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Microsoft to Partners: 'Win Every Single Deal' Against Cloud Rivals

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Microsoft on Wednesday urged its partners to take aim at its top cloud competitors.

Speaking during Wednesday's keynote presentation at the 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft COO Kevin Turner encouraged attendees to focus on increasing Microsoft's wins against its biggest cloud rivals -- Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

According to Turner, over 75,000 partners did business around Microsoft's cloud properties in fiscal year 2015, representing a 44 percent year-over-year increase. However, he said Microsoft needs more partners to participate for the company to meet its stated goal of a $20 billion run rate for its commercial cloud business by FY 2018.

"We need more partner capacity. We don't have enough cloud partners at scale in the company today," Turner said.

To up the ante for partners, Microsoft is increasing cloud-focused partner incentives in FY 2016 to 49 percent, up from 32 percent in FY 2015.

Turner touted Azure's growth during his keynote address, saying that it has "double the footprint of AWS and Google today." There are currently 19 Azure compute regions, more than AWS and Google together, he said. In addition, the Azure Marketplace has grown by 340 percent in the past six months.

In one slide, Turner singled out five capabilities that Azure has over AWS, making it a potentially lucrative proposition for partners and their customers:

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"There are some very clear things we do that AWS doesn't do, starting with identity management and having the right level of support. As I told you, they don't support the hybrid cloud. We have an integrated Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service and we are the leader in privacy, security and compliance. If you compete against AWS, you have to nail these five things," Turner said. "The reality is we should win every single deal versus AWS. We have better technology and an enterprise-ready cloud. That's the bottom line."

Turner echoed that sentiment for Google Apps, as well. Over 1,200 Google Apps customers have switched to Office 365 since FY 2014, Turner said, before exhorting WPC attendees to focus on "rescuing" the stragglers.

"We've got to win every single deal versus Google," he said. "We don't snoop your e-mail. We don't serve you ads. We don't drive cars around listening to your conversations. We are not that company."

It wasn't all anti-competitor bombshells from Turner, however. In a year when Microsoft stopped blocking certain competitors -- such as Google, Oracle and Salesforce.com -- from attending its partner conference, Turner spent a few minutes talking about "the new Microsoft." He noted the value of solutions involving Microsoft plus competitive products.

"We're a better company when we stand and reach across the aisle," Turner said.

Toward the end of the keynote, Turner said, "It's not about the competition. It's about us, the people in this room, what we do. When you change the way you see the world, you change the world you see."

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About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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