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Microsoft to launch Consumer Channels Group

New division will focus on driving consumer product sales

Microsoft to launch Consumer Channels Group
Microsoft will launch a new business division called the Consumer Channel Group to further develop consumer sales.

Microsoft is to launch a new division that will focus on driving its business in consumer markets.

The new Consumer Channels Group (CCG) will go active from the start of July this year, and will be tasked with greater integration of consumer products and better focus on creating demand for them.

Speaking at DCC MEA in Fujairah, Julian Woods, MEA regional director for Microsoft's Retail Sales & Marketing division, said that the new division would create greater alignment for consumer products between Microsoft and its channels, to deliver solutions that excite consumers.

"This is a key step, we are hiring new people, building a new division. The Consumer Channels Group is a significant step in the way that we start to bring more integration through our consumer business. Retail is absolutely pivotal in making this come alive, we need to be very tightly aligned to you our retailers, more alignment to our OEM partners, which the Retail Sales & Marketing team will take responsibility for doing, and also we have the [telecoms] operators," said Woods. "That combination and that integration, all the way through the line, will look at creating product desire, that intangible desire for great products."

Woods said that the consumer focus would look at a wide range of Microsoft's lines, including slate, smartphones, Windows, hardware and gaming, including Xbox. He acknowledged the strong competition Microsoft faces in the consumer segment, but said that the new approach would help Microsoft better align technologies for consumer markets.

"We are about to bring all those components together, the key point is this unbroken demand chain. We have to invest a lot more heavily across the line in driving consumer demand. We will start doing that this year," he said.

"I remember working on some devices twelve years ago, that were basically e-book readers, we were early [to market], we couldn't figure out how to monetise the opportunity, consumers didn't get it, we didn't spend money driving demand, so it didn't go anywhere.

"We have had versions of slate, years ago, that we pushed to businesses not to consumer, because we didn't connect that to the consumer, but look what is happening with slate today.

"When we get it right, like with an innovative technology like Kinect, and we get that desire from the consumers, it is a huge success, so that is what we are going to do, we are going to start bringing those components together, and really accelerate our consumer product integration and demand strategies," he added.

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