Microsoft Realigns Sales Force
Microsoft Corp.'s enterprise group is refocusing and growing its sales and services teams.Microsoft Corp.s enterprise group is refocusing and growing its sales and services teams, raising the question of whether enterprises will want to purchase more software directly from the Redmond, Wash., company or continue to buy from their longtime partners. Over the next five years, Microsofts enterprise group plans to boost its sales force by 60 percent while developing more vertical specialties, said Simon Witts, corporate vice president of Microsofts enterprise and partner group. The vendor will continue adding to its on-site services team, which will help the company grow its enterprise sales and services staff to 23,000. These moves are likely to increase tension between Microsoft and channel partners, who already feel the vendor stepping on their toes, say analysts. Simon Hayward, an analyst with Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn., said Microsoft needed to align its sales force with vertical solutions as it had "pretty much saturated one area of the market."
Witts denied channel conflict, adding that Microsoft is "taking the serious step" of moving the selling of services into its sales force under a program known as One Microsoft, where there is now one account team and one opportunity pipeline.