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Microsoft Taps Forrester Analyst James Staten as Chief Cloud Strategist

Prominent Forrester Analyst James Staten is joining Microsoft today as chief strategist for Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise division. Word of his move from Forrester to Microsoft spread quickly over the weekend when Staten updated his LinkedIn status.

In a tweet last night, Staten alerted followers: "Just landed in Redmond. Ready to start my new career at #Microsoft." When asked by a Twitter friend if he's relocating to Redmond, Staten replied: "Staying in Silicon Valley. Working w/VCs, startups and local companies r key to my job."

Staten didn't immediately respond to an e-mail from me, though I've known him for many years as someone who had a firm grasp on the competitive strengths and weaknesses of all the public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud players. Furthermore, he had forecast the evolution of IaaS pretty much from the beginning and has consulted with many customers making cloud computing decisions.

It is a safe bet that his primary focus will be to advance the Azure cloud business. Staten's tweets on regarding his move included the Azure hashtag. Given his deep knowledge of the IaaS landscape, Microsoft will have a strong and credible executive on the Azure team, which should also help in the company's effort to further gain inroads in Silicon Valley.

At Forrester, Staten was based in Silicon Valley and, prior to joining the research firm, he worked at Azul Systems and Sun Microsystems software.

In a statement Microsoft said Staten will report to Cloud and Enterprise Executive VP Scott Guthrie, where he'll "work closely with Scott's leadership team on delivering the most complete set of cloud capabilities and services to customers small and large."

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/16/2015 at 10:18 AM


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