Throughout the past month, Microsoft furthered its “mobile first, cloud first” campaign by making strategic partnerships with fellow software publishers and cloud platform providers. By partnering with prior competitors, Microsoft is further demonstrating its initiative to provide business productivity solutions to enterprise customers. Listed below is an overview of some significant recent announcements:
IBM and Microsoft to Offer Greater Choice in the Hybrid Cloud
As detailed several times throughout our Thought-Leadership Blog, Hybrid cloud is becoming the clear solution of choice for enterprises wanting to utilize their existing infrastructure while bursting to the cloud. The idea behind this partnership is simple – both IBM and Microsoft are offering their respective enterprise software on each other’s cloud platform.
Benefits customers will realize include:
- IBM and Microsoft will make key IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ, and DB2 available on Microsoft Azure.
- Windows Server and SQL Server will be offered on IBM Cloud.
- IBM and Microsoft are working together to deliver a Microsoft .NET runtime for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform.
- To support hybrid cloud deployments, IBM will expand support of its software running on Windows Server Hyper-V, and the companies plan to make IBM Pure Application Service available on Azure.
In Microsoft’s press release, Senior VP of IBM Software and Cloud Solutions Group, Robert LeBlanc, stated of the partnership, “This agreement reinforces IBM’s strategy in providing open cloud technology for the enterprise.” And Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise, followed up by saying, “With this agreement more customers will be able to take advantage of the hyper-scale, enterprise performance, and hybrid capabilities of Azure.” Clearly, the focus is on providing more hybrid cloud to more customers.
SAP on Microsoft Azure – Announcing New Certifications, Including Oracle Database
Microsoft and SAP teamed up to offer SAP on Azure, a new certification for running SAP Business Suite, Business All-In-One, and NetWeaver Application Server using Oracle DB or SAP ASE on Azure. This further builds on the partnership between Microsoft and Oracle made last year that allowed customers to bring their existing Oracle DB licenses to Azure.
Microsoft and Salesforce.com Unveil New Joint Solutions at Dreamforce 2014
At Dreamforce 2014 – the world’s largest software conference – Microsoft and Salesforce unveiled 3 new solutions that connects the world’s most widely used customer relationship management (CRM) platform in Salesforce with the world’s most widely used business productivity solution provider in Microsoft. The partnership includes:
- Salesforce1 for Windows. Salesforce1 for Windows will empower customers to run their business from their Windows 8.1 mobile devices. The Salesforce1 app for Windows is currently available through an invite-only preview, with general availability anticipated for the second half of 2015. Customers can access Salesforce1 through Internet Explorer on Windows 8.1 devices now.
- Salesforce for Office. Salesforce for Office will give customers access to the content they need to collaborate, sell, service, and market from virtually anywhere, with:
- Salesforce Files helps customers unlock files from Microsoft SharePoint so they are mobile, social and can be used in the context of any Salesforce business process.
- Salesforce1 integration with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business on iOS devices and Android phones will enable customers to seamlessly open, edit and save documents. General availability is anticipated for the first half of 2015.
- A new Salesforce1 App for Outlook will work with Microsoft Outlook 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Office 365 to let customers access and manage their Salesforce information right from Outlook. General availability is anticipated for the first half of 2015.
- Power BI for Office 365 and Excel integrations with Salesforce. With these new integrations, customers will be able to bi-directionally load data to Salesforce and Excel to build reports, visualize information, and discover new insights. Salesforce integration with Power Query for Excel is in preview now, with general availability anticipated for the first half of 2015. Power BI integration with Salesforce is anticipated for the first half of 2015. A Salesforce app for Excel is anticipated for the second half of 2015.
Cloud Platform System Partnership with Dell
Microsoft’s partnership with Dell provides pre-configured “Azure in a box” solutions for on-premise applications such as Windows System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2, officially known as Cloud Platform System (CPS). Microsoft provides the software, Dell provides the hardware.
The idea is simple – for organizations that want to run Azure in their own datacenters, Microsoft and Dell will offer customers pre-assembled racks of servers with Premium Storage, dubbed “G-series virtual machines.” This provides users with several Azure technologies, including but not limited to:
- Windows and Linux virtual machine services
- Database services
- Website services
- Optimized deployment packs for applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange
Microsoft is taking off the gloves and viewing the IT landscape from the customer’s perspective. By partnering with several other leading software and hardware enterprise solution providers, Microsoft is tailoring its business productivity portfolio to better suit any and all customer needs. However, this growing portfolio presents another, more basic question: what the heck does it mean to me?
SoftwareONE offers several Microsoft Advisory Services that focuses on optimizing your existing and envisioned Microsoft infrastructure. Ranging anywhere from SQL Optimization Assessments to Cloud Readiness Discovery, SoftwareONE – like Microsoft – can tailor any service to meet your unique challenges.