Driving change through intelligent clouds: Microsoft has you covered

Attributed to: Brad Anderson, CVP, Enterprise Mobility Suite Microsoft Corp

Today, at Microsoft Ignite Australia on the Gold Coast, I spoke about how we are building the intelligent cloud and what this means – not just for organisations, but on a more personal level, for the IT Pros and developers who support them.

At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering IT’s role of enabling businesses to innovate – and every day we work closely with the IT Pros driving this change.

We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with IT Pros, and are committed to the success of this relationship. We know that there’s always more to learn, and our desire to stay connected to the IT community means we will always speak their language and understand their needs better than any other vendor.

A major part of our commitment to empowering IT is our understanding of the importance of choice.

We know, for example, that organisations need to be able to choose the right cloud model (private/hybrid/public), and we emphasise cross platform support and interoperability to enable a choice of platforms.  A great example is the demos I showed today highlighting the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS).

Microsoft Operations Management Suite

We also know that every organisation is running its own race; they need to be able to choose when to migrate, when to upgrade, and when to adopt new technology.

Since we launched the Azure datacentres in Australia a year ago, we have seen amazing up-take: the number of customers using the platform has quadrupled since the launch of the local data centres, and this growth is not purely enterprises – start-ups, SMBs, and ISVs together account for nearly 40 per cent of our revenue.

Some highlights of this Azure adoption include the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of WA Sport and Recreation, QBE, AGL, PWC, and EPIC Digital.

The success of Azure is testament to the drive and enthusiasm of our partners and the endless possibilities for innovation and business transformation that come hand-in-hand with the scale and flexibility of the cloud.

Today I am excited to announce six new Azure CSP partners in Australia:

  • Buttonwood Cloud Exchange
  • Rackspace
  • SaaSPlaza
  • Datacom
  • Dimension Data
  • Data#3.

We understand that you look for many of the same qualities in your choice of partner as you do in your choice of technology. The solutions you deploy must be trustworthy, flexible and integrated – and so must your partners in the cloud.

To give one example, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has adopted the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) to enable their 5,000 workers across the State to work from wherever they choose, knowing they are safe from data loss and security breaches.

Another example is Department of WA Sport and Recreation. They began using Azure to take advantage of Office 365 to ensure they had a stable environment for authentication and single sign-on. Now, all of their staff, including those in regional and remote areas, have mobile access to centralised data and services.  Thanks to ExpressRoute this takes them straight into the cloud.

Today we are also announcing that local ExpressRoute Partners NEXTDC and Megaport are now enabled for O365 ExpressRoute.

Azure ExpressRoute allows private, managed connections to Office 365. This is something our customers have been asking for since ExpressRoute launched last year. ExpressRoute currently provides customers with dedicated network connectivity through a private connection from their network to Microsoft Azure – and now we’ve extended the same option for connecting to Office 365.

Some of our customers are using Azure to access capabilities they don’t have in house. Laing O’Rourke, for example, has staff working all over the world. Thanks to Azure, they can now access Microsoft Power BI to analyse trends (and take action) in real time.

A core attribute of the intelligent cloud is integration. We know many businesses feel a hybrid cloud is important – and, indeed, most organisations already use capacity from multiple clouds.  Much of the IT spend directed by Line of Business teams is on SaaS apps and apps developed on the public cloud.  Thus, compatibility and integration are key. We’ve seen how this works in practice with customers, like the insurer QBE.

QBE operates in a heavily-regulated industry with numerous compliance obligations. The need to carefully abide by these regulations was front and centre as the company selected a cloud vendor. Ultimately, it came down to trust and compliance. With Azure, QBE can conduct its testing and development in the cloud and then, when it switches to customer data, it deploys all that software back into its own data centre.

These are just a few of many customer examples.  We know that every organisation – including ours – has its own story and own changes in mind.  In every case, I know that IT Pros are at the centre of this emerging transformation.

IT Pros have one of the hardest jobs in our industry – but they also have one of the biggest and most expansive impacts. It’s up to you to manage the tension between public and private cloud, between increasing numbers of devices and the need to manage those devices, between a world of ‘bring your own services’, and the importance of data protection.

None of this is simple, and, with so many things in motion in the industry, it’s understandable that an IT Pro might feel pressured or even be concerned about their future.  This week at Ignite I hope one thing is very clear: Microsoft is more committed than ever to the thousands of IT Pros in Australia. Our ambitions are grounded in your desire to lead in this thrilling era of change in enterprise computing.


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