• 4 min read

Inspire 2017: New cloud services for partners to enable digital transformation

Today at Microsoft Inspire, more than 17,000 partners join us in Washington, D.C. to spend the week learning and sharing new ways to grow their business and help our mutual customers. Our customers…

Today at Microsoft Inspire, more than 17,000 partners join us in Washington, D.C. to spend the week learning and sharing new ways to grow their business and help our mutual customers. Our customers look to Microsoft’s partner community to help them successfully navigate technology options and deliver cloud-based solutions that enable their digital transformation.

Today, I’m pleased to make several announcements that put Microsoft's innovation and global reach to work for our partners – and customers – in ways no other cloud vendor does.

Growing partner opportunities with the Microsoft Cloud

Last year we initiated a Microsoft Azure co-sell program to provide comprehensive sales and marketing support for partners building solutions with Azure. This new program was a first of its kind in the industry that aligned Microsoft’s large, global, salesforce behind partners. In just the first six months, this program helped close over $1 billion in annual contract value for Azure partners, created $6 billion in Azure partner pipeline opportunity, and generated more than 4,500 partner deals.

Azure is the only global, public cloud providing partners with this significant benefit through which Microsoft sales reps are paid up to 10% of the partner’s annual contract value when they co-sell qualified Azure-based partner solutions. This means Microsoft sales reps are specifically compensated to help Azure partners drive new business and it gives partners access to the global Microsoft sales force to grow their business.

To further the Azure co-sell program impact, we are making additional investments over the next 12 months. And, we are creating additional dedicated Channel Manager roles in Microsoft to support partners' go-to-market efforts, helping their solutions reach new customers and integrating with our co-sell motion. Together these investments represent more than a quarter of a billion dollars in new co-sell incentives and support to help our partners grow their business.

We are also making it easier for partners to modernize their customers’ existing business applications, and build new ones, with a new program we are calling ISV Cloud Embed. With this new program, partners can purchase Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Apps, and Microsoft Flow as embeddable “building blocks” at discounts of up to 50%. In the same way partners build apps on Azure, they can now use these business applications capabilities to quickly add sales automation, service line and operational backend functionality to their own solutions. This reduces development time and costs by putting Microsoft engineering resources to work for them. Partners receive go-to-market support and an opportunity to reach 100 million commercial active users of Office 365 and a growing community of Dynamic 365 customers through Microsoft AppSource.

Lastly, we’re introducing the preview of Azure Managed Applications. Azure Managed Applications enables partners to deliver managed solutions through the Azure Marketplace. It serves as a channel not only to sell infrastructure and/or software through the marketplace, but also as a way for partners to attach services and operational support to Azure customers. Managed applications streamline acquisition and deployment for customers, while outsourcing the management and operations of the solution to the partner.

From building on Azure, to industry-leading co-sell support and new embeddable business application services, only Microsoft provides this comprehensive approach to assist partners in accelerating their business growth.

Azure Stack now ready to order via Hardware Partners

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, offering a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform from Azure datacenters all the way to edge locations such as mine shafts, factory floors, or cruise ships. Together with Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo, we are announcing Microsoft Azure Stack integrated systems are now available to order. We have delivered Azure Stack software to our hardware partners, enabling us to begin the certification process for their integrated systems, with the first systems to begin shipping in September. Customers like Saxo Bank and Mitsui Knowledge Industry are integrating Azure Stack into their strategy to build modern applications across cloud and on-premises.

Additional news

To enable rapid innovation of data-centric applications, we’re announcing a 3x increase in compute scaling power of Azure SQL Data Warehouse, from 6,000 DWU to 18,000 DWU. As all companies become digital companies, the need for petabyte-scale storage is increasing. At this scale, storing and querying data can be a massive undertaking, and becomes more complex as companies increasingly adopt AI. By separating compute from storage, it maximizes performance, creating a data warehouse built for the most advanced mobile, IoT and AI solutions. With this expanded offering, our partners and customers can deliver petabyte scale storage and querying.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), puts new compliance requirements on customers. In addition to the resources already available on the Microsoft Trust Center, we just released two new GDPR assessment tools. An interactive GDPR assessment tool is available to any business or organization that wants to assess their current state of GDPR readiness. We also released a detailed assessment tool, available through our extensive partner network, that provides customers with actionable guidance and detailed recommendations of Microsoft products that may support their path to GDPR compliance. Partners can learn more about the GDPR opportunity from the Microsoft Partner Network's blog.

To learn more about today’s Inspire announcements – including Microsoft 365, a new set of commercial offerings – take a moment to read Judson Althoff’s Official Microsoft Blog.