As it often does at the start of a new fiscal year, Microsoft is making some changes in its sales and support organizations. During the past few days, word began trickling out regarding some of the shifts that will affect those working with its “Customer Success” unit, its technical account managers and other support staff.
Microsoft’s goal with its latest shifts is to try to improve customer use and engagement of various Microsoft products and services, my contacts say. Microsoft officials are shooting for more support-role clarity and improved “right sizing” of customer support plans with these latest moves.
I’m not hearing that Microsoft will be doing any big layoffs as part of the changes. (There could be some separate, smaller layoffs, but these are due to the usual churn, not the dismissal of a large number of individuals associated with any given team, I hear.)
Exactly three years ago, on July 6, 2017, Microsoft announced layoffs of “thousands” of employees, primarily in its sales organization. Last March, Microsoft cut about 200 of its commercial salespeople, including the then-head of its Customer Success unit. Mark Souza, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Cloud and AI platform, took over as head of customer success for the Microsoft Cloud platform at that time.
As it has been doing with a lot of its products and services lately, Microsoft also will be changing a number of its employees titles and roles as part of the latest sales moves. Technical Account Managers (TAMs) are being renamed “CSAMs,” or “Customer Success Account Managers,” and will report into the Customer Success Unit. Premier Field Engineers will now be known as “Customer Engineers.”
I’m most curious about the new standalone Microsoft Consulting org that the company is establishing starting in FY’21. I asked Microsoft for comment on its size and significance but received no comment. Microsoft already does quite a bit of consulting as part of its business, to the dissatisfaction of some of its reseller partners. Microsoft’s annual partner conference, Inspire, is slated for later this month as a virtual event.
Microsoft’s fiscal 2021 began on July 1, 2020.