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Will Microsoft’s Hybrid Cloud Strategy Pay off?

5 January 2016
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It’s absolutely clear that Microsoft under Nadella is a totally different beast compared with the corporation under previous management. Nadella’s strategy has been clear and simple right from the very off: to deliver services and products that simplify the lives of individuals and organisations everywhere. We heard a lot about this in 2015 at events like Future Decoded in London and Convergence in Barcelona. One of the main pillars of this new approach is the new emphasis on cloud-based the technologies, and in particular, the adoption of Microsoft’s Azure. Nadella’s strategy with Azure is pretty straightforward, to offer a hybrid cloud solution that benefits everybody. SaaS Is Microsoft’s (Not-So-New) Game According to an article in Silicon Angle, Microsoft is ploughing ahead with its aim to be a market leader in the Sales-as-a-Service game. Currently, the corporation has managed to secure a 16% share in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, as well, as well as 8% of the Software-as-a-Service market. When you total up these figures and compare them against their main competitor, Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s obvious that Microsoft doesn’t need to justify itself – it’s clearly a leader in the cloud space. In-box products like Office, Dynamics AX, CRM and NAV have all been turned into services that hook into – or are fully housed – on Azure, helping them to deliver streamlined, user-oriented experiences like Cortana integration and Skype for Business integration. However, Microsoft’s cloud strategy is unlike many of their competitors in that they’re aiming for more of a hybrid cloud strategy than, for example, AWS, Rackspace, IBM or Oracle.  Hybrid Cloud for a Broad User Base At first thought, the idea that a company as big as Microsoft wouldn’t try to compete with AWS or their other rivals in the cloud space might seem absurd. However, by aiming their sights on the hybrid cloud audience, Microsoft has managed to grow their own products and services, as well as begin bringing users into the cloud space. According to Enderle Group’s Rob Enderle, principle analyst, “Azure works well with others, so a packaged solution using your preferred vendor is far less risky and more problem-free.” In other words, Microsoft’s integration with legacy IT vendors is one of its big advantages, and this is drawing users – individuals and organisations – to the corporation. Chris Wilder, practice leader and senior analyst of cloud services and enterprise software at Moor Insights & Strategy, has suggested that Microsoft’s role as a software company, first and foremost, means it is focused on offering solutions that integrate well with vendors and technologies. A New, Fast-Moving and Pragmatic Microsoft Microsoft’s pursuit of the hybrid cloud is a clear example of Nadella’s strong leadership. It demonstrates that the corporation is determined to transform itself into an industry leading SaaS provider that offers innovative cloud-based solutions that are suitable for a broad range of users that come from a variety of backgrounds. Azure’s strengths are its ability to handle and manipulate a variety of data. Therefore, going forward, a hybrid cloud approach where on-premises, private cloud and public cloud all integrate will help Microsoft collaborate with the broadest possible audience. At Conspicuous, we’re well aware that Dynamics technologies are heavily reliant on Microsoft’s hybrid cloud approach, given that Dynamics AX, CRM, GP and NAV are all heavily integrated with Azure. If you’d like to talk to one of our expert consultants in the UK and US, give us a call on +44(0)1483 233 000 and +1 646 878 6426 respectively or contact us today.

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