Last week, Tony Scott was in Pittsburgh and was gracious enough to spend some time with ActiveWin.com to highlight his role as CIO at Microsoft, as well as to discuss some recent internal IT success, among other things. Here is an excerpt:
ActiveWin.com (Bob Stein): Being a software company, Microsoft is always in the spotlight for its products. As CIO, how do you leverage Microsoft's own products for the company's internal IT? Do you have access to all the latest and greatest?
Tony Scott: We eat our own “dogfood” long before our enterprise customers taste it. Internally, the program is called “Microsoft’s First & Best Customer” because Microsoft IT is the first customer of Microsoft’s enterprise products. We run alpha and beta versions of products and services in production environments to help improve product quality and test enterprise scenarios for the product teams. Then we later publish our experiences with the products and services in the form of white papers and videos as part of Microsoft IT Showcase. Your readers can BING it – Microsoft IT Showcase.
As an example, we run a very large SAP ERP system, a single instance that has been running on Beta software of SQL Server 2012 since November 2011. To give another example, we have over 23,000 systems and 19,000 employees using Windows 8, testing new features and new hardware. We recently completed a couple of Big Data demonstrations, using Hadoop running on Windows Server. This demonstration was the proving ground for investment in this area, to start generating business insight from user behavior data on a much larger scale than we have been able to do before.