Cloud-First Focus Prompts More Sales Reorganization at Microsoft

Cloud-First Focus Prompts More Sales Reorganization at Microsoft

More than three years after first unveiling its “mobile-first, cloud-first” strategy, Microsoft is reportedly planning a major reorganization of its sales and marketing group to emphasize the selling of cloud products and services.The planned restructuring could be announced this week and is likely to involve some significant job cuts, according to reports by Puget Sound Business Journal and Bloomberg last week. Microsoft announced a previous round of nearly 3,000 job cuts last July to reflect its changing business focus.

This latest reorganization comes shortly after the end of Microsoft’s 2017 fiscal year, which wrapped up Friday. The company has scheduled its Q4 earnings call for July 20.

Shift Targets AWS Cloud Lead

Citing unnamed sources, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported Thursday that Microsoft was planning a major reorganization to “better align the company under its cloud-first mantra.” And an article in Bloomberg Friday citing “people familiar with the matter” said the changes would affect Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business and the global sales and marketing group.

“The shifts will be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and will also impact local marketing efforts in various countries, said one of the people,” Bloomberg reported. The changes are aimed at speeding up Microsoft’s shift to a cloud-first strategy to enable the company to better compete with the current cloud leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the report noted.

“The company’s sales force has been trained for years to sell software for use on desktops and servers. Now it’s more important to convince customers to sign up for cloud services hosted in Microsoft’s datacenters,” according to Bloomberg.

Writing yesterday on ZDNet, however, Mary Jo Foley noted that some of her sources said “the number of people cut as a result of the reorg may not be huge, and that Microsoft may attempt to reassign those affected, plus position cuts as attrition.”

First Windows 10 Reaches End of Service

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (pictured above) announced the company’s adoption of a mobile-first, cloud-first direction in March 2014, shortly after he joined the company in that position.

One of the most visible illustrations of that shift arrived a year later with the release of Windows 10, which Microsoft has called the “last” Windows. That’s because Windows 10 is updated on an ongoing basis via the cloud rather than being sold as a software package available in discrete and separate versions.

Since that first release of Windows 10, Microsoft has rolled out two major updates: the Anniversary Update, which came out last summer, and this spring’s Creators Update.

On Friday, John Cable, director of program management, Windows servicing and delivery, reminded customers about the importance of keeping their operating systems updated to the most recently available version. Writing on the Windows blog, Cable said users should activate the Creators Update on their devices because the first version of Windows 10 has now reached the end of service, which means Microsoft will no longer offer users of the original version ongoing monthly updates with all the latest security features.

“Given the Windows 10 Creators Update provides the latest security protections to help keep you safe, we want to help update your device as soon as possible,” Cable said. “You can choose to postpone this process up to five times with the next prompt asking for confirmation of your privacy settings. By staying up to date on both the latest feature and quality updates, you’re assured of being on the most secure version of Windows 10.”