As the Vuzion team head back from the World Partner Conference 2016 in Toronto, we’ve been reflecting on top 3 key takeaways from Microsoft WPC 2016.
1. Digital transformation is critical, for end-customers, and for the channel
The theme of digital transformation featured heavily throughout the event. This is a journey that we are all going on; from Microsoft, through to its partners, and right on down to customers.
“I think my top takeaway would be that the transition to the cloud is accelerating full force and the partners that will be successful are the ones who help their customers successfully transform and become much more digital organisations,” says Michael Frisby, Managing Director of Vuzion.
“In other words how can you make your business more digital? How can you make it more efficient? Whether you're a holiday company, whether you're a news media outlet, whether you're a manufacturer, whether you're a healthcare provider, whether you're a taxi company, how does digital impact your business and how do you transform your business to take a digital solution the digital services provide?” Michael asks.
“And the partners themselves have to transform along this road as well,” adds Julian Dyer, CTO, Cobweb.
“The partner in his own right is going through transformation and has to be part of this. Their efficiencies and the gains that they can grab for the service delivery in particular and profitability depends on their transformation.”
2. Azure is the oxygen that will allow this ecosystem to thrive
Microsoft is doing a fantastic job at evolving its business proposition in order to meet the needs of this cloud-first, mobile-first world. At the heart of this evolution is Azure. Revenues for Microsoft’s cloud have grown 120% year-over-year and it is gaining more than 120,000 new subscribers every month.
Michael says that it was apparent, just from the keynotes, how central Azure has become to Microsoft’s vision.
“This was my eighth or ninth WPC and if I think back four or five years to the product keynotes, Windows was always the longest and most detailed. This year it was the shortest of the three, behind Azure and Office 365.”
“I think this alone tells you where the future lies. It is around Azure, it's around solutions like Azure Stack, something that Cobweb are already investing in; that's definitely where Microsoft sees future opportunities.”
Michael continues: “If you think about today, enterprises will buy Windows, SQL, Hyper-V and System Center. In the future, a lot of them will just need to buy Azure Stack. I think the opportunity that all those on-premise servers represent moving onto Azure is significantly bigger than anything you can see around Office 365, which itself is a massive opportunity.”
3. CSP is the new black
The Cloud Solution Provider programme continues to gain momentum and is quickly becoming the preferred license model amongst cloud partners. As the first 2-Tier Cloud Solution Provider in the UK, Vuzion was pleased to see that Microsoft is aggressively expanding the programme to additional markets.It was also announced that Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in CSPs.
“It is clearly working for all of you,” said Gavriella Schuster, general manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group.
“We have now over 17,000 partners transacting CSP. Over 3 million seats sold, and in the month of May alone sold more services through CSP than open, advisor and syndication.”
Julian comments: “The progress of the whole programme which was announced at last year's WPC now has stepped up a gear and is obviously the mainstream programme for channel adoption; and is central the wider strategy that Microsoft has around the Microsoft Cloud. It was great to see Microsoft allowing Microsoft Cloud, and third party products and services, to be made available through the programme.”