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Microsoft’s cloud ambitions: still growing

Microsoft Malaysia’s Channel Partner Conference (CPC) saw seven new partners announced as part of Microsoft’s continued commitment to the cloud, the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

As CSP members, these partners can directly manage the entire Microsoft Cloud customer lifecycle, directly provisioning, managing and supporting their customer subscriptions.  Microsoft’s President in Asia Pacific, Cesar Cernuda had shared how fast customers are moving to the cloud and how quickly partners are adapting to meet their demands.

Microsoft currently boasts the largest partner ecosystem in the industry, investing over USD2 billion annually in channel operations and maintaining over 5000 partners in Malaysia.  Now these partners can also offer Azure, CRM Online, Office365, Microsoft InTune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as part of the CSP program.

Mirosoft Director of Small and Mid-Market Solutions & Partners Group Azizah Ali described the program as lowering barriers to entry for businesses because of pay-per-use models. “Investments are on what’s really needed and there is opportunity to drive efficiencies and increase profitability and reach (with cloud).

Azizah Ali and K.Raman

Azizah Ali and K.Raman, Microsoft Malaysia’s MD

“Tech implementation used to be a focus for our partners before. Now, they have to understand the business issues of the end user as well. We try to work with our partners to help them understand the businesses and play more of an advisory role, beyond just tech implementation.

“We see the impact of this upon our end users,” Azizah also said.

Microsoft data centre presences – still cloudy?

Despite all the huge investments Microsoft makes into their channel ecosystem, they also do realise the importance of their data centre building efforts. Microsoft is hot on the heels of data centre building activities by other big global cloud players.

Microsoft Malaysia MD, K. Raman does assure members of media during a press conference, that data centre building is definitely in the roadmap.

But where on the geographical map of Asia, will there be Microsoft data centres? The Malaysian MD declined to comment, only stating that they are still looking at (evaluating) suitable locations.

A source close to the matter observed that Microsoft has had to rationalise their initial investments into data centres in this region, having been seriously close to actually ‘overbuilding’ during initial planning phases.

While locations like Japan, India, Korea, Australia and China have been earmarked as very suitable for data centres, by Microsoft, a potential 128 megawatt data centre plan to be located at a site that has been committed to, Malaysia for example, could be drastically reduced by as much as 75-percent to 80-percent.

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