Microsoft is banking on hybrid services to win the race for cloud

Microsoft, with its decades-old presence in the enterprise market, is taking a step back from convincing customers about the benefits of cloud. Instead, the firm is helping clients with large legacy systems see the ease of cloud themselves by offering hybrid services, said Meetul Patel, chief operating officer, Microsoft India.

“Hybrid offerings are really important as they allow people to carry their work online or offline depending on their requirements. Our hybrid cloud infrastructure helps businesses with legacy infrastructure in software and hardware to migrate to cloud on their own terms,” Patel said.

With cloud services gaining prominence, the competition among cloud leaders such as Microsoft, Amazon and IBM is heating up globally. Over the past few years, internet giants such as Alibaba and Google have also expanded their footprint in this area through a variety of mixed services. 

According to a new study by Gartner, cloud solutions, cyber security and analytics are the top technologies targeted for new and additional spending by the public sector chief information officers in 2018, while data centre infrastructure is most commonly intended for cost savings. Cloud solutions are of top priority for the government, the survey said.

The fact that Microsoft has already been in the business with most organisations on regulatory compliance also means that they end up doing a lot of work for the government, said Patel. 

“We work in all 29 states and about a dozen of these are using MS cloud technologies in one way or the other. Our engagement with them ranges from helping them conduct smooth elections and maintaining transparency in them,” he said.  

Microsoft’s Kaizala solutions were used during the recent Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu elections, so that the districts could coordinate their activities seamlessly and see live videos through Azure, Patel said.

In 2017, Microsoft saw India’s top IT firms and talent combine Microsoft products with open source data, AI innovations on Azure to create data-driven, intelligent apps. As a result, a significant number of Indian businesses are driving innovation using Microsoft’s advanced cloud services in big data, IoT, advanced analytics, and cognitive services, said the company in a recent report.

Moving into 2018 with an aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organisation with best-in-class technology, Microsoft offered its legacy software as services on Azure cloud, thus enabling businesses in India to accelerate their digital transformation in delivering new customer experiences throughout 2017.

“Azure supports open source such as Linux, Mysql, CognosDB, etc. The partnerships we have established with other players such as SAP, Red hat Linux also allow us to support their services, thus reaching a larger base,” Patel said.

Microsoft, along with global players such as Amazon and IBM, is a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity)-complaint cloud service provider.

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