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Microsoft Financing Makes Pitch to CIOs

Microsoft Financing has some new blood at the top. According to a Microsoft PR-produced feature story posted today, the general manager of Microsoft Financing is now Seth Eisner. Longtime former GM Brian Madison joined Key Equipment Finance as senior vice president of U.S. vendor alliances in November. Eisner's LinkedIn profile puts him in his current job since August. Prior to taking over Microsoft Financing he was GM of investments and acquisitions for Microsoft.

The feature story indicates a slight pivot for Microsoft Financing under Eisner. Madison pushed the program heavily through partners, with a focus on smaller and midsize businesses. (Microsoft Financing allows customers to finance IT purchases, including hardware, software and services, through Microsoft. The benefit to partners was cash flow -- they got a check upfront for everything from Microsoft, and the customer made monthly payments to Microsoft. The benefit to Microsoft was generally increased deal sizes enabled by the financing.)

Eisner is making his pitch directly to CIOs, indicating that Microsoft Financing may be focusing more on expanding its foothold among enterprise customers. This would be a smart move since customers across the spectrum are looking more often to buy IT out of operational budgets rather than as capital expenses. Microsoft Financing is one way to bridge that gap -- allowing a customer to invest in the big, on-premise project but pay for it monthly as if it were a service.

We hope this simply means that an enterprise push is being added to the portfolio, not that partners and SMB purchasers are being de-emphasized. Microsoft Financing has been a good, if underutilized, deal for partners in the past. We hope Eisner will continue to keep partners front and center.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 01, 2011 at 11:58 AM