Microsoft WPC 2014: COO tells partners to get with the Cloud program now

Kevin Turner said the company doesn't have enough partners reselling its Cloud services

Microsoft channel partners need to urgently redefine and evolve their businesses so that they can resell the company's cloud computing products, according to Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner.

Just as Microsoft has embarked on a sometimes painful reinvention, its partners need to follow suit, because the alternative is to miss a massive opportunity in Cloud computing, a vehement Turner said Monday at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference.

"We are making progress on this transformation, really good progress," he told about 16,000 attendees who packed the Verizon Center stadium in Washington, DC, Monday.

What worked in the past for Microsoft and its partners won't cut it in the "mobile first, Cloud first" world, he said.

Turner rattled off statistics to support his claim that Microsoft's Cloud services, like Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online, are growing robustly, but said the work is far from over.

"We still have a lot of work to do but we have a lot to be proud of," he said.

He cited "hard decisions" Microsoft has made recently, such as offering its flagship Windows OS free to hardware partners making devices with screen sizes of 9 inches and smaller, and porting its Office apps to iOS.

"We will do what is necessary to win in the marketplace," Turner said.

Selling on-premises software was "good for you and us for a long time" but the future lies in the cloud and mobility, and Microsoft plans to go in that direction "with our partner community intact," he said.

Right now, there aren't enough partners on board. Microsoft has more than 600,000 partners worldwide, but only 53,000 are reselling cloud services.

"We don't have enough partner capacity anywhere in the world for cloud," Turner said.

While that number is up more than 100 per cent from last year, Turner said he wants to bring it to about 150,000 in the next 12 months.

"You need to get on this train. This market is being made now," he said. "This is a huge opportunity for you."

The cloud business offers higher revenue and profits than the on-premises software business, he said.

In addition to heavily promoting Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online, Turner also pushed Windows, saying the next major rev of the OS will be a hit, especially for businesses.

"This will be a great, world-class enterprise OS when it comes out, with game-changing functionality for enterprises," he said, without providing more details about the product's features or its expected release date.

Microsoft is pushing ahead with its vision of having a single Windows API (application programming interface) for all types of devices, from small smartphones to massive displays, so that developers can write applications once, he said.

He also encouraged partners to get behind the company's hardware devices, such as Surface tablets and Nokia smartphones, as well as Windows-powered tablets, laptops and PCs from hardware partners.

He said OEMs this year-end holiday season will release Windows devices in the sub-US$200 and sub-$US100 price range, including an HP Stream laptop that will cost $US199.

"We'll participate in the low-end" part of the computing device market, and challenge Google's Chromebooks, he said.

Microsoft, the king of the PC OS with a 90 per cent share, is very much a challenger in the total OS market for computing devices, including smartphones and tablets, with a 14 per cent slice of the pie.

"We need to have a challenger mindset," he said.

Turner also urged partners to pitch the value of SharePoint and Yammer for enterprise collaboration to their customers, while also citing Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com and the Xbox. He also highlighted security and IT management tools, like the Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Turner's impassioned speech closed a string of keynotes that started at 9am. and finished at noon, all designed to get partners enthused about Microsoft cloud products, so that the number of partners reselling those services rises significantly in the coming year.

Microsoft also announced a series of incentives and changes for its partner programs.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags distributionWPCMicrosoftsoftwarecloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?