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Microsoft emphasizing mobile, cloud computing

FARGO – Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella has been using four words to sum up the direction he is taking the company: “Mobile first, cloud first.”

Fargo-based DFC Consultants has been heading in that direction for some time, according to Allen Phillips, vice president of professional services for the company that sells and supports Microsoft’s accounting, business management and customer relationship software.

“We have been doing the cloud application going on two years. The mobile devices, we have been doing for quite a while, at least five to six years,” said Phillips, adding that personal experience has shown him the value of using the Internet to conduct business and get things done.

“I got delayed in Chicago a year ago for 12 hours,” Phillips said.

“Because no one was bothering me, I got more work done in that 12 hours from the airport than I did in the office. As long as I could find a plug-in to keep my battery going, I could keep doing business,” he said.

Cloud computing, which essentially means storing and accessing information and software programs over the Internet, makes good business sense on many levels, according to Phillips.

For one thing, he said, companies don’t have to spend money on computer servers, or the staff required to manage and maintain them.

“The other big thing is the ability to control everything without being tied to your desk,” Phillips said. That, he added, is particularly important in areas of the country where weather can affect productivity.

“In the old days, if a business was shut down, people stayed home and did nothing. Because of the Internet … you can reach out and all of your documents are in the cloud. So, it’s just like sitting at your desk,” Phillips said.

Business quick facts

  • DFC Consultants is a Microsoft gold certified partner with North Dakota locations in Fargo, Bismarck and Dickinson, N.D.
  • Headquarters are at 1320 1st Ave. N. in Fargo. The company was founded in 1989 in Dickinson. DFC Consultants will mark its 25th anniversary with a celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fargo location.
  • The business employs 23 people, with 17 of those working out of its Fargo office.
  • Customers are nationwide, but most client businesses are located in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana.