The Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council has been mentioned several times in recent announcements and blogs on interoperability. As someone deeply involved in the IEC Council, I want to share what the IEC Council is, how it is advising Microsoft on Interoperability scenarios and issues, and what is being discussed.

I am the Technical lead on the IECC Core team at Microsoft. I lead the technical discussions within the council and work with various internal product teams to collaborate with the council and discuss solutions to interoperability issues raised by them.

The IEC Council is a customer advisory council consisting of CIOs and CTOs of about 35 large enterprises, from the public sector and private sector, and government departments from around the world. Launched almost two years ago, it has become one of our greatest sources of input on interoperability. 

What are the Goals of the IEC Council?

  • Raise awareness around interoperability issues and solutions
  • Provide education on Microsoft’s interoperability strategies and programs and influence their design through customer feedback
  • Create strong connections between members to share knowledge and best practices

How is the IEC Council structured?

The council is divided into 6 work streams covering Microsoft products and services. It has yielded a great deal of in-depth analysis and examination of interoperability scenarios and issues. The work streams are: Office Productivity and Collaboration Tools, Developer Tools and Runtime, Systems Management, Security and Identity Management, Business Process Modeling, and Public Interoperability Policy. In these work streams, customers tell us why they are using our products in the way they do, what are they trying to interoperate with, and what issues they run into. We discuss our strategy and goals around our products and services, collaborate to find best possible solutions, and provide guidelines for our products and policies around interoperability. Many of our recent announcements were heavily influenced by the council. In my next post, I will go into more detail about each of the six work streams.

We want to hear your comments and feedback on general interoperability scenarios, issues and how Microsoft is responding to them. The IEC Council will continue to be our core advisory group on interoperability but we have also opened up communications to anyone who is interested via the Interoperability Forum.

Kamaljit Bath

Principal Program Manager

Interoperability Technical Strategy Team, Microsoft