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商业 - 科技

纳德拉:微软需要打造“数据文化”

Adam Lashinsky 2014年04月22日

按照微软新任CEO纳德拉的观点,由微软软件产生、存储和加工的数据才是这家公司的未来。微软现在需要形成一种数据文化。每个工程师每天要审视数据使用,从中学习、思考微软的产品还能增加哪些新功能,同时着手进行改进。这才是微软活力的源泉。

    微软(Microsoft)新任首席执行官萨提亚•纳德拉最近很忙。上周二,他在旧金山主持了一场发布会,这是他三周以来第三次公开亮相。跟上次曝光度极高的发布会不同,本次会议鲜有媒体报道,原因恐怕与讨论的主题是企业级软件有关。要知道,在上次会议上,发布的可是万众期待的iPad版Office。

    诚然,纳德拉这次并没有带来多少新鲜信息。路透社(Reuters )和彭博社(Bloomberg )的报道已经涵盖了基本内容:微软将更新数据库及其辅助产品。

    不过内行看门道,令我感到震惊的是纳德拉和其余高管对微软愿景的描述,尤其是他们字里行间无处不充斥着“数据”一词。大数据毫无疑问是当下最热门的话题,谁都可以畅谈一二。但纳德拉及其团队用清晰明了的方式对大数据进行了阐述,令我有拨云见日的感觉。毕竟,这可是纳德拉的老本行,而且也是微软目前最危险的业务。

    按照纳德拉的观点,由微软软件产生、存储和加工的数据才是公司的未来。他表示微软需要形成“这样一种数据文化,即每个工程师每天要审视使用数据、从中学习、思考我们的产品还能增加哪些新功能,同时着手进行改进。这是微软活力的源泉。”纳德拉还谈到了“数据垃圾”,例如服务器日志、社交流媒体信息和事务数据。它们看起来好像毫无用处,但可以转换为“数据燃料”供给所谓的“环境智能”使用。如果能做到了这一切,那么微软用户将能获得“数据红利”。

    纳德拉并不是在空口说白话。微软高管们向用户展示了如何利用Office产品新功能打击计算机犯罪、改善建筑物能耗以及规划市场营销费用。

    当然,纸上得来终觉浅。纳德拉鼓励大家“善于利用Office挖掘数据”。我深以为然。眼下许多热门产品和服务都与微软的生态系统搭不上半点干系。我至今仍耿耿于怀,微软为什么没有基于Outlook邮件系统开发出LikedIn。要知道,微软在这方面可是有巨大的先天优势。多年来,我常常向朋友们群发非正式邮件,分享我的文章的链接。对我而言,Outlook中的群组功能除了发邮件,几乎一无是处。我最终时髦了一把,用Mailchimp取而代之。后者的数据分析功能棒极了,微软应该提供这样的功能,而不是让Mailchimp这个名字滑稽的新创企业占了先机。

    不过,豪言壮语是个开始。微软首席运营官凯文•特纳在谈到如何与用户打交道时,至少两次用到了“谦逊”这个词。而纳德拉也还有话要说。微软表示,从4月24日开始,纳德拉将负责主持公司的季度营收电话会议,这与史蒂夫•鲍尔默时代的做法截然不同。投资者们希望直接聆听首席执行官的声音,尤其是,假如首席执行官的豪言壮语真的能转化成公司实实在在的营收的话。(财富中文网)

    译者:项航

    Microsoft's (MSFT) neophyte CEO SatyaNadella held an event in San Francisco Tuesday, his third public appearance in three weeks. Unlike his last outing, to unveil Microsoft's Office app for the iPad, the daylong affair didn't get much attention, most likely because it was focused on enterprise software.

    It's true that Nadella didn't say much that was new. Reuters and Bloomberg covered the basics, which included updates on Microsoft's database and ancillary products.

    Yet I was struck by the words Nadella and other executives used to describe Microsoft's goals, primarily the many ways they dressed up and accessorized the word "data." Big data is the theme of the era, and no one can ignore it. But Nadella and his team have hit on clever ways to explain it, which strikes me as a positive development. After all, this is the part of the business Nadella ran before his elevation to chief executive, and it's also the part of Microsoft's business that is least vulnerable to competition.

    In Nadella's world view, data generated by, living on, and enhanced by Microsoft's software is the company's future. He said the company needs a "data culture where every engineer, every day, is looking at the usage data, learning from that usage data, questioning what new things to test out with our products, and being on that improvement cycle which is the lifeblood of Microsoft." He talked about "data exhaust," such as server logs, social-media streams, and transaction data that is meaningless unless it can be turned into "data fuel" for something he called "ambient intelligence." Getting this right will lead to a "data dividend" for Microsoft's customers.

    Such fluffy language included examples too. Microsoft executives showed how users can exploit new features of Microsoft's Office productivity software to catch cybercriminals, improve energy utilization in buildings, and target marketing expenditures.

    Words have limitations, of course. Nadella encouraged users to "think of Office as the scaffolding from which you can access the data." I like that. Yet too often others have erected their products far from Microsoft's building site. To this day I'm annoyed that Microsoft didn't build LinkedIn from its Outlook email program, a veritable birthright for Microsoft. For years now I've distributed an informal email to a group of friends, linking to my articles. That group function in Outlook did next to nothing for me other than send an email. I finally got modern and am using Mailchimp now instead. The analytics are gorgeous, and Microsoft should be giving them to me, not some startup with a funny name.

    Still, words are a start. Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, used the word "humility" at least twice in communicating the company's attitude toward its customers. And Nadella isn't done using his words. Microsoft said that the CEO will begin hosting the company's quarterly earnings calls on April 24, a departure from Steve Ballmer's routine. Investors love to hear from the CEO directly -- especially if he can tell them his words are translating into the kinds of numbers they want to hear.

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