Revamped marketing coming for Microsoft 365 in new fiscal year

Every year, the month of July is when a new fiscal year kicks off for Microsoft, and this is usually an opportunity for the company to do some house cleaning. According to the usually well-informed Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet, a recent reorg of the Microsoft 365 organization has led to the creation of a new “M365 Foundations” team that will be in charge of marketing Microsoft 365 as a unified product.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft 365 is a subscription bundle including Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Prior to the recent internal reorg, Microsoft used to have three separate marketing teams overseeing these three products, according to Foley. That’s reportedly changing with a new single marketing team that will try to better market a set of different products for enterprise users.

As part of this M365 marketing reorg, there’s now a new “M365 Foundations” team being run by Rob Howard. The idea here is to bring together Windows, Office Management and the M365 Developer Platform into a common org.

Howard spoke to me at Build 2019 (before this reorg) about what Microsoft considers this “M365 Developer Platform” to include. The short answer: Microsoft’s identity platform (Azure Active Directory and Active Directory); the unified Microsoft Graph API; the “knowledge substrate”; and the coming Fluid Framework for faster coauthoring and building web-based distributed apps.

Microsoft officially announced Microsoft 365 two years ago at its Inspire conference, and it’s safe to say that the new brand isn’t as well known and understood as Office 365 for now. This new unified marketing team will have a lot of work to do to infuse some meaning into this brand and make it more relevant in the enterprise world. Microsoft is also expected to be working on a consumer version of Microsoft 365 which is currently supervised by the company’s Modern Life & Devices team.

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