Microsoft retooling UK workforce for cloud sales

microsoft cloud

Microsoft recently announced 2850 lay-offs over the next 12 months. While many of those employees were from the Windows Phone division, a large number were also from enterprise sales.

The Register reports that Microsoft was retrenching their older sales force experienced with on premise enterprise licensing with new recruits who are more qualified to sell their cloud services.

The Reg’s sources report that Microsoft has placed “the entire UK enterprise sales force at risk” of redundancy with another source saying “Life as an enterprise licensing sales person will be short-lived, the conversations with customers are completely different with the cloud, it’s a different mentality.

In an official statement Microsoft provided some confirmation, saying:

In line with the increased demand for our commercial cloud offerings, Microsoft is growing and will continue to grow its enterprise sales force in the UK. As we start our new fiscal year, we make sure our resources map to the high expectations of our customers and therefore adjustments are necessary to the shape and nature of our teams.

Around 100 employees are expected to be let go in UK. Microsoft is not unique in retooling their work force to be more cloud-focussed, with  IBM is axing roughly 14,000 jobs and Cisco chopped 6,000 in 2014 for the same reason.

Microsoft has said they expect to earn more than $20 billion in cloud revenue by 2018, and are working to compete aggressively with cloud service leader Amazon, which has more than 50% of the market.