Microsoft's Burgum Talks About Project Green Game Plan

Doug Burgum, senior vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, spoke with Industry Editor Barbara Darrow last week at MBS' Convergence 2005 conference in San Diego.

CRN: There's been a lot of talk about the potential of MBS being spun off. Can you address that?

BURGUM: The short answer is, it's ludicrous that people would even conceive it. I get to sit in [Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer's staff meetings with the other six business heads about how to allocate spending. The group thinks business apps is the place we need to invest more. I'm going to get a target next year again to spend more than I make. [MBS] helps servers and tools, and it helps Office. If Microsoft is a software company and there's a $60 billion business apps market, and we get a single-digit share—hey, there's a business opportunity. It's kind of simple. The other thing is that coming on the heels of the disclosure that [Microsoft Chairman] Bill [Gates] and Steve [Ballmer] were ready to spend $50 billion on business apps—which would never have been made if not for Oracle-PeopleSoft—six months later would they decide they're not interested? I don't think so. If we can't get that, we'll invest more in building our own. That's been their response.

CRN: You're not going to revisit [buying] SAP?


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CRN: Both Classic Microsoft and MBS VARs see Small Business Server (SBS) as a huge deal. They see a lot of opportunity to penetrate smaller companies. You've done CRM/SBS promotions. Are you going to do SBS promotions with the ERP products or even a hard bundle?

BURGUM: We haven't announced anything, but I'm excited about the success of SBS. It's great that they're getting stand-alone success. And we look at small- and medium-size business segments, with Steve Guggenheimer [vice president of small business for Microsoft Small and Midsize Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) group] and John Lauer [vice president, worldwide midmarket, SMS&P], who also works in the midmarket for Orlando [Ayala, MBS COO]. We're trying to address at Microsoft how to provide business relevance across individual products and business groups to a single customer. ... I expect over the next two to three years you'll see more of us focusing on business decision-makers in the midmarket and offerings that can deliver that.

To read the full interview with Burgum, click here.