The Enterprise Cloud takes center stage

The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft.

Today as we launch our fall wave of enterprise cloud products and services, I’ve been reflecting on how things change. A few years ago when I joined what was then the Server and Tools Business, I had the opportunity to talk to financial analysts about our business. Interestingly, after I covered the trends and trajectory of a $19 billion business – what would independently be one of the top three software companies in the world – there were no questions. Zero.

Well, recently that has changed. As of late, there has been a lot of interest in what I call the commercial business, which spans nearly every area of enterprise IT and represents about 58 percent of Microsoft’s total revenue. It’s a critical business for us, with great momentum and one to which we are incredibly committed.

But as people look at our commercial business in this age of cloud computing, big data and the consumerization of IT, people are asking questions about our future strength in the enterprise. Will Microsoft continue to be at the core of business computing in, say, 10 years? I’ll be honest that there’s a little déjà vu in that question; 10 years ago many people doubted our ability to be an enterprise company and today we surely are. But, it’s a question worth exploring.

My answer is Yes. Yes, I believe we will be at the core of, and in fact lead, the enterprise cloud era. I’ll explain why.

The enterprise move to the cloud is indeed going to be huge – we’re talking about a potential IT market of more than 2 trillion dollars – and that move is just getting started. To be the leader in this next era of enterprise cloud you must:

· Have best-in-class first-party SaaS applications– on your cloud

· Operate a public cloud – at massive, global scale – that supports a broad range of third parties

· Deliver true hybrid cloud capabilities that provide multi-cloud mobility

These are the characteristics enterprises need and want as they move to the cloud. So, let’s briefly look at how Microsoft is doing in these areas.

We are delivering best-in-class first party software-as-a-service applications: Business services like Office 365, Yammer, Dynamics CRM, and consumer services like Bing,, Xbox Live and more than 200 other services. The widespread use of services like Office 365 provides a foundation for other critical cloud technologies that enterprises will adopt, such as identity and application management.

We are delivering a global public cloud platform in Windows Azure – the only public cloud with fully supported infrastructure and platform services. Windows Azure is available in 109 countries, including China, and supports 10 languages and 19 currencies, all backed by the $15 billion we’ve invested in global datacenter infrastructure. And we’re partnering broadly across the industry to provide third-party software and services in our cloud, from Oracle to Blinkbox and everything in between.

We are also delivering hybrid solutions that help enterprises build their own clouds with consistency, enable them to move without friction across clouds, and let them use the public cloud in conjunction with their own clouds. Our hybrid approach spans infrastructure, application development, data platform and device management, and we build these solutions with the insight we get from running massive first-party applications and our own public cloud. We’re living and learning at cloud scale, and we are engineering on cloud time.

These areas guide our enterprise cloud strategy, investments and execution. These are the criteria by which I evaluate our progress and compare us against our competition, both new and old. I’d say we have done very good work. Do we have room to improve? Always. But at the end of the day, when I look across those three areas, we are the only cloud provider – new or old – who is delivering in all three to help enterprises realize the promise of the cloud.

Our fall wave delivers significant advancements across each of these areas, touching nearly every aspect of IT. The enterprise move to the cloud is on, and today marks a major milestone in that journey.

Editor’s note: This post was updated with new information on Oct. 10 regarding the number of languages supported by Windows Azure.

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