Q&A: Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes that Reinforce Commitment to Business Applications

REDMOND, Wash., June 3, 2004 — Microsoft today announced a restructuring of leadership designed to optimize the company’s focus on delivering business applications to small and mid-market segment businesses. Effective immediately, Doug Burgum, Microsoft senior vice president responsible for Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, as Burgum continues to drive Microsoft’s overall business applications vision and strategy to transform the company into a business applications market leader. Orlando Ayala, senior vice president responsible for Microsoft’s Worldwide Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners group, will now report to Burgum, as Ayala expands his role to include chief operating officer (COO) for Microsoft Business Solutions, where he will be responsible for MBS strategy around sales, services, marketing and operations.

Doug Burgum, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions Business Group

To learn more about how these leadership changes will impact Microsoft’s strategy to lead in the small and mid-market segment business applications space, PressPass spoke with Ayala and Burgum.

PressPass: How do today’s announcements signify Microsoft’s overall commitment to business applications?

Doug Burgum: Microsoft’s commitment to developing and delivering world-class business applications for small and mid-market segment customers began several years ago with the acquisitions of Great Plains and Navision, and has progressed over the past few years with investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), online services, retail management and small business. Additionally, through expansion into new geographies, our commitment to bringing business applications to small and mid-market segment customers throughout the world is unwavering.

The partnership between my team’s deep understanding of business applications and Orlando’s strong track record of executing on, growing and developing Microsoft sales organizations is a winning combination that will deliver on the goals and strategies we have put into place for FY05 and beyond.

PressPass: Microsoft says it is strengthening its commitment to business applications. How?

Burgum: Microsoft is strengthening its commitment to business applications in a number of significant ways. First, Microsoft continues to make industry-leading levels of investment in research and development to enhance and further develop both existing and future business applications. We have major upgrades to our ERP and CRM solutions planned for fiscal year 2005. In the coming months we’ll be releasing enhanced versions of Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains, Microsoft Business Solutions–Navision, and Microsoft Business Solutions–Solomon. Our current products and these future products will not only provide great solutions for business customers, but will provide a platform for ISV partners to extend and build upon, helping us grow and maintain a healthy ISV ecosystem. In addition, for the next five years Microsoft is investing US$2 billion per year in sales, marketing and development efforts specific to the small and mid-market segments. These investments will help us fulfill our mission of serving that market segment with technology and services that are truly empowering and innovative.

PressPass: What is the significance of this leadership change to Doug Burgum’s role within Microsoft Business Solutions?

Burgum: As a direct report to Steve Ballmer, I’ll continue to lead the Microsoft Business Solutions P & L and drive our overall business applications vision and strategy as we complete our transformation into a business-applications leader. This move will ensure that the MBS team’s proven track record in the business applications industry will be leveraged to its fullest extent.

We are also tightening the alignment between Microsoft Business Solutions and the WW Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners (SMS & P) group. Over the past 18 months, we have worked closely with Orlando Ayala and his team, with the goal of helping our small and mid-market segment customers take advantage of the power of technology and services offered by Microsoft Business Solutions. As we move forward, we will further drive collaboration between our two groups in ways that benefit our customers and the partners that serve them. Of course, Orlando’s new dual role will help ensure these synergies are realized.

PressPass: What is the role that Orlando Ayala will play within the Worldwide Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners group and Microsoft Business Solutions?

Orlando Ayala, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Small and Mid-market Solutions & Partner Group

Orlando Ayala: I will continue to lead Microsoft’s Worldwide Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners group, a global sales and marketing group that focuses on strategy and the broad value proposition we bring to small and mid-market segment companies and the overall partner ecosystem. In addition, as chief operating officer for Microsoft Business Solutions, my role has expanded to include oversight of sales, marketing and operations for that business group. An important component of my new role will be to advocate for stronger synergies between the two groups and across the entire Microsoft organization to help improve the way customers and partners experience Microsoft Business Solutions.

PressPass: How does this reorganization impact Microsoft’s channel and ISV partners?

Ayala: The changes announced today will not affect our channel or ISV partners. We remain squarely focused on providing industry-leading technical and business-enablement programs to our broad partner base. Our partner business is integrated across the whole company and this will not change. If anything, the announcement today just reinforces that the MBS partner channel is an important asset to us to cultivate across all partner types, from ISVs to resellers.

For ISVs in particular, we have an unparalleled value proposition to offer them across our platform and within the Microsoft Partner Program. In addition, we will continue to deeply support and engage ISVs on our platform through [Microsoft vice presidents] Eric Rudder and Sanjay Parthasarathy’s team.

PressPass: What’s the impact the reorganization will have on Microsoft Business Solutions customers?

Burgum: For customers, the new structure announced today will enable tighter integration across the range of Microsoft products and services. The more closely aligned and coordinated our efforts are when we set out to deliver solutions and services to our small and mid-market segment customers around the world, the more successful we will be.

PressPass: What is the overall strategy of Microsoft Business Solutions?

Burgum: Microsoft Business Solutions is focused on delivering integrated business applications to small and mid-market segment companies and divisions of large enterprises. These businesses need software and services to manage their finances and operations and improve customer relationships, resulting in increased productivity, streamlined processes and better business decisions overall. We are in a unique position to offer customers unparalleled value with an integrated platform that extends from Microsoft Windows, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and the Microsoft Office System.

Together with our global partner network of resellers and independent software vendors (ISVs), Microsoft Business Solutions offers a complete solution of products and services in the areas of financial management, supply chain management, customer relationship management and analytics.

Ayala: Business Applications are integral to Microsoft’s future growth and the company’s ability to fulfill its mission of enabling people throughout the world to realize their full potential. As COO of Microsoft Business Solutions, I look forward to partnering with Doug and executing against the strong business applications strategy we have in place and delivering world class solutions to small and mid-market segment customers throughout the world.

PressPass: What impact will today’s announcement have on Microsoft’s overall small and mid-market segment business strategy?

Ayala: I think it’s a powerful indication of our unwavering commitment to small and mid-market segment customers worldwide. As a company, we are squarely focused on providing the technology, tools and partner ecosystem that best serve the needs of these customers. Today’s announcement signals even further synergy with our business applications business to ensure we are offering the full range of solutions across our value stack to small and mid-market segment customers.

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