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December 19, 2008

TMC ITEXPO Spotlight on Microsoft

The folks at Microsoft (News - Alert) are always a pleasure to talk to and I’m not saying this just because they are one of our TMC Video sponsors. Recently I had the opportunity to chat with John Frederiksen, Microsoft Response Point and although Mr. Frederiksen didn’t answer all of my questions, here are the ones he did:

 Are you generally optimistic, Pessimistic or realistic?
How many frequent flyer miles have you amassed?
Too many…that thrill is long gone.
How is your company changing the way it does business as a result?
Microsoft has taken strong steps from the top on down to help our customers. Our software affords several ways to improve productivity and economic efficiency. Some of this is purely taking advantage of the software offerings. Virtualization is an example here. But, also some effective software licensing models help out in driving costs, down too. This is where we are trying to help our customers across the board be it a small business or a global enterprise.
How have customers reacted to the slowing global markets?
People are looking for value – more than ever. Also, budgets have been realigned, so purchasing decisions are being lengthened to a degree. People are being cautious. 
Do you see this time as an opportunity or a rough spot to get through quickly?
It is an opportunity. We need to focus on our core skills and deliver value to our customers. It is a great way to help clients – these are partnerships we are in – let’s help as best we can.
What will companies need to do to survive this downturn?
Focus is one key area. Being able to adapt, too is quite important. Things are different now – we see this. We saw massive changes in our financial institutions over a period of a few short months. So to survive, or better yet to thrive, we need to stay true to our skills but adapt as needed.
How do your company’s products help customers in a slow market?
Response Point is great investment to help our customers improve their communications and collaboration with others. Our service providers working with Response Point help deliver lower telephone expenses via SIP Trunking. So we are a net positive in helping productivity and also lowering costs.
Which would you rather be president of and why? Google (News - Alert), Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco, the United States.
Well, the answer is obvious… :)
Will this slowdown present an opportunity to reinvest in your company/market? If so, where will you invest?
Microsoft continues to invest throughout the company. It is a great opportunity. From a Response Point view, you will continue to see us grow and innovate. We’re just getting started here really! 
Which country will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
For us, in terms of go to market, the US and Canada are keys for us in the timetable you mention. Additionally, we are in market now in New Zealand and Australia. China comes on line in a few months, too. So you can see are geo expansion is starting to take hold.
If Nokia (News - Alert), RIM, Google and Apple devices are stranded together on an island, who survives and why?
The one that is running the latest Windows Mobile release will win :)
I understand you are exhibiting at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. What will you be showing there? 
We’re making our second appearance at IT Expo. Microsoft Response Point will be visible via a keynote; a solution seminar and education track for VARs and Agents ; plus our partner ecosystem is here supporting us. Our OEM and peripheral partners such as Aastra, Syspine, D-Link, Clear One, Sangoma, Quintu are here. Our Service Providers are here as well – NGT,, Packet 8, Cbeyond (News - Alert). So it is a great chance to touch bases with various parts of our ecosystem.
What sorts of companies/people should come to your exhibit? 
VARs, Agents, organization focused on delivering value in to the SMB space. That is our target segment.
Why should customers choose your company’s solutions – and how do they justify the expense to management? 
Well, we deliver value. We drive communication and collaboration productivity; we help SMBs lower costs; we improve your ROI in other company software assets via integration. Our Microsoft brand is strong and we will be around.
I am a purchasing decision-maker, why do I need to speak with you before I buy?
You can speak with me or others in our Response Point ecosystem. Speak with us and let’s make sure everybody understands how we can help save money; help make your business communicate better; and leverage investments already made in Microsoft software.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Delivering true value to our customers.

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