There is no doubt about it: Microsoft has become a Cloud leader. According to research from Pacific Crest Securities, Microsoft’s 2014 cloud revenues are on track to reach $4.4 billion. Microsoft is nipping at the heels of Amazon AWS’s estimated $5 billion in revenues and is within shouting distance of another market leader, IBM. Four years ago, Microsoft generated no revenues from Cloud services. Today, Microsoft has Cloud services that not only offer basic computing and storage, but a variety of cloud-based applications and services that are world-class. The Microsoft Cloud brings four, major advantages:

  1. The feature rich and competitively priced Office 365, which already has 5.6 million users and is growing rapidly – especially in the Fortune 1000.
  2. The integration of the Microsoft Cloud and enterprise applications like Active Directory, Exchange, and Lync, which makes implementations much easier.
  3. The inclusion of additional Microsoft applications as part of Office 365 that cost extra when run on-premises.
  4. The rapid improvement of the Azure cloud platform service, which now competes effectively on features and price with Amazon AWS, Google, and IBM.

No other provider can match this combination of productivity, price-performance, and integration with enterprise applications and infrastructure. That is why Microsoft’s Cloud revenue in 2014 will be up 150% from last year. At VIAcode, we embraced the Microsoft Cloud early and have achieved some notable successes. We have worked with a number of growing technology companies and Microsoft itself to deliver:

  1. The migration of a leading application for the streaming, capture, and management of medical video used in doctor’s offices and operating rooms to Microsoft Azure.
  2. The successful migration and expansion of an application hosted on Microsoft Azure that promotes improved financial literacy for consumers.
  3. A portion of a groundbreaking third-party CRM extension for Office 365.
  4. For Microsoft itself, the Management Packs that enable Office 365 and Azure instances to be successfully managed within System Center Operations Manager – a critical capability for larger organizations.

Going forward, we see opportunities for our customers in four areas:

  1. Cloudification and modernization of existing applications that have been built using Microsoft technologies. This is approach is frequently less expensive, faster, and provides better price-performance than a complete application rewrite.
  2. Building high value extensions for Microsoft Cloud applications, such as Office 365, which includes an active marketplace for enterprise-level application developers to market their wares.
  3. Getting a handle on managing the increasingly complex mix of on-premises and Cloud-based applications and infrastructure.
  4. Developing mobile applications that leverage the Microsoft Cloud, which has the built in scalability to handle the unique data and network management problems created by mobile applications.