Microsoft Targets $400 Million From India

Microsoft is targeting revenue of $400 million from its Indian operations in its FY2011-12 (August to July), a 30 percent growth over the last fiscal.

The software major expects one-third of the revenue to come from the cloud business which in the past 12 months contributed only around 5 percent to its overall revenue.

Microsoft has laid out an aggressive strategy which includes restructuring its entire partner organization by making it more linear and creating dedicated account management teams to drive its cloud business.

The company has created separate teams and appointed regional business development managers (BDMs) for the north (including east), south and west (including central) regions. The regional managers have been empowered to identify their own focus areas and go-to-market for the cloud business. In addition, Microsoft has divided its cloud business into two teams €”one for the mid-to-large enterprise segment and the other for SMBs. It has also created a team of cloud specialists who would help both customers and partners in deploying hybrid cloud services.

Partners have welcomed these changes. €œEarlier, it was difficult for us to approach executives at Microsoft for any cloud-related difficulty. The cloud BDMs would now help us in drafting business plans and developing a joint go-to-market strategy, € said MP Kini, CEO, Kinfotech, a Bengaluru-based Microsoft partner.

€œThe strategy is much more focused and partner-friendly. So far Microsoft was treating most of its tier-2 partners as cloud services resellers. However, there is now tremendous focus on involving the partner in creating solutions around its cloud services. All such deals will now be stamped under the solution provider license agreement,€ said Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek, another Bengaluru-based Microsoft partner.

According to partners, Microsoft has close to 1,200 cloud customers in India, most with less than 100 seats each. The company now aims to target customers with up to 1,000 seats for its online offerings €”Office 365, Intune, CRM and Exchange Online.

€œSo far Microsoft was focusing largely on SMBs for its public cloud offerings, but henceforth the company will also focus on mid-to-large enterprises which are strong prospects for Microsoft €™s hybrid cloud solutions. In fact we have been closely working on a couple of 500+ seat projects which have a strong element of private and public cloud solutions, € said Paresh Shah, Partner in the Mumbai-based
PH Teknow.

Microsoft is also increasing its training and marketing budgets. €œMicrosoft has committed a significant increase in marketing spends on cloud computing solutions. They also plan to invest substantially in conducting regular training and hands-on labs. Indian partners would have access to global launches faster than they have had before,€ said Suresh Ramani, CEO, Techgyan, a Mumbai-based Microsoft partner.

By Sonal Desai, CRN, October 12, 2011

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