From Office 365 to Windows Azure: 5 Questions for Microsoft
From Office 365 to Windows Azure, it’s time for a Microsoft cloud computing reality check. During a sit-down with Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill next week, we’ll pose the following five questions. Our goal: To truly measure Microsoft’s cloud progress with channel partners.
The interview, scheduled for Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 (WPC12, Toronto), will hopefully cover the following ground:
1. Cloud Partner Influence: In the traditional software market, partners influence roughly 90 to 95 percent of Microsoft’s annual revenues. But in the world of cloud services — where Office 365 and Windows Azure are emerging — what percentage of revenues do channel partners influence?
2. Office 365 First-Year Scorecard: Office 365, the SaaS platform offering Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, turned one year old in June 2012. Where did Office 365 show the greatest progress, and in what areas is Microsoft hoping to see/deliver more improvements? Also, how are Office 365 syndication services performing? The syndication services allow value-added partners (typically telcos) to wrap their own services around Office 365, and also allow the partners to control end-customer billing. Any updates on how the syndicators are performing?
3. Does Anybody Shop There?: The Office 365 Marketplace seeks to link channel partners and Office 365 ISVs to end-customers. But the marketplace has been extremely quiet. Is Microsoft taking any steps to generate some noise, excitement and engagement in the marketplace?
4. Surface Tablets Meet the Cloud: When Microsoft Surface tablets running Windows 8 and/or Windows RT arrive in late 2012, how might they integrate with Office 365 and Windows Azure applications? Any special integrations that will make Microsoft- and PC vendor tablets a better choice than Apple iPad and Google Android-powered tablets?
5. From Price to Value: Microsoft has been locked in a cloud price war with Google Apps and Amazon Web Services. What can Microsoft and channel partners do to shift the cloud conversation from price to value and innovation?
That’s all for now. I look forward to seeing Roskill and gaining his thoughts in a few days.