CDN Top Newsmakers for 2014: Janet Kennedy of Microsoft Canada

What a Year One it was for Janet Kennedy, the president of Microsoft Canada.

Since arriving in Canada she has brought stability to the role – something that was lacking the past few years.
Kennedy told CDN in a previous interview that this is her “dream job.” As the face of Microsoft in Canada, Kennedy has one main mission: to transition Microsoft and its channel to the cloud.

Janet Kennedy
Janet Kennedy

After a full year on the job, the Purdue University graduate has worked through a litany of changes at the Canadian subsidiary. She told the Canadian partner ecosystem not to build solutions in a silo anymore and instead integrate big data, social, mobile and look for holistic solutions.

The big piece for most solution providers selling the Microsoft stack is that everyone will have a score card that will be based on cloud consumption in Azure and Office 365. The old licensing sales model will not be a factor anymore.
One of the key things is the better the performance with Azure and Office 365 the more likely Microsoft will invest in your business.

Kennedy was also on hand for the opening of three Microsoft Stores. One in Toronto and the suburb of Mississauga, Ont., and another out west in Calgary.

But ribbon cutting was not her only task. Kennedy introduced a new strategy for the Internet of Things, wearables, partnering with NetApp on converged infrastructure, revamped editions of Office 365 for SMB, partnership, Cortana, and Windows Phone for business.

Let’s not forgot the most ignored deadline in computing: the end of life of Windows XP on April 8 of this year.
Kennedy and the team at Microsoft Canada did a full court press with the channel to get them ready even though possibly hundreds of millions of computers are believed to still be using the 13-year old operating system.

Maybe some of her best work was shielding the Canadian organization from the massive 18,000 job cuts announced by new CEO Satya Nadella at the end of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C.

Finally, in honour of International Women’s Day, Kennedy was on hand to unveil a portrait showcasing 10 inspirational Canadian women who have used Microsoft technology as part of their success.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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