Tag Archives: Cloud Computing

Microsoft announces plans to offer cloud services from the UK

London — Nov. 10, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday announced plans to offer commercial cloud services from the UK. Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will be generally available from local UK-based data centers in late 2016 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter. Built on foundational trusted cloud principles of security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency, these services will offer customers data residency in the UK, bringing world-class reliability and performance to government organisations, regulated industries and other businesses.

Microsoft also announced completion of the latest phase of expansion for its data center facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands, both of which serve as cloud computing hubs for European customers. These new cloud offerings and expanded facilities will provide customers with more choice and increased opportunities to innovate more quickly, enabling growth for local economies.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “By expanding our data center regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organizations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”

Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online cloud services to be delivered via local UK data centers

The new local Microsoft cloud regions will enable data residency for customers in the UK, allowing data to be replicated within the UK for backup and recovery, reduced network distance and lower latency. Services delivered from these UK data centers will create new opportunities for innovation and local economic growth for Microsoft UK’s 25,000-plus partners. General availability of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 is anticipated in late 2016, with Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter. Microsoft will also offer Azure ExpressRoute to provide customers with the option of a private connection to the cloud.

“With a cloud adoption rate of 84 per cent,* the UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centers will help meet such demand, especially for those organizations looking for solutions delivered from data centers based in the UK,” said Michel Van der Bel, area vice president and general manager of Microsoft UK. “This will open opportunity for customers and partners alike to innovate, compete and grow their business using the power of the cloud while adhering to strict standards and regulations like those found in banking, financial services and the public sector.”

UK customers already using Microsoft cloud today

UK customers of all sizes already use the power of the Microsoft cloud. Whether it’s Azure, Office 365 or Dynamics CRM Online, thousands of UK businesses and organizations — such as Confused.com, Glasgow City Council, Marks & Spencer, Natural Resources Wales, Pizza Hut Restaurants and Virgin Atlantic — are saving money while empowering their employees and staff to collaborate and be more productive and secure anywhere, any time and on any device.

And, with today’s announcement, some customers have already expressed desire to embrace Microsoft’s future trusted cloud services to be delivered from the UK. “At the MOD, we have a clear mission to deliver the modern, open and flexible IT resources required to ensure our forces have information capabilities tailored to their mission, location and role, accessible through a cost-effective and adaptable infrastructure,” said Mike Stone, chief digital and information officer, Ministry of Defence. “Microsoft’s plans to offer highly secure, UK-based cloud services is an exciting development and one that will clearly support the MOD in our transformation journey.”

Expanded facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands

In addition, Microsoft announced the completion of the most recent expansion of its Ireland site and that its data center facility in Middenmeer, the Netherlands, is now operational.

Both locations serve as hubs for Microsoft cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, and will provide additional capacity for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Each location is built using the latest technology improvements to significantly reduce water, power and energy use.

Microsoft Cloud offers customers flexibility and choice

Customers choosing Microsoft cloud services will benefit from the company’s experience in enterprise computing and hybrid cloud. With its trusted cloud services, Microsoft is offering businesses and organizations opportunities for innovation — from optimization of compute resources to higher level services for advanced analytics, media services, the Internet of Things and big data. As one of the largest cloud operators in the world, Microsoft has invested more than $15 billion in building a resilient cloud infrastructure and cloud services that deliver high availability and security while lowering overall costs. With 24 Azure regions around the world — more than any other major cloud provider — this latest expansion is further proof of Microsoft’s commitment to expanding its trusted cloud infrastructure around the world.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

* Cloud Industry Forum’s “UK Cloud adoption snapshot & trends for 2016”

For more information, press only:

UK Commercial PR team, Edelman PR, +44 020 3047 2000, MScommercial@edelman.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft and Red Hat partner to deliver more flexibility and choice

The cloud is changing the world, offering enterprises, independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers alike endless scale, speed and agility in a cost-effective way. I’ve been talking with customers about “why cloud” for years. Recently there has been a shift in these conversations, as the benefits have become undeniable. Now, for customers everywhere, the new question is “how cloud.”

“How cloud” comes down to customers embracing the cloud on their terms. This shows up in two primary challenges that exemplify the importance of our partnership with Red Hat.

  1. Businesses continue to grapple with the challenge of bringing together existing on-premises investments with a cloud environment for greater speed, scale and cost benefits. Hybrid cloud has emerged as a way to solve this.
  2. Customers require flexibility and choice in their cloud investments across platforms, tools and languages. Simply put, they want to ensure that they can use what they already know and use today to take full advantage of what the cloud has to offer.

The partnership we are announcing today with Red Hat extends our commitment to offer unmatched choice and flexibility in an enterprise-grade cloud experience across the hybrid cloud. With more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 using Microsoft’s cloud, for us to team with the leader in enterprise Linux allows even more businesses to move to the cloud on their terms. By working with Red Hat, we will address common enterprise, ISV and developer needs for building, deploying and managing applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds, including the following:

  • Red Hat solutions available natively to Microsoft Azure customers, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux applications and workloads as well as Red Hat application platform offerings. Available in the coming weeks, this includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as the JBoss middleware platform.
  • Integrated enterprise-grade support spanning hybrid environments, with Red Hat and Microsoft co-locating support personnel to deliver an end-to-end enterprise support experience for Red Hat offerings on Microsoft Azure that is deeper and richer than any other public cloud offering. This experience will enable enterprises to move their production Red Hat solutions to the public cloud with confidence. Co-locating support will be available in the next few weeks.
  • Collaboration on .NET for a new generation of application development capabilities, providing access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which will be available within the next few weeks.
  • Unified workload management across hybrid cloud deployments, including integration between Red Hat CloudForms and Microsoft Azure and System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected to be added in the next few months.

Later today I’ll be joining Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies, on a webcast to talk more about the partnership and answer your questions. You can check it out here at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT to learn more about how flexibility and choice have united Microsoft and Red Hat to meet customers where they are on their cloud journey. For full details on the partnership, you can also read the press release and the Red Hat Blog.

Microsoft acquires Adallom to advance identity and security in the cloud

I’m pleased to announce today that Microsoft has acquired Adallom, an innovator in cloud security and a leader in helping customers protect their critical assets across cloud applications. This acquisition is the latest example of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering innovative identity and security capabilities to our customers, across both on-premises and multiple clouds.

OMB_8_9With more frequent and advanced cybersecurity attacks continuing to make headlines, customer concerns around security remain top of mind. These concerns pose real challenges for IT, who are charged with protecting company data in this rapidly evolving mobile-first, cloud-first world. In this world, identity is a critical control plane for managing and protecting access to applications and data.

Adallom expands on Microsoft’s existing identity assets, and delivers a cloud access security broker, to give customers visibility and control over application access as well as their critical company data stored across cloud services. Adallom works with popular cloud applications including Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow, Ariba, and of course Office 365. As a cloud-delivered, security-as-a-service solution, Adallom will complement existing offerings that Microsoft makes available today as part of Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), including our recent Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics release.

Adallom, cofounded in 2012 by Assaf Rappaport, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik, has assembled a world-class team with a dedicated focus on making it easier to enhance data security in the cloud.  The team will continue to evolve, build technology, sell solutions and work with customers as we complete the integration into Microsoft.

Once again, we are thrilled to welcome the Adallom team into the Microsoft family. Advanced threats and cybercrime will persist in this mobile-first, cloud-first era, but at Microsoft we remain committed to helping our customers protect their data with new and innovative identity and security capabilities.  We encourage our customers to evaluate and use this offering starting today, to learn more visit http://www.adallom.com.

Microsoft acquires BlueStripe to help customers improve application visibility and management across the datacenter and cloud

I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has completed the acquisition of BlueStripe Software, a leading provider of application management technology. BlueStripe’s solution helps map, monitor and troubleshoot distributed applications across heterogeneous operating systems and multiple datacenter and cloud environments. BlueStripe is commonly used today by customers to extend the value of Microsoft System Center by adding application-aware infrastructure performance monitoring.

More and more, businesses are turning to applications to drive innovation and gain competitive advantage. To support this explosion of applications, agile cloud development environments and more componentized architectures and micro-services are growing exponentially. Applications and data are being spread across on-premises datacenters and public, private and hosted clouds as a result. While IT teams may not operate all of the infrastructure where the applications run, they still require visibility and the ability to manage these applications in order to support and protect the business.


BlueStripe’s enterprise-class solution enables IT professionals to move from monitoring IT at the infrastructure level to gaining visibility into applications at the transaction level. The technology discovers and maps applications and dependencies, pinpoints problems for faster resolution, and helps maintain SLAs across complex underlying infrastructure. By mapping the structure of distributed applications, BlueStripe also helps in the process of updating applications to more modern platforms and migrating to the cloud.

Now that we have welcomed BlueStripe employees into the Microsoft family, we will be hard at work making BlueStripe’s solution an integral part of Microsoft’s management products and services, like System Center and Operations Management Suite (OMS). We will discontinue selling the BlueStripe solutions in the near term while we work on these updates, although we will continue to support existing BlueStripe customers during this time.

As evidenced through our recent announcements such as Microsoft Azure Stack, OMS, Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, Microsoft is committed to providing leading hybrid cloud solutions and support for our customers. Today’s acquisition furthers that promise, giving IT even more hybrid cloud flexibility to focus on what matters most – rapidly delivering business value to drive innovation.

Microsoft acquires mobile business intelligence leader Datazen

By Kamal Hathi, Partner Director, Cloud + Enterprise at Microsoft

Today I am excited to announce the acquisition of Datazen Software, an industry leader in mobile business intelligence and data visualization on Windows, iOS and Android devices. This acquisition accelerates our Power BI strategy to help organizations create a data culture with easy-to-use, accessible tools to extract maximum value from data – from anywhere, on any device.

Companies around the world need simpler ways to find data insights they can use to improve their business. With the pervasive use of mobile devices at work, mobile business intelligence (BI) is at a tipping point. Datazen is a mobile-first company at the forefront of this wave, with enterprise customers around the globe using its technology.


In particular, SQL Server customers love Datazen, because it is optimized for SQL Server Analysis Services and the overall Microsoft platform, enabling rich, interactive data visualization and KPIs on all major mobile platforms: Windows, iOS and Android. As of today, SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers with version 2008 or later and Software Assurance are entitled to download the Datazen Server software at no additional cost. This means millions of people around the world will now be able to visualize and interact with data on their mobile devices, using the native mobile apps available at no charge at the respective app stores.

Datazen technology and solutions will complement Power BI, our cloud-based business analytics service, rounding out our mobile capabilities for customers who need a mobile BI solution implemented on-premises and optimized for SQL Server. Over time, we plan to integrate Datazen technology with Power BI to give our customers another hybrid bridge for their on-premises investment to the cloud.

Beyond great technology, this acquisition brings a group of talented people to Microsoft. They will help us continue to deliver a broad range of products and services that will empower organizations around the world capitalize on their data opportunities. I’m pleased to welcome them to the team.

You can also read a blog post by Miljan Braticevic, CEO of Datazen, here.





Microsoft’s ads continue to inspire long after big game – Weekend Reading: February 6th Edition

Welcome back to another edition of Weekend Reading, with stories about empowering ads that debuted during Sunday’s big game, a very cool update to Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor and how cloud computing is being used to accelerate research that could lead to breakthroughs in treating cancer and other diseases.

Football’s biggest game of the year is famous for its commercials, and this year a pair from Microsoft stood out. As a stalwart Seattle fan, it’ll be hard for me to watch the highlight reels from Sunday’s big game for a long time, but two 60-second ads from Microsoft are worth seeing over and over again. One is focused on Estella Pyfrom, 78, who cashed out her savings, bought a bus, outfitted it with computers and began bringing technology to kids in underserved communities. The other is on Braylon O’Neill, 6, who was born without tibia or fibula bones in his legs. Today, thanks to help from his prosthetics, O’Neill loves to run and play tee-ball. Both ads, as well as extended versions of the stories they tell, are available online.

The updated Image Composite Editor turns ordinary photos into panoramas. Microsoft Research released a set of new features Thursday for the photo tool Image Composite Editor (ICE) to make it even easier to turn ordinary photos into seamless, ultra-wide-angle masterpieces. Released in 2008 and downloaded by thousands of photographers, ICE is the foundation for such experiences as the aerial and Streetside imagery in Bing Maps. It was also part of the Gigapixel ArtZoom experiment, which produced stunning 360-degree views of Seattle’s cityscape. ICE’s new features include Automatic Image Completion, which can help if you end up with a hole in your panorama. The feature uses pattern-recognition technology to fill it in. You can also stitch video frames for a stroboscopic-motion panorama.

We traveled to Virginia Tech to see how cloud computing is being used to speed up research for cancer and other diseases. Wu Feng, a highly recognized professor in computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, envisions a not-so-far-off future in which a secure cloud contains your genetic profile. That information could, in turn, lead to an early diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening disease – such as cancer – and an individually tailored life-saving treatment.

Skype Social Good Ambassador Tyson Mayr traded in his day job to help people around the world.

Skype Social Good Ambassador Tyson Mayr traded in his day job to help people around the world.

Skype showed the wide swath of its reach, from philanthropic causes to cinematic portraits and a chance to win a 4K TV. Tyson Mayr left his job to help people around the world, including bringing clean water to orphanages in Uganda. He uses Skype to connect people from all corners of the globe, from school kids to philanthropists. His story appeared in Skype’s Big Blog, with a campaign to do even more social good through Skype. The video-chat platform is offering Skype Credit to people who want to make a difference and the chance to win $5,000 for charity. Recently, Skype Ambassadors musician Frank Bell and foodie Tom Le Mesurier met the Skype Social Good challenge head on by hosting a Skype-enabled dinner party and silent auction in New York City. In the final episode of “Following Heart,” artist Leslie Watts uses Skype to capture her subjects’ faces in 3D. Now, for a chance to win a Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart TV – which lets you have a Skype on TV group video call with up to two other participants – share a photo on Twitter or Instagram showing how your living room expresses your personality.

Bing Predicts those most likely to take home a Grammy.

Bing Predicts those most likely to take home a Grammy.

If you’re looking forward to the Grammys this Sunday, Bing can give you an edge if you’re doing an awards pool. It has predictions on winners; an interactive guide to nominees, songs and albums; and a fun, karaoke-style feature of videos and lyrics.

Office Delve, a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities, will be part of SharePoint’s evolution.

Office Delve, a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities, will be part of SharePoint’s evolution.

Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management team, revealed the path of SharePoint’s evolution in the cloud with Office 365. SharePoint began as a content collaboration solution focused on team sites, but has changed into much more, she writes. Among the changes coming: Adding Office Delve, which goes beyond traditional enterprise search; offering new “ready-to-go” portals that previously would take customers weeks, maybe months, to build; and using Office 365 to expand the concept of team sites.

Apps and games that caught our eye this week included one that captures your creativity to personalize your phone screens, tried and true favorites getting a new spin with Windows 10 and a new batch of sales. With #TileArt, the App of the Week, you can pin favorite images to Windows Phone screens and share them. If you’ve got a PC, laptop or tablet running the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you can now try out these Office for Windows apps: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Also, an Office Lens update gives Windows Phone users the option of converting images to PDFs and save to OneDrive. Finally, the latest Red Stripe Deals are now in, as well as Cody’s App Academy, the Indie Game Spotlight, “The Tribez” and “Zynga Poker League Season 5.”

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Trek Bicycle Corporation Breaking from the Pack with Power BI

Trek Bicycle Corporation is no stranger to the power of technology. As a global company leading the charge in building the best bikes in the world, they’ve consistently leveraged Cloud computing and the full range of Microsoft solutions, including Office 365, Microsoft Azure, SharePoint, Yammer and Dynamics CRM Online, to hone in on the intricacies of their business and solidify growth year after year. When Trek had the opportunity to add Power BI to their toolbox, it was a no-brainer. The first stop: Trek’s Helpdesk, the hub of where employees go to or call to resolve their technology needs.

“What we had before just didn’t work. Our former reporting tool was too confusing and didn’t operate the way we needed it to, so no one used it,” said David Peterson, Enterprise Collaboration Manager at Trek. “Microsoft Power BI has completely changed that – it has given us better insight than we’ve ever had before. We absolutely love it.”

David uses a Microsoft Power BI workbook daily as a way to efficiently manage and track Helpdesk activity and customer service requests, including how many customer “tickets” – customer requests – are open and for how long. The new dashboard feature offers personalized charts and graphs to highlight the data he wants to see, and he can accurately track his team’s time and identify opportunities for change. Before Power BI, he had no way of truly seeing or discerning this information.

“A few months ago, we realized we had an overabundance of tickets from our HR department for the same type of request, which initially had to go through our team,” David explained. “Once we could see how much time was really being spent on this one issue that didn’t require a multi-person process, it was easy to make a change. We trained several people on their team and went from 12-15 hours per month spent on this to zero.”

In addition to these efficiency gains, Power BI has also helped Trek in making guests to their headquarters feel at home.  Power BI gave David insight into the number of requests for Trek guests to have WIFI access; he recently learned the Helpdesk was managing up to 35 requests each week, totaling about four hours per month for a common request that doesn’t require tech support.  David and his team are currently working to add an option for visitors to gain WIFI access via check-in on the Surface Pro 3 stationed in the front lobby.

“It’s a simple request and on a small scale, not a huge deal,” David said. “But day after day, they were really adding up. We didn’t see this until we started tracking everything in Microsoft Power BI.”

With cross-company adoption growing and a demonstrated ROI, Trek is planning to fully integrate Microsoft Power BI and will soon be able to pull customer data directly from Dynamics CRM Online, providing even deeper insight and seamless coordination between systems.

“Insights from Microsoft Power BI have been a game changer for us,” David said. “It has enabled us to be more productive, as well as  better allocate our time and resources –  and when combined with the rest of the Microsoft solutions, its helping Trek break out further from the pack.”


Accenture and Microsoft launch new hybrid cloud platform to accelerate enterprise-wide adoption

Editor’s Note: Updates to this press release were made post-publication to clarify details about the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure being piloted at Freeport-McMoRan.

NEW YORK and REDMOND, WA – Accenture and Microsoft Corp. have expanded their long-standing strategic alliance with the introduction of the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure, a powerful hybrid cloud platform designed to bring new capabilities, economics and innovation to the enterprise. Working with Avanade, the companies are co-funding and co-engineering this platform with new hybrid cloud technologies and services to help enterprises build and manage enterprise-wide cloud infrastructure and applications.

“Our expanded relationship with Microsoft represents a game-changing proposition that addresses the biggest concerns and complexities our clients face as they look to leverage the cloud,” said Pierre Nanterme, chairman and CEO, Accenture. “With new demands being placed on IT departments every day, enterprises need to smartly connect their infrastructure, software applications, data and operations capabilities in order to become agile, intelligent, digital businesses. This unique collaboration with Microsoft and Avanade is one of Accenture’s most strategic and important initiatives for driving enterprise-wide cloud adoption.”

“Enterprises around the globe are looking for the right platforms and partners to help them transform and thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The Microsoft cloud, combined with Accenture’s industry knowledge and implementation expertise, accelerates our customers’ cloud adoption and unlocks new benefits, including powerful new applications, data-driven insights and increased productivity.”

This agreement is the most far-reaching collaboration between Accenture and Microsoft since the 2000 joint venture to launch Avanade, a leading Microsoft solution provider with more than 22,000 employees and US $2 billion in global sales.

The Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure delivers new technologies to migrate and manage applications between private and public clouds in a controlled, seamless and automated way – on demand, at speed and from a single console. The solution integrates and builds on key capabilities from the three companies to help enterprises deliver “everything as a service,” including:

  • The Microsoft cloud platform of Microsoft Azure providing enterprise performance, hyper-scale and hybrid capabilities connected to Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and Azure Pack running in customer data centers.
  • The Accenture Cloud Platform which supports multi-platform environments with self-service provisioning for any application. Its central dashboard controls cloud brokerage and management capabilities, and provides the enterprise-grade governance, reliability, security and operations enterprise clients expect.
  • An end-to-end spectrum of professional services to help clients define and execute against their cloud goals, based on Accenture’s specialized industry knowledge and proven business transformation experience — from strategy and transformation to migration, deployment and managed services.
  • Avanade’s deep bench of skilled professionals equipped with broad expertise in Microsoft technologies and a laser focus on unlocking business value in the enterprise.

One example of how the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution-Microsoft is being piloted is at Freeport-McMoRan, one of the largest international natural resource companies. The company is leveraging the solution to prototype a new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform to improve mining operations by securely connecting, managing and capturing machine-generated data from the trucks, drills and other assets in the mine. The resulting platform will provide operations supervisors with a role-based mobile dashboard to analyze and react to near real-time situations in the mine. This capability will enable supervisors to take immediate action on items that impact mine production, which ultimately drives revenue.

“As our business makes the transformation to digital mining, we are looking to capture the benefits of hybrid cloud and engaged Accenture and Microsoft to explore how we can accelerate our journey,” said Bertrand (Bert) Odinet, VP and CIO, Freeport-McMoRan.

For more information, visit www.accenture.com/hybridcloud

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Microsoft

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.

About Avanade

Avanade helps customers realize results in a digital world through business technology solutions, cloud and managed services that combine insight, innovation and expertise focused on Microsoft technologies. Our people have helped thousands of organizations in all industries improve business agility, employee productivity and customer loyalty. Avanade combines the collective business, technical and industry expertise of its worldwide network of experts with the rigor of an industrialized delivery model to provide high quality solutions using proven and emerging technologies with flexible deployment models–on premises, cloud-based or outsourced. Avanade, which is majority owned by Accenture, was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has 22,000 professionals in more than 20 countries. Additional information can be found at www.avanade.com.

Microsoft’s complete cloud helps businesses thrive

Today, Microsoft is hosting c-level executives from around the world to talk about how technology is driving business transformation. The CxO Next event brings together CEOs, CMOs and other c-level business leaders with IT leadership to facilitate a conversation about how their businesses are shifting and the impact cloud is having on their organizational IT plans.

I often speak with customers about the ways we are helping companies transform into digital businesses and how that enables greater responsiveness in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. As there becomes less separation between our digital work and digital life, enabling experiences delivered across devices and through the cloud is so important. Recently Satya Nadella, CEO, and Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, talked about the possibilities enabled by Microsoft’s cloud and the ongoing investments we are making. At the event Satya outlined how Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics deliver the industry’s most complete cloud solution – a fact that is supported by its users. Today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using the Microsoft cloud.

Two recent examples that will be highlighted at today’s CxO Next event are Dana Holding Corp and VF Corp. Both of these customers are doing innovative things to transform their businesses via cloud technology.

Moving parts of the business to the cloud, or choosing a platform which enables it in the future, is imperative for any company or organization that wants to grow, create greater efficiencies and differentiate themselves. Despite these benefits, some business leaders may still have concerns about moving to the cloud. I’d like to offer a few insights for those who are grappling with the “what, why, when and where” of cloud adoption.

Why is moving to the cloud a business imperative?

One of the great by-products of a mobile-first, cloud-first world, is its ability to transform businesses and organizations into technology companies. This happens because the cloud is both infrastructure and the platform for applications that will help your business be successful now and in the future. This is true for every industry and in every country. The mobility of the human experience is not limited to developed nations, or technology companies. Mobility touches everyone whether they are consumers, constituents or employees and the cloud is uniquely enabling it. For example, retailers need the cloud to compete in a world where personalization and time to market are imperatives. Financial institutions must compete in highly regulated markets where massive computational needs will only grow. Manufacturers require real time access to their systems and the ability to utilize the data they create to deliver value back to the business. Governments rely on the cloud to find cost-effective ways to improve the lives of its citizens.

Demographic shifts are driving business transformation and the need for the cloud

People don’t do anything like they used to, and technology is a fundamental part of the evolving human experience. Millennials, who are projected to be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, are starting to have greater influence over buying decisions, and have completely different norms. They are always connected and have instant access to information. Millennials can make, shape or break a brand through cloud-powered experiences like crowdsourcing and social media. The urgency for companies to transform into digital businesses has become more acute due to the growing percentage of millennials who expect similar digital experiences whether as a consumer, employee or citizen. Successful businesses and organizations must move to the cloud to prevent new market entrants from cornering the future by securing the confidence of this important demographic.

Why you should consider Microsoft for your cloud transformation

We’ve invested heavily in our cloud business to establish the operational rigor and security that enterprise organizations require. We also offer the most choice and flexibility in the cloud, enabling our customers to choose the approach that’s right for their business. What makes the Microsoft cloud unique is that it offers three very important things: the option to deploy a hybrid environment, hyper-scale infrastructure and an enterprise grade experience across both our infrastructure and higher level services. I’d like to take a moment to drill into each of these.

Hybrid approach: Taking a “hybrid approach” to the cloud means you can maintain your on premise infrastructure for some things, like personally identifiable information, and move to the cloud for other things. This approach ensures you get the power of the cloud where you want it – in our public cloud, in a service provider’s or in your own datacenter.

Hyper-scale and enterprise grade: Global companies need cloud solutions that have “hyper-scale” and are “enterprise grade.” By the end of 2014, Microsoft Azure will be operational in 19 regions around the world — at least double the number of any other public cloud provider. Hyper-scale allows organizations to reach the maximum number of their customers, realize incredible economic value and run the most challenging workloads. Our cloud services also meet critical security, reliability and availability needs, along with having all the languages, tools and frameworks organizations need and want to run.  These requirements have led Office 365 to be Microsoft’s fastest growing product ever. Companies using the Microsoft cloud (including Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Azure) can feel confident in their decision to adopt these technologies.

We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to enhance our cloud offering over time. As we continue to help companies transform to digital businesses, we’re committed to providing solutions which deliver impact and measurable value.


Microsoft and Dropbox announce strategic partnership to give people more freedom in how they work

SAN FRANCISCO and REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 4, 2014 — Dropbox Inc. and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to help people work more effectively. The two industry-leading companies are teaming up to integrate their services for collaboration across Dropbox and Microsoft Office on phones, tablets and the Web.

When you select “edit” while you are viewing your document in Dropbox, the appropriate Office app is offered up for editing. Continue editing, and the apps work together to automatically save your changes back to Dropbox.
When you select “edit” while you are viewing your document in Dropbox, the appropriate Office app is offered up for editing. Continue editing, and the apps work together to automatically save your changes back to Dropbox.

With data and mobile usage exploding globally, millions of people are turning to Dropbox and Office to access, manage and collaborate on their files from anywhere, anytime. Over 1.2 billion people use Office to get work done, and Dropbox has become home to more than 35 billion Office files.

“In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, Microsoft and Dropbox will provide our shared customers with flexible tools that put them at the center for the way they live and work today.”

“People around the world have embraced Office and Dropbox to empower the way they live and work today,” said Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Dropbox. “Our partnership with Microsoft will make it easier than ever to collaborate seamlessly across these platforms, giving people the freedom to get more done.”

This partnership will enable people at work, home and school to easily collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. These capabilities will first be available from within the Dropbox and Office apps on tablets and phones, and will soon be accessible via the Web.

Dropbox and Microsoft users can now do the following:

  • Access Dropbox from Office apps to get to their files and folders faster.
  • Edit Office files directly from Dropbox and sync them across devices.
  • Share new or edited files from the Office apps using simple Dropbox sharing functionality.

The functionality will first be included in the next updates to the Office apps for iOS and Android, coming in the next few weeks. The Web integrations between the Dropbox website and Office Online will be available in the first half of 2015. Dropbox will also make its application available on the Windows Phone and Windows tablet platforms in the coming months.

These capabilities will be available to all Office users with a Dropbox account. Dropbox for Business customers will need an Office 365 subscription. More information can be found by visiting the Dropbox blog at https://blog.dropbox.com/2014/11/dropbox-microsoft-office-partnership and the Office blog at http://blogs.office.com.

About Dropbox

Dropbox’s mission is to build a home for everyone’s most important information and bring it to life. We make it easy for millions of people at home and at work to access, share, and collaborate on their files so they can be more productive. For more information, please visit https://www.dropbox.com/press.

About Microsoft

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.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.