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Microsoft bizdev chief Peggy Johnson on huge acquisitions, partnering with enemies, and HoloLens

Microsoft is now building apps for competing platforms, and it feels good about it.

Peggy Johnson is Microsoft's executive vice president of business enterprise development. She sat down with Organization Insider's Matt Rosoff at IGNITION 2015, and told us about how Microsoft decides when to buy a enterprise, and its new technique of creating apps for competing platforms.

Matt Rosoff: Peggy joined Microsoft a small bit extra than a year ago ...

Peggy Johnson: A tiny more than a year ago — a year and 3 months.

Rosoff: And at the time there was a comparatively new CEO — Satya Nadella — only Microsoft's third CEO in history and I would say in the final couple of years there is been a genuine remarkable transformation in the way Microsoft treats companies that utilized to be considered competitors. I keep in mind the old days when if it wasn't invented right here, we're not going to talk about it, and Linux is cancer and Apple is the enemy. And then in the final year and a half or so, you guys have bought a bunch of small app makers for iOS and Android, which is some thing you by no means would have carried out before. You have struck a complete bunch of partnerships, you're starting to even embrace issues like Linux, so how has this happened? And what is the philosophy there? And why is Microsoft being friendlier to other platforms now than it employed to be?

Johnson: It did start off with Satya and his vision for the firm. He's truly selected to concentrate on partnerships and appear for areas of collaboration and for confident we compete with other firms, but there are so numerous areas that we can also collaborate. So you mentioned a couple of — Salesforce is one. We have a competitive product in between the two of us. But we look for locations that truly our joint clients were involved in. And we stated, "Can we integrate right here and bring additional worth and delight our joint consumers?" So we did that with Office 365 and Salesforce. And it type of opens up a lot of new value for our buyers where they can now take these two sets of data that they are gathering from these two items, put them together, and as an enterprise sort of mind that information additional.

Rosoff: I'm specifically interested in Microsoft on the iPhone. So you purchased a Acompli and a Sunrise and integrated those into Outlook for the iPhone. I basically use that instead of the built-in mail client simply because it's much better. You purchased some corporations that do Android lock screens ... and this is fairly various than Microsoft before which was normally about Windows Telephone — Windows, Windows, Windows. So, why did you guys make the choice to start out investing a lot more heavily in iOS and Android?

Johnson: We totally recognized that our buyers have a variety of devices. They are carrying all sorts of things. And we want to bring our world class apps to these devices. And that meant going cross-platform. And it was shortly just after Satya took the reins that he made that initially choice to take Office apps to iOS. And then from there, we continued to construct on that.

You mentioned a few of our current acquisitions. Acompli is just a excellent instance of a fabulous app. And we looked at that — and we kind of do a create-get-partner with anything that we view — and that one particular just created additional sense to acquire. And we brought the app in, and because then — two terrific items have happened — 1. we acquired Javier Soltero, I never know if any of you know him, he was the CEO at Acompli, he's now performing remarkable perform at Microsoft. He's now in-charge of all of Outlook and I feel his outside perspective has been beneficial for the teams. We've have really engaged the teams deeply on his view of things. But then, what that did, was it sort of set the pace for bringing in other items. Acompli brought in Sunrise. Then Wunderlist — Wunderlist is a wonderful app. We've had, I assume now over a billion lists created on Wunderlist. And so it's just continuing to tap into points that are delighting our clients and bringing them in.

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