A recent survey by Goldman Sachs confirmed, once again, Microsoft’s position as a top cloud provider. The latest findings from an IT spending survey of 100 technology executives at Global 2000 companies showed that Microsoft is currently the most popular supplier of public cloud services.
The survey asked technology executives about their vendor choices for public cloud deployments in two areas: IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) and PaaS (platform-as-a-service). Microsoft outperformed Amazon in both and “demonstrated continued momentum.” Indeed, the analyst confirms that Microsoft’s lead has been on the increase since December 2017. And with more respondents expecting their companies to use Azure compared to any other cloud service in the next three years, Microsoft’s advantage looks only set to grow.
The Covid-19 pandemic certainly boosted Microsoft’s fortunes in 2020, when businesses around the world made the switch almost overnight to remote working. The company reported surges in revenue across its Productivity and Business Processes segment, as well as its Intelligent Cloud segment. For the first time, its Commercial cloud surpassed US$50 billion in annual revenue, while Microsoft Azure revenue grew 47% year-over-year.
“Organizations that build their own digital capability will recover faster and emerge from this crisis stronger,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a public statement. “We are the only company with an integrated, modern technology stack – powered by cloud and AI and underpinned by security and compliance – to help every organization transform and reimagine how they meet customer needs.”
Microsoft’s journey to the cloud
This is not an overnight success story. Microsoft has been busy building its cloud business up over the last decade.
In February 2010, Microsoft launched its first public cloud service, Windows Azure (now simply Azure). Since then, both Azure and Office 365 have continued to gain traction with business customers. When he became CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella led with a “cloud first, mobile first” strategy, setting the tone for a new era at Microsoft where the focus was on the cloud, instead of Windows.
“Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world,” Nadella said in his first email to Microsoft employees as CEO. “I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. In the same email, he mentioned the possibilities that would grow from “an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.”
Today, Nadella believes that his company’s cloud sits at the heart of businesses’ digital transformation efforts.
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” he said recently. “From remote teamwork and learning to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security—we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.”
Analysts back the Microsoft cloud
Gartner named Microsoft a Leader in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems. It highlights the company’s cloud data ecosystem vision, strong cloud migration path and the breadth and depth of its cloud offering as key strengths.
“Almost every enterprise has a business relationship with Microsoft, through the use of its data management products (such as Microsoft SQL Server), office productivity tools, identity and access management software, and other offerings,” said Gartner in the report. “Azure represents a logical extension of this familiar Microsoft ecosystem, with a comprehensive set of cloud offerings, a strong user community and ready availability of skills.”
Building on this, Microsoft has committed to continue “reshaping the data landscape with databases that are truly built for the edge, empowering organizations to store and process their data at or near the collection point including built-in intelligence and analytics.” John Chirapurath, vice president of Azure Data, AI & Edge, has also said the company plans to support customers to run workloads across on-premises and cloud infrastructures through new hybrid multi-cloud scenarios.
Partners trust the Microsoft cloud
More than 95% of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows directly through its partner ecosystem. Microsoft confirmed that more than 90,000 partners are now involved in its Cloud Solution Provider program.
“Partners can create and deliver differentiated offers to customers, selling the Microsoft cloud portfolio and third-party solutions from the Microsoft commercial marketplace alongside their own value-added solutions and services,” said Dan Truax, general manager of Partner Digital Experiences and Programs at Microsoft. “They are enabled to manage the entire customer engagement lifecycle and establish their credibility with customers as trusted advisors.”
LS Retail is a proud advocate of the Microsoft cloud. Our technology is built on the Microsoft platform, leveraging the investment in innovation and security of Dynamics 365 and Azure. Our enterprise restaurant system LS First and our unified commerce system LS Central (created for retail, pharmacy, restaurants, hotels and gas stations) are available as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the Microsoft cloud.
When you use our software solutions, you can also take advantage of many of the other innovative services available in the cloud – from AI-powered analytics built on Power BI, to demand planning and forecasting, to machine learning-powered product recommendations.
To find out more about our cloud-based offerings, please get in touch with our team of experts.