Microsoft Empowers Customers through Local Cloud and A Wave of New Cloud Partnerships

Mumbai, Nov. 6, 2015: Microsoft today announced significant momentum in its local cloud adoption and several new local cloud partnerships in India. Organizations across different industries are using the flexibility, security and advanced computing capabilities of Microsoft cloud to drive their business transformation. Leading banks, financial institutions, hospitals, media companies, e-commerce organizations, government departments, and telecom providers have become early adopters of local Microsoft cloud services that were launched four weeks ago. Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise Group at Microsoft shared this information in Mumbai during his keynote on the second day of Future Unleashed, Microsoft’s largest ever customer conference in India.

Local Microsoft cloud services adoption has also been fueled by new partnerships with leading system integrators (SIs), new-age independent software vendors (ISVs), content companies, application developers and OEMs. Businesses of all sizes and across diverse industries are leveraging the local cloud for better productivity and enhanced customer experience.

Scott Guthrie said, “As the first hyper scale public cloud provider to offer services from datacenters in India, we are excited to see the rapid growth in usage driven by the digital innovation of our customers and partners. Customers, especially those in financial services and Government, are keen on the local cloud, to drive productivity and customer and citizen delight.”

“Our partners are excited about new opportunities the cloud presents for themselves and their customers,” he added.

Leading banks and financial institutions have adopted Office 365 to redefine productivity and enable quick decision making while reducing IT infrastructure costs. Notable names include IDFC and ICICI Lombard. Kotak Mahindra Bank’s payroll processing, portfolio analytics and HDFC Bank’s customer experience analytics have also moved to the Microsoft cloud through ISV solutions hosted on local cloud.

Dipak Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “At Kotak, we are on a journey to provide stakeholders, both internal and external, the best of experiences as they engage with us. Information technology and digital transformation will play a key role in enabling this. With our payroll partner ZingHR moving our data to Microsoft Azure services offered from the local datacenter, our employees will now be able to access their information quickly on a device of their choice from wherever they are. The time taken for periodic processing will also reduce significantly along with benefits of reduced costs and improved compliance.”

“ICICI Lombard is extremely focused on driving innovative solutions with a customer-centric approach.

The Cloud plays an important role in making services scalable, reliable and highly available within and outside the enterprise. We are already using Azure for our pre-production software lifecycle development processes for more than a year now. With Office 365, every employee in our organization will have the ability to collaborate efficiently by sharing best practices and innovative ideas. As our employees are geographically spread, it is important for us to give them a connected employee experience and we expect Office 365 to enable us in this mission. We are happy to see that Microsoft’s cloud services are now available from India and this will help us in moving more of our business processes to the cloud,” said Girish Nayak, Chief – Customer Service, Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd.

Similarly, leading hospitals such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Fortis have adopted Microsoft local cloud services. In fact, Fortis has retired its datacenters and moved crucial applications for patient care to Microsoft Azure.

SIs, ISVs and Partners explore new business opportunities

Microsoft is extending its long-standing partnership with Akamai Technologies, Inc. to India, under which access to the Akamai CDN will be fully integrated into Microsoft Azure. The forthcoming Azure CDN offering is designed to optimize the performance of content and applications deployed and delivered on Azure.  Microsoft enterprise customers will now be able to purchase any Akamai offering as ‘self-select’ options through the Azure portal or as part of their organization’s Microsoft enterprise agreement. In addition, customers will receive integrated, one-stop service and support from Microsoft and Akamai.

Microsoft is also helping leading information technology (IT) companies reach their customers in newer ways by delivering innovative applications via its local cloud. Wipro Limited launched its ‘Travel & Expense (T&E) Management as a Service’ solution for the B2B segment on Microsoft’s Azure platform with general availability due in December. This solution will enable organizations, across industry sectors, to carry out the process of travel-related reporting and reimbursements with ease. The intuitiveness, performance and insights offered by the solution will be similar to that of popular social apps.

Microsoft is continuing to bring advanced cloud services such as Machine Leaning (ML), Advanced Analytics, Media Services and Internet of Things (IoT). Several new age ISVs such as Zing HR, CloudCherry and Shephertz have leveraged this and deployed their customized applications and solutions on the local Microsoft cloud. Interestingly, Titan is using the CloudCherry solution on Azure for customer experience analytics, while a start-up, iBot, is leveraging machine learning and predictive analytics from the Microsoft cloud to help its customers run predictive maintenance.

Other partners and cloud solutions providers are leveraging the Microsoft cloud to offer powerful integrated solutions. Microsoft and Zoho Corporation announced strategic partnering to provide great experiences and better productivity to users. Together, the companies will deliver solutions that will connect’s business applications like Zoho CRM, Zoho ShowTime and Zoho Finance with the cloud productivity of Office 365 and the mobility of Windows. Also, with the availability of ManageEngine’s IT management software like Password Manager Pro and ServiceDesk Plus on Azure Marketplace, users will be well equipped to solve IT management and business problems online. With end users now having better software options to efficiently work online, this partnership will prove pivotal in reaching out to the growing Indian enterprise market.

Hybrid Cloud partnerships will provide greater choice and flexibility

Gartner predicts that 50% of the enterprises will use hybrid cloud by 2017. Major IT infrastructure and hosting service providers in the country have joined hands with Microsoft to offer hybrid cloud services to their customers. Tata Communications, Netmagic, Sify and NxtGen are significant amongst these. Existing users of IT infrastructure services from these providers will now be able to extend to Azure with seamless service integration. This will allow customers to retain their existing investments and interests with their service providers and benefit from high value infrastructure and platform services of Azure like analytics, media and mobile services, machine learning, disaster recovery, etc.

Julie Woods-Moss, CEO of NextGen Business and CMO Tata Communications, said, “This new era of hybrid cloud seamlessly enables customers to mix and match the best of private and public clouds from Tata Communications and Microsoft – accelerating organization-wide digital transformation. Tata Communications believes in the power of partner ecosystems in enabling customers to achieve new levels of innovation and efficiency. Our latest partnership with Microsoft builds on our existing relationship, where Microsoft Azure and Office365 interconnect to our leading IZO™ platform, the most comprehensive cloud enablement platform available. And today our continued commitment and partnership will enable customers to adopt their cloud of choice – confidently and securely.”

Microsoft and Red Hat have announced a partnership to enable enterprise customers to embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility to deploy Red Hat software on Microsoft Azure.

In addition, Dell has announced a new hybrid cloud solution, featuring technology jointly developed with Microsoft, designed to break down the barriers customers experience on their path to cloud. 

About Future Unleashed

Future Unleashed is Microsoft’s largest customer conference in India which brings together over 3,000 customers, business leaders, IT industry professionals, start-ups and developers in Mumbai. Another 100,000 are expected attended the event via the Internet. At the conference, companies from Manufacturing, Automotive, e-commerce, Entertainment, BFSI and Retail sectors demonstrated the breadth and depth of new technology.

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 7,000 employees engaged in sales and marketing, research and development, and customer services and support across ten Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.


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