Cloud Platform Release Announcements for July 13, 2015

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.

In today’s mobile first, cloud first world, Microsoft provides the technologies and tools to enable enterprises to embrace a cloud culture. Our differentiated innovations, comprehensive mobile solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of the cloud first era.

You expect cloud-speed innovation from us, and we’re delivering across the breadth of our Cloud Platform product portfolio. Below is a consolidated list of our latest releases to help you stay current, with links to additional details if you’d like more information. In this update:

  • Cortana Analytics Suite

  • C+E in CSP

  • Microsoft Azure Certified for Hybrid Cloud (New Program for Service Provider)

  • Azure Mentor Program (AMP)

  • Power BI GA pre-announce

  • Spark on Azure HDInsight Public Preview


Cortana Analytics Suite

As we work towards making this sku available, we have a number of offerings for our customers today. Customers can learn more right away by registering for Joseph Sirosh’s webinar – CVP of Machine Learning and Information Management – on July 23rd. Please visit the Cortana Analytics website for more information, videos, case studies and also learn more about our interactive map of trained partners. Data and analytics talent within our customers and partners can register for the Cortana Analytics Boot Camp to be held in Redmond September 10 & 11, 2015.


C+E in CSP

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program puts partners at the center of the customer lifecycle with direct provisioning, billing and support of Microsoft Cloud Services. Microsoft is expanding its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to more partners with access to new cloud services, more markets and new capabilities

Amongst a number of updates to the Cloud Solution Provider program including expansion to 134 markets, new API’s and a new partner management portal, The Cloud + Enterprise team is excited to announce availability of Azure and Enterprise Mobility Suite into the CSP program


Microsoft Azure Certified for Hybrid Cloud (New Program for Service Provider)

Extending the success of the Cloud OS Network (COSN) with over 250 partners that have built out Microsoft Cloud solutions, we are introducing Microsoft Azure Certified for Hybrid Cloud (MACH Cloud). This allows Service Providers to showcase their unique, hybrid solutions and make it easier for customers to discover Microsoft validated Azure enabled solutions.

Partners can certify their Azure consistent solutions from their own datacenters, or get broad support (deployment, Go-To-Market and merchandising) to build Azure enabled solutions.
To find out more or get certified today, please visit


Azure Mentor Program (AMP)

The Azure Mentor Program – helps partners build their Azure business as they do their first few deals and deployments on Azure.

Aligned to ModernBiz Pillars, the Program is designed to provide partners with Technical pre-sales, deployment and post deployment (for 30 days) support. The program provides for a Named Technical Point of contact who works across different pre-sales and support teams and owns the “technical plan” for a partner across enablement through post deployment support.

The priority solution areas cover services such as Azure VMs, Azure Site Recovery, Enterprise Mobility Suite, and Azure Network and Storage. Partner’s part of this program get to use this program for a period of 6 months from the time they are on-boarded into this program and are supported for up to 5 deals.

You can know more about this program at  


Power BI GA pre-announce

On July 10, Microsoft announced that Power BI will GA on July 24th. Feature updates will also be available including the release of a Power BI mobile app for Android phones, support for Excel Online and Office 365 Groups, data source support for Apache Spark, and enhancements to the Power BI Desktop. In addition, Microsoft announced that Power BI visuals will be open sourced. Customers can extend and bring custom visuals into Power BI for use in their dashboards, reports and content packs. The Power BI visualization framework and visuals will be available via a Github project, accessible on July 10th. 


Spark on Azure HDInsight Public Preview

On July 10, Microsoft announced Apache Spark public preview on Azure HDInsight. Spark is an open source project in the Apache ecosystem that has been gaining in popularity and support for its ability to handle large-scale data analytic applications in memory. This allows Spark to deliver queries up to 100 times faster than traditional big data solutions, along with a common execution model for various tasks like extract-transform-load (ETL) processes, batch queries, interactive queries, real-time streaming, machine learning, and graph processing on data stored in Azure Storage. The Azure cloud helps make Spark deployment easy and cost effective, with no hardware to buy and no software to configure. Plus Spark comes integrated with Microsoft Power BI and other popular third-party business intelligence (BI) tools, as well as open source notebooks. This allows customers to do interactive BI on top of big data. Read more information about Spark for Azure HDInsight here.