Can Microsoft Recruit 144 Cloud Computing Experts?
Check the Microsoft job board and you’ll find at least 100 career opportunities involving Windows Azure (the company’s platform as a service) and 44 potential positions involving Office 365 (the forthcoming successor to Business Productivity Online Suite). But here’s the challenge: Can Microsoft recruit true experts from cloud computing rivals? Or will the software giant need to retrain its own Windows and Office veterans for the cloud computing age?
I raise the question after reading this ReadWriteWeb blog entry mentioning Microsoft’s need to make cloud hires. But equally important to note: Quite a few Microsoft executives have left the company to join cloud-centric businesses. Two prime examples are Parallels President Birger Steen (the former VP of Small Business at Microsoft) and Parallels VP of Alliances John Zanni (a former Microsoft Software plus Services Industry team leader). Both Steen and Zanni are set to speak at the Parallels Partner Summit (Feb. 22-24, Orlando, Fla.). The event will focus on small businesses working in the cloud.
Meanwhile, Microsoft certainly has some cloud experts in-house. Gretchen O’Hara, for one, has overseen many of Microsoft’s channel partner strategies in the cloud for several years. And Microsoft in 2009 hired hired Yahoo veteran Kevin Timmons as general manager of Microsoft’s data center services.
Still, it’s rare to read about executives leaping from cloud giants like Rackspace, Google and Salesforce.com to Microsoft. And frankly, Microsoft could use some more outside voices weighing in on the company’s cloud strategy — especially when it comes to cloud billing strategies for VARs and MSPs.
All that said, Microsoft recruiters certainly are scouring the market for cloud experts. TalkinCloud will be watching closely to learn who steps into the cloud positions.