Encouraged by the market reception of its Windows Small Business Server product, Microsoft Corp. is looking for an encore with a similar bundle targeted at midsize businesses.
The new Windows Server SKU—called, at least for now, Windows Midmarket Server, or MMS—is not soup yet. But Microsoft executives have a good idea about how they plan to reach the midmarket sweet spot, which Microsoft identifies as users with 50 to 250 PCs.
As does Windows Small Business Server, the MMS product will bundle together a number of different Microsoft server products into a single deliverable. Exchange Server and SharePoint are expected to be part of MMS, sources close to Microsoft said. (Windows Small Business Server integrates into a single package Windows Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services, Exchange Server 2003, SQL Server 2000 and ISA Server 2000, along with a handful of desktop programs, including Outlook 2003, a shared fax program and FrontPage 2003.)
Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of Microsofts small and midmarket solutions and partner group, confirmed Microsofts plans for a midmarket server during a recent interview with Microsoft Watch.
“In the next six months, well roll out something very clear,” Ayala said regarding Microsofts strategy to target midmarket business-decision-makers.
Ayala said Microsoft believes there are an estimated 1.7 million midmarket customers ripe for the picking.
“We need to understand the segment in a different way,” he said. Instead of focusing on penetration rates, Microsoft will focus on scenarios. The company is developing tools to evaluate how sophisticated midmarket users are, in terms of their IT-savvy quotient, and use that data to target specific slices of the audience, Ayala said.