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Azure: Service Operations Management Overview

Perception of the Service

The service provided by Microsoft (Azure Cloud) can be perceived as a client-centered attempt to convey the best tech for an appropriate price that would not scare customers away from the company. The operation provides consumers with an outlook on the company’s services where end-users could generate higher conversion for Microsoft through the company’s positive relationships with stakeholders and customers (Harzing and Alakangas 373). This becomes possible because the latter gain more insight into how the company functions and what kind of perquisites it offers to any potential or existing customer. Microsoft tries to be innovative at all times, establishing a route for tech deployment (cloud services) that require customers to participate in the process of operation provision.

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Service Provision to Customers

The operation that Microsoft nurtures provides customers with numerous cloud services that are assembled under the name of Azure. This Platform as a Service (PaaS) approach allowed Microsoft to drive down the cost of operations and majorly outrun its biggest competitor – Amazon Web Services. Customers are billed on-premise, meaning that the pricing strategy for this service is as transparent as it can be, allowing consumers to pay only for the services that they use when accessing the platform (Kreiss and McGregor 171). Microsoft Azure is a perfect example of how an operation should provide the service, evading any roadblocks related to the cost of the cloud and additional customer expenditures related to additional platform capabilities.

Mission, Strategies, Goals, and Tactics

The management of the organization’s service expectations is closely associated with the company’s primary mission due to the fact that Microsoft always tries to empower anyone who is partnering with the IT mogul. The belief that anyone can achieve more than they currently have stands at the forefront of service expectation management at Microsoft, as the company’s management only offers services that are approachable, transparent, and available to ordinary consumers (Kreiss and McGregor 172). As the company does not only empower large enterprises, the concept of empowerment becomes an essential point in the discussion on the importance of corporate mission for service provision.

As for the company’s strategy and goals, these two are also related to the management of service expectations because Microsoft carefully deploys its cloud initiatives. This is an attempt to provide customers with constant updates that are not going to be perceived as rough patches. Similarly to Azure, Microsoft includes Office 365 in its strategic agenda so as to achieve the goal of consumers being able to rely on the company’s services with no hesitation (Grysiuk 24). There are three essential goals that stand as the pillars of Microsoft’s management of service expectations: to (a) reinvent business processes, (b) promote the value of cloud platforms, and (c) create room for personal computing.

The company’s tactics also play an essential role in the management of the organization’s service expectations as Microsoft relentlessly highlights the value of its tech intensity. This means that the company’s business strategy is directly linked to business processes and cultural aspects of organizational expectations, where rewards for propagation and development are real (Grysiuk 25). Service expectations generate end-to-end feedback for the company, allowing for stronger automated, intelligent insights and predictions that are based on real data and not assumptions.

Types of Service Operations

There are three types of service operations: quasi-manufacturing, customer-as-participant, and customer-as-product. Quasi-manufacturing suggests that services associated with the company’s product are inferior to physical goods. For this type of service operations, product quality, manufacturing cost, and quick delivery are essential (Wang et al. 550). The customer-as-participant type of service operations revolves around the idea that physical goods are not more important than feedback and customer involvement. This leads to the provision of services that have been manufactured in association with end-users (Wang et al. 549). The difference between these two approaches to service operations is that quasi-manufacturing is much more cost-induced while its customer-as-participant counterpart sustains the value of the product, disregarding cost control.

Customer-as-product is a type of service operations where a service is performed directly on the customer, making the connection between the organization and its consumers even more important (Wang et al. 550). It is similar to the customer-as-participant approach due to its reliance on consumer feedback, whereas quasi-manufacturing puts much more emphasis on manufacturing procedures and mostly ignores the role of end-users in product development and deployment. One of the issues that affect all types of service operations is the inability to forecast demand accurately and stay competitive in aggressive marketplaces.

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Examples of Establishing Service Expectations

The biggest challenge that Microsoft recurrently encounters when dealing with establishing service expectations is the development of a customer-centered environment. Nowadays, customers have incredibly high personal expectations for companies that are of interest to them, which forces many companies to get out of their usual production loops and focus on value instead of volume (Habel et al. 363). There are five key examples of how Microsoft approaches the establishment of service expectations:

  1. Through service operation management, Microsoft creates reasons to communicate with the customers and build trusted, transparent relationships with them.
  2. Microsoft carefully personalizes each of its services to reach out to every customer in particular and play by the customers’ rules.
  3. Microsoft tends to anticipate end-user needs and only take recommended action in order to join consumers on the journey to progressive learning.
  4. Microsoft builds a network with the customers to form common expectations and interact with the future end-users in a way that would help them receive feedback and improve all functions.
  5. Microsoft recurrently focuses on the idea that its services are aimed at improving customers’ professional and personal lives, which allows the company to invest in its own future by mentoring customers.

Works Cited

Grysiuk, Mark. “Out of the Box: Why Organizations are Jumping to Office 365/Sharepoint Online.” Information Management, vol. 52, no. 5, 2018, pp. 20-27.

Habel, Johannes, et al. “When Do Customers Get What They Expect? Understanding the Ambivalent Effects of Customers’ Service Expectations on Satisfaction.” Journal of Service Research, vol. 19, no. 4, 2016, pp. 361-379.

Harzing, Anne-Wil, and Satu Alakangas. “Microsoft Academic: Is the Phoenix Getting Wings?” Scientometrics, vol. 110, no. 1, 2017, pp. 371-383.

Kreiss, Daniel, and Shannon C. McGregor. “Technology Firms Shape Political Communication: The Work of Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google with Campaigns during the 2016 US Presidential Cycle.” Political Communication, vol. 35, no. 2, 2018, pp. 155-177.

Wang, Ping, et al. “Alignments between Strategic Content and Process Structure: The Case of Container Terminal Service Process Automation.” Maritime Economics & Logistics, vol. 21, no. 4, 2019, pp. 543-558.

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