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Microsoft Forecast? Cloud, cloud and more cloud.

If there was an unspoken theme at this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference it was the cloud. Ok, so it really wasn’t unspoken, it was pretty much everywhere.

Microsoft-Cloud (1)Microsoft-Cloud (1)

Every corner, every session, every keynote, you could expect a cloud conversation. A number of partner testimonials circulated from the  early adopters and many partners were brought up on stage to share their success stories.

In addition, Microsoft unveiled its latest e-book “Successful Cloud Partners 2.0: Planning For Your Cloud Business.” This was a follow up to last  year’s release of and IDC (International Data Center) Cloud Partner Profitability Study.

The e-book is full of information from Partners with successful cloud experiences and defines a clear road map on how to integrate cloud into  your business. From methodology, market overview, investment, cloud structure (big or small) to business, marketing and sales strategies, it  covers it all.

Though the message this year was clear, get on the cloud bandwagon or be left behind, Microsoft also reassured partners this was a “we’re in it  together” effort. The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program was new to the scene and will allow partners the ability to deliver one  monthly bill combining both partner and Microsoft services. This eliminates a long standing issue of confusion for the customer. In addition,  restructure of competency fees, Free Signature Cloud Support (Silver cloud) and increased internal user rights were some additional carrots  provided to lure partners into the cloud.

Although there is still some hesitancy, the cloud is no longer the “Wild West” of solutions and it looks like this is the year Microsoft is jockeying for a heavy shift of partners to the cloud. There are now solid best practices.

We’d love to hear from you! Did you attend WPC? What were your takeaways on this year’s cloud conversation?

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