WPC 2013: Microsoft Announces Cloud, Big Data Programmes

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

At its Worldwide Partner Conference 2013, Microsoft announced programmes and services aimed at helping customers and partners take advantage of the cloud and big data

At its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2013 in Houston, Texas, Microsoft announced a series of new programmes and services designed to help its partners and customers embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with cloud computing and big data.

Both onstage during a keynote address and in a blog post, Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft described the new programmes, including Cloud OS Accelerate, in which Microsoft and key partners such as Cisco, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, HP and Dell will invest more than $100 million (£66m) to help put thousands of new private and hybrid cloud solutions into the hands of customers, Nadella said.

Windows Intune

“We are also announcing a new Windows Intune offer, effective on 1 October, that will help connect partners and customers with the latest in cloud connected management at a 30 percent discount,” he said. “These new programmes, and others you will hear about throughout the Worldwide Partner Conference, are designed to help our partners realise the opportunities in cloud computing – today.”

Microsoft also announced new Windows Azure Active Directory capabilities that will make it possible for ISVs, CSVs and other third parties to leverage Windows Azure’s directory to enable a single sign-on (SSO) experience for their users, at no cost, Nadella said. Customers can sign up here.

Signpost "Big Data"And the software giant announced a premium offer for Windows Azure SQL Database, which delivers reserved capacity for more powerful and predictable performance.

“This will allow partners to raise the bar on the types of services and products they can offer to customers,” Nadella said. A limited preview will be available in a few weeks.

Power BI

As earlier reported, Microsoft also announced Power BI for Office 365, a new self-service business intelligence (BI) solution that combines the data analysis and visualisation capabilities of Excel with the power of collaboration, scale and trusted cloud environment of Office 365.

This new solution will help partners deliver powerful BI solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.

“This news wraps up a wave of new enterprise cloud announcements from the Server and Tools Division, including: new versions of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Centre 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 and Windows Intune at TechEd North America and TechEd Europe; the general availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Azure websites at Build 2013; and a new strategic partnership with Oracle to improve customer flexibility and choice,” Nadella said.

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Originally published on eWeek.