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10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure’s Growth

  • Microsoft Azure revenue grew 50% year-over-year in fiscal Q2, 2021, contributing to a 26% increase in Server products and cloud services revenue.
  • According to the latest earnings call, more than 1,000 Microsoft customers now use Azure Arc to simplify hybrid management and run Azure services across on-premises, multi-cloud and at the edge.
  • Commercial cloud gross margins increased to 71% in the latest quarter, up from 67% a year earlier.
  • There are now over 60 Azure regions globally, strengthening Microsoft’s competitive global position versus Amazon Web Services.
  • Microsoft reported $43.08 billion in the second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $36.91 billion a year earlier,

These and many other insights are from Microsoft’s Fiscal Year 2021 Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call and related research. Microsoft’s early decision to double down on expanding their cloud platform by accelerating new product and services development and Azure region expansion is paying off. Azure’s revenue growth shows Microsoft is an innovation machine when it comes to the cloud.  

In their latest fiscal quarter, Microsoft announced hundreds of new services and updates to Microsoft Azure alone. The most noteworthy are improvements to Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Azure Defender for SQL, Password spray detection in Azure AD Identity Protection, Azure Stack HCI, Azure Stack Edge, Azure Data Factory now being available in five new regions and many more. All Azure updates are available in an online index that provides options for finding those now available, in preview, or in development.  

The following ten charts will change your perspective of Microsoft Azure’s growth:

  • Intelligent Cloud delivered the highest operating income of all segments in the 2nd quarter at $6.4 billion or 36% of total consolidated operating income. This quarter, Microsoft’s success with indirect channel sales combined with more enterprise customers accelerating their cloud-first initiatives contributed to Intelligent Cloud leading all segments in operating income. The following is from the Q2, FY21 Earnings Call.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • Synergy Research Group’s latest cloud market analysis finds that Amazon and Microsoft are over 50% of the global cloud provider market, with Microsoft reaching 20% worldwide market share for the first time. Q4, 2020 enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services was just over $37 billion, $4 billion higher than the previous quarter and up 35% from the fourth quarter of 2019. Synergy Research notes that it has taken just nine quarters for the market to double in size.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • 63% of enterprises are currently running apps on Microsoft Azure, second only to AWS.  Azure is narrowing the gap with AWS in both the percentage of enterprises using it and the number of virtual machines (VMs) enterprises are running on it. 6% of enterprises are spending at least $1.2 million annually on Microsoft Azure. Source: Statista and Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report, page 50.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • 2020 total cloud infrastructure services spending grew 33% to $142 billion from $107 billion in 2019, according to Canalys, with Microsoft’s indirect channel business fueling their 20% market share growth. Microsoft’s dominance of indirect selling channels is evident in the level of sales enablement, sales and technical support they provide resellers. Canalys’ Chief Analyst Alastair Edwards says that “organizations are turning to trusted business partners to advise, implement, support and manage their cloud journeys and articulate the real business value of cloud migration.”
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • 19% of enterprises expect to invest significantly more on Microsoft Azure in 2021, leading all other cloud vendors this year. Microsoft Azure leads all vendors when compared to the percentage change in spending this year. It’s noteworthy that 61% of all enterprises interviewed expect to increase their investments in Microsoft Azure this year, second only to Microsoft SaaS software. Source: 2021 Flexera State of Tech Report, January 2021.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • Microsoft Azure Stack is the second most-used private cloud platform by enterprises, with 35% of them currently running apps today. Azure Stack also leads all others in experimentation, with one in five enterprises, or 21%, currently in that phase of deployment. 67% of all enterprises interviewed in the 2020 Flexera State of the Cloud Report are either running Azure apps or are considering it.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • Microsoft’s centerpiece for their intelligence investment is the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which processes over 630 billion authentications across our cloud services each month. Microsoft relies on the Security Graph to gain insights into normal behavior, including sign-ins and authentications and abnormal behavior, including attempted bypasses to two-factor authentication. Microsoft blocks more than 5 billion distinct malware threats per month, providing a great deal of useful data to analyze endpoints across customers’ networks. Source: Microsoft CISO Workshop 1 – Cybersecurity Briefing.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • 44.5% of enterprises say Microsoft Azure is their preferred provider for Cloud Business Intelligence (BI). Azure is considered 27% more critical to an enterprises’ Cloud BI requirements and preferences than Amazon Web Services. It’s noteworthy that 96.5% of all enterprises have a preference for Microsoft Azure BI versus its main competitors, including Google Cloud, IBM BlueMix, or Alibaba.   
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  • Microsoft Azure is the leading IoT platform worldwide by end-to-end capabilities with a total score of 276 according to Counterpoint Research. According to the methodology Counterpoint used for ranking IoT platforms, Microsoft Azure is considered a global leader in edge data processing, an increasingly important feature of IoT platforms worldwide. The ability to deliver IoT capabilities from the cloud to the edge helped Microsoft’s platform rank high in this category. Source; Statista and CounterPointResearch.com.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth
  •  Microsoft Azure is the foundation for a Digital Supply Chain Platform that integrates supply chain partner, corporate, data & advanced analytics platforms and supply chain core transaction systems.  The ongoing pandemic is putting continued pressure on supply chains. Most manufacturing executives say that employee safety, data security, remote worker access, supply chain visibility and insights visibility are high priorities. In response to these market needs, Microsoft Supply Chain (MSC) was created on the Azure platform. The diagram below explains how Azure is integral to the Digital Supply Chain platform.
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure's Growth

Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Strategy and Roadmap Evident at Convergence 2013

cloud-multi-tenancyKirill Tatarinov’s keynote this morning at Microsoft’s Convergence 2013 marks a subtle, yet very significant shift in how this technology leader is marketing itself to partners and the outside world.  They are humanizing their marketing, messaging and products.

Gone is the Spock-like precision of presentations packed with roadmaps, mind-numbing metrics and intricate feature analysis.  The Nick Brophy Band made the keynote complete by delivering excellent sets.

Microsoft is learning that telling a good story trumps terabytes of metrics. They delivered a strong keynote today starting out showing how attendees reached out to the local community and helped Habitat for Humanity.  Kirill then based the majority of his keynote on four customer success stories taken from the Microsoft Customer Excellence Award winners. Chobani, Shock Doctor, Revlon and Weight Watchers shared how they were able to better connect with customers and run more efficient businesses using Microsoft Dynamics.

The only aspect of these award winner’s stories that fell short was how the complexity of back office system integration was glossed over.  No mention of third party or legacy system integration was made, which could have shown how far Microsoft and its partners have progressed on this point, especially with the help of integration partners like Scribe Software.

Microsoft’s Cloud-First Strategy Playing Well With Partners

For Microsoft to succeed with Windows Dynamics and Azure, they are going to need each partner and reseller to believe in the vision of a cloud-first strategy, then translate their unique expertise into sales.  That’s going to be a challenge that Microsoft will have to deal with daily as it looks to further strengthen its partner and reseller base.  The recent Azure outage caused by an expired SSL certificate is on the minds of many partners and resellers here too.  Microsoft is promoting their Windows Azure Service Dashboard heavily here as a result.

Despite that recent outage, Microsoft’s ecosystem on Dynamics is flourishing , as is evidenced by the attendance and participation in this show.  The cloud-first strategy has infused a sense of hope and anticipation in many partners and resellers.  Walking the floor yesterday and today, nearly eight of every ten partners offered up how they are planning on the cloud without being asked about it.

Microsoft 2013 Roadmap Embracing the Cloud, Devices and Services    

Kirill Tatarinov’s keynote underscored how committed Microsoft is to becoming as cloud, devices and services company.  He cited the statistic that there are more devices connected to the Internet today than there are human beings on the planet.

Through several examples he also showed how Microsoft is moving full speed into being a devices and services business.  Microsoft Windows Azure is the foundational component to this strategy.  While Kirill did not specifically say that, it is clear from an architectural standpoint Windows Azure will be the foundational element of their devices and services strategy.  Microsoft is already competing with market leader Amazon Web Services, Google, Rackspace and many others.  For more information on the competitive landscape of this market, please see my previous post, Demystifying Cloud Vendors.

From a roadmap perspective this will also force Microsoft to support many more mobile operating systems and environments than they ever have before.  For their device and services strategy to succeed for example, they will have to support Google Android and Apple iOS device interfaces capable of integrating with SQL Server, at a minimum.

The following table showing recently announced updates to the 2013 Microsoft Product Roadmap first appeared on the Redmond Channel Partner website on march 18th.

Microsoft roadmap analysis

Source: Redmond Channel Partner Magazine  

Microsoft reports that Office365 will go to an accelerated release cycle, further capitalizing on the nature of a cloud-based architecture.  Resellers at this conference like the  Office 365 Open licensing program because it allows them to direct-bill customers for use of the suite, in addition to paying for the bundle of their services. Windows Azure-hosted versions of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP will arrive in mid-2013 according to the article as well.

For the cloud, device and services strategy to succeed Microsoft must also succeed in convincing enterprise accounts to migrate their applications to Windows Azure.  This is one of the most critical areas for the future of their cloud strategy in the enterprise, so expect to see customer stories and ongoing messaging on this point.

Bottom line: Microsoft is transitioning to a more humanized approach to marketing while embracing a cloud, device and services strategy. It will be the partner ecosystem that transforms that vision into a profitable reality.

An Overview of Microsoft’s Azure Platform

The following is an excellent presentation that explains the core concepts of Microsoft's Cloud Computing strategy. Included is an overview of the Microsoft Windows Azure strategy with explanations and pricing of each component.

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