Microsoft Inspire 2019: MSPs Take Center Stage
At this year's partner conference, one of Microsoft's biggest strengths was in full display with over 13,000 partners in attendance, navigating the intense Las Vegas heat and crowds. MSPs were a big topic of the conversation and it was evident that the Azure Expert MSP badge is starting to take hold. By any measure, the market opportunity for MSPs is significant and reflected in some eye-popping figures:
- $4B+ in CSP revenues with growth of over 40% YoY
- 3.5 million customers contracted via CSP
As part of fueling continued momentum, Microsoft outlined three key FY20 priorities for Azure:
- Migrate: Drive migration of existing apps to Azure and optimize (Windows, SQL Server, Linux, Windows Virtual Desktop, SAP on Azure)
- Innovate: Innovate with new apps and modernize existing apps (Serverless, databases, AI, DevOps, analytics and modern data warehouses)
- Enable: Enable customers for successful cloud use with a focus on adoption, skills building
These priorities line up very closely with Navisite’s broader strategy I outlined in an earlier blog post. For established Azure MSPs like Navisite, one of the biggest news was the general availability of Azure Lighthouse, a platform bringing much requested multi-customer and multi-tenant capabilities for MSPs to manage their customers efficiently. With Lighthouse, MSPs now have access to a single control plane, enabling a higher automation across the entire lifecycle of managing customers (patching, log management, policy, configuration, compliance). The best part is that all of this comes at no additional cost!
Across the various sessions and panels, there was universal acknowledgement of the value that partners, especially MSPs, bring in accelerating cloud adoption. There was a slew of announcements, all aimed at enabling partners to capture the growing and robust market for cloud managed services. Key ones include:
- Commerical Marketplace for CSPs: Revamped marketplace with consolidated view into over 10,000 published offers through Partner Central, capabilities to facilitate new partnerships between CSPs for value-add services, and simplified billing.
- Azure Migration Program: With 60% of the server installed base (24 million instances) still on Windows Server and SQL Server 2008, there was a concerted emphasis to streamline the path to migrate these workloads to Azure. Microsoft rolled out a new Azure Migration Program (AMP) offering proactive tools to enable workload migration.
- Modern Commerce Platform: Microsoft has invested in upgrading the underlying commercial platform to facilitate greater flexibility and mobility for customers, whether they choose to transact via tradition EA or CSP route.
Satya’s Nadella’s keynote further highlighted the tremendous opportunity and potential around digital transformation with data points that reinforced that we are in early stages of this journey. He shared interesting stats to highlight the point that every business is transforming into a technology-led business.
Increased technology consumption, coupled with the explosion of data, continues to fuel strong demand for cloud services. Further, IoT is blurring the boundaries and the intelligent edge holds tremendous potential (9 billion micro-controllers shipped each year). This is driving the need for a a seamless connected fabric with distributed processing and Azure is uniquely positioned to address this.
All in all, Microsoft is broadening the opportunity for partners while simultaneously raising the bar on expectations and value-addition from the partner community.
Learn more about Navisite’s Azure managed solution. Connect with Navisite to help you elevate the level of success in your cloud journey, contact us, or call us at (888) 298-8222 in the US, or 0800 6022933 in the UK.