What does Microsoft and the rock band Fall Out Boy have in common? Both made their presence felt at this years’ Citrix Synergy Conference held the last full week of May in Las Vegas. While people enjoyed what both had to share, only one got people on their feet by releasing news of an expansion of a strategic partnership with the event’s host.
Partnering for a Better Cloud
During the conference’s keynote session, Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Citrix had selected Microsoft Azure as its preferred and strategic Cloud for its future roadmap.
In addition, Citrix and Microsoft revealed a joint effort to address public demand by more tightly integrating Citrix’s Enterprise Mobility Management Suite XenMobile and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). Similarly, Citrix NetScaler will integrate with EMS to deliver virtual private network capabilities along with identity-driven security to on-premises applications on Microsoft Intune-managed devices. This will give customers more choices for managing access to on-premises applications in an increasingly mobile-first, Cloud-first world.
Betting on the Cloud
Facts aside, what does this news really mean? Taken alone, you could say it’s a victory for Microsoft and a minor blow to AWS. Perhaps, but this story means a lot more than a simple rivalry. If you look at the bigger picture, you see several things going on. One pertains to the Cloud. Every major conference N3 has attended in recent months has been dominated by one word: Cloud.
According to a 2016 IDC survey, 80% of businesses have a Cloud presence within their infrastructure. According to a 2015 IDC survey, almost three-fourths of today’s workforce are mobile. We’ve truly become a “mobile-first, Cloud-first world,” a vision Nadella laid out for Microsoft when he became CEO.
In sales, the impact is enormous. The question has become less about “if the Cloud” and more about “how the Cloud?” The conversation has shifted from selling products to customers to sitting down with customers to better understand their businesses, help them solve their issues, and find opportunities for value-add services.
The Cloud has become part of our vernacular and companies selling Cloud services want to be part of the conversation as a leader and not a follower. The best way to do that is to join forces with other companies that have leading Cloud offerings.
It’s clear Citrix and Microsoft are betting on the Cloud. It’s also clear that Microsoft’s Cloud vision includes a strong and vast network of partners. In fact, Nadella made a similar batch of Cloud alliance announcements at SAP’s Sapphire Now Conference. For Nadella to take time away from the Microsoft campus to attend partner conferences shows the value and importance he places on these partnerships. He understands what’s at stake not just for his company, but for his company’s vast partner network. To keep your seat at the table, you need alliances with recognized leaders who strengthen your services with their own.
The N3 Summary
None of these partnership announcements at any of these events will singlehandedly change the world. But they are changing the way the world works and the services that businesses can use to be productive when mobile and on different devices. In the big picture, these announcements represent progress in how Cloud technology transforms business and how Inside Sales needs to adjust how they sell their wares.Marcel Florez
As N3 President and worldwide lead for N3’s Microsoft relationship, Marcel applies his deep experience in technology sales, marketing, and consulting and extensive knowledge of the Cloud to support demand and revenue generation for N3’s technology and software customers.