Microsoft's Turner Lauds Partners for Cloud Transition

Kevin Turner, Microsoft Corp.'s chief operating officer, told partners assembled at the company's annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles last week that in crafting its cloud computing strategy, the vendor counted on its "partner ecosystem to come with us to the cloud because the cloud was how we were going to re-pivot ourselves."

Turner reminded partners of his remarks at last year's conference when he said that Microsoft had "to find a way to bet our business on cloud services and making this transition to the cloud."

His point, of course, was that in the past year the vendor had gone full bore to the cloud with public and private cloud products--namely Office 365, SQL Azure, Windows Azure, Windows Intune, Dynamics CRM Online, SharePoint Server, Lync Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Server--and wanted most of its partners to follow suit by transitioning their business models in the same direction.

"We still have this big, audacious goal of having a continuous cloud service for every person in every business around the world," he said.

In praising the work of the vendor's product development teams, Turner told partners that "many, many of you in this audience made the jump to come to the cloud with us this past year. And many others are making the transition and making the leap to come to the cloud with us this next year."

As evidence, Turner offered that to date Microsoft has trained some 42,000 partners on Office 365, 30,000 on Windows Azure and 12,000 on Windows Intune, although from his public remarks it was unclear how much overlap resides in those figures.

Still, with its claim of some 650,000 partners under its PartnerNetwork umbrella, Turner acknowledged that Microsoft has some ground to travel before the lion's share of its partners embrace the cloud.

"I want the other 600K partners to get on board," he said.

Turner told partners that the vendor now will turn its attention to the private cloud.

"The focus on FY 12 is about the acceleration of the private cloud," he said. "We've got great momentum with our public cloud, now we're going to get straight away after the private cloud."

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