Microsoft Reveals Azure Stack to Compete with Amazon Web Services

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The announcement, made at Microsoft Inspire 2017, also revealed several companies which are now working on getting their applications ready for Azure Stack, including Docker, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux. Go to market support is provided at all tiers.

Microsoft 365 Business, available in public preview starting August 2, is created to give small-to-medium sized businesses a complete productivity and security solution, while streamlining IT management.

Customers are required to purchase Azure Stack as part of a certified integrated system from partners, which initially include Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo.

Microsoft is promising a variety of benefits for qualifying ISVs, including exposure to more customers via the AppSource directory.

Aimed at smaller business users, Microsoft 365 Business will come with the business premium version of Office 365, upgrade rights for Windows 10, Office and Windows 10 security and management tools, and a centralized console for IT management.

“One of the key differentiations we have with Azure versus our two biggest competitors in the cloud platform space is our ability to support true hybrid solutions”, Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president of worldwide commercial business, told Reuters.

White said Azure Stack could be used by companies with operations in remote locations where it can be hard to get an Internet connection, such as oil rigs or cruise ships, or those in regions with regulations that require that data be kept locally.

Azure Stack offers a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform, providing an ideal fit for customers who want flexibility without having to build applications in a different way.

Rackspace uses its extensive expertise gained from supporting Azure, Hyper-V and other Microsoft technologies at scale, to help customers make a successful transition to Azure Stack.

What this new go-to-market strategy means to partners is an opportunity to increase deal size, differentiate their offerings, and grow managed services revenue by 50 percent versus selling and deploying Office 365 alone, according to Forrester Consulting.

To build on this incredible momentum, Microsoft is making additional investments to accelerate Azure co-sell over the next 12 months. Last year, Microsoft piloted a new Azure co-sell program to provide comprehensive sales and marketing support for partners building solutions with Azure. It puts people at the centre, giving them flexibility to work where and how they want, and giving them new ways to collaborate with others – all while protecting company data, Microsoft said. Tens of thousands more are tuning into the virtual event.

Azure Stack – based on the “hybrid cloud” concept – addresses concerns by companies that prevented their applications or services from being allowed outside of their own datacenters, such as for security reasons or regulatory compliance.

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