Bob Muglia, the Microsoft exec who helped build Microsoft’s Server & Tools business into a strong competitor in databases and server OSes and most recently took command of the cloud computing effort, will leave the company this summer.
CEO Steve Ballmer informed employees of this rather big piece of news in a posting today.
“Bob Muglia and I have been talking about the overall business and what is needed to accelerate our growth. In this context, I have decided that now is the time to put new leadership in place for STB. This is simply recognition that all businesses go through cycles and need new and different talent to manage through those cycles. Bob has been a phenomenal partner throughout this process, and he and his leadership team have the right strategy in place.
In conjunction with this leadership change, Bob has decided to leave Microsoft this summer. He will continue to actively run STB as I conduct an internal and external search for the new leader. Bob will onboard the new leader and will also complete additional projects for me.”
This news may unnerve die-hard Windows server loyalists as well as Wall Street, which has been critical of Ballmer’s stewardship of Microsoft. The departures of Robbie Bach, J. Allard, Ray Ozzie–all top tier executives–over the past year also raised eyebrows.
Muglia was often the public face of new server OS offerings, keynoting at TechEd and other Microsoft events.
It will be interesting if Muglia surfaces at another high-tech company. Bill Veghte, anohter highly-regarded Microsoft exec who left last year, is now at Hewlett-Packard, which is showing increased interest in software.
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What would a new year be without some sort of prediction about IT spending? The latest market research firm to oblige is Gartner, which is forecasting that worldwide IT spending will reach $3.6 trillion in 2011, up 5.1 percent from 2010.
That’s actually off slightly from the spending increase of 5.4 percent that Gartner has recorded for 2010, when IT spending reached $3.4 trillion. But it IS higher than the increase of 3.5 percent that the firm had originally predicted for this year. Here’s the rationale, according to a Gartner press release, and garnered from Richard Gordon, research vice president:
“Aided by favorable U.S. dollar exchange rates, global IT spending growth is expected to exceed 5 percent in 2010, but a similar level of growth in 2011 — while forecast — is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty. … Nevertheless, as well as a fundamental enabler of cost reduction and cost optimization, investment in IT is seen increasingly as an important element in business growth strategies.”
Gartner believes that the main technology categories driving growth will be telecommunications equipment, where sales are expected to expand by 9.1 percent. Sales of mobile devices are another strong indicator that Gartner is watching closely.
Gartner has published a new report ranking the top 30 countries that are leaders when it comes to offshore capacity for IT services. You’ll find many of the usual suspects on the list and India is still No. 1, but the research firm has also identified new locations that are emerging as top players for offshore activities — because the cost structure in India is rising.
Here are some of the list highlights (I’m not including every country):
- Bangladesh, which is rated “very good” for cost structure
- China, which improved its scores for both political climate and cultural compatibility
- Indonesia, which carries an “excellent’ rating when it comes to costs but doesn’t do as well for its labor pool, which is rated “fair”
- Malaysia, which has especially good government support for green IT initiatives
- Sri Lanka, which comes back to the list after being off for three years
- Vietnam, which is especially attractive for the size of its young workforce
It is my belief that more U.S.-based IT services companies will be spreading their wings internationally in 2011, as businesses begin investing in IT infrastructure again and look for partners that can address their multinational needs. Seems like it would be good to know where you might experience the most competition — or where you might find the best local partners for your business.
I’ve been reporting two stories about technology trends for the past several weeks (a look-back and a look-forward) and one of the most recurrent themes that IT solution providers are bringing up proactively (as in, I haven’t asked a leading question) is mobility.
As in, you need to support it — with managed services and application development. I’ll be reporting on that more in those forthcoming stories for SearchITChannel.com, but meanwhile, market research firm IDC has just published a forecast for the worldwide mobile applications market.
According to its data, IDC believes the number of downloaded mobile applications will grow from 10.9 billion in 2010 to roughly 76.9 billion in 2014. The focus of those applications is myriad — ranging from smart phones to media tablets to (eventually) connected devices for the home, IDC predicts. The revenue for those applications will be a whopping $35 billion-plus by the end of the forecast timeframe.
In my opinion, this means two big things for the solution provider community:
- You need to look carefully at your managed services contracts to make sure they state what is and is not covered. Increasingly, you’ll need to support smartphones and tablets, even those that aren’t explicitly sanctioned by your clients’ own internal IT departments. Are your contracts priced to handle those devices?
- Make sure you are not missing the boast with respect to development services. Do you have people on your team who understand which mobile software platforms matter? Are you selling solutions that need a mobile element added? Have you even thought about this?
So, today the VCE coalition became the VCE Company. Or at least that’s the second-hand reports coming out of a series of conference calls hosted Tuesday by VCE, the consortium formed last year by Cisco Systems, EMC Corp. and VMware.
Update: On Monday morning, Dell finalized its deal to buy Compellent for $960 million or $27.75 per share in cash. As of the end of its third quarter, closing Oct. 31, Dell had just under $13.5 billion in cash on hand.)
Another shoe dropping. Dell and Compellent acknowledged Friday that they’re in M&A talks.
The companies said they’re exclusively talking about a merger valuing Compellent at $27.25 per share in cash. Continued »
Data center VARs really want the VCE Coalition to get its sales act together soon and some hope for news along those lines Dec. 14 when coalition execs will talk about what’s going on with the VCE Partner Program, go-to-market plans and training. Continued »
There is a new survey published by IT services and research giant Accenture suggesting that even though many high-tech companies and electronics companies are now thinking globally — including, increasingly, some of you folks out there in the channel — AND have the money to execute on those plans, they might not have the right people to help make good on that strategy. Or, for that matter, the right technology. Continued »
Network Infrastructure Corp. (NIC), a Cisco Gold partner and networking integrator in Phoenix, will soon become part of global IT services company Logicalis. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Continued »
The verdict is in and SAP owes Oracle $1.3 billion for copyright infringement.
Oracle had sought up to $3 billion while SAP, which admitted wrongdoing, said the true damages amount should lie between $28 million and $41 million. Continued »