So it’s been about 2 months since Microsoft Inspire 2018. I have to say that I thought this event was one of Microsoft’s better ones! Personally, I think Vegas is a good spot for conferences like this. For one, the access to hotels are endless, which makes it pretty easy for everyone traveling to the event. Also, you have so many good options today for dining in Vegas. They have really stepped up their game in this area. Of course, the easy access to gambling made the event much more expensive than I would care to admit… The social events that Microsoft put on were pretty cool as well – Fremont Street and Bruno Mars, even though it was a bit hot!
I think the show itself was actually pretty interesting this year for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s always great to go to these events to connect with Microsoft folks as well as other potential partners and customers. We got a lot out of the show in all of these categories, so the trip was well worth it. The layout also seemed a lot more reasonable this year and the flow of traffic was good so congrats to Lisa James and her team that ran the event!
The Move to Office 365 from Exchange
There were a few things that really stood out to us during the show. First, I was pretty surprised to still see so much activity in the Office 365 migration category. Our booth was next to BitTitan and they were always full. I guess a lot of companies are still not moved over to Office 365 yet. Microsoft quoted @ 135M users on Office 365 during one of their general sessions, but not clear if that’s licenses sold or licenses consumed. My guess there’s still a bit of a gap between the former and the latter. Lots of people quote over 400M Exchange licenses globally that eventually will move to Office 365, so no matter how accurate that big number is, we’re still in the early innings of this ballgame.
Service Providers and Cloud Service Delivery
The other thing that stuck out to me is how much partners were much more engaged and actively focused on expanding their cloud services business. Same time last year, it felt to us, that Service Providers were still trying to figure things out and still in a bit of a transition with their businesses. This year it just felt different. For most of the partners we met, it was more about how we can lower the cost of cloud service delivery and create differentiated value to grow their services margin. This made a lot of sense to us, since a CSPs business heavily relies on how profitably they can deliver a managed service to their customers, and the more they can deliver, the more money they make. Quite frankly, it’s one of the reasons why we started Nuvolex in the first place.
Clearly the move from a traditional MSP/break fix provider to a full fledged CSP has been incredibly disruptive to a lot of these Service Providers. In all the discussions at our booth, there were definitely CSPs out in front of this movement and being very proactive. There are other MSPs out there that we spoke with that it wasn’t clear if, or when, they would make the transition to cloud service delivery options. From our perspective, Nuvolex sits right in the middle of this disruptive transition, helping accelerate migrations to Office 365 and driving down daily Office 365 service delivery costs. It’s the up and coming innovators like us that will be bringing critical technology to next generation companies and Service Providers. Our multitenant, multiservice SaaS management platform was built specifically to help these larger organizations and CSPs successfully transition and thrive in the new era of “the cloud”.
Managing Services in the New Era of The Cloud
I think the next 3-4 years are going to be a hell of a ride. You’ll see all kinds of interesting activity in this category. You’ll see a number of tier 1 incumbents successfully transitioning to this new world of cloud computing and maintain their elite status. You’ll see a number of new and innovative companies like Nuvolex come onto the scene. You’ll also see the next generation of Cloud Service Partners pop up all over the globe. Unfortunately, you’ll also see some old friends ride off in the sunset and a few go over a cliff…
The one thing I do know is that at Nuvolex, we’re in a great place at a great time in the world of IT and we definitely picked the right horse to ride – Microsoft!!!