Refining Customer Focus

Refining Customer Focus

REDMOND, Wash., Mar. 30, 2000 — Today, Microsoft is making a few internal changes to refine its focus on the evolving needs of customers. These changes will enhance the company’s ability to deliver on Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS) — the creation of a new set of software, services and solutions for its customers, built around the Internet, Windows and new devices.

These changes include the following:

A Unified Platforms and Tools Effort

One of Microsoft’s primary goals with NGWS is to build on the Windows 2000 generation of products to create truly breakthrough software and services. The alignment of the former Windows and Developer Divisions is a natural step towards that goal. From a leadership perspective, Jim Allchin and Paul Maritz will work in close partnership to make this happen. Paul will be responsible for overall platform strategy, product planning and business development, and for the development of Microsoft’s tools and related platform technologies. Jim will be responsible for development of the expanded platform. Both Paul and Jim will continue reporting to Steve Ballmer. David Vaskevitch will assume a new role, also reporting to Steve, building up Microsoft’s efforts in e-commerce, business integration, and business applications.

Solutions Groups (SGs) Enable Greater Focus on Customer Needs

In order to stay competitive in the digital era, Microsoft understands that it is not enough to simply build a platform, product or service. It must also think strategically about what its customers are doing today, what they’ll be doing tomorrow, and what kinds of products, services, support and training the company must deliver to support their needs. For that reason, a number of Solutions Groups have been created to think at the broadest level about key customer and marketplace scenarios. They will be responsible for defining customer requirements, including determining what customer problems Microsoft can solve with a given product or service, and what product/service features Microsoft needs to deliver.

The product development teams within each business division will work with the SGs to understand customer feedback and requirements to ensure the company is creating breakthrough products and services. In the Platforms area, Tod Nielsen is responsible for three of the SGs; Developer Windows DNA and Web Services; IT Infrastructure and Hosting; and PC Experience (client platform). Will Poole will own the Digital Media SG. The details of an Embedded/Appliance Platform SG will be finalized soon. Mike Nash will own the development of depth materials and substantive online communities such as MSDN, Technet and for all these SGs.

In the Business Productivity Group, the Knowledge Worker SG is owned by Russ Stockdale and the Small Business SG will be led by Kathleen Hebert. Paul Gross’s group owns the Wireless/Mobility SG. The SG in Rick Belluzzo’s Consumer Group is responsible for a range of Home/Consumer offerings, including MSN, hardware, retail software, gaming and the TV experience.

Reinvigorating Marketing

While the SGs will enable greater customer focus, the company is also reinvigorating marketing efforts to clearly communicate how Microsoft will meet the new technology needs of its customers in the Internet era. Microsoft is creating a new Marketing Division, run by Mich Mathews, to build on the work of the SGs to create compelling vehicles for marketing its new products and services to customers through advertising, PR, events and the Internet.

The new Marketing Division’s key missions include: global positioning for the company, its vision and its products; marketing strategy and execution in the United States; worldwide marketing and communication strategy for the company’s sales initiatives; and providing functional marketing expertise in the areas of PR, advertising and customer satisfaction. This division will report into the newly renamed Worldwide Sales Marketing and Services Group under Jeff Raikes’ leadership.

These changes will create a solid foundation for the company that will enable the delivery of a powerful new set of software and services to customers, while putting the company on a strong organizational path in the years ahead.

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