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Devenuti to Leave Microsoft

Microsoft's services chief, Rick Devenuti, will retire at the end of this year after 19 years with the company.

In a statement e-mailed to reporters on Wednesday, Microsoft said that Devenuti, senior vice president of Microsoft Enterprise Services & IT, will "focus his attention on his family and consider his next challenge."

A successor will be named within about a month and Devenuti will help with the transition, the statement said.

Devenuti became senior vice president of the Enterprise Services & IT group in 2003. Previous posts with Microsoft included a stint as CIO and roles leading Worldwide Operations and the U.S. Financial Analysis Team.

According to the statement, Microsoft remains committed to a three-year plan that Devenuti created and set in motion when he took over the Enterprise Services & IT group in 2003. Microsoft is currently in the second year of that plan.

Devenuti spent much of his time in the last year ramping up Microsoft Consulting Services and other parts of his organization for the worldwide rollout of Windows Vista and Office 2007.

He laid out the company's plans in private meetings with partners and analysts over the summer and in a keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July. While Devenuti's plans call for an increase of MCS revenues by about 20 percent in the next year, his goal is for Microsoft's services organization to act primarily to seed business for partner companies delivering services.

Under his "theater of operations" plan, Microsoft will continue to get nearly half of its services revenues from relationship services, mostly Premier Support. The company would attempt to reduce the instances in which customers demand that Microsoft be the primary consultant on projects just for the comfort of knowing that Microsoft is involved. Those deals account for about a quarter of MCS business. Devenuti also wants to increase the instances of MCS getting involved in new technology rollouts and what he calls "lighthouse engagements," which highlight scenarios where Microsoft technologies haven't traditionally been considered. Both of those types of engagements would theoretically lead to future business for partners.

Another major initiative during Devenuti's tenure was the concept of packaged services (or SKUs). Devenuti's SKUs would be consulting service packages defined and priced by Microsoft but delivered by partners. Devenuti said recently that progress on the SKUs had been slower than he anticipated but that he remained committed to delivering them.

For much more detail on Microsoft's services plans, see the cover story in the September issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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