Ballmer roars about the mid-market, SAP, salesforce.com

Ballmer roars about the mid-market, SAP, salesforce.com

Summary: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer followed Gates at the mid-market strategy event in Redmond. He gave a rambling history of Microsoft’s mid-market expedition, including the realization that the company has too many products to sell to too few people in the mid-market.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft
7

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer followed Gates at the mid-market strategy event in Redmond. He gave a rambling history of Microsoft’s mid-market expedition, including the realization that the company has too many products to sell to too few people in the mid-market.  Now the goal is to provide a complete solution for the mid-market by taking "all of these parts of technology and making them work harder for the IT person and other roles," Ballmer said. "We will bring some of simplicity of a product like Office or Windows to the broad IT needs of mid-market customer."  

ballmerseptbig.jpg

As in other spaces, Ballmer said the company would exercise a certain patience and tenacity, and keep after it until things get right. Given Ballmer views the mid-market as a major revenue source in the coming years, the resources will be marshalled. But it will be a tough slog—there are a lot of moving parts and old code that needs to be refashioned into a ‘dynamic’ whole to meet the 2008 deadline.

Ballmer also noted two essential elements of the new, more friendly Open Value licensing strategy. "We will try to be aggressive in permitting people to use our software essentially at lower cost and, just as importantly, simplifying the process of license acquisition and management." The plan is to add more horizontal capabilities to the Dynamics family and allow third-parties to extend the functionality in verticals. Orlando Alaya, head of the mid-market division and COO of Microsoft Business Solutions, said that Microsoft’s goal is to have 12,000 “micro-verticals” in the next year.

Responding during a brief Q&A to questions that were pre-screened, Ballmer categorized Linux as a cause for Microsoft to innovate more, and as a "nice competitor that drives Microsoft to be your most important vendor."  Ballmer took a shot at SAP, saying that Microsoft’s forthcoming Dynamics will be simpler to implement than SAP and that Microsoft has a broader partner ecosystem for the mid-market. He also took a swipe at salesforce.com, saying that Microsoft would give salesforce.com a “very effective run for its money.” Details about that assault weren't forthcoming.

All and all, vintage Ballmer—an impassioned, hand-clapping sales pitch. For those of you watching the legal battle between Google and Microsoft over Kai Fu Lee, Ballmer throwing a fit (or at least a chair) when an employee was leaving for Google shouldn’t be a surprise. Microsoft was built on the fiercely competitive personalities of Gates and Ballmer. In fact, such tirades are a part of the most admired or feared companies. The bear is irked, stands up, roars and perhaps later dances… 
 

Topic: Microsoft

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • They're psychopaths is what they are

    They use intimidation and other threats and have no regard for ethics. I think there was recent article or paper on these "personalities."

    They're basically unlikable as people and I don't regard them highly. As you do.
    ordaj9
  • Hey MS, you can't touch this

    So Microsoft is kicking off a new push into mid-size and small-
    company business software. Here?s a hint: If you even have to say
    the words ?license acquisition and management? you?ve already
    lost.

    Read more at http://www.sproutit.com/bigact/2005/09/07/hey-
    microsoft-you-cant-reach-them
    Charles Jolley
  • Mid Market Process

    What Ballmer and Microsoft don't get is that their customers want less 'dynamics', ie process, and more results. Why not pull their addmittedly powerful portfolio of software into an on-demand service that just works for end-users?

    Jeff Minich
    VP Strategy
    iRadeon.com
    jminich
    • Not this time

      MS is losing in the mind-share race...and SAP Business One pretty much owns the SMB applications market - SAP has the mind-share.

      Sorry MS, but looks like your monopoly on OS and Office apps won't help you this time ~
      nomorems
  • Separated at birth

    Is it me or was Ballmer separated at birth from Mimi Bobeck or could it be that Mimi is Ballmer in drag? Check the pictures here on ZDNET and then the link below.

    http://www.tvacres.com/char_bobeck_mimi.htm
    Squawkbox
  • off topic but I couldn't help but notice...

    that it looks like steve is wearing a yellow braclet. it looks like the kind of braclet a cancer surviver wears or one that is worn by a person who is supporting another who has cancer.

    gnu/linux...giving choice to the neX(11)t generation.
    Arm A. Geddon
    • oops...

      bracelet.
      Arm A. Geddon