Kirill Tatarinov Weighs In on the Future of Business

REDMOND, Wash. –
May 1
, 2012 – Kirill Tatarinov made a promise to himself in 2002. He had just left a job and was considering his next move, which probably would mean forming a start-up. After 16 years in the computing industry, he vowed never again to work for a large corporation. And he definitely needed a break from building software for enterprise IT management.

Kirill Tatarinov Kirill Tatarinov

April 29, 2012
Kirill Tatarinov, president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division.

Six months later, ironically enough, he was at the helm of Microsoft’s Management Solutions Division on a mission to establish Microsoft as the “incredibly obvious choice” for enterprise management. He’s never regretted that decision.

“My first five years with the company was an incredible journey of establishing Microsoft as the leader in enterprise IT management and helping us to become a mission-critical vendor for the CIO,” said Tatarinov. “It was an amazing experience of coming from behind, overtaking established players, and setting the course to build systems management into a strategic business for the company.”

In 2007, Tatarinov joined another emerging Microsoft business – Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) – with responsibility for a portfolio of business applications including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) sold under the Microsoft Dynamics brand. For both Tatarinov and Microsoft, moving from the CIO’s table to the CEO’s was a natural progression.

“I am passionate about winning hearts and minds of our business customers,” he said. “System Center helped us win with CIOs and IT professionals, and now Microsoft Dynamics elevates us to the level of mission-critical provider to business owners, CEOs and general managers. Today, Microsoft Dynamics enables us to be at the table with business decision makers where critical business processes are being discussed.”

The current state of the industry calls for developing agile systems that help build stronger connections between people, reveal insights for better decision-making, and enable organizations to adapt quickly to changing conditions, he said. As Microsoft looks to the challenges facing businesses in the future, Tatarinov aims to define a new vision – “Dynamic Business” – for how software can help people work better and inspire them to a higher level of commitment, innovation and leadership. The vision will only deepen MBS’s strategic importance to the company. At the recent Convergence 2012 conference, Tatarinov and his team unveiled the evolution of the Dynamic Business vision to more than 10,000 attendees.

“We’re innovating in the business process and helping organizations become better at what they do. We’re essentially designing what the future of business looks like and delivering that in the marketplace.”

Tatarinov at Convergence 2012 Tatarinov at Convergence 2012

April 29, 2012
Kirill Tatarinov, president, Microsoft Business Solutions Division, and Fred Studer, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics ERP, demo concept business applications on Windows 8 at Convergence 2012.

Emerging Trends Driving Change

Several large trends are driving the work underway at MBS, Tatarinov said. The first is demographic. “Obviously new generations are always coming into the marketplace, but for the first time ever the generation that is joining the workforce has grown up with computers,” he said. They have different expectations for the solutions they use at work. That means intuitive tools they can start using without flipping open a user’s manual, just like what they have at home. So the consumerization of the workplace is really pushing change in the enterprise and offers a huge opportunity for Microsoft, which is focusing on building simple and agile solutions for the office, he said.

Another driver is economics. More than ever, customers want to see a fast return on their investment. Historically, the world of business applications has been one of pricey and expensive rollouts. But MBS is striving to deliver its customers the lowest cost of ownership and the best return on investment breaking the “electronic concrete” of legacy applications.

Finally, there’s globalization. As the world shrinks, it’s difficult to find any business that isn’t engaged globally, and MBS delivers solutions to help businesses operate worldwide.

Underpinning everything is the key trend of cloud computing. “It’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ businesses would want to run a majority of business processes in the cloud,” Tatarinov said. Last year MBS delivered Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in 40 markets simultaneously; customers can choose on-premise deployment, private cloud deployment, or public cloud service from Microsoft. In addition, MBS is working closely with the Windows Azure team to move the rest of its portfolio of solutions into the cloud.

Tatarinov’s tenure at Microsoft roughly corresponds with that of Microsoft Dynamics, which over the last decade has gone from packaged product to an always-on cloud service. The Microsoft Dynamics portfolio of applications delivers business solutions for a broad range of professionals, including those responsible for sales, procurement, supply chain and finance management, he said. And it’s also where MBS plays a critical strategic role for the company.

“Essentially we uptake all the massive innovation that’s happening inside the company across the board and we put that innovation into very concrete, very specific business scenarios,” Tatarinov said. “That intersection of business and technology is what I think makes Microsoft Business Solutions unique inside Microsoft and the industry today.”

This unique differentiation is also helping MBS win against the competition, he said. Businesses switching to Microsoft Dynamics solutions are helping their people be more productive, gain efficiencies, save money and get impressive return on their technology investments.

Looking back on his time at Microsoft, Tatarinov said he never doubted the company’s ability to become a leading provider of business solutions. He never really doubted his career path, either. As a young boy in Moscow, he would watch his father, a systems architect, draw large, sophisticated diagrams. He was hooked. “It was a no-brainer about where I was going and what I would do.”

Tatarinov remains bullish on the future of MBS. He expects it to continue on a strong growth path and be known as “the obvious choice for all things business solutions.”

“Microsoft has been inventing the future of technology and computing for 35 years,” he said. “Now with Microsoft Business Solutions we’re inventing the future of business. There’s no other company on the planet that thinks about the problems we’re solving in the same way.”