Microsoft's new Microsoft Consulting Services unit to launch July 14

More details about Microsoft's first reorg of its fiscal 2021 are coming to light, including how it is positioning its new separate consulting services unit.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft's first big reorg of its fiscal 2021, which kicked off on July 1, is happening in its field sales organization. And a key component of this is the creation of a new Microsoft Consulting Services team, which will be overseen by newly minted Corporate Vice President of Cross-Industry Solutions Omar Abbosh.

Microsoft preannounced some of the details of the reorganization just before the July 4 holiday in the U.S. and officially announced them internally on July 8.

Microsoft is moving more of its sales people into its Customer Success Unit , which will be part of a larger Customer Experience & Success (CE&S) -- as part of the reorg. Corporate Vice President Mala Anand is in charge of CE&S, and the current Customer Success unit under Mark Souza and Enterprise Support under Yvette Smith are both moving to CE&S. Customer Service & Support stays in CE&S.

As part of these moves, Microsoft will be ramping up the presence of its own consulting organization, according to a memo outlining the company's fiscal 2021 "One Commercial Strategy" from Microsoft's Worldwide Commercial Business Executive Vice President Judson Althoff.

"Consulting at Microsoft has never been more important, as customer will continue to depend upon us to prime their digital transformation efforts and deliver horizontal and vertical solutions that meet their business needs," Althoff told the troops.

Omar Abbosh is the new CVP of Cross-Industry Solutions, which includes Microsoft Consulting Services. Abbosh recently left his post as a chief executive at Accenture, where he had been working for 31 years, most recently running the communication, media and technology division.

Kristin Johnsen, who led Microsoft Services for the past three-plus years, will be "exploring her next opportunity" after working with Abbosh as he transitions to his new role. Her organization is a 16,000 consulting and support services team and a $6 billion P&L center for the company, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The new Microsoft Consulting Services organization is replacing the current Microsoft Services organization. The organization will focus on three (instead of the current six) technical domains: Azure Cloud and AI under Raymond Yates, which includes secure infrastructure, data and AI, and applications; Business Applications under Paul Mirts, which handles Dynamics 365; and Modern Work, led by Sarv Saravanan, focused on Microsoft-365-based solutions.

The new Consulting Services organization plans to introduce a new consulting operating model in order "to do exciting things with our customers and win large deals that increase consumption of Microsoft's three clouds," according to an internal memo announcing the changes. 

Next week is Inspire, Microsoft's worldwide partner conference, which will be a digital event this year. I'm not sure how much Microsoft officials plan to discuss the role of the company's new consulting organization during that event, but I'm sure it'll be a topic on many partners' minds. 

So far, as I noted a week ago, I haven't heard that Microsoft is planning major layoffs resulting from this year's sales reorg. But there still could be some. 

Microsoft officials aren't commenting on the reorg. The only official statement, via a company spokesperson, that I was provided: " We're continually improving how we serve our customers to empower their digital transformation."

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