COMPUTER users and internet browsers all over the world are familiar with the Microsoft brand. It is the largest software company in the world and was established by William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates. Among the most popular products coming from Microsoft are Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
The success of Bill Gates in developing Microsoft has made him the world’s richest person, according to Forbes magazine. His top position among the world’s rich has been consistent from 1995 to 2007. His company, which was established on April 4, 1975, always ranks among the top 10 businesses in the world.
Indeed it is a major achievement to hold the position of president director of Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft Corporation officially announced the appointment of Sutanto Hartono, who joined the company at the end of January this year, as the president director of Microsoft Indonesia.
What was unique about this appointment was that this time Microsoft selected a professional person who did not have a strong IT background, while the general assumption would be to opt for someone with a strong IT background in the midst of the tough competition.
However, Sutanto was convincing about combining his experience in business, management and communication strategies that he would implement for the job. Sutanto expects to introduce a new approach by Microsoft for all sectors, namely business, government, education and the general public. “I intend to blend a business model with a larger local partner and enhance relations with consumers and communications as well as an exchange of values and transfer of knowledge and technology,” said Sutanto, who was born in Yogyakarta in 1967.
His bright career in the media and music industries bode well for Sutanto. These two industries made him quite well known. His last position was as CEO of Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI), which he held since 2008, and as managing director from 2003. Simultaneously, he was the director of Media Nusantara Citra (MNC), the parent company of RCTI.
Previously, he succeeded in developing Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia (SMEI), where he worked for 7.5 years and at the same time was the company’s senior vice president for Southeast Asia. SMEI, which is wholly owned by Sony Music International, entrusted a local professional, Sutanto, to run the company. In his hands, SMEI turned into a large and creative recording company. He was also very successful in promoting domestic musicians, such as Sheila on Seven, Padi, Rif and Gigi.
He also worked as senior associate for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he gained management experience and expertise. “As a management consultant, I was used to facing various management crises and providing solutions for my clients,” he said. He also worked for Procter & Gamble for three years.
His successes in the media and entertainment industries no doubt attracted Microsoft Corporation and prompted it to appoint him president director of PT Microsoft Indonesia. Although Sutanto did not have an IT background, he was widely acknowledged for his success in developing business and teamwork capacity. In 2003, he r eceived the Best CEO in Indonesia award. He was only 36.
Microsoft is highly concerned about the high volume of piracy in Indonesia, including for software and other intellectual property, such as DVDs, CDs and cassettes. And Sutanto is obviously the right person to address this owing to his extensive experience in the music industry and his knowledge about the root of the problem.
Sutanto said most customers were willing to buy original antivirus software to protect their data but preferred to buy pirated software for their computer operation system.
He plans to implement a number of strategic steps to minimize software piracy in Indonesia via an aggressive communication campaign promoting the use of original software and reminding customers about the added value and the benefit of certification for original software. “Microsoft consistently educates consumers on the benefits of original software. This is a kind of a long-term investment for us,” he said.
One of his real and direct communication steps was to set up a Microsoft Zone counter early last month at Jakarta’s main computer sales center, Mangga Dua Mall. Microsoft Zone is the company’s first counter in Indonesia dedicated to consumers who want comprehensive information about the technology of Microsoft products, such as Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2007, and the latest version that will soon be introduced, Office 2010. (Ade Irwan Trisnadi)
The Jakarta Post, April 21, 2010