LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC), senior leaders from Microsoft Corp. discussed how partners can benefit from the transition to cloud computing by helping customers improve agility, focus on business goals and reduce costs.
"Cloud computing is as big a transformation as we have ever seen and, together with our partners, Microsoft will help customers through the shift," said Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "By betting on Microsoft's comprehensive approach to cloud computing, partners can embrace this transformation and build strong and vibrant practices that will advance how business gets done."
Nadella highlighted how U.S. partner BrandJourney Venturing used Windows Azure to quickly deliver a new sales outlet for General Mills Inc, http://www.glutenfreely.com. In addition, he announced that partners can now sell their applications through the Windows Azure Marketplace to reach more customers and help grow revenues. This capability builds on the extensive set of partner data offerings already available for sale through the Windows Azure Marketplace. Underscoring these opportunities, a recently Microsoft-commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that software partners deploying solutions on Windows Azure are generating 20 percent to 250 percent in new revenue by reaching entirely new customers.(1) Microsoft also noted progress made by eBay Inc., Fujitsu and HP in deploying the Windows Azure platform appliance to deliver turnkey cloud services in their datacenters.
Acknowledging the continued need for on-premises deployments, Nadella outlined how partners can use Microsoft's private cloud solution built on Windows Server, Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center to help customers transition to cloud, on their terms. Next week Microsoft will release a new beta of System Center 2012, which helps customers build private clouds and manage applications across both private and public cloud systems. Microsoft also provided an early look at the next version of Windows Server, code-named "Windows Server 8," which will be the next step in private cloud computing.
Noting the ever-increasing importance of data in both public and private cloud computing, Nadella announced the availability of a community technology preview of the new Microsoft SQL Server, currently SQL Server codename "Denali." For the first time, customers can begin testing the much-anticipated features of "Denali," including Project "Crescent" for visual data exploration and SQL Server Developer Tools codename "Juneau," for a modern development experience across server, business intelligence and cloud development projects.
Customers Are Embracing Office 365, Leading to Greater Revenue Opportunities for Partners
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that more than 50,000 organizations have started trials of Office 365 — a rate of more than one every 25 seconds in the two weeks since the cloud-based productivity service was released. Businesses of all sizes are embracing the service including major global brands such as American Red Cross, which has announced it will use Office 365. Microsoft recently commissioned a TEI study conducted by Forrester Consulting that shows a composite organization of midsize customers could see a risk-adjusted ROI of more than 300 percent with a payback period of just two months with Office 365.(2)
In response to growing customer demand, the ecosystem of Microsoft partners has more than doubled in the last year and now includes more than 41,000 partners and 300,000 trained specialists on the cloud service.
To support this ecosystem, Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division, announced changes to partner commissions, providing improved cash flow and enhanced opportunity.
"Office 365 is a hit with businesses of all sizes, and this translates into great opportunities for our partners," said DelBene. "Partners who are first movers to the cloud are building robust recurring revenue streams, ultimately growing and transforming their businesses."
Reinforcing a commitment to delivering customers the best possible cloud experience and creating a path for partners to transition their businesses to the cloud, Kirill Tatarinov, president of Microsoft Business Solutions, announced that the next update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be available in the fourth quarter of 2011.
This update will enable partners to offer enterprise customers Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with Microsoft Office 365 and will feature enhanced social collaboration capabilities. In addition, new Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services were announced, which help partners quickly configure and set up consistent and repeatable steps common across the life cycle of an ERP deployment, reducing the initial implementation time so they can focus on delivering profitable value-added services. Built on the Windows Azure platform, the extensible service will be available in September for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
"The interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics and cloud services, such as Windows Azure and Office 365, presents an enormous opportunity for partners to deliver a complete business productivity experience to customers and to grow their businesses," Tatarinov said. "Partners are critical to delivering the best cloud experience for customers and, by creating a path to the cloud for partners with the right products and support, we're taking steps to ensure our partners make the transition with us."
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
(1) The ISV Business Case For The Windows Azure Platform: A Total Economic Impact Analysis, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, July 2011
(2) The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Office 365: Midsized Customers, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, June 2011