Microsoft Small Business VP Birger Steen Leaps to Parallels
One of Microsoft’s top small business executives, Birger Steen (pictured), is making the leap to Parallels — the fast-growing provider of software for launching SaaS and cloud applications. Steen’s move highlights a potential shift from on-premises SMB software to cloud-centric, hosted software for small businesses. Here’s the analysis.
Steen is set to become president of Parallels in September 2010, according to a Parallels press release. He previously served as VP of Small and Medium Business and Distribution at Microsoft. At Parallels, Steen will be responsible for sales, marketing, product management, and support.
Steen’s shift from Microsoft to Parallels reinforces broader trends in the software industry — where many small businesses are reevaluating their commitment to on-premises options and embracing cloud or hosted alternatives.
On the one hand, Microsoft is preparing Windows Small Business Server Aurora, an on-premises upgrade that promises a range of cloud connections. But on the other hand, scores of web hosting companies and SaaS companies are using Parallels’ automation software to more rapidly deploy Hosted Exchange, Hosted SharePoint and other on-demand applications.
Instead of dealing with legacy issues and legacy transitions at Microsoft, Steen joins one of the cloud industry’s best-known platform providers.