Microsoft to redo sales, marketing
Focus shifting as clients seek providers of cloud, AI services
Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a reorganization of its sales and marketing operations in a bid to woo more customers in areas such as artificial intelligence and the cloud by providing sales staff with greater technical and industryspecific expertise.
The company unveiled the steps in an email to staff Monday that was obtained by Bloomberg. Commercial sales will be split into two segments, one focused on the biggest customers and one for small and medium clients. Employees will be aligned around six industries: manufacturing, financial services, retail, health, education and government. They’ll focus on selling software in four categories: modern workplace, business applications, apps and infrastructure and data and artificial intelligence.
Microsoft is in a pitched battle with Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. for customers who want to move workplace applications and data to the cloud, as well as take advantage of advances in artificial intelligence.
The company, which has not overhauled its sales force in years, wants to tailor those teams better for selling cloud software rather than desktop and server solutions.
“There is an enormous $4.5 trillion market opportunity across our Commercial and Consumer businesses,” according to the email, which was sent by Worldwide Commercial Business chief Judson Althoff, global sales and marketing group leader Jean-Philippe Courtois and Chris Capossela, the company’s chief marketing officer.
The memo didn’t mention any job cuts. People familiar with the plan said last week that the changes will result in some job losses.
In the consumer and device sales area, the Redmond, Wash.-based company is creating six regions selling products such as Windows software and Surface hardware, Office 365 cloud software for consumers and the Xbox game console. The group will also focus on new areas such as the Internet of Things —
a term used to describe Internet connections to home appliances and devices such as thermostats and burglar alarms — voice, mixed reality and artificial intelligence.
Microsoft will track metrics
including large companies deploying Windows 10, sales of Windows 10 Pro devices and competition against Alphabet’s Chromebooks and Apple Inc.’s iPads.
Microsoft aims to expand its consumer business by creating “desire for the same creativity tools” that people have at work through Surface,
Windows devices and Office 365, according to the memo.
“In addition, gaming is growing rapidly across all device types and is evolving to new scenarios like eSports, game broadcasting, and mixed reality content and we will drive growth in this category as well,” according to the memo.
Attendees play a video game at the Microsoft Corp. booth during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on June 14. The company is about to announce a global layoff, sources have told several news outlets.