During its annual Convergence user conference in March, Microsoft issued a press release announcing that it had promoted a Dane, Klaus Holse Andersen, to the position of corporate VP worldwide sales and operations for its Dynamics operations Other than that, Microsoft didn’t make a big deal of the news Andersen’s name was not mentioned during keynotes at the events. At interviews with Dynamics head Doug Burgum and Satya Nadella, held during the conference, neither man said, “Of course, you know we are strengthening our executive team. Would you like to talk to Klaus?” That didn’t happen. Nor did Andersen’s named get mentioned by Burgum or corporate VP Tami Reller when they announced that Nadella was unexpectedly moving to head Microsoft’s search engine wars. A PR person said Andersen was highly visible at reseller events, but the only reseller I got to talk to about this claim said essentially, “Baloney.” It’s possible this was all simply disarray triggered by the sudden move with Nadella. Or maybe it’s an attempt to manipulate the press--something Microsoft has always excelled at. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that for the first time, someone with the title of operations has been placed outside the United States, out side of Fargo, N.D., which gave us Dynamics. Andersen will remain in Copenhagen. There’s been no rush to explain the title and most of the press coverage has been straightforward rehashing of the official press release. In the words of the Deep Throat in “All the President’s Men,” the secret is to follow the money and the money is increasingly coming from Dynamics AX and NAV, still largely called Axapta and Navision, even by top Dynamics people Whether or not there is still something called Project Green, designed to give the four Dynamics accounting packages a common engine, the fact is that all the key people I’ve met in programming over the last four years have been Danish. Now, I don’t think any of this means we’ve seen the last of Great Plains or Solomon (Dynamic GP and SL), because Microsoft would be pretty dumb to snub those installed bases. But it’s also clear these are largely U.S. products while AX and NAV are international products which have a lot more growth potential. The more important question is whether Denmark runs everything. Does Microsoft put Burgum’s successor in America, much less in Fargo, with the head of operations now in Copenhagen? More intriguing was that most of the sales functionality had been drained from Dynamics and placed under Kevin Johnson over the last four years. This is the first exec with a sales title at Dynamics in a while. And also intriguing is that Andersen has CEO experience. A lot of people think Reller is the favorite to replace Burgum. But I’m starting to think it that were going to happen, it would have happened already. But Microsoft has been full of surprises.
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