News: Microsoft has made numerous enterprise strengthening plays this week.
Microsoft has been holding its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto where the company has made several announcements around cloud, partnerships, and Power BI capabilities.
CBR runs through the big announcements.
In a move that is basically offering Hardware-as-a-Service and will hopefully boost the company’s declining hardware business, the Surface device will be offered as a subscription service through Microsoft’s cloud solution providers (CSPs).
This will allow CSPs to offer surface hardware as a managed service offering, this will be combined with cloud services like Office 365, and the Windows 10 managed subscription offering, this means that CSPs will be able to provide an end-to-end set of solutions.
- Microsoft & IBM
A partnership between two of the largest tech companies in the world will partner to write applications specifically for Surface devices.
The idea behind this is to tailor Surface devices so that they will meet the needs of financial, consumer goods, and retail organisations, basically it is to boost the enterprise credibility of the product.
For IBM this deal is similar in some regards to the one it made with Apple in 2014 to develop apps for iPhones and iPads.
The benefit for Big Blue is that it can gain more enterprise software customers without the cost of having to support hardware.
IBM will focus on developing applications around analytics, reporting, employee productivity, and management and forecasting.
- Intelligent cloud
According to Microsoft it is signing up 120,000 new subscriptions to its Azure cloud offering a month, so to give these a little boost the company revealed that Windows Server 2016 and System Centre 2016 will launch at the Microsoft Ignite conference later in the year.
The new version of the enterprise operating system has been designed to help customers embrace cloud more.
On the cloud front the company has also announced the general availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse, which the company says delivers “the true promise of cloud elasticity to data warehousing.”
According to the company a data warehouse can be provisioned in three to five minutes and scale in seconds.
- Facebook & Microsoft
Facebook signed a deal with Microsoft to let employees use Office 365 for internal collaboration.
The deal will see the social media giant’s 13,000 employees to have access to Office 365 web-based email and calendar services, previously it had been using an on-premise Exchange-based solution.
Facebook’s CIO Tim Campos went on stage at the conference to talk about why this made sense for the company. The CIO said that the company needed software that would enable its mobile workforce.
Access to other services from Office 365 such as Skype and Yammer will be restricted, as they compete directly with Facebook’s own services, Facebook for Work and Facebook Messenger.
- Microsoft & GE
GE has become something of a poster child for digital transformation, frequently mentioned at conferences, and now Microsoft can talk about them as a partnership has been announced.
The partnership will make GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
The move will allow customers to capture intelligence from their industrial assets and then use the Azure cloud applications.
Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE said: "Connecting industrial machines to the internet through the cloud is a huge step toward simplifying business processes and reimagining how work gets done."
"GE is helping its customers extract value from the vast quantities of data coming out of those machines and is building an ecosystem of industry-leading partners like Microsoft that will allow the Industrial Internet to thrive on a global scale."