An Amazing Opportunity with Industry Revealing Cloud Technology

Industry Experiences: An Amazing Opportunity with Industry Revealing Cloud Technology.

In this series of the podcast, I sit down with industry leaders to explore the digital transformation disrupting almost every industry

In this episode I had the great pleasure of speaking with Paul Maher, General Manager of the Industry Experiences Team at Microsoft. As part of the Cloud and AI Engineering organization at Microsoft, Paul leads a team of industry experts that link vertical industries with Azure engineers to address current and future cloud computing needs for sectors such as:

  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Banking and capital markets
  • Healthcare

With Microsoft’s renewed commitment to an industry approach, Paul helped build the new Industry Experiences team from the ground up. By sitting within the engineering practice, he and his multidiscipline team have direct lines to the Azure technologists, as well as customers experiencing digital transformation first-hand. Paul notes that this signals that Microsoft is striving to be more than a best-of-breed technology company — it is a true industry partner.

We discuss the “feedback loop” function of the Industry Experiences team. Internally, Paul explains that his team represents industry needs and concerns, and provides insights to the engineering function for roadmap and planning for Azure development. Externally, the team uses technical knowledge to engage with industry leaders by sharing knowledge and insights as organizations move to the cloud. Really, Paul sees his team as the “eyes and ears” of the industry from IT infrastructure, to decision-makers at the early phases of digital transformation, to partners building solutions for vertical industries on the Azure platform.

Paul shares a bit about his professional journey and how his current role brings together several areas of interest and expertise. An experienced software developer, Paul built a cloud infrastructure for a financial services company and brings some of those key learnings into his role at Microsoft. In particular, Paul highlights:

  • Clarifying the business motivations for moving to the cloud
  • Understanding the benefits that the cloud offers
  • Embracing the efficiency, scale and innovation provided by cloud solutions
  • Shifting to an agile, continuous delivery approach to development
  • Collaborating with experienced developers and learning from those projects
  • Building a strategy for managing and supporting the cloud solution post-deployment

Paul also emphasizes the need to upskill existing team members as needed, and bringing in people with experience that can help.

We discuss the acceleration of cloud adoption across industry. Paul attributes this to the maturity of the Azure cloud platform and its proven capabilities, along with the software and hardware that accompanies it. Paul also sees existing cloud adoption as a confidence boost and competitive edge for businesses in the initial phases of digital transformation. He also points to evolving industry needs around increased data, tighter budgets and the next generation of the workforce. With this in mind, cloud-based tools such as big data, AI, and blockchain are coming together to do more than ever before at a more affordable price point.

According to Paul, his team is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of industry. Microsoft has a rich history of partnerships, so using this model to work with vertical industries is a natural progression of that legacy. He also points to the pedigree of the Azure engineering team to deliver value to customers quickly. Feedback from customers and partners is also a key benefit, and Paul points to public betas as an example. Combine all that with Microsoft’s commitment to developers, and Azure is well on its way to becoming the platform of choice for customers in any sector.

If you’d like to learn more, check out:

Or connect with Paul directly via Twitter at @PaulJFMaher or on LinkedIn.

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As with each of my interview and articles, I appreciate your feedback. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or on email at vincem@cloudwavepartners.com. You can also review this podcast by going to iTunes and searching “Ultimate Guide to Partnering” and clicking on the album art and hitting the rating link. This helps others find the podcast.

This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Microsoft and the Industry Experiences Team.