By Marco Limena, vice president of Hosting Service Providers, Microsoft Corp
Late last year we introduced the Cloud OS Network, bringing together a worldwide group of leading cloud service providers that embraced our Cloud OS vision, delivering hosted services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform. I wrote a blog post at the time about what Cloud OS Network meant for our Hosting Provider Partners, which outlined the opportunities for partners that leverage the Microsoft Cloud Platform and focus on building value-add services, taking them to market faster, while simultaneously meeting their customers’ hybrid computing needs. Since then, the Cloud OS Network has embraced these opportunities and undergone tremendous growth. The current network now includes more than 100 partners with presence in over 100 markets, serving 3.7 million customers daily through more than 600 local datacenters.
Given this explosive growth and our commitment to providing choice and flexibility to our hosting service provider partners and our mutual customers, we are introducing a tiered engagement approach, with engagement level and incentives delivered depending on the partners’ tier, which is determined by commitment and usage of the Microsoft solution. The Cloud OS Network is a move towards building and recognizing our partners’ commitment to the Microsoft Cloud and is aligned with the Microsoft Partner Network strategy of recognizing the performance of our partners as they move to the cloud.
Our Commitment to the Future Growth of the Cloud OS Network and Hybrid Cloud Solutions
According to a recent Gartner study, 80 percent of companies today expect to adopt cloud services within the next 12 months, including 55 percent of those that currently don’t have any cloud services running1. Of companies that do plan to adopt cloud services, IDC predicts 40 percent will opt for hybrid solutions2. With today’s announcement, Microsoft is enabling service providers to further blur the lines between on premise technology and the public cloud by offering powerful hybrid cloud solutions that customers want and need.
What makes this model unique is the ability to offer the Microsoft Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and service provider clouds as part of a true hybrid solution. Some companies are wary of the perceived complexity or rigidity of cloud solutions, but our Cloud OS Network partners can offer customers the flexibility to choose their own cloud roadmap based on business needs rather than technology limitations. Once a company decides to move forward with a hybrid cloud solution, our Cloud OS Network service providers are there to make it happen with a local presence and strong Microsoft knowledge and support.
Cloud continues to be at the center of opportunity for Microsoft and our partners – and we are committed to ensuring our partners have the solutions and services that customers want as they transition to the cloud. I’ve been amazed to see how far the Cloud OS Network has come, and I’m excited to see how our partners will embrace these new opportunities and continue to differentiate themselves by delivering robust hybrid offerings.
Additional information on today’s announcement can also be found by visiting the Microsoft Server & Cloud Blog.
1 Gartner, “Three Factors Will Significantly Impact Enterprise Cloud Use in the Near to Midterm Future,” http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2581315, August 2013.