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Microsoft NZ urges partners to stay close as local cloud business reports triple-digit growth

Tech giant calls upon its Kiwi partner base to buckle up and enjoy the ride as the company continues its dramatic transformation at both a local and global level.

Microsoft New Zealand has called upon its Kiwi partner base to buckle up and enjoy the ride as the company continues its dramatic transformation at both a local and global level.

Addressing a crowded room of 300 plus partners in Auckland last night, Microsoft New Zealand Managing Director Paul Muckleston kicked off the Microsoft New Zealand’s 2015 Partner Awards with a simple message.

“It’s a time of unprecedented change right across our industry and we need to keep our relationships strong and stay close during this transformation,” said Muckleston, alluding to the company’s 3,500 partner network across the country.

Alluding to the notion that progress is impossible without change, the Microsoft of 2015 differs remarkably to the one of yesteryear, illustrated by Muckleston’s insistence that the tech giant aspires to become “the platform and productivity company of this mobile and cloud world.”

“We’re moving into a world around mobile first and cloud first, and that’s where the majority of services will be consumed,” he said, speaking at the black tie event at the Pullman Hotel.

“It’s change where customers are only going to pay for what they use and increasingly the value they get from what they consume.

“Today, the capability and power of computing is virtually limitless and the real cost of computing is almost free or certainly low cost.

“And we’re seeing that more data is being consumed and created every day, more from machine to machine that what’s happening between machines to people.”

When addressing partners twelve months ago, Muckleston spoke of the newly appointed Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s new CEO, outlining bold transformation plans as the company fought to stay relevant in a changing world.

Fast forward to 2015 and Muckleston, armed with hard facts and figures, provided the update.

“Our cloud first and mobile first strategy is gaining real traction,” he explained.

“Last week we become the number one company globally in terms of commercial cloud, with a run-rate business of nearly $7 billion which didn’t exist three years ago.

“But also locally we’re seeing triple digit growth year on year in Office 365, Azure and CRM online.

“We also recently launched our Australian data centre and we believe this provides a great opportunity for partners to seek a good return on recent data centre investments and really start to tap into the power of the huge hyper-scale capabilities that we have on offer.”

Globally speaking, during the last twelve months, Redmond has taken Office to iPad and Android, formed strategic partnerships with DropBox, Cisco, SAP and Salesforce and recently launched Skype for Business.

Windows is now also free on small devices and only last week the company joined forces with Samsung to bundle in four Microsoft Android apps on all the Galaxy tablets and smartphones going forward.

As a company Microsoft has publicly reflected on its role within a cloud and mobile first world, seeking fresh and innovative ways to excel, be unique but crucially, stay in the moment.

Following serious soul searching at every level through the corridors of Redmond, the results are in and the blueprint has been drawn up. The aim? “To completely reinvent productivity.”

“We’ve invested billions in the last 12 months alone in building hyper scale data centres, machine learning capabilities and digitalisation tools which is evidence of our desire to remain relevant to both partners and customers and to stake a claim in the platform place,” Muckleston added.

But as Muckleston cautioned, in recognising the strong movement to the cloud, and the partners following suit, Microsoft cannot for one second lessen its focus on “security, privacy and transparency.”

“We’re leaders in that space,” he added, before shaking the hands of a wave of new partners challenging the status quo with leading cloud and mobility solutions, a philosophy the new Microsoft has embraced with open arms.