Microsoft Corp. said today it’s updating its Azure Migration and Modernization Program and launching a new ISV Success Program to help its partner community take advantage of trends around digital transformation.
At Inspire 2022, its partner conference, the company explained that digital transformation is accelerating because the cloud has become a catalyst for new innovation, with customers looking not just for new technologies but also for trusted partners. At the same time, security, data privacy and compliance remain key issues for most businesses.
All of this adds up to a major opportunity for Microsoft and its partners, Kathleen Mitford, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure Marketing, wrote in a blog post. To seize that opportunity, Microsoft is focusing on growing Azure in three ways — with new cloud-native experiences, modernization of applications and data estates, and the migration and modernization of infrastructure and mission-critical workloads. For each of those growth strategies, it needs the help of its growing community of partners.
In an update, Mitford said there are now more than 500 partners enrolled in the Azure Migration and Modernization Program. However, Microsoft intends to grow this community further. “AMMP is our hero program to help simplify and accelerate migration and modernization, with the right mix of incentives, best practice guidance tools and expert help,” she said.
One of the main updates to AMMP is strategic, with the company now offering up to 2.5 times larger incentives for Windows Server and SQL Server migrations. Not only that, but it will empower Microsoft sales organizations to locally allocate those incentives, in order to provide more opportunities for partners to engage into local plans.
At the same time, Microsoft announced updated best practice guidance within its Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure and Azure Well Architected Framework. Last, there are new modernization capabilities in Azure Migrate, including the option for independent software vendors to integrate their own intellectual property.
As for the ISV Success Program, Mitford said it’s intended to help unlock opportunities for ISVs to innovate and build new applications, then publish them in the Azure Marketplace, where they can aid customer’s modernization drives. ISVs will be able to take advantage of the program to build across the Azure cloud, with access to cloud sandboxes, developer tooling, technical and business resources, plus a dedicated and growing community.
The company believes ISVs can play a big part in helping it seize a number of big growth opportunities. For instance, it cites a forecast from International Data Corp. that expects 750 million new logical applications will be built in the cloud by 2025. Microsoft said it can work with partners to help their customers build these applications using a scalable, containerized architecture and its globally scalable database services.
Microsoft also sees a huge opportunity in data modernization, which is expected to grow to become an $85 billion market by the end of 2025, according to its own estimates. That opportunity is one of the main motivations behind the company’s recently announced Intelligent Data Platform, a service that integrates databases, analytics and governance across customer’s information technology estates.
Mitford finished up with some words of encouragement for partners, saying that 2022 has created timely migration opportunities for Windows Server and SQL Server.
“It’s a great time for partners to advise customers using SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 about End of Support timelines and help them take action to stay secure,” she said. “It’s also an opportunity to talk with customers about their cloud migration and modernization plans.”