STRUCTURAL changes at Microsoft will allow it to focus more on partners and small to medium-sized businesses.
The company is merging its managed partner and Microsoft Business Solutions partner teams into one group headed by Business Solutions manager David Guy.
This team falls under Microsoft’s small and mid-sized business and partner group, which is being separated from the business marketing group.
Both these groups were previously headed by Paul Muckleston, who is about to take up an unspecified overseas role with the company.
Helen Robinson, previously vice president ANZ at Pivotal, joins Microsoft as director of the SMB and partner group, while business group marketing manager Brent Colbert becomes director of marketing.
Ross Peat, Microsoft New Zealand managing director, says the new structure allows the company to focus more on SMB customers and partners.
“We wanted to bring more capability and resources into the business at the front line and at the executive level,” he says.
Guy’s team will now manage Microsoft’s base of around 15 managed partners, which includes larger systems integrators and services firms, and its ten Microsoft Business Solutions partners.
“There has always been an overlap between those two groups, and the way in which we go to market with those partners is similar,” says Peat.
Microsoft’s engagement with both groups is strategic, deep and focused on the long-term and are one-on-one or one-on-few based, he says.
The role of partner group manager soon to be vacated by Steve Haddock, who becomes distributor and system builder group manager at Microsoft in the UK next month, will be retained, says Peat.
This person is responsible for driving Microsoft’s broader channel and the certification and competency programmes that support it.
Robinson says her first priority is to determine how her group can improve what it is doing.
“It is really about enhancing the team that is already there, which is incredibly experienced and, based on the feedback I have had from partners, superb,” she says.
Separating the SMB and partner group from the marketing team demonstrates the priority Microsoft places on partners and customers, she adds.