Scott Guthrie: Worldwide Partner Conference 2015

Remarks by Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, in Orlando, Florida, on July 13, 2015.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Thank you.  Well, good morning, everyone, and welcome to WPC.  We now live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  And as Satya talked about this morning, Microsoft is enabling customers and partners to transform their businesses in this new world by delivering on three core ambitions.

Today, I’m going to talk about the work we’re doing to build the intelligent cloud platform and how we’ll enable you, our partners, to accelerate your businesses by making your customers even more successful.

We’re in the midst of a generational shift in computing, and it represents major changes for everyone, Microsoft included.  And every organization over the next few years is going to need a strategy for how they move from where they are today to take advantage of what the cloud offers.  They’ll look to adopt SaaS-based solutions for faster time to value.  They’ll look to extend their infrastructure, to use the public cloud to enable better agility and cost savings.

And they’ll look to take advantage of higher-level services like machine learning and the new Cortana Analytics Suite we just announced, to engage better with our customers and reinvent business processes.

And the combination of all three of these elements enables real business transformation.  And all of us in this room together are uniquely positioned to deliver on this as one.

Microsoft now offers the most widely deployed portfolio of business SaaS solutions.  We provide a comprehensive set of capabilities with Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, and with Power BI.  And with our Enterprise Mobility Suite, we now enable IT to securely deliver as well as manage these solutions, as well as more than 2,600 other SaaS offerings delivered by our partners on any mobile device.  And do so in a way that doesn’t compromise the end-user experience, while at the same time keeping companies secure.

In addition to these SaaS-based solutions, then, Microsoft also offers a comprehensive set of cloud infrastructure services as well as higher-level services that enable organizations to become more agile and differentiate their businesses.

With Azure and the Azure stack, we now provide a consistent hybrid cloud platform that can be used to run any workload, whether it’s Windows Server or Linux.

With our new Operation Management Suite, you can now manage those workloads no matter where they run, whether it’s on premises in an existing customer datacenter, in a service provider datacenter, or in our public cloud.

With our Visual Studio family of tools and Azure App Service, we enable unmatched developer productivity and enable you to rapidly build any type of application and use it to target any device to meet your business needs.

And we’re making deep investments with the next release of SQL Server to enable you to build even better data applications.  And with our new Cortana Analytics Suite that we just announced earlier today, we now enable every organization to transform their data into intelligent action.

And with our Azure IOT Suite, we now enable organizations to collect and integrate vast quantities of data from millions and devices.  And, collectively, when you look across the stack, all of these capabilities enable organizations to be more agile, to lower their costs, and really differentiate and transform their business.

Now, we know we provide these capabilities, but we do so at hyper-scale.  These green circles here on the map represent Azure regions, which are made up of clusters of datacenters, where partners and customers can run their code and deliver solutions to their customers and employees closer than ever before.

We now have 19 Azure regions open for business today.  To put that in perspective, that’s more regions than AWS and Google combined.  (Applause.)

And we have five more regions that we’ve already announced that will be open for business in the next couple months, and you’re going to see these green dots continue to multiply all over the world.

Now, Microsoft is one of only three hyper-scale cloud vendors out there.  And unlike the other two, we’re unique in that we enable solutions to be deployed not just in our hyper-scale cloud, but also in customer and service-provider datacenters as well.  And this enables customers and partners to leverage assets and skill sets they already have and maintain maximum flexibility as they make this journey to the cloud.  And we deliver these capabilities with the support and service that enterprise customers expect.

Our cloud offering enables customers and partners to use the best of the Windows Server ecosystem and the best of the Linux ecosystem together.  And we now provide more than 3,200 different applications and solutions from partners like yourselves throughout this room that customers can use to deploy from the Azure Marketplace.  This enables both developers and IT professionals to use all the tools that they’re already familiar with to deliver world-class cloud solutions even faster.

And some of these solutions will be stand-alone projects, but we also expect, increasingly, many other IT solutions, going forward, are going to be ones where you’re going to want to be able to extend and integrate across multiple SaaS solutions together.  And we’re investing very heavily in extensibility with Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Power BI.  And Azure will provide the best cloud platform for building and hosting these types of applications and extensions.

Needless to say, all of these capabilities need to be built on a foundation of trust.  You know, Microsoft continues to invest very, very heavily in delivering security, privacy and transparency initiatives, and ensuring that our cloud has the broadest set of regulatory compliance regulations so customers and partners can deliver to any business environment.

And last but not least, and by far I think probably the biggest differentiator for us is the fantastic partners we have here in this room.  Thank you so much for the work you do.  (Applause.)

Thank you so much for the work that you do and for being on this journey of the cloud together.  Microsoft has been and will continue to be a partner-led company.  And the cloud provides an even bigger opportunity for all of us to deliver even more value to our collective customers and to grow our businesses together.

This slide here just contains just a few logos from the literally tens of thousands of partners that are now integrating and taking advantage of our intelligent cloud platform.  And these are just some of the customers that those particular partners brought to the Microsoft Cloud over the last year and have helped make them successful with us.

We have some amazing cloud and partner momentum happening right now in the market.  Just to put it in perspective, more than 90,000 new Azure customer subscriptions are now being created every single month.  We have more than 1.4 million SQL databases now hosted within Azure.  And we have more than 13,000 organizations who, over the last 12 months, have now deployed the Enterprise Mobility Suite and are using it to secure their environments.

We have more than 3,200 applications and solutions in the Azure Marketplace from a wide breadth of different ISVs and partners.  We have 6,500 partners who are now transacting Azure consumption using our open licensing program, which if you remember we launched just 12 months ago at the last WPC event.

And in the last 12 months, more than $45 billion of partner services revenue was attached to products and services build by the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, and all of these numbers are going to grow even more over the next 12 months.

What I’d like to do is invite three different partners now on stage, one an ISV, one an SI, and one a managed service provider to talk about how they’re taking advantage of our cloud offerings to accelerate their businesses and make their customers even more successful.

First, and I think, you know, being able to take advantage of all of these different capabilities that we now offer.

Now, the first partner I want to bring on stage is DataStax.  DataStax delivers an enterprise-grade NoSQL offering based on Apache Cassandra.  And they enable customers to build solutions that can scale across literally thousands of servers, which is perfect for a hyper-scale cloud environment.

And one of the customers that they’re working with is First American, who are deploying a solution on Microsoft Azure to provide richer insurance and settlement services to their customers.

What I’d like to do is invite Billy Bosworth, the CEO of DataStax, on stage to join me to talk about the partnership that we’ve had and how some of the great solutions that we’re building together.  Here’s Billy.  (Applause.)

Well, thanks for joining me, Billy.  And it’s great to have you here.

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Thank you.  It’s a real privilege to be here today.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  So tell us a little bit about DataStax and the technology you guys build.

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Sure.  At DataStax, we deliver Apache Cassandra in a database platform that is really purpose-built for the new performance and availability demands that are being generated by today’s Web, mobile and IOT applications.

With DataStax Enterprise, we give our customers a fully distributed and highly secure transactional database platform.

Now, that probably sounds like a lot of other database vendors out there as well.  But, Scott, we have something that’s really different and really important to us and our customers, and that’s the notion of being always on.  And when you talk about “always on” and transactional databases, things can get pretty complicated pretty fast, as you well know.

The reason for that is in an always-on world, the datacenter itself becomes a single point of failure.  And that means you have to build an architecture that is going to be comprehensive and include multiple datacenters.  That’s tough enough with almost any other piece of the software stack.  But for transactional databases, that is really problematic.

Fortunately, we have a masterless architecture in Apache Cassandra that allows us to have DataStax enterprise scale in a single datacenter or across multiple datacenters, and yet at the same time remain operationally simple.  So that’s really the core of what we do.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Is the always-on angle the key differentiator in terms of the customer fit with Azure?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  So if you think about deployment to multiple datacenters, especially and including Azure, it creates an immediate benefit.  Going back to your hybrid clouds comment, we see a lot of our customers that begin their journey on premises.  So they take their local datacenter, they install DataStax Enterprise, it’s an active database up and running.  And then they extend that database into Azure.

Now, when I say that, I don’t mean they do so for disaster recovery or failover, it is active everywhere.  So it is taking full read-write requests on premises and in Azure at the same time.

So if you lose connectivity to your physical datacenter, then the Azure active nodes simply take over.  And that’s great, and that solves the always-on problem.

But that’s not the only thing that Azure helps to solve.  Our applications, because of their nature, tend to drive incredibly high throughput.  So for us, hundreds of millions or even tens and hundreds of billions of transactions a day is actually quite common.

You guys are pretty good, Scott, but I don’t think you’ve changed the laws of physics yet.  And so the way that you get that kind of throughput with unbelievable performance demands, because our customers demand millisecond and microsecond response times, is you push the data closer to the end points.  You geographically distribute it.

Now, what our customers are realizing is they can try and build 19 datacenters across the world, which I’m sure was really cheap and easy to do, or they can just look at what you’ve already done and turn to a partnership like ours to say, “Help us understand how we do this with Azure.”

So not only do you get the always-on benefit, which is critical, but there’s also a very important performance element to this type of architecture as well.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Can you tell us a little bit about the work you did with First American on Azure?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Yeah.  First American is a leading name in the title insurance and settlement services businesses.  In fact, they manage more titles on more properties than anybody in the world.

Every title comes with an associated set of metadata.  And that metadata becomes very important in the new way that they want to do business because each element of that needs to be transacted, searched, and done in real-time analysis to provide better information back to the customer in real time.

And so for that on the database side, because of the type of data and because of the scale, they needed something like DataStax Enterprise, which we’ve delivered.  But they didn’t want to fight all those battles of the architecture that we discussed on their own, and that’s where they turned to our partnership to incorporate Microsoft Azure as the infrastructure with DataStax Enterprise running on top.

And this is one of many engagements that you know we have going on in the field that are really, really exciting and indicative of the way customers are thinking about transforming their business.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  So what’s it like working with Microsoft as a partner?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  I tell you, it’s unbelievable.  Or, maybe put differently, highly improbable that you and I are on stage together.  I want you guys to think about this.  Here’s the type of company we are.  We’re an open-source database written in Java that runs primarily in production on Linux.

Now, Scott, Microsoft has a couple of pretty good databases, of which I’m very familiar from my past, and open source and Java and Linux haven’t always been synonymous with Microsoft, right?

So I would say the odds of us being on stage were almost none.  But over the past year or two, the way that you guys have opened up your aperture to include technologies like ours — and I don’t just say “include.”  His team has embraced us in a way that is truly incredible.  For a company the size of Microsoft to make us feel the way we do is just remarkable given the fact that none of our technologies have been something that Microsoft has traditionally said is part of their family.

So I want to thank you and your team for all the work you’ve done.  It’s been a great experience, but we are architecting systems that are going to drive businesses for the coming decades.  And that is super exciting to have a partner like you engaged with us.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Fantastic.  Well, thank you so much for joining us on stage.

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Thanks, Scott.  (Applause.)

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  So I mentioned earlier we have 3,200 applications and solutions now in the Azure Marketplace, like DataStax.  And, you know, one of the things we’ve done with it that I think is great is integrated that marketplace directly inside our Azure management portal.  You can see kind of a screen shot of the DataStax experience up there.

And the great thing is that every Azure customer can basically go up and not just deploy a dev-test box, but with today’s update, they can actually deploy dozens of servers anywhere and the world literally in just minutes with DataStax preconfigured, as well as solutions from all these other ISVs and partners as well within there.  And it’s a tremendous opportunity not only to give exposure, but also to really automate and make it easy for everyone to be able to deploy their solutions anywhere around the world using any technology.

So the next partner I’d like to bring out on stage is VMob.  And VMob delivers an intelligent personalization platform that they built using Microsoft Azure and Power BI.

And one of the customers they’re working with is McDonald’s, who are using an IOT analytics solution from VMob to increase daily customer traffic and drive an uplift in their revenue.

And here to join me to talk about the great work they’re doing is Scott Bradley, the CEO of VMob.  (Applause.)

SCOTT BRADLEY:  Hi, Scott, thank you.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Thanks for being here.  So tell us a little bit about VMob.

SCOTT BRADLEY:  Yeah.  Well, as you mentioned, VMob is an intelligent personalization platform.  And the thing that’s different about VMob is we actually generate revenue for our customers.  And the brands that we work with are reliant on physical locations.  So think bricks and mortar retailers, convenience stores, service stations, quick-service restaurants, furniture retailers.

And the challenge that they had is almost 90 percent of their sales come from people walking through the front door, buying a product, and taking it home with them.  And we’re trying to help them sell more in that physical environment.

But the one thing that e-commerce has taught is that recommendations, personalization, targeting of content significantly increases the customer satisfaction and the amount the customers ultimately spend at those retailers.

So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to bring those disciplines from the digital world into the physical world.  So the example that we’re using today is some of the work that we’ve been doing with McDonald’s in Sweden.  We work with McDonald’s in a number of markets around the world, but Sweden’s a great example where we partnered with a local app developer to build this beautiful app.

And then the VMob platform has been integrated into that app with our SDK.  And with the permission of the end consumer, we start collecting some data.  So we start to look at the product they’re looking at.  And is it around breakfast time?  Is it lunchtime or in the evenings?  And we pick up location as well.

Now, we also link to the weather service.  So if it’s currently snowing at customer’s location, they’re going to respond really differently to a product than if it’s 100 degrees and warm outside.  So that allows us to start personalizing based on the data coming back from the mobile device.

But it’s not just mobile.  It’s about other connected devices.  So is it Wi-Fi in store?  Is it beacons?  Is it digital signage?  Is it the weather service?  Social profiles?  We’ve got all of this data from these different sources coming back into the VMob platform and the Azure cloud environment.

So it really is an Internet of Things platform generating sales for retailers in the physical world.  But they all have three common challenges.  It doesn’t matter who we talk to in what market around the world, how do I get more customers to my stores?  How do they spend more when they’re in the store?  And how do I maintain margin when I’m promoting and discounting product for those customers?

So what I wanted to do is share a little bit of the work that we’re doing in Power BI to show how we’re bringing all this data to life.  And one of the challenges is the sheer volume of data.  So in our deployments, we see 10,000 data activities a second hitting our servers.  And how do I as a marketer bring that to life and ultimately, you know, sell more burgers?

So what we’ve done here is in Power BI is started to link some of these different data streams.  So point of sale with member data, transactional data into a single dashboard.

So on here in the top right-hand corner, I can see exactly where that activity is actually happening in Sweden, as an example market.  This is just dummy data, but on a live dashboard.  Obviously, we couldn’t share specific revenue from our client, but this gives you a representation of actually seeing those customers in real time with data coming back from those devices.

Let’s go back to our three key pillars.  We trying to get customers into stores, so the total number of users on the platform is key for us, 21 million in this case.  Specifically, we’re looking at guest count.  How many customers are coming into the store on this week and over a long-term basis?  So we can see our average guest count is up from 8.1 million to 9.8 million.  So that’s a good increase in the number of customers coming into our stores.

And over time, we’re seeing about 28 percent of our customers are actually using the mobile device when they come into the store.

Now, why is that important?  Well, let’s have a look at this.  What we’re actually seeing here is the average spend of the mobile user is around $6.05.  But the average spend is considerably higher, almost 20 percent, than a customer just walking into the store not using a mobile device.

So a customer using the McDonald’s mobile app is spending 20 percent more than a customer not using the mobile app.  That is absolutely increasing basket value and tray value, using the mobile to get them into the store.

Now, the final thing that we wanted to look at was for McDonald’s is making sure we’re not getting cannibalization.  Well, we just don’t want all those customers to go into mobile.  You know, are we seeing the trend of our nonmobile sales not being cannibalized and have mobile sales grown?  And, yes, we are.  We see that solid blue line on the bottom there increasing.

But the line that we really like as a retailer is maintaining margin.  Just giving away free product isn’t sustainable, so we want to maintain our gross profit.

So the next tile that we’ve got here in gross profit is where we start to see some of the promotions that we’re running.  And we can see the gross profit by coupon.

Now, what’s interesting is this mango smoothie promotion that’s been running.  It’s quite high profit, it’s our third highest-gross-profit product, so let’s have a look at that specific promotion and see if we can get some insights that will actually help drive more customers into the store.

So as we drill down into that data, we start to look at the coupon performance and the gross profit.  But what’s really interesting over here is if we look at the performance in millennials, we see about 14 percent of our millennials — 14 percent of female millennials are responding to promotions.

But what happens if we drill into the specifics of the mango smoothie promotion?  Wow, it’s completely over indexing.  We’re seeing about 22 percent of female millennials really responding to that mango smoothie offer.  That allows us to build a promotion to specifically target on a one-to-one basis female millennials that haven’t seen that promotion before with the mango smoothie offer.  But not if it’s snowing, it’s a product they’ll buy when the weather is warmer.

So it really does allow us to drive margin, discount, and tray value back into that specific business.

So we think this is a really great example of where we’ve used the underlying capability of the Azure stack, tools like machine learning, Power BI, Cortana analytics to really bring data not only into insights, but generating revenue for a customer.  And we build our IP over the top of that Azure stack to create this platform.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Fantastic.  Thanks, Scott.

SCOTT BRADLEY:  Thanks.  (Applause.)

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  One of the things that makes our data offerings unique at Microsoft and the Cortana Analytics Suite that we announced earlier this morning in particular, very differentiated, is the fact that it really is a full spectrum of capabilities that you can leverage.  All the way up from storing data, streaming it in, doing analytics, machine learning on top of it all the way up through the BI layer with Power BI being able to now take that data and those insights and really visualize them for customers and enable them to drive intelligent action from them.

And we’re really excited, we announced just last week that Power BI is going general availability a week from this Thursday.  And so you’re now going to be able to take advantage of that as a partner to build fantastic solutions that you expose to your customers and really help them explore and use data and drive that intelligent action from it in a much deeper way.

Well, the next partner I’d like to invite on stage is Rackspace.  Rackspace is recognized as a service leader, delivering fanatical support to their more than 300,000 customers globally.

And Microsoft and Rackspace have had a 12-year relationship.  And in this year, 2015, they were actually awarded the Microsoft Hosting Partner Award for a record fifth time.  (Applause.)

Today, Rackspace is taking another important step forward by adding Microsoft Azure to its portfolio.  And here to join me about the great work they’re doing is Taylor Rhodes, the CEO of Rackspace.  (Applause.)


SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Thanks for being here, Taylor.

TAYLOR RHODES:  Absolutely.  Happy to be here.  On behalf of all the Rackers, some who are sitting right here who earned the recognition of Hosting Partner of the Year for a fifth time, we couldn’t be more excited to be here.

And being recognized five times is really, to me, just a reflection of our commitment over time to the Microsoft portfolio of products.  And more importantly, helping our customers get the max value out of your product set.

So I’d like to spend a little bit of time today talking about where we’re going with you guys and how our strategy evolves over time.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  That would be great.

TAYLOR RHODES:  So at Rackspace, our strategy is really based on two simple big ideas.  The first is what we call fanatical support.  We strive every day to be the customer service leader in our industry.  We’ve built a whole culture around smart, expert, caring “Rackers” — as we call our employees — who are hyper-accountable for creating customer outcomes for you as you leverage Microsoft technologies.

And the second element of our strategy is about choice of technology, helping our customers navigate the faster and faster pace of change in the cloud.

And I think we’re all experiencing this change, right?  As cloud infrastructure becomes ubiquitous, the pace of software and tools and infrastructure choices is picking up exponentially almost.  And so this creates complexity for customers as they try to navigate which products and technologies to use.

All of us want to help our customers take advantage of powerful new tools, but this can be confusing for them.  So they need a trusted partner to help them productize those things as they emerge.

And so the Microsoft product portfolio plays a really central role in this part of our value proposition to our customers.

Today, we’re excited to launch an important new offering live on stage at WPC with you today.  For over 12 years, we’ve been supporting thousands of customers on many Microsoft products and platforms, including things like, back in the day, the Windows Web Server, Windows operating system, SharePoint, Office 365 most recently, SQL — we run over 35,000 SQL databases for our customers.  And so we’ve got a long legacy of working together for our customers here.

But today is the next exciting step forward for Rackspace with Microsoft.  And I couldn’t be more proud to introduce Rackspace fanatical support for Microsoft Azure today live on stage with you.  (Applause.)

We have hundreds of Microsoft-certified professionals on our team.  And now they can help customers who want to leverage the power of Azure to architect their applications the right way from the start.  To deploy to the platform much faster than they usually can on their own, and importantly, you will keep evolving your product, so we’ll keep up with your releases in hopes that they use Azure to its full potential so they get full value.

And, oftentimes, we have found with our customers that we can do it more cost effectively for them than they may be able to do it themselves.  And that’s another element of the value proposition for them.

So this is a natural evolution of our relationship, right?  It follows the journey our customers are on.  We talked about the journey to the cloud today.  I think the world is over wondering whether it’s going to be a hybrid cloud world, and it is.  Our customers are starting from inside their datacenters moving toward the cloud, and most of our customers will be hybrid cloud users.  So they will value the breadth of the Microsoft portfolio and our expertise in helping them build public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures for them.

But as the mainstream market really starts moving to the cloud in earnest, what we’re seeing is a massive skills gap.  Really, what’s going to hinder adoption is the lack of skills in volume of the cloud technologies and how quickly they’re changing over time.  So that will hold all of us back.  We want to unlock that value and help more and more customers move to Azure over time.  And we think we can do that uniquely well.

Our customers want to use Azure because it’s full of potential power for them, but to get them to really use it to its full extent, they’re going to need help doing that.  And our job at Rackspace is to be their expert, an extension of their team, their specialists that can help them make Azure more powerful for them and maximize the value to their business.

So customers like Ernst & Young create a perfect use case of the power of us working together, the power of your products and technologies, and our fanatical support.

Ernst & Young has an important, strategically important high-growth business unit called Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services.  It is a business unit that has very lofty ambitions for growth over the next five years, and it was very clear from the beginning that the business requirements, global availability, scalability up and down, high performance, security, all wrapped around a cloud model was going to put a lot of stress on EY’s traditional in-house IT model.

They lacked not only the capacity to run their core business and do these new things, but they also lacked the depth of expertise in Microsoft hybrid cloud technologies.

So EY came to Rackspace for two reasons:  One, our reputation for reliability and fanatical support; and two, for our deep Microsoft expertise.  And so now they’ve partnered with us.  And what we’ve done is we’ve designed and built and deployed the perfect hybrid cloud solutions for them, leveraging your technologies.  The results are that they have really simplified and gained consistency and improvement in their operation and service delivery to the business.

And, importantly, also, the other thing we hear from our customers is they don’t really want to be running cloud operations.  They want people to go write code, ship product, do marketing, do things that make their company differentiated.  So EY has also been able to move resource towards more strategically differentiating work by leveraging the Rackspace team.

So together we’re creating bottom-line results.  We’re rolling this out globally with them.  And we’re helping them achieve the scale that they’ll need to get their loft business goals done.

So, for us, being able to work with Microsoft for big customers like EY is a huge deal, right?  And I want to give a compliment to Microsoft today.  I appreciate the investment you’re making in your partners.  Programs like Cloud Solution Provider that you rolled out last year are really key for us in this because they enable us to automate the provisioning and management of your platforms so that we can get focused on adding value through expertise and operations and support for our customers.  So it’s working well for us, and I appreciate you all doing that.

So, today, we’re extending, taking a big, important step, Rackspace fanatical support for Azure, and we’re excited to work with you and your customers to help them achieve the full value of Azure.  So thank you for having me, Scott.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Thank you so much, Taylor.

TAYLOR RHODES:  Absolutely.  (Applause.)

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  What’s great about the Microsoft Cloud offering is not only can you run and use our technology in your own datacenters and your customer datacenters, but as you heard from Taylor now, using some of the new support we’re rolling out this week at WPC and extending our Cloud Solution Provider support, you can now take advantage and manage our infrastructure as well and be able to provide a full customer experience to your customers that really differentiates and helps them on this journey to the cloud.

We have lots of technology, we talked about a few handfuls of things that you can do here this morning.  The cloud provides really just an enormous opportunity for all of us to deliver even more value to our collective customers and to grow our businesses together.

And we at Microsoft are committed to making sure that we have the best cloud for you to partner with, and partners have always been the backbone of our success, and we will not succeed without you.

This week at WPC, we have lots of breakout talks that we’ll do where we’ll discuss some of the unique opportunities we have to partner together even more, as well as some of the programs that we’re putting in place to drive that success.

And what I’d like to do is invite John Case on stage now to talk about some of the specific partner programs we’re launching this week and how you can take advantage of them as we accelerate our customers’ journey to the cloud together.

Thank you so much for attending, I really look forward to working with you even more.  (Applause.)