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


Azure: Winding Down or Gearing Up?

The revenue growth for Microsoft Azure year in and year out is nothing short of stunning.

Microsoft logged yet another quarter of very high double-digit growth for Azure revenues in the earnings report that was released Wednesday for the first quarter of its July-to-June fiscal year. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 25, 2018 at 9:26 AM0 comments


Partners Liked Gates' New Role in 2014, And He's Still At It

When Microsoft elevated Satya Nadella to CEO in 2014, the company simultaneously announced that co-founder and chairman Bill Gates would be stepping down to a regular seat on the board but taking on a bigger tech advisory role for Nadella.

"I'm thrilled that Satya has asked me to step up, substantially increasing the time that I spend at the company," Gates said in a welcome video accompanying Nadella's promotion to CEO in February 2014. "I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups, and it will be fun to define this next round of products, working together." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 22, 2018 at 12:09 PM0 comments


Paul Allen's Legacy at Microsoft

Paul Allen went on to do many significant things in his life, but the achievement that provided the springboard for so many of the rest of his activities was the fortune he amassed as the co-founder of Microsoft.

Primarily, Microsoft is associated with the other co-founder, Bill Gates, whose personality, drive and talents formed the company's identity, and who remains involved in the company's direction on a part-time basis. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 18, 2018 at 10:01 AM0 comments


Surface Makes a Dent in the U.S. PC Market

It's time to start talking about the Microsoft Surface in discussions about top-selling PCs.

Gartner this week published its preliminary quarterly results for PC unit shipments in the third quarter of 2018. On the U.S. list, Microsoft ranked fifth for the quarter, with a 4.1 percent share of the market. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 12, 2018 at 11:27 AM0 comments


Private Equity Firm To Acquire Imperva for $2.1 Billion

Private equity technology investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC continued its sweep of security and other key channel companies with an agreement to acquire Imperva Inc. for $2.1 billion.

Imperva, which specializes in protection of data and applications on-premises and in the cloud, announced the agreement on Tuesday. The deal would leave the current executive team in place and keep its headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 11, 2018 at 12:26 PM0 comments


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