As of today it’s official : After more then 5 years at Microsoft I take a sabbatical to explore what’s next.

In my 5 years on the board of Microsoft Germany I had a lot of fun and met really great people with whom I had the opportunity to work with. As most of you know I’m still connected very well into the startup scene and used to work and build startups in my pre-Corporation life. With now more then 25 years in the IT industry it’s also time to give back experience and knowledge to younger founders and the industry as such. I strongly believe that we are at the crossroads in IT with the 4th industrial revolution. There is so much we can do now and explore, try and fail to succeed that I want to be an integral part of it. I can not fully disclose „What’s Next“ – do you remember ? this was the name of my very first pitch at Microsoft in 2012 when I had the opportunity to discuss with Ray Kurzweil „What’s next“ – but this is what I can disclose :

I’m working on a Startup which will build a B2B SaaS Platform to aggregate SmartData to better understand customer behavior by using AI. 

So some of you now think : „Hey congrats you used all the BS words in a single sentence – BINGO !“…

Well yes it’s true but we will execute on this. I strongly believe in what we call future of work so this startup will be setup in a way that we won’t ask our employees to move. So no real formal headquarter, no big fancy office space but a lot of trust and freedom set forth in our people. Quite similar to what my friend Frederic Plais did at A truly global company fully build on cloud and technology.

If you guys now think that I will abandon Microsoft Cloud service and switch to what most startups are using you are wrong. I fully believe in the strategy from Satya Nadella and in the products like Office365 and Microsoft Azure. Honestly I evaluated a lot of Office communication platforms like Google’s G-Suite, Kolab, Zimbra, Zarafa and Open-Xchange but trust me although it’s Open Source it is by far not free of charge and it’s so damned complex to install it on your server’s or in the cloud. Microsoft Azure will be the basis for normal Workloads and most likely for Data but we will be using Google’s GCP for all of AI. Yes I know MSFT invests billions in it’s AI features but currently Google with TensorFlow etc are 2-3 years ahead of MSFT. And hey : It’s all about cloud so you can truly mix and match platforms.

So what do my Co-Founder and I need : First and foremost we are looking for a strong (female) CTO and Co-Founder with experience in Bigdata, ETL, TensorFlow, „R“ and ML in general. 2nd we are looking for someone who can run our internal and external Comms department. And thirdly we need someone to help us with strategy and innovation and focussing on operations. If you know someone who as these skills : Ping me.

To my team at Microsoft : You guys rock and were the best team I ever had the honor to work with. So many of you grew over the years and are now taking on really big jobs in MSFT or in the industrie so that I’m really proud of what you have achieved.