Special Report: BtoB's annual Top 25 E-Champions: Robert L. McDowell

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With its newly launched "Software for an agile business" campaign, Microsoft Corp. is taking dead aim at the $90 billion enterprise software space and setting itself up for battle against the likes of IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp. The man leading the charge for the software giant will be Robert L. McDowell, who is responsible for developing relationships with many of Microsoft's largest accounts.

It will be up to McDowell to articulate Microsoft's strategy for serving enterprise clients and to give them reasons to turn to the company for their large scale, rapidly changing needs. But even with the marketing muscle of Microsoft, McDowell has to convince corporate IT buyers that the company can deliver enterprise-level quality, reliability, speed and flexibility.

Name: Robert L. McDowell
Title: VP-enterprise business relationships
Company: Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.
Mission: "Our .Net strategy will touch literally every product that we sell."

McDowell wants to make Microsoft's software the corporate standard for running so-called mission critical applications. Integral to this goal is Microsoft's recent announcement of its .Net strategy, which aims to deliver the technologies that will power the next-generation Internet. "We believe that the Web is at the center of things to come," McDowell said.

Enterprise clients are turning to a smaller number of vendors these days and are expecting more from them, he said. "Customers are looking for high-quality products, but they also are looking to derive values out of these investments. They're looking for partners, not vendors. They want added value and thought leadership, as well as good products."
—Phat X. Chiem

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