Platforms for the Next Wave

“Platforms for the Next Wave” with Rick Chavez, General Manager for Microsoft Advertising’s Online Services Division

By Chen Zou

April 2012 Event

Rick Chavez heads Microsoft’s advertising Online Services organization, which delivers solutions that enable companies to connect and deeply engage with their customers. In this capacity, the marketing solutions team spans field sales, strategic, product marketing, and R&D organizations.

With over 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and advisor, he’s been helping organizations build substantial market and competitive value through commercializing technology products, services and management approaches. Prior to joining Microsoft, Rick was a managing director at TCG Advisors, a boutique strategy and transformation firm based in Silicon Valley.

Rick kicked off his speech sharing his thoughts on today’s digital trends, which also coincides with Microsoft’s. Today’s digital trends, as we might feel, are user-centered, more natural, and appear in many different forms. In other words, the idea of today’s digital world is letting users decide when and how to get the information he/she needs in the most convenient (natural) way. Therefore, the path ahead for companies (big and small) that play in this digital world; is to plan the product/project with ambition and execute pragmatically. Rick is a self-identified pragmatist, so he provided some pragmatic tools for finding and targeting the right buyer: be prudent, manage expectations, maintain relationships, spend to budget and have staying power to ‘go the distance’.

Key Takeaways from Rick’s presentation:

1. Toolkits he proposed are:

  1. Framework to build up market strategy
  2. 9 steps to identify new target customers/markets
  3. Chart to develop solutions that are both attractive and appropriate
  4. A model template to build up the whole solution

2. Enterprise platform solution toolkit has three varying and even polar opposite models (as the Qualitative focused Volume vs the Quantitative focused Complex Models):

  1. Volume operations model
  2. Complex systems enterprise model
  3. Operating model implication

Chen Zou is a product manager at Foxit Corporation. In his previous roles, he has led product management for SaaS and Mobile Software Products. His interest areas include mobile applications & SaaS products and services.