Microsoft Announces New Worldwide Services Organization

REDMOND, Wash., April 24, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. has created a new worldwide services organization that will for the first time formally integrate Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) and Product Support Services (PSS). With this change, Microsoft will be better positioned to provide more integrated consulting and support services for its enterprise customers that include the combined services resources of Microsoft and its partners. In addition, Microsoft will be prepared to take on a prime contracting role to deliver services in those situations where it is appropriate to do so. This new services organization will be led by Robert McDowell, who becomes the company’s vice president of worldwide services.

“We are committing to a deeper, more intimate relationship with our key customers and partners,”
McDowell said.
“With the new Microsoft® .NET Enterprise Servers, Microsoft has stepped up and delivered the best products for global-class e-business; the time is right for us to focus on delivering the level of consulting and support required by that marketplace.”

“Enterprises require more than shrink-wrapped software products – they need coordinated heterogeneous consulting and services delivery, and they need partnerships with key vendors,”
said David Smith, vice president and research director for Software Ecosystems research at Gartner Inc.
“Microsoft is making the next major step needed to become a major enterprise partner.”

A Greater Stake in Customer Success

Microsoft’s consulting and support team of professionals has grown steadily over the past several years at a rate of more than 20 percent annually and will continue to grow, an indication of the company’s increasingly strategic role in the enterprise. Today, nearly one-third of Microsoft employees are focused on services (more than 4,000 consultants in MCS and 9,000 support professionals in PSS). The skill and scope of Microsoft’s services professionals have also grown to meet the needs of a wide range of customer solutions, with an emphasis on those based on new products early in the adoption life cycle. The next step in this deepening commitment to the enterprise is Microsoft’s willingness to take contractual responsibility for delivering the combination of partner and direct services that best meets customers’ needs.

MCS recently took the prime contract responsibility on a team that included 16 industry and strategic partners to deliver a project for the British government using .NET Enterprise Servers and XML to revolutionize the way British citizens and businesses experience and interact with government institutions via the Internet. Microsoft led the team that delivered this world-class enterprise solution in just 75 days — on time and on budget. The solution, dubbed
“the Government Gateway,”
successfully integrated and orchestrated British government IT systems into a central point of access for government services.

“This is a project where we had the overall project control but Microsoft was the lead contractor, and it worked extremely well for us,”
said Andrew Pinder, e-envoy for the United Kingdom government.
“They brought in a group of suppliers behind them who were seamless — the division was invisible to us — and it felt like an integrated team.”

“We won’t lose a key global-class customer merely because we’re not willing to play the prime contractor role,”
McDowell said.
“In most cases the customer will be happy with any number of systems integrators, but in cases where customers ask Microsoft to take on a large portion of the risk, acting as a prime contractor, Microsoft is committed to structuring a reasonable proposal to do so. Of course, Microsoft will continue to work with its partners to respond to the unique needs of each customer with the appropriate mix of services resources.”

Partners Play Critical Role in Service Delivery

Microsoft’s partner model has not changed: The company remains firmly committed to partners to ensure that joint customers have choice and confidence in the skill and experience available to build and support their solutions. Microsoft expects the changes announced today to increase the business for partners, as they will expand the overall market opportunity, particularly for mission-critical solutions based on products such as the BizTalk™
server and the .NET Enterprise Servers.

“Success in e-business is not just the result of choosing the right product; it requires an entire team committed to a customer solution, and services are an essential part of that solution,”
McDowell said.
“Microsoft, together with its strong alliance of partners, is committed to helping customers achieve great value from Microsoft technologies. Even when we are in the prime position, as we were with the United Kingdom Gateway project, we will continue to rely on the expertise of our partners to deliver complete enterprise solutions.”

Predictability in Service Delivery

Merging MCS and PSS into one worldwide services organization will create efficiencies that lead to more predictability in the delivery of services. For customers, it will be easier to get assessment and recommendation for delivery of consulting and support through a single representative when the product and/or solution is purchased. For partners, an integration of services staff and programs will bring more consistency and predictability in working with Microsoft on joint engagements globally. In addition, along with the growth of market opportunity for larger enterprise projects, partners can count on Microsoft to become an even stronger ally by developing deeper relationships with them in selected specialties and geographies. Microsoft expects to achieve significant efficiencies in areas such as business operations, knowledge management, training project and risk management, services business development, and communications, leaving more resources open for continued investment in establishing methods and processes that will help lower risk and achieve more predictable results for partners and customers that use Microsoft technologies. Some examples of this are the Microsoft Solutions Framework for the development and deployment of application and infrastructure solutions, and the Microsoft Operations Framework, which won the Innovation of the Year 2000 award by the IT Service Management Forum ( it SMF) for providing leadership in operational excellence for distributed computing.

“What we are announcing today is the next stake in the ground in our commitment to the enterprise, based on the capabilities of our products and the needs of our customers,”
McDowell said.
“We are in a unique position to help our customers bring the .NET vision into a tangible business solution, providing real value both to them and their customers. Together with our great lineup of products and partners, we are making a strong commitment to delivering the necessary level of confidence and value to create global-class solutions.”

More information can be obtained by contacting a local Microsoft Consulting Services office or by visiting .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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