Microsoft Launches Cloud Accelerator Program for Indian Enterprises & Government

Pune, March 18, 2015: To help Indian enterprises and government organizations take full advantage of the cloud, Microsoft India today launched a special Cloud Accelerator Program. This announcement was made by the company’s leadership at India’s largest cloud conference, the 2015 Microsoft Azure Conference. More than 1,500 cloud professionals and IT industry decision makers will attend the two-day conference, with another 15,000 participating via the virtual conference.

Last year, Microsoft announced that it will offer Microsoft Azure and Office 365 cloud services from local datacenters by the end of 2015. The Cloud Accelerator Program will serve as a catalyst to accelerate the adoption of these services amongst enterprises and government organizations. This will help organizations to not only plan local cloud roadmaps, but also increase compliance with local regulations.

With the help of in-house experts and trained partners, Microsoft India’s Cloud Accelerator Program is specially designed to help Indian customers start and complete their cloud journey. More than 15 Microsoft partners including HCL, Wipro and Tech Mahindra will be part of the roll out of the Cloud Accelerator Program in India. More partners will come on board with new offerings over the coming months.

In addition, Microsoft has launched cloud training programs – Azure Vidyapeeth and GuruVarta, for partners that will enable SMBs transition to the cloud. The program will upskill partners to help 10,000 SMBs across 250 cities to move to the cloud.

The company also announced the launch of a Cloud Decision Framework for public sector companies, government departments, banks, and financial services companies. The Cloud Decision Framework is an independent, open framework based on industry standards and regulator-guidelines. The framework builds on international ISO standards and incorporates India-specific guidelines from IRDA, IDRBT and the IT Act.

“Microsoft has been a front runner in the Indian IT industry for 25 years, helping India use the latest computing technology to achieve more. The cloud is the only way enterprises and government organizations can scale up IT infrastructure to meet the needs of the discerning digital Indian. We are investing to provide cloud services from local datacenters to help government, BFSI, state-owned enterprises and other regulated industries to take full advantage of the cloud. The Cloud Accelerator Program is designed to help India move to the cloud, and in turn, help ‘Make in India’ a reality. This will open up new possibilities in e-governance, financial inclusion, healthcare, and education to positively impact the lives of a billion people,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India.

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India said, “Cloud is real in India today.  Our early-adopter customers are already seeing the benefits of public, private and hybrid cloud. With the Cloud Accelerator Program, we and our partners will be able to move thousands of customers to the cloud over the next few months. We are committed to help government departments, public sector organizations, and banking and financial services companies move forward on their own cloud journeys.”

Microsoft is witnessing rapid growth in cloud adoption in India and across the world. In the quarter ending December 2014, Microsoft’s commercial cloud revenue grew 114% globally.  This was driven by Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Dynamics CRM Online.

Customer Quotes

Rakesh Bhatt, Chief Operating Officer, Bajaj Finance Limited

“Cloud computing, over the years, has helped organizations across verticals maximize resource output while optimizing legacy systems. The financial sector is gradually migrating business functions to the cloud owing to the scalability and flexibility offered by the platform. We at Bajaj Finance Limited, have been a front runner in cloud adoption, and moving our workload to Azure has simplified our business processes keeping the data secure. The impending datacenter availability in India by Microsoft will undoubtedly be a great advantage for the financial sector as it will address data security, sovereignty and geo latency challenges readily. We look forward to the availability of commercial cloud services via local datacenter for our business and sector.”

Rostow Ravanan, Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer, MindTree Ltd.

“We have seen faster adoption of Microsoft Azure offerings over the past year. The all-round focus of Microsoft’s cloud enables us to apply these services to multiple customer situations. I believe the new services have erased the early mover advantage of other cloud providers and we are seeing Azure take the lead in services like IoT and media services. The focus on open source technologies has been an added advantage.”

“We have a long standing relationship with Microsoft and have adopted key Microsoft technologies. We embarked on our cloud journey by adopting Office 365 and now have more than 80% of our workforce on Office 365. Our intranet applications are hosted on Sharepoint 2013 platform, which has powered our social platform for enhancing collaboration within the organization. We have also partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure powered services to our customers, helping them realize the potential of the cloud. As a specialist in digital technologies, we believe Azure offers a compelling proposition for large and small enterprises.”

Partner Quotes

Somick Goswami, National Business Development Leader, PWC

“Microsoft and PwC joining hands is a strategic fit where the former will focus on its cloud solutions and products, while the latter can assist customers in the entire IT transformation journey from assessment to strategy to architecture formulation to implementation to managed services in the cloud.”

Julie Woods-Moss, CEO Next Generation Business, Tata Communications

“We are delighted to have been chosen as a communications and technology partner of Microsoft in India, for cloud enablement services. This builds on our existing relationship which sees Microsoft Azure’s ExpressRoute interconnecting to Tata Communications’ IZO™ Private, part of IZO™ our flagship cloud enablement platform. Our recent research has shown that cloud confidence of Indian enterprises matches that of more mature markets and are as confident as any other in the benefits of cloud.  By continuing to work together, Tata Communications and Microsoft, we are well poised to help companies in India through the adoption cycle. We’re excited to be a part of this journey and congratulate Microsoft on an impressive ‘Silver Jubilee’ of 25 years in India, and wish them every success for the future.”

Bimal Das, Joint President, Enterprise Products Distribution, HCL Infosystems Ltd.

“We would like to congratulate Microsoft for launching the Cloud Accelerator Program and bringing a comprehensive set of cloud offerings to India. We see huge headroom for growth in the cloud market in India.  The Cloud Accelerator Program will provide a platform to enterprises of all sizes to scale up their business and achieve efficiency, while reducing their IT infrastructure costs. Such programs will increase cloud adoption and instill customer confidence across industries. We share a longstanding relationship with Microsoft and we are confident that this move will spur growth in the cloud market. We eagerly look forward to a fruitful association with Microsoft by developing tailored solutions for our customers.”

Karthi Chandramouli, Global Practice Head- Cloud, Tech Mahindra

“We are pleased to be part of the Cloud Accelerator Program with Microsoft. Enterprises are prioritizing how to get cloud platforms integrated with legacy systems to make use of years of data they have accumulated. Monetization plays a crucial role in driving cloud adoption and our repeatable, predictable and proven migration framework will provide attractive ROI, reduced cost, risk and complexity, and faster realization of value. With in-depth understanding and experience in handling cloud migrations across various industry verticals, Tech Mahindra and Microsoft are well positioned to partner to achieve desired results.”

Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder & CEO, Persistent Systems.

“Persistent Systems and Microsoft have collaborated for more than 23 years to develop products and solutions that help businesses innovate, reduce time to market and accelerate business transformation. As a Microsoft Azure Circle Partner, we help enterprises and ISVs looking to adopt or extend their Azure platform utilization. We see cloud adoption continuing to grow in India. With initiatives like Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program we can accelerate cloud adoption in many Indian market segments like BFSI, currently under-penetrated by cloud. Just this year, working together, we released a free, open source data center migration tool that helps customers move existing, deployed virtual machines from one Azure data center to another.”

Sujit Mohanty, Sonata Software

“Microsoft has made significant strides with cloud services in the last couple of years. The fact that they allow customers to leverage cloud without having to give away the on premise investments has accelerated the adoption of Microsoft’s cloud in Indian enterprises.”

“The Cloud Accelerator Program will help increase adoption amongst enterprises by enabling business leaders to strategize and plan their IT infrastructure roadmaps on the cloud. Microsoft has also shown its commitment to the Indian market by announcing cloud services from local datacenters, which will help accelerate adoption in sectors such as financial services, public sector enterprises and more.”

Devendra Taneja, MD & CEO, PC Solutions

“Microsoft’s decision to provide cloud services from India datacenters has created a lot of interest amongst customers and partners. It is opening up new doors for innovation in the cloud for Indian customers, especially due to localized IPs available for local business needs.”

Balkrishna Keroor, CEO and Principal Consultant, Mactores

“Plans to provide cloud services from local India datacenters are awesome. Over 1 billion devices, across various form factors and platforms, are connected to the internet in India, this offers exciting opportunities for Azure. Cloud services from local datacenters is very exciting for the consumer companies who wish to serve this market. BFSI organizations can also look forward to migrating their business critical applications to Azure for superior compliance.”

“The Cloud Accelerator Program will help BFSI organizations, state-owned enterprises and public sector units to identify workloads to efficiently migrate to the cloud and create direct business impact. These organizations are proactively looking for reliable infrastructure to use and scale their technology. Cloud services from local datacenters provides them the confidence of data protection as their data is within the boundaries of the country and with services like express route, they can practically extend their datacenters to Azure. Companies in these sectors are now diversifying in technology with Big Data Analytics, which is a first-class citizen of Azure under HDInsights.”

Ajith George, Director – Co-Founder & Projects, Sysfore Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

“Breaking the initial resistance of technology adoption in organizations has always been a challenge. The Cloud Accelerator Program will help build confidence on the Azure platform for customers, especially those in the financial and public sector, who otherwise find it difficult to spend on evaluations and proof of concepts.”

Bobby Managing Director, Vice President, Microland

“As businesses strive to become more agile, intelligent, and digital new demands are placed on IT departments everyday. To do this enterprises need to smartly connect their infrastructure, software applications, data and operations capabilities. The Microsoft cloud and availability of services through local datacenters in India, combined with Microland’s industry knowledge, implementation expertise and Hybrid IT services, will help accelerate our customers’ cloud adoption. Unlocking new benefits including powerful new applications, data-driven insights and increased productivity.

”Our partnership with Microsoft goes back over 20 years, this new, unique collaboration with Microsoft is one of Microland’s most strategic and important initiatives for driving enterprise-wide cloud adoption in India and rest of the world.”

Gopal, CEO, MMAD Apps

“MMAD Apps feels that the Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program has been designed for partners like us, who have the experience, competency and skill, and can scale-up to deliver any kind of workload on the Microsoft cloud. This program will help us in building a strong Microsoft cloud practice to deliver global solutions for the benefit of mutual customers.”

“While continuing to deliver cost effective and innovative cloud solutions, we are building reusable assets in areas of datacenter migration, cloud-based mobility and analytics which will reduce time-to-market and increase adoption. Joint go-to-market under the Cloud Accelerator Program, along with necessary sales, marketing and technical support will help both Microsoft and us to excel.”

Rishi Agrawal, COO, Bluefin

“The Cloud Accelerator Program will have a significant impact on the adoption of Microsoft Azure in the country. Direct engagement with senior and executive leadership will help them understand the power of Azure for making organizations more efficient and agile. We often come across companies and their executives who harbor various concerns around adopting cloud. They articulate issues around data privacy and information security. We think the Cloud Accelerator Program will help significantly mitigate such concerns and break the myths.”

Vineet, CEO, BrainScale

“Cloud services from local datacenters will empower Indian customers to leverage the full capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud. The challenges posed by latencies/legal restraints will be overcome easily. The Cloud Accelerator Program opens the door for partners to engage with BFSI and public sector customers. The ability for partners to drive assessments for customers where penetration had been challenging, along with support from Microsoft is a great positive of the program.”

Capt. Ranjan, Principal, Cognosys

“Microsoft’s strategy to offer cloud services from Indian datacenters solves the pain point of large corporations which have been plagued with regulatory issues. Being very strong in the enterprise segment, this shall lead Microsoft to capture a large market share of cloud business. Sectors like BFSI, state-owned enterprises and government have traditionally been conservative and need continued support from companies like Cognosys to understand their complex workloads and ensure that same is properly architected to benefit from Azure’s scalability and performance benefits.”

Anand, Minjar

“Cloud adoption is no longer an ‘if’. It’s only a matter of how. A lot of companies need help creating and executing their cloud adoption strategies. Each sector has specific needs, and requires guidance on mapping their current infrastructure and business goals to the cloud world. The Cloud Accelerator Program will help jump start this process and instil confidence in these sectors about the benefits the cloud can bring to their businesses.”

Vishal Parpia, CEO, Cloud Cover

“In our experience, data sovereignty is one of the key blockers for public cloud penetration in India. Microsoft’s plans to offer Azure services from local datacenters is a massive leap for the domestic cloud industry. As a cloud-focused partner, the ability to provide our customers with local services with the same international quality is nothing short of a game-changer. This year is going to be huge.”

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 6,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research and development and customer services and support, across nine Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft is committed to touching and transforming lives and businesses in India through technology.