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Microsoft’s Business Strategy Case Study

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Microsoft’s Company Overview


Microsoft Corporation (commonly referred to as Microsoft or MS) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, Microsoft office suite, and internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface tablet lineup.

www.microsoft.com

Country: Washington

Foundations date: 1975

Type: Public

Sector: Technology

Categories: Software


Microsoft’s Customer Needs


Social impact:

Life changing: self-actualization, motivation, affiliation/belonging

Emotional: reduces anxiety, design/aesthetics, badge value, attractiveness, provides access

Functional: saves time, simplifies, makes money, reduces risk, organizes, integrates, connects, reduces effort, avoids hassles, reduces cost, quality, variety, informs, sensory appeal


Microsoft’s Related Competitors


Epocrates Adblock Plus Evernote WaterSmart Software Gluu Oracle

Microsoft’s Business Operations


Advertising:

This approach generated money by sending promotional marketing messages from other businesses to customers. When you establish a for-profit company, one of the most critical aspects of your strategy is determining how to generate income. Many companies sell either products or services or a mix of the two. However, advertisers are frequently the source of the majority of all of the revenue for online businesses and media organizations. This is referred to as an ad-based income model.

Aikido:

The aikido business model is often characterized as using a competitor's strength to get an edge over them. This is accomplished through finding weaknesses in a competitor's strategic position. In addition, it adds to marketing sustainability by exposing rivals' flaws, finding internal and external areas for development, and attracting consumers via specific product offers that deviate from the norm.

Archetypes of business model design:

The business model archetypes include many business personalities and more than one business model linked to various goods or services. There is a common foundation behind the scenes of each unit, but from a management standpoint, each group may operate independently.

Auction:

An auction is a procedure in which prospective purchasers submit competing bids for assets or services. Providing a product or service for sale to the highest bidder is a standard business practice. Because they satisfy both businesses and customers, auction business models help to market sustainability. Companies gain because their product is accessible to a pre-existing market. Customers profit from the auction model since they have a say in the product's ultimate pricing.

Benchmarking services:

Benchmarking is a technique for evaluating performance and gaining insights via data analytics. It may be used to conduct internal research on your firm or compare it to other businesses to enhance business processes and performance indicators following best practices. Typically, three dimensions are measured: quality, time, and cost. In this manner, they may ascertain the targets' performance and, more significantly, the business processes that contribute to these companies' success. The digital transformation era has spawned a slew of data analysis-focused software businesses.

Best in class services:

When a firm brings a product to market, it must first create a compelling product and then field a workforce capable of manufacturing it at a competitive price. Neither task is simple to perform effectively; much managerial effort and scholarly study have been dedicated to these issues. Nevertheless, providing a service involves another aspect: managing clients, who are consumers of the service and may also contribute to its creation.

Blue ocean strategy:

The blue ocean approach is predicated on the premise that market limits and industry structure are not predetermined and may be reconfigured via the actions and attitudes of industry participants. This is referred to as the reconstructionist perspective by the writers. Assuming that structure and market boundaries exist solely in managers' thoughts, practitioners who subscribe to this perspective avoid being constrained by actual market structures. To them, more demand exists, primarily untapped. The core of the issue is determining how to produce it.

Bundling:

Multiple products or services have been bundled together to enhance the value. Bundling is a marketing technique in which goods or services are bundled to be sold as a single entity. Bundling enables the purchasing of several goods and services from a single vendor. While the goods and services are often linked, they may also consist of different items that appeal to a particular market segment.

Combining data within and across industries:

How can data from other sources be integrated to generate additional value? The science of big data, combined with emerging IT standards that enable improved data integration, enables new information coordination across businesses or sectors. As a result, intelligent executives across industries will see big data for what it is: a revolution in management. However, as with any other significant organizational transformation, the difficulties associated with becoming a big data-enabled company may be tremendous and require hands-on?or, in some instances, hands-off?leadership.

Corporate innovation:

Innovation is the outcome of collaborative creativity in turning an idea into a feasible concept, accompanied by a collaborative effort to bring that concept to life as a product, service, or process improvement. The digital era has created an environment conducive to business model innovation since technology has transformed how businesses operate and provide services to consumers.

Culture is brand:

It requires workers to live brand values to solve issues, make internal choices, and provide a branded consumer. Developing a distinctive and enduring cultural brand is the advertising industry's holy grail. Utilizing the hazy combination of time, attitude, and emotion to identify and replicate an ideology is near to marketing magic.

Customer data:

It primarily offers free services to users, stores their personal information, and acts as a platform for users to interact with one another. Additional value is generated by gathering and processing consumer data in advantageous ways for internal use or transfer to interested third parties. Revenue is produced by either directly selling the data to outsiders or by leveraging it for internal reasons, such as increasing the efficacy of advertising. Thus, innovative, sustainable Big Data business models are as prevalent and desired as they are elusive (i.e., data is the new oil).

Channel per purpose:

Creating separate channels for selling and purchasing current goods and services. A marketing plan is a vendor's plan for distributing a product or service to the end consumer through the chain of commerce. Manufacturers and retailers have a plethora of channel choices. The simplest method is the direct channel, which involves the seller selling directly to the consumer. In addition, the vendor may use its own sales staff or offer its goods or services through an e-commerce website.

Demarketing:

Excluding current clients that are unprofitable or who do not adhere to company principles. Efforts directed towards reducing (not eliminating) demand for a product that (1) a company cannot provide in sufficient quantities or (2) a firm does not want to sell in a particular area due to prohibitively expensive distribution or marketing expenses. Increased pricing, less promotion, and product redesign are all common demarketing tactics.

Digital:

A digital strategy is a strategic management and a business reaction or solution to a digital issue, which is often best handled as part of a broader company plan. A digital strategy is frequently defined by the application of new technologies to existing business activities and a focus on enabling new digital skills for their company (such as those formed by the Information Age and frequently as a result of advances in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunication services, and the World wide web, to name a few).

Digital transformation:

Digitalization is the systematic and accelerated transformation of company operations, processes, skills, and models to fully exploit the changes and possibilities brought about by digital technology and its effect on society. Digital transformation is a journey with many interconnected intermediate objectives, with the ultimate aim of continuous enhancement of processes, divisions, and the business ecosystem in a hyperconnected age. Therefore, establishing the appropriate bridges for the trip is critical to success.

Direct selling:

Direct selling refers to a situation in which a company's goods are immediately accessible from the manufacturer or service provider rather than via intermediate channels. The business avoids the retail margin and any extra expenses connected with the intermediaries in this manner. These savings may be passed on to the client, establishing a consistent sales experience. Furthermore, such intimate touch may help to strengthen client connections. Finally, direct selling benefits consumers by providing convenience and service, such as personal demonstrations and explanations of goods, home delivery, and substantial satisfaction guarantees.

Disruptive trends:

A disruptive technology supplants an existing technology and fundamentally alters an industry or a game-changing innovation that establishes an altogether new industry. Disruptive innovation is defined as an invention that shows a new market and value network and ultimately disrupts an established market and value network, replacing incumbent market-leading companies, products, and alliances.

Dynamic pricing:

This pattern allows the business to adjust its rates in response to national or regional trends. Dynamic pricing is a pricing technique known as surge pricing, demand pricing, or time-based pricing. In which companies establish variable prices for their goods or services in response to changing market conditions. Companies may adjust their rates based on algorithms that consider rival pricing, supply and demand, and other market variables. Dynamic pricing is widely used in various sectors, including hospitality, travel, entertainment, retail, energy, and public transportation.

eCommerce:

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce (alternatively spelled eCommerce), is a business model, or a subset of a larger business model, that allows a company or person to do business via an electronic network, usually the internet. As a result, customers gain from increased accessibility and convenience, while the business benefits from integrating sales and distribution with other internal operations. Electronic commerce is prevalent throughout all four main market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. Ecommerce may be used to sell almost any goods or service, from books and music to financial services and airline tickets.

Ecosystem:

A business ecosystem is a collection of related entities ? suppliers, distributors, customers, rivals, and government agencies ? collaborating and providing a particular product or service. The concept is that each entity in the ecosystem influences and is impacted by the others, resulting in an ever-changing connection. Therefore, each entity must be adaptive and flexible to live, much like a biological ecosystem. These connections are often backed by a shared technical platform and are based on the flow of information, resources, and artifacts in the software ecosystem.

Exposure:

This model collects data and connects it to others; it is suggested to investigate the impact of advertising on consumer purchase dynamics by explicitly linking the distribution of exposures from a brand's media schedule to the brand purchase incidence behavior patterns over time. The danger is that we may be unable to react productively and cost-effectively to technological and market changes.

Fast fashion:

Fast fashion is a phrase fashion retailers use to describe how designs travel rapidly from the catwalk to catch current fashion trends. The emphasis is on optimizing specific supply chain components to enable these trends to be developed and produced quickly and affordably, allowing the mainstream customer to purchase current apparel designs at a reduced price.

Flat rate:

This model is used to describe a pricing system that charges a single flat price for service regardless of its actual use or duration. A company may establish a responsible position in a market if customers get excellent pricing before performing the service. The consumer benefits from a straightforward cost structure, while the business benefits from a predictable income stream.

Guaranteed availability:

Guaranteed availability is a property of a business system that attempts to maintain an agreed-upon level of operational performance, often uptime, for a longer time than is typical. The idea is often linked with terms such as high availability and catastrophe recovery.

Hidden revenue:

A hidden revenue business model is a revenue-generating strategy that excludes consumers from the equation, preventing them from paying for the service or product provided. For example, users of Google do not pay for the search engine. Rather than that, income streams are generated via advertising dollars spent by companies bidding on keywords.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a subset of cloud computing that offers on-demand access to shared computing resources and data to PCs and other devices. It is a paradigm for ubiquitous, on-demand access to a pool of customizable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be quickly provided and released with little administrative effort.

Ingredient branding:

Ingredient branding is a kind of marketing in which a component or ingredient of a product or service is elevated to prominence and given its own identity. It is the process of developing a brand for an element or component of a product in order to communicate the ingredient's superior quality or performance. For example, everybody is aware of the now-famous Intel Inside and its subsequent success.

Integrator:

A systems integrator is an individual or business specializing in integrating component subsystems into a unified whole and ensuring that those subsystems work correctly together. A process is known as system integration. Gains in efficiency, economies of scope, and less reliance on suppliers result in cost reductions and may improve the stability of value generation.

Layer player:

Companies that add value across many markets and sectors are referred to be layer players. Occasionally, specialist companies achieve dominance in a specific niche market. The effectiveness of their operations, along with their economies of size and footprint, establish the business as a market leader.

Licensing:

A formal agreement in which the owner of the copyright, know-how, patent, service mark, trademark, or other intellectual property grants a licensee the right to use, manufacture, and sell copies of the original. These agreements often restrict the licensee's scope or area of operation, define whether the license is exclusive or non-exclusive, and stipulate whether the licensee will pay royalties or another kind of compensation in return. While licensing agreements are often used to commercialize the technology, franchisees also utilize them to encourage the sale of products and services.

Lock-in:

The lock-in strategy?in which a business locks in consumers by imposing a high barrier to transferring to a competitor?has acquired new traction with New Economy firms during the last decade.

Long tail:

The long tail is a strategy that allows businesses to realize significant profit out of selling low volumes of hard-to-find items to many customers instead of only selling large volumes of a reduced number of popular items. The term was coined in 2004 by Chris Anderson, who argued that products in low demand or with low sales volume can collectively make up market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters but only if the store or distribution channel is large enough.

Make and distribute:

In this arrangement, the producer creates the product and distributes it to distributors, who oversee the goods' ongoing management in the market.

Make more of It:

The business invests time and money in developing in-house expertise and development that may be used both internally and outside to sell goods or services to clients or third parties. AWS was created to meet Amazon's cloud computing requirements. They quickly discovered that they could offer their services to end-users. At the moment, AWS accounts for about 11% of Amazon's overall income.

On-demand economy:

The on-demand economy is described as economic activity generated by digital marketplaces that meet customer demand for products and services via quick access and accessible supply. The supply chain is managed via a highly efficient, intuitive digital mesh built on top of current infrastructure networks. The on-demand economy is transforming commercial behavior in cities worldwide. The number of businesses, the categories covered, and the industry's growth rate are all increasing. Businesses in this new economy are the culmination of years of technological progress and customer behavior change.

Online marketplace:

An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a kind of e-commerce website in which product or service information is supplied by various third parties or, in some instances, the brand itself, while the marketplace operator handles transactions. Additionally, this pattern encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce between businesses or people. By and large, since marketplaces aggregate goods from a diverse range of suppliers, the variety and availability are typically greater than in vendor-specific online retail shops. Additionally, pricing might be more competitive.

Orchestrator:

Orchestrators are businesses that outsource a substantial portion of their operations and processes to third-party service providers or third-party vendors. The fundamental objective of this business strategy is to concentrate internal resources on core and essential functions while contracting out the remainder of the work to other businesses, thus reducing costs.

Platform as a Service (PaaS):

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a class of cloud computing services that enable users to create, operate, and manage apps without the burden of establishing and maintaining the infrastructure usually involved with designing and developing an app.

Product innovation:

Product innovation is the process of developing and introducing a new or better version of an existing product or service. This is a broader definition of innovation than the generally recognized definition, which includes creating new goods that are considered innovative in this context. For example, Apple launched a succession of successful new products and services in 2001?the iPod, the iTunes online music service, and the iPhone?which catapulted the firm to the top of its industry.

Skunkworks project:

A skunkworks project is one that is created by a small, loosely organized group of individuals who study and develop a project with the primary goal of radical innovation. The terminology arose during World War II with Lockheed's Skunk Works project. However, since its inception with Skunk Works, the phrase has been used to refer to comparable high-priority research and development initiatives at other big companies that include a small team operating outside of their regular working environment and free of managerial restrictions. Typically, the phrase alludes to semi-secretive technological initiatives, such as Google X Lab.

Software as a Service (SaaS):

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a paradigm for licensing and delivering subscription-based and centrally hosted software. Occasionally, the term on-demand software is used. SaaS is usually accessible through a web browser via a thin client. SaaS has established itself as the de facto delivery mechanism for a large number of commercial apps. SaaS has been integrated into virtually every major enterprise Software company's strategy.

Solution provider:

A solution provider consolidates all goods and services in a particular domain into a single point of contact. As a result, the client is supplied with a unique know-how to improve efficiency and performance. As a Solution Provider, a business may avoid revenue loss by broadening the scope of the service it offers, which adds value to the product. Additionally, close client interaction enables a better understanding of the customer's habits and requirements, enhancing goods and services.

Sponsorship:

In most instances, support is not intended to be philanthropic; instead, it is a mutually beneficial commercial relationship. In the highly competitive sponsorship climate of sport, a business aligning its brand with a mark seeks a variety of economic, public relations, and product placement benefits. Sponsors also seek to establish public trust, acceptability, or alignment with the perceived image a sport has built or acquired by leveraging their connection with an athlete, team, league, or the sport itself.

Subscription:

Subscription business models are built on the concept of providing a product or service in exchange for recurring subscription income on a monthly or annual basis. As a result, they place a higher premium on client retention than on customer acquisition. Subscription business models, in essence, concentrate on revenue generation in such a manner that a single client makes repeated payments for extended access to a product or service. Cable television, internet providers, software suppliers, websites (e.g., blogs), business solutions providers, and financial services companies utilize this approach, as do conventional newspapers, periodicals, and academic publications.

Take the wheel:

Historically, the fundamental principles for generating and extracting economic value were rigorous. Businesses attempted to implement the same business concepts more effectively than their rivals. New sources of sustained competitive advantage are often only accessible via business model reinvention driven by disruptive innovation rather than incremental change or continuous improvement.

Technology trends:

New technologies that are now being created or produced in the next five to ten years will significantly change the economic and social landscape. These include but are not limited to information technology, wireless data transmission, human-machine connection, on-demand printing, biotechnology, and sophisticated robotics.

Trialware:

Trialware is software that has an expiration date. The user may use the software fully featured until the trial time expires. At this point, it reverts to a limited functionality (freemium, nagware, or crippleware) or non-functional mode until the user pays the licensing price and gets a registration code to unlock the program. Trialware has established itself as the industry standard for an online software as a Service (SaaS).

Two-sided market:

Two-sided marketplaces, also called two-sided networks, are commercial platforms featuring two different user groups that mutually profit from the web. A multi-sided platform is an organization that generates value mainly via the facilitation of direct contacts between two (or more) distinct kinds of connected consumers (MSP). A two-sided market enables interactions between many interdependent consumer groups. The platform's value grows as more groups or individual members of each group use it. For example, eBay is a marketplace that links buyers and sellers. Google connects advertising and searchers. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also bidirectional, linking consumers and marketers.

Rent instead of buy:

Services that do not need the product to be purchased but rather rent it for the economic benefit of requiring less money to access the commodity. When you rent, you assume less obligation since most of the burden is placed on the owner's shoulders. There is no debt; you are just responsible for the monthly rent. When renting, you have more flexibility by signing a six-month or one-year lease. This implies that you will be confined to that location for at least that period. When your lease term expires, you have the option of switching to another product or renewing your lease.

Virtual reality:

AR/VR is the fourth significant platform change (after PC, web, and mobile). First, CEOs must choose how to play. Business models are determined by installed bases, use cases, and unit economics; there is no one-size-fits-all answer; each situation is unique, and developers must do market research and analysis before making a choice. Relying on advertising-income is a handy strategy for unknown businesses or newcomers to the market. It allows them to use their prior expertise with mobile and online ad campaigns.

Why Microsoft’s Business Model is so successful?

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