After spending a week at the Microsoft Cloud and Hosting Summit – I can’t help but to ponder the key theme of the summit – Transformation. However, we all know that transformation is easier said than done.
To transform is to change in form, appearance, nature or character.
And I would say that each of these elements was present at the Summit when it comes the constant evolution of cloud solutions.
Just a few years back, there was a clear delineation in the “pre” cloud world among partner types. The transactional channel had their place in the technology universe, and big consulting shops knew the role they played in the value chain (and everything in between).
Just a short few years later – this ‘form’ could be no further from the truth. If there was one key observation from this week, it was the significant blurring of the partner definition and the many different routes to market available – all as a result of the doors that open when moving forward on a cloud journey. When asking the question, ‘What type of partner are you?’ The resounding statements back were ‘well we are sort of a VAR, but kind of an MSP. Or, ‘we are an ISV, but also cloud experts.’
What remained clear was the constant refining and redefinition of the partner ecosystem around cloud.
During this conference, it became apparent quite quickly that the customer experience on the Azure platform is of key importance to Microsoft. The look and feel of the interfaces, the capabilities within the portal, integration with third parties – all present and future evolution to drive a change in the ‘appearance’ across product.
Open source, AWS integration, Docker. There was some very open, honest and candid feedback on integration investments continuing to be made as part of the Azure stack platform. The very ‘nature’ of the conversation was a true recognition that cloud computing has enabled past proprietary vendors in the space to bring the right solutions together for their customers.
Finally, to transform is to evolve one’s character. The conference brought senior leaders together, and there were some great opportunities to listen to industry thought leaders. It was inspiring to think about your own character relative to your personal place and impact in a cloud world. Servicing a customer in the cloud space with sincerity, authenticity and understanding that your lifetime value to them is key and critical.
Transformation is something that is happening to our industry whether we embrace it or not. As a leader in a constantly-evolving cloud services provider, I see our own organization and that of our partners transforming every day. Success lies in working with partners and trusted experts that can help guide your journey and your transformation into what you want to become.