Feeds

Tailwind blows over Microsoft sales shake-up

Think vertical, not horizontal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft has re-organized its US sales force to increase the focus on specific industries while recruiting individuals with specialized knowledge of vertical sectors.

Under a project called Tailwind, Microsoft has reduced the number of sales districts from 17 to 12 whilst enlarging the size of five districts. Microsoft is also recruiting staff with specialized knowledge of specific vertical markets.

Part of Project Tailwind saw Microsoft double the number of staff in the field selling Office to more than 1,000, a move alluded to last month by the vice president for Microsoft's Information Worker product management group Chris Capossela.

A Microsoft spokeswoman told The Register the changes at the district level under Project Tailwind were necessary in order to "achieve an economy of scale in organizing local account teams by industry focus." Microsoft is also "hiring hundreds of experts from their fields" as an investment to help partners in vertical sales, she said.

Microsoft already uses vertical units to help sell to sectors like banking, however Project Tailwind appears to represent a deeper effort to engage with customers.

The new push wraps up all of Microsoft application and operating system software for the desktop and server while addressing all sizes of customers in vertical sectors, including the small and medium businesses markets. Microsoft's senior management last week outlined plans for "Premium" editions of Office and Windows in the Windows Vista "time frame" while executives used the company's world wide partner conference to talk-up Windows bundles for the mid-market.

The changes come at a critical time for the company, with Microsoft expected to use the coming 18 month period to finally launch new versions of Windows, SQL Server, Visual Studio and BizTalk Server.

Directions on Microsoft lead analyst Paul DeGroot said Microsoft is trying to rectify the perception "they don't understand my business" in order to sell more copies of software like Office, which dominates the market for PC-based personal productivity applications.

"The big issue for Microsoft is the long-term knock," DeGroot said.

"They write horizontal stuff. Until now it's never been an issue. Everybody can use Office, Exchange and SQL Server. Now Office is on 90 per cent of desktops, it's really hard to make a significant increase in sales."®

Related stories

Microsoft charging more, giving more?
Window closing on Office 2003
Look out IBM, here comes Microsoft's OzFest
Microsoft looks to partners to force Office upgrades

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.