Partners are finding more ways than ever to create business opportunities around Microsoft’s four key solutions areas: Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications and Infrastructure, and Data and AI.
- Microsoft 365 seats have grown 100 percent year-on-year
- Over the last three quarters, Microsoft has seen Azure revenue grow by 90 percent
- Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider programme has experienced 234 percent growth
- Microsoft has generated more than a million leads for partners since Inspire 2017
- Microsoft’s IP co-selling programme, announced last year, has generated more than $5 billion in revenue for partners
At Inspire Microsoft will be highlighting new tools and programmes to further fuel partner growth.
Azure Marketplace capabilities
These include new Azure Marketplace capabilities such as integrated partner-to-partner solutions, private offers and expanded consulting listings available today. The integrated partner-to-partner capabilities, for instance, allows partners to connect their individual technologies into a single offer, providing a more complete solution to better meet their customers’ transformation needs.
Microsoft will also be announcing new go-to-market benefits for partners, including resources to help partners build a marketing practice, as well as access to services and support generating leads, improving lead velocity and increasing close rates for app or service offerings.
Elsewhere, Microsoft corporate VP of communications Frank X. Shaw, said the company had “heard loud and clear that partners need help differentiating their businesses and proving expertise in product, solution area or service.”
To help with that differentiation, Microsoft is announcing new advanced specialisations, like the Azure Expert Managed Service Provider programme.
“These programmes help partners demonstrate that they have the right capabilities to help with specific customer business challenges, so organisations can find exactly what they’re looking for more quickly and easily,” says Shaw.
New technologies for everyone
Moving large amounts of data to the cloud is challenging, especially in bandwidth-constrained locations. Microsoft introduced Azure Databox last September to provide a way for customers to get large data sets to the cloud, more efficiently offline and in a secure way.
Azure Databox Disk
Today Microsoft is expanding the Azure Databox preview to Europe and the UK with the new Azure Databox Disk where customers can get up to 40TB of small SSD drive to quickly move their data to an Azure datacentre.
This is particularly valuable for organisations that need to collect data from many locations.
Azure Global Network
Elsewhere, Microsoft is unveiling two new networking services: Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall to help organisations connect their own office infrastructure using Azure Global Network and protect their network with a firewall that has cloud-scalability.
Businesses with many remote locations and branch endpoints would benefit from these services.
Azure SQL Data Warehouse
Azure SQL Data Warehouse has set new performance benchmarks for cloud data warehousing by delivering at least 2x faster query performance compared to before – cementing it as the fast data warehouse in the cloud.
Three years ago, Microsoft launched Power BI to create new opportunities for businesses to drive a data culture where all employees, regardless of role and skillset, can access the insights and intelligence they need to make smart decisions based on facts.
Today there are new capabilities for Power BI to help businesses extract insights from big data. These include using Power Query to enrich data directly in the Power BI web service to make it easier for businesses to connect and manage large volumes of disparate data from both on-premise and cloud-based data sources, such as Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Excel and SharePoint.
“Most business have volumes of data spread across all sorts of sources such as CRM, marketing, social media or customer support,” says Shaw. “Historically pulling together this siloed data was difficult and required advanced skills. The expanded data prep abilities in Power BI simplify the process by more easily reasoning over data from disparate sources.”
Windows Server & SQL Server
“We have been really clear,” says Shaw. “The cloud is the most secure place to build and manage apps and data. Lots of on-premise customers know a move to the cloud is imminent.”
And so finally for the first round of announcements, Microsoft is announcing a new offer for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 customers to upgrade or migrate their workloads to Azure.