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Arvind Suthar: Listening to Customers

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Arvind Suthar, Director of Service for Microsoft Online Services, is a key part of how Microsoft Online Services helps to make our customers and partners successful. Arvind runs the team in the middle between Engineering, Support, and Operations that defines and prioritizes customer issues for the engineering team and helps unblock customers with issues getting onboard with BPOS.

In this interview, you will hear what Arvind has learned about running an enterprise class cloud service, and how he drives the 6 to 8 week update cycles that are the Microsoft Online Services "rhythm of business."

For Arvind, it's all about earning the trust of our customers.

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  • Curious to see if Office Live Small Business (OLSB) will be moving over to Microsoft Online Services.  OLSB seemed to get lost/pushed down in priority once OL Workspace Beta hit the scene.  Now that OL Workspace will be migrated into SkyDrive, perhaps it will leave Office Live to serve small business needs better.  Then again, not everything should have "Live" tacked on as a service name.  Considering that at its core, its SharePoint and doesn't fall under the Office brand anymore, why not let Microsoft Online Services manage it and give it some advertising love.  Very small businesses, like my own, jumped onto OLSB because it offered an attractive all-in-one feature set: 

    • basic email
    • public web site with ability to collect data from public web forms into sharepoint lists
    • news letters/email campaign (since dropped, no integration with 3rd party solutions)
    • shopping cart (since dropped, paypal only)
    • collaborative capabilities inherit with SharePoint and a built-in app, Contact Manager

    I'm generally pleased with our customized web site and email.  It was a disappointment to see that 3rd party add-ons/customization never materialized like I believe was the original plan.  Also, Contact Manager never interfaced with Outlook BCM the way I thought/hoped it would.  So my overall rating is mixed.

     

    Microsoft Online has some issues of its own if it want to target this market segment.  Chief among them is a site that is not easily discovered and has a look-n-feel that might make enterprise feel at home...not small businesses though.  So if Microsoft were to move OLSB, these issues will need to be addressed.

  • Hi USArcher. Thanks for your feedback. I'm glad to hear that OLSB is generally working well for you. I work on the Microsoft Online Services team, building Community, coordinating these Executive Videos, weekly webinars, blog posts, etc. I can't comment on future plans for Microsoft Online Services, but I do pass along customer feedback for consideration by the product team.

     

    If you'd like to find out more about what's going on with Microsoft Online Services, here are some links to our social media sites.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    JRG_MSFT

  • Customers = a critical endangered species

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