News from Microsoft today: The software company is initiating a radical reorganization of its sales business. It will lay off as many as 3,000 workers, around 75 percent of which will be from sales positions outside the U.S.
The layoffs make up around 10 percent of Microsoft's total sales force.
Focusing on the Cloud
The reasoning behind Microsoft's major reorganization? To better direct focus towards their cloud services, which face competition from tech industry giants like Google or Amazon. CNBC has the scoop:
“Reports from last week suggested this was going to happen and that Microsoft was going to specifically focus on how it sells its cloud-services product, Azure.
Microsoft's cloud business has been booming over recent quarters — Microsoft noted Azure sales growth of 93 percent last quarter. While Amazon has become a bigger competitor in the space, Microsoft's restructuring is to pivot to software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure.”
The Cloud's Adding a Billion Users by 2020
The news is a sign of the important of cloud computing, which is now essential for dozens of industries, from tech to fashion to NASA's Mars program. The cloud is only getting bigger in the next few years, as TechCo reported earlier this year:
“Current trends suggest that by 2020, the average consumer user will use an estimated 1.7 GB of cloud storage space per month, compared to the average 513 MB they used in 2015. Much of that can be attributed to a 5 percent increase in video streaming workloads and a 20 percent increase in social networking workloads. Overall, the percentage of consumers using personal cloud storage is predicted to increase from 47 percent to 59 percent, which represents approximately a billion more users.”
Microsoft wants in on that billion users: The company, as Bloomberg reports, called the cloud computing sector a “$4.5 trillion market opportunity” in a Monday staff email.
Given the size of the Microsoft work force — the company has 71,000 U.S.-based employees and 121,000 employees internationally — these layoffs represent a comparatively small move.