Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed a shakeup within the company's e-business server group.
David Kiker, who had been general manager of the server group--which includes the upcoming BizTalk Server 2004 or Voyager--is no longer with that effort. Ted Kummert, who had headed up subscription services for MSN, is now spearheading the effort as group vice president of e-business servers, a spokesman confirmed. (See Kummert's bio.)
Sources both inside and outside the company said the group's inability to ship products on time took its toll. BizTalk 2004, with a new rules engine, is in beta now but was supposed to ship last year. In addition, the merged E-commerce/Content Management Server, or Discovery suite, the second phase of the Jupiter road map, slipped beyond 2004. (For more on the road map, see CRN.)
"If you look at what they've said they'd deliver and when, and what has been delivered, they haven't really delivered at all," said one large integrator.
There has been other organizational shuffling as well. Late last year, the Content Management Server work that had been in this group was moved over into the SharePoint Portal Server group. (see story.) Politically, that's a big deal because SharePoint actually comes out of the same Jeff Raikes-led Office group that handles most business productivity clients. Now SharePoint Server and Content Management Server are two servers within that otherwise client-centric group.
All of the movement has some solution providers shaking their heads. "What I'm hoping is that the dust settles by the end of January, in time for the next round of PAC meetings," he said, referring to the periodic Partner Advisory Councils that Microsoft hosts.
Everyone agrees that melding the capabilities now offered in several servers--Content Management Server, Commerce Server and BizTalk Server--was a tall order and one fraught with political and technological peril. "I guess Kiker was prophetic when he said that coming up with a unified e-business strategy is a lot easier than selling that notion across all of Microsoft," said one solution provider partner when apprised of the news.
Sources close to the company say the new general manager of e-business servers is Amit Mital, who held the same title within the Web conferencing unit which is part of the Office group. A Microsoft spokesman was checking on Mital's status at press time.
For more on Jupiter, see CRN.