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Ric Merrifield - Microsoft gets down to business with Motion initiative


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Ric, director of strategy on the top secret Motion Incubation team, runs the Motion initiative. What's that? It's a group at Microsoft that studies how businesses work and looks for opportunities to help them do their business better. They made an entire map of how business works.

Motion's research led to the acquisition of Great Plains, too (which led to the Dynamics suite of services/applications).

Enjoy this look into a team you've never heard of before today and see how Microsoft approaches new markets and new acquisitions, and how it learns from other businesses.


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  • Joshua RossJoshRoss Drinking Ovaltine since 2004
    I want the MAP! XPS or PDF it please.
  • What a nice .... Big Smile - Mike
  • UlsterFryUlsterFry http://en.​wikipedia.​org/wiki/​Ulster_fry
    That's pretty cool..  you can see Ric's passion for his work.
  • Very interesting. Microsoft is evolving.

    Technology in itself is cool, but as geeks we must always remember its an enabler to help the organisation perform its business.

    More of this type of business meets technology videos please.

    Will Ric be speaking at TechEd boston ? I would be very inerested to hear more from Ric .


  • This is definitely the most INTERESTING of all videos I've seen yet.  WELL DONE, I will be looking forward to more videos with the motion team in the future.

    Is it possible to obtain a copy of the map? if not, could you do more videos that delve into the the specifics of each business function outlined on the map?

    VERY COOL stuff.


  • SourcecodeSourcecode Whatever it is, I didn't do it.

    Cool ideas, to bad it's patented. We have some large clients that could benefit very much from this. This would also help us communicate with them better. However innovations like this, that are patented, are no good to anyone that isn’t willing to pay big $$ for it.

    I could see IT business that are in a very specific industry like us, almost use this as a selling tool, I could map out the industry we work in to this level of detail, and really show the client we understand their business, and that we can help them understand their business better.

    I would be interested to know, if they have taken into account the difference when doing foreign business, not in the US. I have to imagine that certain processes like sales, and logistics change quite allot depending on what country the company is doing business in.

    Great video Scoble!!

  • Just out of curiosity - is this more of an isolated initiative within Microsoft where a single team performs analysis and determines where in this "map" Microsoft's products/architectures fit?  Or is it more of an initiative where program managers at Microsoft use this information as sort of a feed back loop to determine where they want their product to fit in the business landscape and where it should go in the next 3-5 years?

    It seems like this could be just as useful for Microsoft in determining the direction of their products as it is for the customers trying to find an overall IT strategy.
  • Nice and truly interesting screen shot.
    However the products which have lately been labeled "Dynamics" were purchased over the years for a variety of reasons.
    There's no evidence that there was any cohesive business planning behind these acquistions. Navision, makers of Axapta, were acquired to get Microsoft's foot in the door in about 400 companies in Europe, thus saving Microsoft a lot of marketing dollars.
  • Clear and unabiguous presentation of how Microsoft Services and the business has a new tool for beginning a dialogue with the business stakeholders.  The ability to map capability opportunity of the customer to the capabilities we and our partner community have is a accelerator to realizing value for both.

    My question is how do you see storing these renderings (.i.e. OLAP model) such that trends and common gaps are exposed to the industry and to individual business units within Microsoft.

  • eronwrighteronwright Eron Wright

    I posted some links to additional information on my blog.

  • Could I please get a PDF of the Map?  Thanks.
  • Ric MerrifieldRic Merrifield

    @eronwright: Thanks so much for the blog - I just saw it.  Shoot me an e-mail and I will update you on progress.  Your "revolution" word was right on.  There's an article in the Harvard Business Review that uses that same word to describe the work, and if you go out to rethinkbook dot com, you can learn about the book that also came up.

  • Ric MerrifieldRic Merrifield

    @Al Griffin: Happy to send materials to people. Send an e-mail to ric at ricmerrifield dot com.

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