Microsoft OEM boss makes Middle East promise

More autonomy granted to local OEM teams

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 16, 2008

Microsoft's OEM team in the Middle East region is set to be given extra autonomy this year after the software giant's OEM general manager for the EMEA region vowed to extend more responsibility to its local subsidiaries.

Speaking exclusively to Channel Middle East during his recent visit to Dubai, OEM boss Thomas Bauer revealed that he aims to remove some of the bureaucracy preventing the company's local management teams from making quick decisions.

"One of the main focus areas for me is what we call local empowerment," he explained. "We are looking at ways to give our OEM teams the resources and empowerment so that decisions which need to be made can be made faster."

Microsoft is currently assessing the programmes it has in place, such as its distribution rebate and co-op marketing schemes, to see how they can be adjusted to better support the direction Microsoft is taking in each market.

Bauer is convinced that awarding the Middle East OEM team more authority will reduce decision-making time and consequently lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and an increased possibility of generating new business.

At present, activities such as co-marketing campaigns with partners require approval from EMEA level or above, which can dramatically slow down the overall execution process.

However, Bauer warns that any moves to extend autonomy will be made with the company's worldwide relationships in mind.

"We have to pay attention to partners such as HP that run global businesses," he said. "They cannot be disadvantaged in any way just because we are creating this kind of flexibility. A framework of doing business is necessary, but then within this framework, the approval and decision-making processes will rely much more on the local teams than in the past."

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