMBs, they're also uniquely suited to reap the benefits of that reinvention.

One of the many significant ways cloud technology has impacted business is that it's given SMBs tremendous IT benefits without the traditional cost and complexity. The cloud opens doors to SMBs that they didn't previously have the key to. It provides small businesses with access to the resources of big IT, without the cost of building it out themselves.

This week we heard many great examples of small businesses taking advantage of the cloud to transform their business and be more productive. Moderna Therapeutics was one of these: A biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that uses Office 365 for real-time collaboration between its teams in order to drive outcomes faster – or, as employees refer to it, at "Moderna speed." Moderna operates in a highly regulated environment and chose Office 365 because it provided the company the right balance between having the flexibility to scale quickly as it grows and ensuring that it could control its sensitive data around the world.

We've come a long way from my little wind-surfing shop with its single, shared phone. You can learn more about how we're helping SMBs use the cloud to help them meet the demands of the infinite-devices, infinite-data world at www.modern.biz.

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