I have a job within Microsoft that focuses on interoperability, working with other companies to make sure our products work well together. This is part of the company’s commitment to customers, and we understand that enabling choices creates more opportunities for our customers, partners and developers, and that also will make us more successful as a company in the future.
But I often find it hard to explain interoperability to people who are not really familiar with technology, or who have not looked closely at Microsoft’s commitment to interoperability and openness.
The fact is, citizens benefit from open, interoperable environments every day. To help people really understand interoperability and make it come alive, we created a fictional character, Isabela, to take us through a typical day. Isabela shows us just how interoperability is at the centre of everything we do.
See how interoperable technology affects her work, family and community. Interoperable technology seems to “work magic” into a person’s day, at home and at work; from morning until night. But it is not magic, interoperability is hard work, and when we do it well, Isabela’s day gets easier.
Isabela Interop is an environmental studies researcher in your country, who like most of us, has busy days juggling work and family. She and her family have just moved into a new, “green” house. She’s presenting at a conference this week, and her son has volunteered to lead his group’s science fair project at school. Let’s look how interoperable technology is connecting Isabela to her work, family, and community.
Isabela wakes up, checks her e-mail on her Apple iPhone, and reviews documents from her colleagues giving her feedback on her conference presentation. Isabela was able to open Microsoft Word documents on her iPhone in order to receive her conference presentation feedback.
While at her son’s football match, Isabela can check her Microsoft Exchange e-mail on her iPhone. All because Apple leverages Microsoft technology that allows a mobile device to get mails and documents in real time.
Since Isabela has just moved, she needs to change her address online using her new Citizen Card. Even though the card has to authenticate her identity across several government systems and platforms, the address change happens seamlessly.
In her office on the university campus, Isabela conducts research on water and air quality across different areas of Europe for a paper she is writing. She then reviews her research, pulls in additional data from multiple university databases and then shares with other researchers. It all works thanks to collaboration between Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and other industry leaders.
Isabela shares it with her fellow researchers by uploading it to a shared database. Thanks to a Unified Access Control (UAC) solution, the right people can access the right information she logs onto the “Eye on Earth”—a single service that aggregates real-time environmental information to 500 million people in 32 countries.
She writes an innovative new blog post on a new, “green” house and uploads it to WordPress, the world’s largest self-hosting blogging tool, which runs many interoperable technologies to serve over 200 million users.
Finally, Isabela hosts her son’s science fair group at their home to watch the World Cup.
For dinner she orders pizza from the Domino’s Pizza web site. Although it’s a busy day, her pizza arrives on time. Because of the pizza chain’s open data center environment and Windows Azure platform, they can manage the high volume of orders having taken their application code on Jav/Tomcat.
Cloud interoperability requires a broad perspective and creative, collaborative problem-solving. Looking ahead, Microsoft intends to support an open, collaborative dialogue with the industry and community to define cloud principles and incorporate all points of view to ensure that in this time of change, there is a world of choice. We’ve already made a lot of great progress, and we’re inviting others to join us as we continue to engage in the hard work of ensuring interoperability in the cloud.