Each year, our entire team has the chance to travel together to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) to showcase the platform we’ve proudly developed. This year’s WPC16 was held in Toronto, Canada – which meant no more sweating in the Texas heat, gentle breezes in a walking-friendly city, and a day trip to Niagara Falls. Beyond all our excitements, we had a great time sharing the cloud adoption vision with Microsoft partners around the globe. A four-day conference, over 16,000 attendees, along with many demos and conversations – here is the summary of our WPC16 experience!
Microsoft Enables Cloud Adoption Across Industries
WPC16 kicked off with the announcement of Microsoft and General Electric’s (GE) collaboration. GE’s Predix platform, the world’s first industrial operating system to manage and optimize industrial infrastructure and operations, will be available in Microsoft Azure in 2017. Customers can collect data from industrial assets and integrate it with leading enterprise applications and business intelligence tools by Microsoft. As a result, customers have the accessibility, flexibility, and scalability to build, deploy, and run apps hosted in Azure and Predix cloud across the globe.
Microsoft also announced a new partnership to create industry-specific solutions for Windows 10 on Surface. IBM will create mobility software solutions for businesses in the financial services and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries, while Booz Allen Hamilton will help strengthen app security and compatibility for businesses in government, the public sector, and healthcare. The Azure cloud will become more user-friendly and appeal to SMB to Enterprise customers across industries with better security and mobile solutions.
Partners Differentiate to Deliver Unique Cloud Solutions
From a “big picture” perspective, the cloud market will generate $500 billion in spending by 2020, including the growth in Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, along with the expansion of cloud managed and professional services, according to IDC. Windows 10 and Office 365 adoption is on the rise, yet it is just the start of the wave. The market is calling for more innovation and specialization in Azure offerings. Cloud partners need to develop and/or deliver distinct solutions that sit on Azure and Office 365 to drive digital transformation among all businesses.
The booming cloud leaves a question for all partners: how do they want to differentiate their offerings? Leveraging their Azure expertise to develop new solutions is an option. If not, forming partnerships is a great alternative to driving profitability from the Microsoft Azure Cloud without much overhead investment or Azure training.
From the Exhibition Hall: Innovate or Go Home
As a result, the Azure area was packed with different cloud solutions exhibitors as well as global distributors and partners looking for cutting-edge solutions to team up. Because MyCloudIT was among a few that provided customized Azure offerings at last year’s WPC, we perceived much more competition for WPC16. We saw a true diversity of cloud solutions, ranging from Microsoft-centric platforms for Windows apps to cross-platform-enabled deployments, along with functional and industry-specific offerings to a bundled solution with built-in deployment, management, monitoring, and billing from a single pane of glass (yes, we launched the demo of MyCloudIT 2.0 at WPC). Requests from booth visitors were also much more direct and focused. Rather than trying to understand cloud offerings, many came to us with existing needs for a comprehensive management platform, localization requests, and service operations in Latin America, Africa, or Asia Pacific.
We had a blast seeing the exponential growth in the cloud market, and our team felt the motivation to keep transforming our platform to be the leading delivery solution of remote desktop, remote apps, and infrastructure for partners.
And to those who met with us and received our Canadian glasses, we hope you had a blast too!