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The Big Contributors to Microsoft Cloud Success? Its Partners

This week, Microsoft revealed how channel partners drive their commercial revenue growth. Also: Google's AI is now training spam filters to do better, Google's teaming up with hardware makers to promote Hangouts for commercial customers and we have the dates for Microsoft BUILD later this year.

Microsoft has long been a company that is partner driven. Earlier this week, Gavriella Schuster who is in charge of the company's One Commercial Partner Program, shared details about just how much of an impact those partners are having. Specifically, she shared a surprising statistic about Microsoft's partner-driven cloud revenue: "Did you know that 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows directly through our partner ecosystem? With more than 7,500 partners joining that ecosystem every month, partner growth and partner innovation are directly fueling our commercial cloud growth."

In the last quarter for Microsoft, those partnerships drove a 48% year-over-year growth in commercial cloud revenue resulting in more than $9 billion in sales. 

Schuster went on to share details about various company partner programs such as Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), Azure Expert Microsoft Solution Provider (MSP), IP Co-Sell (its commercial marketplace) and AI for Enterprises. Just the commercial marketplace business opportunities are estimated to be worth $133 billion in 2019 (Gartner) according to Schuster, and the AI for Enterprise is expected to triple over the next four years from $24 to $77.6 billion (IDC).

Schuster closed out her update saying that Microsoft plans to evolve its partner program in 2019 by innovating in AI, providing more co-selling opportunities, and helping partners connect with customers through their various programs.


Artificial intelligence is responsible for diverting 100 million extra spam messages from Gmail users' inboxes every day. Google says its in-house machine learning framework, TensorFlow, has been training and refining spam-detecting algorithms for improved contextual filtering.

More than half of the world's businesses have no strategy in place for digital workspace growth, reports technology consulting firm SoftwareOne. The company's latest research report also found that "despite the fact that almost organization (99%) employ some form of digital workspace technology, respondents have encountered a host of challenges when it comes to using them. These include higher security risks (cited by 47%) and a lack of employee knowledge in how best to use the solutions (45%)."

Google unveiled a real-time continuous transcription service accessible via a mobile device. Live Transcribe is available for free via Android and offers translations in 70 languages; the company claims this serves 80% of the global population.

More than 5 million paying businesses are using G Suite, Google reported, citing its adoption across industries as varied as financial services, retail and risk solutions. The company is also teaming up with Logitech and Acer to boost its paid customer base for Google Hangout. Logitech will offer Hangout pre-configured computers, conference cameras, and touch screen controllers, starting at $3,000, and Acer will debut the Acer Chromebase for Meetings 24V2, a 24" device specially tailored for Hangouts.

Australian unified communications specialist Switch Connect is partnering with B2B marketplace Ingram Micro to provide Microsoft Direct Routing for Teams, which connects calls from Microsoft's workplace collaboration platform to existing SIP trunks using direct routing. This allows customers to make and receive calls through their telco provider from Teams. “This exciting partnership with Switch Connect will mean that Ingram Micro is the first Microsoft Office 365 distributor in Australia to sell its suite of communications products outside of the exclusive arrangement between Microsoft and Telstra,” Ingram Micro's Lee Welch said.

Microsoft officially announced the dates this week for their annual BUILD developers conference. The event will once again take place in Seattle and is scheduled for May 6-8, 2019. Big change this year is that the company has made an open call for speakers versus their normal approach of using employees and vendors for presentations. Proposals must be submitted prior to March 16, 2019.

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