Microsoft as Service Provider?

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    Microsoft is fairly quiet about its role in outsourcing. But the term does crop up in some of its job openings, such as this one:

    Job Title: Business Development Manager

    Are you passionate about helping Microsoft establish its position in the growing outsourcing marketplace? Are you a seasoned enterprise sales professional who wants to help the US Enterprise business continue to develop and execute the winning sales formula, competing against major outsourcing sales pursuits? Do you have a passion for leading/coaching large complex deals and delivering value at the highest levels in customer organizations? If so, the Enterprise Partner Group (EPG) team of the US Subsidiary needs you. The US EPG Outsourcing Team is a national team responsible for driving customer and partner engagement and revenue in both new opportunities and within existing outsourced accounts.

    The description goes on from here, but that reference to the “US EPG Outsourcing Team” caught my eye. I hadn’t heard about that (and I’m not sure what “EPG” really stands for — enterprise privacy group?). It shouldn’t surprise me. Microsoft’s consulting services arm is always on a growth curve. Providing services in outsourcing contracts fits well into that goal. Microsoft is looking for any way it can to reach deeper into enterprises, beyond desktop and server software sales.

    But my guess is these sales people Microsoft wants to hire will have a hard road — educating potential clients about its offerings (and that’s what will be involved, since nobody knows that Microsoft could be a potential provider in outsourcing engagements). And Microsoft will continue staying below the radar about branding itself as a service provider. A couple of years ago, a Microsoft person left the room at an outsourcing conference when she heard that I — a media person — was there to cover the event. That sensitivity will continue — notwithstanding Bill Gates’ comments regarding the value of a global workforce that’s free and unfettered to work where it wants.

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