ORLANDO, Fla.-Despite the revolving door management history at its Dynamics applications division, Microsoft is steadfastly committed to the Dynamics brand.
That's the message Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer imparted to the 9,500 Dynamics partners, customers and potential customers in attendance at this year's Convergence conference:
Dynamics is Microsoft's brand for its four ERP (enterprise resource planning) suites and its constantly iterating-as in delivery mechanisms-CRM suite.
The division, collectively, has seen a succession of management changes at the top. In January, Jeff Raikes, a huge proponent of Dynamics, resigned as president of the Business Solutions groups that oversees Office and Dynamics, leaving the top spot to Stephen Elop, and the Dynamics division to Kirill Tatarinov.
Tatarinov had been leading the Dynamics group for all of six months when Raikes left.
In the past two years the Dynamics division has seen Doug Burgum, Satya Nadella, and Tami Reller (as interim head of Microsoft Dynamics) vacate leadership roles, earning Dynamics the well-deserved "orphaned child" title in the blogosphere.
Not only has there been repeated management changes, as late as last year the company did a major about face in its strategy, code-named Project Green, to unify the code base of the four disparate ERP suites.
Instead, Microsoft said it would "converge" the suites through a common technology platform comprised of its own technology stack-SQL Sever, Visual Studio, BizTalk Server, Workflow Foundation and others. Not a bad idea, but not a cohesive strategic message either.
And all that change to the Dynamics strategy over the past several years doesn't mean a lick at Microsoft, according to Ballmer.
"The biggest decision-unless we close the deal with Yahoo-I've made as a CEO was pushing into the business applications area," said Ballmer during Wednesday's keynote address. "It's one of the best decisions, the most important decisions, I've ever made and it's the reason that brings us all here today. I am darned excited about what we've done, what we can do and our commitment to business applications. That decision is one I want to highlight today."
Ballmer outlined the history of Microsoft's mission as defined by founder Bill Gates early in the company's history: a computer on every desk in every home. That message has evolved over the years to include one of enabling people and businesses to realize their full potential. The lynchpin to that mission statement, according to Ballmer, is Dynamics.