Nadella's Task: Help Other Companies Make Money Off Microsoft

Satya Nadella rolled out a piece of Microsoft math that longtime Microsoft partners are accustomed to hearing, but it's a good message to hear repeated from the top.

Speaking to Forbes in an interview posted Monday, Microsoft's CEO talked about how Microsoft does best when other companies are making money off its products. The comments took the form of recounting conversations with Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 10, 2018 at 10:22 AM0 comments


Microsoft Teams Rockets Past Slack in Enterprise Chat Race

Riding on Office 365's success, the Microsoft Teams collaborative chat application has raced ahead of the more entrenched Slack.

That's a key takeaway of a recent Spiceworks survey of its community of IT professionals. The firm saw Teams surge seven times in usage share over two years, with the 900 respondents in North America and EMEA projecting another doubling of usage over the next two years. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 10, 2018 at 12:25 PM0 comments


IoT: Which Azure Service When?

If it seems like Microsoft provides two or three different Azure services to accomplish any task, that's probably because, in a lot of cases, it's true.

For the emerging area of Internet of Things (IoT), developers face a confusing array of choices in a few different areas within the Azure catalog of services. As part of a session at the Live! 360 conference in Orlando this week, Eric Boyd offered attendees some guidance on a couple of key architectural questions. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 06, 2018 at 10:05 AM0 comments


Microsoft's 'AI for Everyone' Plans Detailed at Live! 360

A Microsoft program manager this week gave some insight into the ways that artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are shaping the Microsoft stack -- sometimes in surprising ways.

Pranav Rastogi, who led Tuesday's keynote of the inaugural Artificial Intelligence Live! track at the Live! 360 conference, is one of the people inside Microsoft helping drive those capabilities and technologies across the company's vast array of products. Rastogi provided attendees with an overview of what those technologies are and where they're starting to emerge in products. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 05, 2018 at 9:42 AM0 comments


Spotlight on Microsoft's AI Advances at Live! 360

A major focus of this week's Live! 360 conference in Orlando, Fla., will be artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on Microsoft-focused developers and IT professionals.

Live! 360 is hosted by Converge360, the parent company of RCPmag.com, and brings together Converge360's events for one combined conference, with each event as a track. In addition to Visual Studio Live!, SQL Server Live!, TechMentor, Office & SharePoint Live! and ModernApps Live!, this year the conference is rolling out an entire Artificial Intelligence Live! track. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 03, 2018 at 9:50 AM0 comments


Microsoft Readies FastTrack PR Blitz

Microsoft is taking FastTrack on a world tour to raise the profile of the cloud onboarding service with tech professionals and developers.

Microsoft and partners have a love-hate relationship with FastTrack. Microsoft loves the program because it helps boost consumption of cloud services, a key metric for the company and a critical goal for retaining subscriptions to Office 365 and other cloud services. Partners often counter that the program zeroes-out formerly profitable routine migration services, while still devaluing in customers' eyes the more complicated migrations that partners must take over when the FastTrack desk's remote and automated capabilities fall short. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 26, 2018 at 11:36 AM0 comments


In a Falling Tide, Microsoft's Market Cap is Largest

When stocks in the tech sector were rising, Apple and Amazon both drove the trend and benefited from it, reaching market caps over $1 trillion, with Microsoft and Alphabet close behind.

Now that the tech sector is falling along with markets overall, Microsoft is falling less quickly. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM0 comments


Look for New Conversational AI Resources from Microsoft After Acquisition

An acquisition this week by Microsoft should result in new resources for partners interested in building conversational artificial intelligence (AI) experiences.

Microsoft on Wednesday announced it had signed an agreement to acquire XOXCO, based in Austin, Texas. Like most of the dozen-plus acquisitions Microsoft makes each year, terms weren't disclosed, which usually indicates a fairly small company and a small team. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 14, 2018 at 12:15 PM0 comments


SherWeb Unveils Office 365 Bundle for Partners

SherWeb is bundling some add-on solutions for Office 365 at the same base price as the underlying Microsoft cloud service to give managed service providers (MSPs) a more complete offering for customers out of the gate.

SherWeb is one of the Indirect Providers in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, sitting between Microsoft and CSP Indirect Resellers, who sell Microsoft cloud products to customers. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 07, 2018 at 9:51 AM0 comments


Microsoft-Walmart Partnership Takes Shape

Sometimes a customer is so big, and the engagement so broad, that Microsoft refers to the customer and the deal as a partnership. One such case is the Walmart deal unveiled over the summer, and details of the arrangement are starting to come into focus.

The companies announced a five-year agreement in July that included Walmart engaging in digital transformation projects with Microsoft and committing to enterprisewide use of Microsoft Azure cloud services and Microsoft 365, the end user package that includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) functionality. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 05, 2018 at 1:10 PM0 comments


What's Next for Microsoft CSPs: Unanswered Questions

During the special RCP editorial webcast Wednesday on "What's Next for Microsoft CSPs: Partners' Top Moves for 2019," the attendees had more great questions than we could answer during the session. I want to hit on a few of them here, as well as provide some better answers for some of the questions we did address.

For those of you who didn't attend the live event, the presentation centered on 11 key decisions that Microsoft partners need to make in 2019 and early 2020 around their participation in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. A few highlights involved making the Direct Bill versus Indirect Reseller decision based on the new support plan purchase requirement, selecting among Indirect Providers if you go that route, whether to chase certain incentive,s and how much to emphasize developing your own intellectual property (hint: a lot). A replay of the session is now available here. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 01, 2018 at 2:13 PM0 comments


IBM Takes a Chance on Cloud with Red Hat Buy

IBM may be a distant third place in the cloud market, but its executives are betting that there's still room in the cloud gold rush for Big Blue.

Case in point: IBM's plan to spend a whopping $34 billion to acquire Red Hat, which it unveiled this past Sunday. That bid represents a 63 percent premium over Red Hat's share price. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 29, 2018 at 11:53 AM0 comments


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