When it comes to the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference (WPC), information moves quickly. On the first day of the show, Microsoft pulled out their big guns when they revealed to the partner community a major transition to the ‘cloud’.
Specifically, to better serve mutual customers, Microsoft announced their decision to integrate the cloud into the Microsoft Partner Network. The result of this will be three new cloud-focused competencies based on performance for Office 365 and Azure.
Customers will see the retirement of familiar Microsoft solutions, such as Cloud Accelerate, Cloud Deployment, and Azure Circle. In light of this, Microsoft will work hand-in-hand with the partner community to migrate to the new cloud competencies.
On top of that, the Cloud Solution Provider Program
was revealed. This brand new program allows partners to own 100 percent of the customer lifecycle and to serve as the only contact for all customer needs. This includes billing, provisioning, and support, but most importantly, the ability to sell their own tools, products, and services. This program starts with Office 365 and Windows Intune, and will eventually cover all Microsoft cloud services.
In order to provide tools and resources to aid in this transition, Microsoft also launched Azure Machine Learning (ML) University, a portfolio of online self-service learning assets designed to get partners started with Azure ML. Machine Learning University will provide partners with an overview of Azure ML, and walk through the data science life cycle from importing data to building predictive models and deploying in production.
Microsoft’s ultimate goal is to make cloud more valuable, less expensive, and easier for partners to work with. The end result is a unique opportunity to help customers embrace the mobile-first, cloud first world with a differentiated vision for the future.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s push to the cloud?