After a little bit more than 1.5 years as a Microsoft enterprise architect working for a United Nations organization with its headquarters based in Vienna I decided to take on the next big challenge in my career. This month, November, I started my new role as a Platform Strategy Advisor for Windows Azure as part of Microsoft’s Global Windows Azure ISV Incubation Team.

imageAs such I am now part of a MS corporate organization reporting to the headquarters, directly through a time zone lead sitting in the United Kingdom. This is kind of a new experience for me which I do enjoy a lot. So now you might have a few questions…

  • What does incubation mean and what’s different?
    Well, incubation teams are founded for topics that are in kind-of a starting-phase. An incubation team is responsible for establishing a topic on local markets across the globe and help partners, customers and local subsidiaries getting ready with a topic so that it becomes “mainstream”.

  • What does that involve?
    The job is very versatile and reaches from technical work through business development to establishing internal readiness inside of Microsoft. Which is fairly cool! So I am working with partners finding out how they could benefit from cloud and Windows Azure in specific. I do work with top ISVs on architecture concepts and technical solutions for moving their products to the cloud and to Azure. and finally I work with local teams on establishing standardized processes and approaches for dealing with Cloud and Azure from an internal perspective.

  • What will I do as part of this job?
    Work with independent software vendors (ISVs) in WE on assessing if the cloud is for them and working on technical and business concepts for moving their apps to the cloud to become a true Software-as-a-Service company and benefit from things such as the long tail… of course based on our platform with Windows Azure & Co… and who knows me well knows that I will keep a deep technical level up with those topics, for sure… but not only!

For me it was a very tough decision because I really liked the work as an enterprise architect - although sometimes this job was just very political, indeed… Nevertheless, I wanted to be a part of the ongoing developments on cloud computing as a topic that’s definitely going to change the IT landscape over the next years. So I’ve accepted this opportunity.

In addition I wanted to see how my live will look like as part of an international team instead of reporting into a subsidiary. And incubation is a perfect mix of staying local while at the same time being a part of a Corp-team. E.g. although I am reporting to Corp. my primary target markets are in WE with a strong focus on Austria and Switzerland. And believe me, although I started part-time in November - so this is all new to me - I can feel the difference already, especially experiencing how open the communication with the product groups and corp-teams is - that’s really cool!!

Finally after about two years of business IT alignment, business capabilities modeling and assessment and bringing those down to an SOA strategy and implementation in a large organization now it’s all about the dynamics of cloud computing for me - and in Microsoft-words - I am super excited about that and about where this gets me inside and outside of the company…