Q&A: Phil Sorgen discusses new role as corporate vice president of Worldwide Partner Group

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 29, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the appointment of Phil Sorgen as corporate vice president of the company’s Worldwide Partner Group. Sorgen will manage a team of sales and marketing professionals tasked with helping Microsoft’s 640,000-member-strong partner community capitalize on new areas of growth in cloud computing, mobility, big data and enterprise social technologies.

When do you assume the role as the new Microsoft “channel chief?”

On Sept. 1, I will succeed Jon Roskill as corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp.

What are your goals for the future of the Microsoft channel?

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Steve Ballmer and Kevin Turner presented a bold and attainable vision for Microsoft as a “devices and services” company. With the company realignment announced a few weeks ago, this vision is quickly becoming a reality. Partners have been core to Microsoft for more than 35 years and will be critical to this transformation. My focus within the Worldwide Partner Group (WPG) will be to ensure this company vision is enabled in concert with the channel. I am committed to that goal.

How should partners think about your role and what it means for future cloud programs and offerings?

At WPC, we demonstrated that partners that sell cloud solutions stand to earn more top-line revenue and more long-term profits. It’s fundamental to how modern businesses are going to market, and it’s fundamental to Microsoft’s own transformation. Expect to see more from us in this area. I’m a big believer in the solutions that we can jointly deliver with our partners in the cloud.

You’ve spent the past three-plus years in the U.S. SMS&P role. What experience do you bring to the role of partner lead focused exclusively on worldwide partners?

Over the course of a 17-year career at Microsoft, I’ve had responsibility for customer segments from the enterprise to the smallest businesses. And, in working with partners, I’ve participated in all stages of the business development cycle, from program design to “last mile” sales execution. As a member of the worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) extended leadership team, I’ve also work for several years on many global initiatives related to our worldwide SMS&P partners. I’m a huge advocate for our partner ecosystem. I fundamentally believe when Microsoft and our partners bring together our collective innovation and solution portfolio, we deliver the greatest value to our mutual customers.

Is the partner channel important to Microsoft?

Our partner ecosystem is one of our greatest differentiators in the market, and I could not be more excited about the role of the WPG organization in helping foster the development and growth of this ecosystem. It’s really simple: We cannot fulfill our vision of being a devices and services company without the help of our broad partner base.

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