Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....


Thursday, 10 July 2008 10:25 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

So the internet/IT industry is an interesting place - I’ve been around in the New Zealand computer industry for over 15 years, and one thing is for sure, no matter where you live, your ability to be part of a bigger picture is limited only by your imagination. People who know me, know that I’m an enthusiastic, passionate and persistent individual, who believes in doing the right thing by our customers, partners, our technology and our company. As the years go on, and as I reflect on the people I have worked with, I’m very thankful and appreciative of the opportunities I have had, have created and continue to have.

We recently went through our end of year performance review discussions - this is a time to reflect and measure personal success as an individual, as well as taking a look at ‘what’s next’ in terms of stretching ourselves and growing. For me, if you’re comfortable in your role, then you probably aren’t growing and challenging yourself, and therefore it’s time to look at finding something else to sink your teeth into.  I’ve been at Microsoft for around 7 years, and people often ask what gets me out of bed in the morning (well apart from screaming kids), what’s the next thing on your radar, you’ve been at MS for a while now – so what’s next?

My answer is simple, well kind of – My job is far from done, the more you know, the more you know you don’t – Every year brings new opportunities, new challenges, new customers, new technology, new competition and year on year my role is changing/evolving, so complacency isn’t something I’ve experienced this far at Microsoft.

I have my ‘goals’ that I work towards and need to achieve, but for me it’s more about personal gratification in terms of making a positive difference for our customers and the business. We aren’t a faceless US multinational, we are a bunch of typical New Zealanders who love the possibilities that software and technology can deliver to our customers and the country, and we want to be the change agent for success. We make some great products and solutions that deliver real business value, the challenge we have is helping our customers deploy, and therefore realise the value of their investments.  

Microsoft's Infrastructure Optimization Model defines four levels of maturity in the computing platform, each of which has specific and identifiable characteristics. It’s designed to help our customers move along the scale and become more agile and deliver better services to the business that they require, in order to be more profitable etc.

Level Characterisation


Systems are complex and incompatible. Most IT resources are reacting to problems, just trying to keep things running. With few standards and automated tools, support is labour intensive and expensive.


IT departments are more centralised and effective, but systems remain complex, incompatible, and expensive to maintain. Pockets of standalone systems reside in business groups.


IT and business groups develop strategies and define IT policies, which are enforced through technology. Through standards and careful engineering, applications work together with improved compatibility.


Business agility takes priority over cost savings. IT systems are highly automated, flexible, and respond quickly to changing business conditions.


Technology alone will not solve all problems nor deliver the business value our customers seek – Enter people and process .  Microsoft Premier Support is the enabler for our customers to ensure that they are operationally sound (we have a wealth of operational offerings based on ITIL and MOF), have a stable and supportable environment,  help understand skill gaps and up skill through appropriate proactive workshops and health checks, help deploy products customers are licensed for, and assist customers in retaining staff by helping them to move from reactive to proactive. This means that staff spend less time doing the non-value add, mundane, day-to-day activities. They now are automating and managing their environment proactively through tools and processes, and re-using those resources to achieve the business outcomes as per the 1, 3, 5 year business plans. Where to from here? Soft skills, Business understanding, Business alignment, people, process and technology are the key to success. I still don’t see enough IT departments engaged and working closely with their businesses, however there is movement in the right direction! We are here to help, the reality is for us, if customers don’t deploy software that they have purchased, it vastly de-values our licensing agreements, impacts on customer satisfaction and doesn’t  do much for our image and reputation – The moral of the story – Talk to us if you need help, we can help you be successful and we can both win.

So what gets me out of bed in the morning - it’s the desire to make a difference, connect with customers, deliver business value and to help our customers be successful, oh, and they keep paying me.


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