Partners included in a cluster of local companies that are actively involved in Microsoft’s online services, say others need to get on board with what they believe is the inevitable shift to the cloud.
Mason Pratt, CEO of Provoke Solutions, was one of 18 Microsoft partners across the globe who participated in a roundtable on online services at Microsoft’s recent Global Partner Conference in Washington DC.
He says he found it encouraging that early adopters have very similar strategies when it comes to the cloud. It starts with education and awareness, and a campaign is required to keep people up to speed and be aware of cloud possibilities.
This, he says, is what Provoke Solutions is doing locally.
“We are looking for early adopter customers, as well as helping customers make the transition from on premise to the cloud.”
He was also able to talk to other partners at the conference who were able to set up cloud-based businesses. “It was exciting to hear they have created brand new businesses, and it is encouraging people to see it as a sustainable business model for development.”
Paul Plester, general manager of sales and marketing at Express Data New Zealand, agrees there is a strong opportunity locally. “New Zealand is a fairly sophisticated small business country and the cloud gives New Zealanders a wonderful opportunity to do really smart things.”
Provoke’s chief technology officer Brendon Ford says the cloud is coming, “whether we like it or not”.
“We can’t ignore it so we need to understand it, and we need to make decisions,” he says.
The forum Provoke staff attended at the conference also elicited lots of questions from the participants about Azure and the integration of Microsoft’s cloud stack.
“My questions were really around network constraints, trying to understand what Microsoft’s position is on investment and infrastructure both locally and in the Southeast Asian region as well,” says Pratt.
Bennett Medary, chief executive of The Simpl Group, notes Microsoft executives use the phrase ‘inflection point’ to describe what is happening in the cloud computing space.
“The cloud creates a new battle zone, so that is kind of interesting. Where there might be market share and success on the desktop and on servers that people currently enjoy, when you go to the battlefield of the cloud, it is a big empty battlefield compared to the other place.”
Medary says one issue is what this means for Microsoft partners.
“I know we have colleagues threatened by the cloud. Their whole business is over in a large sense and it depends on whether they want to alter their business or not, whether they want to transition to something else,” says Medary, who asks, “how do they make sure they manage that transition?”