Microsoft Opens Office

April 2, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Microsoft is opening an office on East Paris Avenue Thursday to provide sales and support for West Michigan’s business, government, education and health care markets.

Microsoft actually had an office here for a couple of years but closed it in July 2002, largely due to the fact that working patterns had changed for its employees, said local Branch Manager Dennis Cerasoli.

“Around that time, even though revenues were growing year over year, we felt that our customers and partners could be well served by our virtual teams without a physical office space,” Cerasoli said. “As we’ve grown our business, we’ve listened to our partners and customers, and they’ve told us they’d really like to see the commitment from Microsoft in the community and that they would be better served knowing that we had a physical location in Grand Rapids. That’s the reason we’ve reopened the office.”

Demand for Microsoft sales and service has grown over the years, and the company had to hire additional employees on the west side of the state, which led to the case for opening an office here, he said. Demand is being driven by the manufacturing, health care, retail and professional services sectors, in that order.

“Overall, there’s a diverse portfolio of sophisticated business and professional talent in Grand Rapids that we’re eager to work with and enhance the level of support we provide to all those customers and clients.”

Ten professionals and up to 40 technical and business consultants will rotate through Microsoft’s 2,000-square-foot building at 2525 East Paris Ave. SE.

Cerasoli said Microsoft worked with The Right Place Inc. and the city of Grand Rapids to select the best location for the office. The Right Place also facilitated some networking opportunities for Microsoft with community leaders in West Michigan, he noted.

“I can speak personally for Microsoft in saying that we’re very proud to have the location in Grand Rapids,” Cerasoli said. “We’ll continue to provide our customers and partners with the level of service that their business challenges demand. We look forward to being of more assistance to them with our physical presence. We look forward to getting involved in the community, as well. We’ve given to the West Michigan community for years now, but having a physical location here ties us more intimately with community initiatives.”

General Manager Marietta Davis will oversee business development, sales and marketing efforts here, just as she does for all of Microsoft’s Heartland District, formerly known as the Great Lakes District. The district includes Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.    

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