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Windows Server 2003 end of support offers channel Microsoft Cloud opportunity

Brian Karlovsky | April 7, 2015
Sentiment shifts in favour of Cloud following Microsoft Australian Geo launch: Microsoft Australia director of partner business development, Phil Goldie.

He urged partners to have a good look at what the technology was being used to do and what was a modern way of achieving that outcome.

"We think we have got a pretty good story in terms of choice," he said.

"Those on premise versions can be updated to the latest and greatest of Windows Server, but equally there could be a thought process around moving them to hosted services or public Cloud on Azure or Office365."

He said it was an opportunity to have a conversation.

"It should be a trigger for rethinking what these servers have been used for historically, because there are thousand different scenarios, because there are many thousands of these servers still being migrated, so there's a great opportunity for the channel there."

He said momentum around moving to Cloud was strong in the SMB space at the moment.

"We have got a lot of momentum on our platforms, particularly Office365, so we can see customers making that choice about moving to the cloud," he said.

"The challenge is providing that clarity for the customers.

"What is the choice available? What's the best way to tackle that business problem and making that really clear.

"Whether that's remaining on premise, or upgrading technology, whether it's moving to a host or a public Cloud or a SaaS platform.

With 100 days to go, this is the period when businesses will take deliberate action, according to Goldie.

"So I think getting helping customers reach a decision in a timely manner and of course help customers with he implementation and migration is going to be a key part of that.

"Helping simplify the decision so we can get customers off the platform is probably the key challenge."

Microsoft has also moved to address underlying profitability for channel partners as they moved to a recurring revenue model.

Goldie said that while customer sentiment was very high, partners were concerned about margins and profitability under the new model.

"That's a huge area of focus and we have been doing a huge amount of work with our channel, both digitally and through face to face workshops, to help them understand the profitability business models for the cloud," he said.

"Because, ultimately, the main success you can have in this transition isn't simply moving customers to the cloud, but is how do I grow recurring revenues from that move versus continually project based services in my approach.

"How do you use this trigger to drive cloud conversation and then how does that cloud conversation become a recurring revenue opportunity around managed services, an apps and IT that you have built, versus just another project based deployment."


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