Microsoft To Turn Up Heat On Competitive IBM, Oracle Wins

The gloves are coming off in venues where Microsoft and partners face IBM server software and middleware in customer accounts, a Microsoft exec said Saturday.

July 9, 2005

3 Min Read
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The gloves are coming off in venues where Microsoft and partners face IBM Workplace or Websphere (and presumably Domino and Notes) in customer accounts, a Microsoft exec said Saturday.

Speaking at the company's Worldwide Partners Conference in Minneapolis, Simon Witts said.

Microsoft is ratcheting up competitive pressure to win vs. IBM and Oracle and is putting undisclosed amounts of money behind partners who can drive such bids. Witts is corporate vice president of Microsoft's enterprise and partner group.

While details were scarce, Witts said the company is especially eyeing accounts where Exchange Server can displace IBM/Lotus offerings and where market-leading Oracle databases could be replaced by SQL Server 2005, slated to officially launch in November. More details on partner help in Oracle accounts will be disclosed closer to the Yukon launch, he said.

Witts said he'd been in Europe all week with Hewlett Packard, Avanade and other partners calling on customer accounts running Notes. "What was an internal offer now becomes external. For every situation where we engage on Notes, there will be a bounty per desktop that can be used as discount or for business investment," he noted without providing details. The amount, apparently will vary, based on the "depth of opportunity," he said.Micrsoft execs have said that IBM/Lotus Workplace/Domino collaboration product push is confusing to customers and partners and has in the past year reinvigorated what had seemed a dormant Microsoft Exchange effort.

In other tidbits, Rick Devenuti, senior vice president of services and IT, said the company will continue to invest in productizing its intellectual property and methodologies and offer the fruits oft hat labor to partners. He again characterized the deployment of Microsfot's internal IT forces at Energizer Holdings as a learning mission that is not intended to compete with third-party integrators. He said what he is calling "services SKUs" are geared to drive business through partners. By working outside the company in more heterogeneous environments, Microsoft IT can learn more about real-world deployments, Witts said. Devenuti said the company will likely need three or four more such engagements.

Additionally, Microsoft Business Solutions' consulting team is being merged into the overall Microsoft Consulting Services group, said Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group (SMS&P).

Kevin Johnson , group vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and services said the goal is unchanged. "The business model continues to be the same. It's not about maximization of revenue,"

Devenuti said the idea of incorporating the MBS ERP applications in solutions is key. While Microsoft has pitched MBS primarily to mid-market accounts, enterprise departments are also opportunities.At the show, Microsoft continued its "One Microsoft" theme on Saturday stressing that both its enterprise and SMB sales group rely on partners to drive growth. Of course that message comes at day two of the company's annual worldwide partner conference so the message is carefully sculpted for the 6,000 solution providers, ISVs, system integrators, large account resellers and others in Minneapolis for the event, which ends Sunday.

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