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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?EU?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…


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