“Exciting time” to operate across APAC as Microsoft hones in on local presence

César Cernuda, President of Microsoft Asia Pacific, says a big part of Redmond’s strategy is not just to be a global company but to have local presence.

Innovating and helping people get things done in a mobile-first, cloud-first world is core to Microsoft’s purpose in Asia.

That’s the key message from César Cernuda, President of Microsoft Asia Pacific, during his keynote address at the Microsoft Analyst Summit Asia 2015 in Singapore this week.

Speaking to more than 80 IT industry analysts from around the region, Cernuda is confident that Microsoft is “uniquely positioned” to help individuals and businesses in the fast-changing region become more productive by making the most of any moment.

“A big part of our strategy is not just to be a global company but to have local presence,” Cernuda adds.

“We have operations in almost every country in Asia – with local teams, teams led by local leaders in each of our markets. That really helps us to execute our global strategy in a local way.”

According to Cernuda, this is an exciting time for Microsoft to be in Asia with the region, which counts New Zealand as part of it, currently home to 1.27 billion Internet users, more than the combined number from the Americas and Europe.

Country by country, the Philippines has the fastest growing Internet population in the world (growing at 530 percent over the past five years) while Jakarta is the city that tweets the most globally.

Asia is also the largest regional e-commerce market and houses the headquarters for about 34 percent of the world’s top 2,000 companies. For Cernuda, Microsoft, with more than 26,000 employees across 18 subsidiaries in Asia, is certainly poised to play a big part in the rapid growth of the region.

Delving deeper into the company’s strategic plans for the Asia Pacific region, Cernuda outlined four key areas Microsoft will be focusing on in order to develop technology that can help people achieve more.

“The first is Mobile,” he says, “which is essentially creating a truly mobile world that revolves around us so that any device can become your device. This way, your content will always be with you regardless of device or location.

“The second area is Social which is about developing tools that empower social productivity. This means real-time collaboration and collective creation among people at different locations. Think Office 365 and Yammer.

“The third is Intelligent. As its name suggests, these are tools that understand context in order to anticipate and prioritise, much like what Cortana does on Windows Phone and soon on Windows 10.

“Last but not least, Natural is the fourth area that will move away from tools which require us to learn how they work to natural tools that learn to work the way we do.”

According to Cernuda, this will create new ways to interact using touch, voice and gesture, similar to how Kinect has helped provide innovative ways of interaction and control beyond gaming.

Another timely example is the Skype Translator which offers near real-time speech translation from one language to another.

In closing, Cernuda believes that these four dimensions of focus represent Microsoft’s commitment to go beyond historic ideas about “productivity” and create a world where people can make the most of their time.

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