Amir Capriles is the CRM/ERP Strategic Alliances Manager for Microsoft, focusing on the US Public Sector. Amir has been around the public sector for years, nearly 10 years at KPMG and a few years on his own prior to joining Microsoft just over four years ago. Amir is the type of person you need, if you’re Microsoft, helping guide the way in an environment as complicated as the Federal Government.

I chatted with Amir last week to learn more about Microsoft’s efforts in the public sector. While we will talk more in the near future about focus areas, I wanted to share with you some of the key points from our conversation.

– Microsoft is making great strides in terms of revenue generation from the public sector. In fact, worldwide revenue exceeded $7 Billion with revenue from the US in excess of $3 Billion. This is far beyond ahead of where Microsoft has been in the past, they are truly gaining traction in this market.
– While the leading democracies, from a revenue perspective, are clearly the english speaking countries of the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, there are real opportunities opening up across the globe.
– Some of the major focus areas in the US (and to some degree across the globe), are:
– “The cloud”. While not everyone understands what “the cloud” is, they often know they want it. There is a belief that going to the cloud will result in cost reductions and architectural simplifications. In my opinion the cloud will remain a focus in the public and private sector for the foreseeable future, at least until the next paradigm shift occurs (think biological data stores).
– The consumerization of government. I continue to say that the public sector is not very different from the enterprise. The same shifts we see in the enterprise space are taking place in the public sector. The wish to use social networking tools, to leverage non-standard mobile devices, to tie the home/consumer world to the public/work world has permanently changed how all of us work.
– The Open Government Directive. While I congratulate the President and his team for putting this directive forth, it is, as is often the case with directives, lacking in detail. Agencies know they have a mandate to change, and timelines within which to do so, but there is little in the way of detailed guidance. The agencies must learn on their own. Microsoft has done a good job of providing guidance in this area, expect to see much more of this in 2010 and beyond. Check out their Gov2.0 site for great information.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you in the loop on this front as I talk with Microsoft and others. Stay tuned

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