Microsoft Encourages Partners to Shift into Cloud Computing

Yesterday, Microsoft made several services available, including channel program tools, sales support services, and other resources, to aid partners in transitioning into cloud service providing.

The announcement was made during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partners Conference 2010 in Washington, D.C. Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner group, said in a keynote speech, “Together we’re going to succeed in this transition to the cloud.”

Roskill went on to showcase several Microsoft solutions providers who already sell Microsoft software on the cloud, such as Insight Enterprises, which developed a special set of services to help customers get familiarized with cloud computing, and Webforts, whose officials “anticipate doubling [their] customer growth next year.”

Among the cloud computing resource tools, Microsoft developed Business Builder for Cloud Services, which will help define cloud computing opportunities for different organizations in the public sector. The Cloud Profitability Modeler provides a three-year prediction of revenue, profits or losses, and other business intelligence statistics for changing into a cloud computing business. Additionally, the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack offers training tools, presales and technical support, and marketing resources.

Microsoft also presents tools for managing cloud customer accounts, including a dashboard for managing online sales pipelines and services for supporting customer deployments of Microsoft cloud solutions. Microsoft’s Administration on Behalf will allow partners to manage their customers’ online services.

Microsoft will also offer free 250-seat licenses to Microsoft BPOS, Azure, CRM Online, Intune to its partners so that they can run their own businesses on the latest Microsoft software. The hope is that this will make Microsoft solutions providers even more familiar with the cloud system.

This is part of Microsoft’s recent pushes into the cloud computing industry. Many other speeches from this week’s Worldwide Partner’s Conference have also been concerned with Microsoft’s future cloud strategy. In recent public statements, Microsoft corporate heads have made it very clear that Microsoft will attempt to be a giant in cloud computing.

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