Microsoft Reorg: Ballmer Memo Lacks Channel Partner Love

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a 2,700 word reorganization memo. He didn't mention the term "channel partners." Is that an innocent error or a major mistake days after Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC13)?

The VAR Guy

July 11, 2013

2 Min Read
Microsoft Reorg: Ballmer Memo Lacks Channel Partner Love

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s reorganization memo, unveiled today, was nearly 2,700 words long. Unfortunately, the one word Ballmer left out was “channel” — as in channel partners. Should partners (VARs, MSPs, CSPs) be insulted or is The VAR Guy reading too much into the situation?

Technically, Ballmer did use the “partner” word four times in his reorg memo. But each reference involved a different type of partner — and none were really references to core channel partners.

The first two partner mentions came in this paragraph from the memo:

“We will reshape how we interact with our customers, developers and key innovation partners, delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings. The evangelism and business development team will drive partners across our integrated strategy and its execution. Our marketing, advertising and all our customer interaction will be designed to reflect one company with integrated approaches to our consumer and business marketplaces.”

The second two partner mentions surfaced in this paragraph from the memo:

“Business Development and Evangelism Group. Tony Bates will focus on key partnerships especially our innovation partners (OEMs, silicon vendors, key developers, Yahoo, Nokia, etc.) and our broad work on evangelism and developer outreach. DPE, Corporate Strategy and the business development efforts formerly in the BGs will become part of this new group. OEM will remain in SMSG with Kevin Turner with a dotted line to Tony who will work closely with Nick Parker on key OEM relationships.”

Which Partners?

Generally speaking, Ballmer seems to be leaning toward innovation partners — hardware makers, software developers plus Yahoo and Nokia — when talking about business relationships in his lengthy memo.

Too bad he didn’t take a moment to focus on the broader IT channel in the reorg statement. During any other week perhaps the omission would have been an innocent error. But Ballmer earlier this week delivered a keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 in Houston. 

It begs the question: How did all of Ballmer’s partner love and channel mojo disappear between Monday’s WPC keynote and Thursday’s reorg memo? Hmmm…

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like