Jean-PhilippeCourtois,President,MicrosoftEurope,MiddleEastandAfrica

PressPass:YouhavebeenveryclearthatMicrosoftsnewmissionistohelpbusinessesandpeoplearoundtheworldtorealizetheirpotential。

WhatdoesthisstrongfocusreallymeanforMicrosoftscustomersandpartners?

Courtois:Webelievetherearemillionsofwaysthatsoftwarecanhelppeoplemakeimprovementstothewaytheyliveandwork。

Realizingpotentialisaboutmakingsurethatoursoftwareaddsvaluetopeopleintherightways,sothattheycanmakethemostoftheirimaginationsandtheircreativitythroughtechnologytools。

Thenumberofwaysinwhichsoftwarecanenrichpeopleslivesisstillrelativelylowcomparedtothehugepotentialahead。

Aswemovetowardourvision,therearesignificantopportunitiesforourpartnersandourcustomerstocreateandimplementnewsoftwarescenariosforincreasedproductivityandperformance。

Realizingpotentialisaboutusworkingtogetherwiththem,asanindustry,tocreateopportunityforeveryone。

PressPass:HowisthisparticularlyrelevanttobusinessesinEurope,theMiddleEastandAfrica?

Courtois:IntheEMEAregion,ourcustomersrecognizethatsoftwarecanaddrealvaluetotheirbusinesses,andareenthusiasticaboutusingtechnologyinnewways。

Soweandourpartnershaveapositiveenvironmenttoworkinhere。

Butitisalsoachallengingenvironment。

Weserveover70countriesthrough45subsidiaries,andasyoucanimagine,thereishugevarietyintheculturalandeconomiccontextofourcustomersoperations。

ProvidinganexcellentsolutionforabusinessinTurkeydoesnotmeanitistransferabletoSweden。

Sowearealsoworkingveryhardwithgovernmentsandenterprisesacrosstheregiontoreallyunderstandwhattheyneedfromtechnologyandtoworkwithinthatlocalcontext。

PressPass:ButarebusinessesinEuropereallyinterestedininvestingintechnology,consideringtodaysconservativeeconomicclimate?

Courtois:Certainly,businessesintheregionareconsideringtheirtechnologypurchasescarefully,buttheyalsorecognizethevaluethattechnologycanadd,anditiscertainlystillontheinvestmentagenda。

ArecentDatamonitorstudyof12Europeannationsfoundthat,between2001and2005,theEMEAITsectorisexpectedtogrowanddevelopineachnationbetween31percentand56percent。

ThatwassupportedbyanotherIDCsurveyofITspendinginEurope,carriedoutinMaythisyear。

ThesurveyofCIOsindicatedthatspendingonnewITprojectswasbackontheagenda。

WhilethereisvarianceacrossEuropeintheopportunitieseachmarketoffers,thereisrealenthusiasminEuropeforadoptingnewideas,especiallyWebservices。

Clearly,theresopportunityforourpartnerstobenefitfromthis。

IseeMicrosoftsroleinthisenvironmentasafacilitator。

Wemustenableourpartnerstotakeadvantageofthisoptimismandcapturetheimaginationofbusinesswiththeirsolutions。

So,forexample,weprovidetechnicalsupportthoughourpartnershipprogramslikeMSDN,theMicrosoftDeveloperNetwork,aswellasonspecificprojectswithindividualpartners。

Worldwide,wearedevelopingsomegreatsolutionswithcompanieslikeHPandAccenture,whileinEMEAsomeofourkeypartnershipsincludeCapGeminiErnstYoung,SAPandGetronics。

OneofourSouthAfricanpartners,BusinessConnexion,forinstance,hasqualifiedtodeliverPremierSupportonbehalfofMicrosofttotheSouthAfricanRevenueServices,supportingthegovernmentsinitiativetoactivelyencouragelocaleconomicgrowth。

Weengagewithpartnersandtheircustomerstohelpcreatenewsolutionsthatmaynothavebeentriedbefore,butcouldchangebusinessespracticesfundamentallyforthebetter。

And,mostimportantly,with。

NETwedelivertechnologythatallowspartnerstoconnectinformation,people,systemsanddevicesinwaysthathavenotbeenpossiblebefore,leveragingtheirexistingtechnologiesanddevelopingtomeettheneedsoftheircustomersratherthanhavingcustomersadapttothelimitationsoftechnology。

PressPass:Itsaverydemandingvision,whichmakesMicrosoftmoreaccountablethaneverforitsactions。

Doesthisreflectanewcultureinthecompany?

Courtois:Itstruethat,ifwearetoachieveourmission,weneedtomeasureoursuccessdifferently。

Weneedtobemoreinclusive,morefocusedonourcustomersandpartnersandtheirsuccesses。

Ourmissionofhelpingpeoplerealizetheirpotentialisentirelypredicatedonthesuccessofourpartnersandcustomers。

PressPass:Howcanyoumeasurethatsuccess?

Courtois:Often,werealizeweareontrackwhenwehearaboutgreatcustomerimplementationsthatmakethemostofthecapabilitiesofoursoftwareandchangethewayabusinessruns。

Forexample,aEuropeanairlinecompany,SASAirlines,hasusedthewholerangeof。

NETsoftware,includingthe。

NETFramework,ASP。

NET,VisualStudio。

NETandMobileInternetToolkittoimprovetheircommunicationandconnectionwithanincreasinglywirelesscustomerbase。

TheircustomersdonthavetobeinfrontofaPCorlaptoptoaccessflightandbookinginformationtheycanaccessitfromawiderangeofmobiledevices。

Thatsagreatexampleofhowachangingbusinessenvironmentoffersanewwayofinteractingwithcustomers。

Andtheopenarchitectureofthe。

NETplatformopensuptheopportunityforplayersthroughouttheindustrytobuildonthisopportunityandcreateatrulyvaluablesolutionforthecustomer。

Werealsoworkingwithgovernmentsinanumberofcountriestohelpthemandtheircitizensinteractmoreeffectively。

DeliveringgovernmentservicesovertheWeb,insteadofonpaper,introducesafundamentalchangeincultureandapproachtotheirrelationshipwiththeircitizens。

InRomaniaandtheUnitedKingdom,weworkedwiththegovernmentstounifyarangeofpublicservicesintoasingleGovernmentGatewayinlinewiththeEUrequirements,whileinCataloniawearehelpingthegovernmentrollouttheirowngovernmentportal。

Thisdeliversawholerangeofbenefits,includingreducedcostandvastlyimprovedaccessibilityforcitizens。

ThatsthekindofthingthatweatMicrosoftlovetohearabout。

PressPass:ItisamissionthatdemandsmuchofMicrosoftaswell。

Whatwillyoubefocusingontomakesurethecompanycontinuestoseethesekindsofsuccessesinthefuture,bothintheEMEAregionandglobally?

Courtois:Thereareacoupleofkeystosuccess。

Numberoneiswehavetohavegreatpeople。

Ifyouwanttobuildsoftwaretoday,Microsoftshouldbetheplaceyouwanttowork。

Butitsnotjustabouthavinggreatpeoplethosepeoplehavetosharecertainvalues,andthemostimportantoftheseareintegrityandhonesty。

Weneedtobeopen,respectfulanddedicatedtomakingothersbetter。

Thosefactorsareglobal,andarecertainlyasimportantinEMEAastheyareanywhereelseatMicrosoft。

Inaddition,wealsoneedtocontinuetoinnovatewithourtechnologies。

MicrosoftneedstoleadthewayhereandourinvestmentinRDisabigpartofthat。

InEMEA,wellbeplayinganincreasinglyimportantroleherebecausewiththeacquisitionofNavision,wenowhaveadevelopmentcenterinVedbaek,Denmark,housingsomeofthebestdevelopersinEMEA。

MicrosoftResearchalsohasabaseoutsidetheU。

S。

inourregion。