It’s hard to believe that it has only been around 13 months since we unveiled our two Azure data centres in Australia and here we are announcing the next wave of partners in our expanded 1-Tier Cloud Solution Provider Program.
The success of Microsoft Azure is testament to both the work and enthusiasm of our partners and to the endless possibilities for innovation and business transformation that come hand in hand with the cloud.
Our new CSP 1-Tier partners – Buttonwood Cloud Exchange, Rackspace, SaaSPlaza, Datacom, Dimension Data and Data#3 – will find that the benefits of CSP are numerous. Partners own and control the customer billing, they are able to differentiate by selling integrated offers and services in a single customer package and can directly provision, manage and support their customers to drive higher customer satisfaction and services revenue.
CSP partners have the ability to offer the entire portfolio of Microsoft solutions and services and create custom offerings for their end user customers, giving them a significant advantage over the rest of the ecosystem.
While each of the new partners has been named because of their passionate belief in the benefits of the cloud, Buttonwood Cloud Exchange is interesting because it is a start-up which only came into existence late this year with a business model that exemplifies the innovative thinking that the cloud enables.
Buttonwood Cloud Exchange makes it easier for enterprises to have their backend automatically provision the cloud service which offers the best value instead of going all-in with one provider, simplifying choice for the customer and helping the customer make the most of their cloud investments from Microsoft and other providers.
Allan King, Buttonwood’s managing director and co-founder, makes the valid point that “managing multiple cloud services alongside on premise infrastructure requires a mature hybrid strategy in order to realise the intrinsic value of cloud”. That’s exactly how we see what’s on offer through Azure, Office 365, Dynamics and the many other services that make up the full Microsoft cloud suite.
SaaSPlaza, an international company that is just establishing in Australia, is the global market leader for Microsoft Dynamics on Azure, helping Dynamics partners and customers in their transition to the cloud.
Like SaaSPlaza, Data#3 is a long time Microsoft partner with the company providing market-leading business technology solutions in a Hybrid IT environment from on-premise to outsourced to cloud across a wide range of industries throughout Australia and Asia Pacific. They see becoming part of the CSP program as a chance to accelerate the delivery and uptake of their cloud offerings and cement their leadership position locally and extend global reach.
Rackspace is another international player expanding into Australia and bringing with them their self-confessed “fanatical support” for Azure. Rackspace is the founder of OpenStack®, the open-source operating system for the cloud and sees Azure as a powerful extension of the US-Based enterprise’s existing set of Microsoft capabilities.
With nearly 50 years’ experience in technology, Datacom has grown to be one of Asia Pacific’s leading locally-owned IT-based service providers. They operate across New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines, helping clients handle the shift to the cloud and provide hosting and consulting services to advise on the appropriate cloud strategy for business. As with the rest of the partners, the CSP partnership will enable them to illustrate the undoubted benefits of hybrid cloud scenarios.
Global giant Dimension Data, which last year acquired Australia-based technology consulting firm Oakton, will be utilising its CSP partnership in two differing ways: Dimension Data will be taking an IT outsourcing approach and providing managed services while Oakton, which still operates under its own name, will be going to market with their apps.
In other partner news, we are pleased to announce Microsoft Partner NEXTDC and Megaport are now offering customers access to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365. ExpressRoute for Office 365 enables customers to establish a private, managed connection to Office 365, delivering many customer benefits including more predictable network performance, the ability to better manage network availability, the reliability that comes with dedicated connectivity and additional data privacy.
We congratulate the companies on being named as CSP partners. We really value our partners and to further support them in their transition to the cloud, we are making investments in programs and resources to help them build profitable businesses.
Over the coming weeks each of the partners will share more details as they gear up for launch.
It’s an exciting time to be in the cloud and an exciting time for services like Microsoft Azure.