Microsoft focuses on ‘opportunity’, digital transformation and higher margins at Partner Conference

Microsoft says its partners receive ‘almost 20 per cent higher margins’ than those of its closest competitor.

Summarising the vendor’s Worldwide Partner Conference taking place in Toronto this week, Microsoft’s worldwide partner group corporate VP Gavriella Schuster said in a blog: "If I could choose one word to define the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) for partners, it’s this: opportunity.

"Our partners realize almost 20 per cent higher margins than those of the next closest competitor. Opportunity draws more than 16,000 attendees from around the world to Toronto this week, for what many of our partners view as the most important event of the year."

Schuster adds that customer demand for Microsoft’s cloud services has ‘exploded’ over the past year with over 85 per cent of the Fortune 500 using the Microsoft Cloud today.

"Our partners drive creative implementations of our technologies and build partnerships with each other to delivery complementary services that power new revenue streams," she commented.

Microsoft partners with more than 50 per cent of their revenue in the cloud are attaching $5.87 of their own services for every $1 of Microsoft cloud solutions sold.

"And we’re all just barely tapping into the potential," Schuster commented. "IDC forecasts that the greater cloud market will exceed $500 billion by 2020. To capitalize on the opportunity ahead, we know our partners need both a technology partner and a business partner to help them succeed. This is a dual role we aim to excel at."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke of digital transformation.

"Let’s be clear – digital transformation won’t happen with another bolted-on cloud app or a giant implementation of monolithic and closed business application packages that take half a decade to customize and deploy, and another for employees to begrudgingly learn how to use," he said.

"Digital transformation requires systems of intelligence that are tailored to each industry, each company, each micro-task performed by each person. Systems that can learn, expand and evolve with agility as the world and business changes."

Elsewhere at the conference so far, Microsoft announced a partnership that will make GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Microsoft Azure cloud for industrial businesses. The move marks the first step in a broad strategic collaboration between the two companies.

Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, is teaming up with Microsoft to help companies operate more sustainably with the Microsoft cloud.

Microsoft also highlighted how Japan Airlines uses Microsoft HoloLens to ‘change the training paradigm’ for flight crews and mechanics. HoloLens can project holograms into the environment, offering a new way to display cockpit instruments or how jet engine parts fit together.

Finally, Microsoft Dynamics 365 will unify Microsoft’s current CRM and ERP cloud solutions into one cloud service with new purpose-built apps to help manage specific business functions, this autumn.

Then there’s Microsoft AppSource, a new destination for business users to find and try out line-of-business SaaS apps from Microsoft and its partners. 

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