Microsoft Dynamics business applications have a new partner boss in Doug Kennedy, as first reported on the Channel Marker blog.
Kennedy, formerly senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle, will be at Convergence, the Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) show in Orlando this week. Some 10,000 partners and customers are expected at the event. Kennedy's arrival will be announced on Monday.
Kennedy has remained in the Seattle area while working for Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., for 16 years. His arrival is seen by some as a coup for Microsoft's business applications push.
Oracle bought its way to the top of the business applications pile, adding huge customer bases from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel Systems in a series of multi-billion-dollar acquisitions over the past few years.
While Oracle's strength remains primarily in enterprise accounts, it has been trying to penetrate smaller businesses, which have been MBS targets all along. Indeed, both enterprise apps kingpins -- No. 1 SAP and No. 2 Oracle -- have made noise about smaller businesses, where many see more opportunity than in tech-saturated Fortune 1000-type companies. And the two vendors have also turned increasingly to third-party partners to aid their push. That's something of a departure for companies known for aggressive direct sales forces.
Oracle is attacking business applications from its strength in databases while Microsoft is proceeding, as usual, from the desktop, where Office and Windows are the de facto standards across businesses of all sizes.
Convergence to relaunch Microsoft Dynamics biz apps fervor
Convergence will be a venue for Microsoft to reaffirm its commitment to business applications, which have received short shrift -- at least publicly -- as the company pursues its Yahoo bid and seems obsessed with all things Google.
In an internal email circulated Friday, Microsoft confirmed that Kennedy is the new "Microsoft Dynamics Partner Lead." His official title will be vice president of Microsoft Dynamics partners, reporting to Klause Holse Andersen, corporate vice president of MBS sales and operations.
On the Oracle side, there was some angst as news of Kennedy's exit spread. His departure comes just two months after Oracle lost its North Americas partner chief, Rauline Ochs. She has still not been replaced. Kennedy's slot will be filled by Judson Althoff, as reported on the Channel Marker blog recently.
As of Friday, Microsoft would not comment on Kennedy. Earlier in the week an Oracle spokeswoman confirmed his departure but said his plans were unknown.