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April 8, 2015

Microsoft & Accenture’s hybrid cloud revolution

The relationship between Microsoft and Accenture is one that lead to the creation of Avanade and between them they are pushing for a hybrid cloud future.


Avanade, the joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, has reached its 15th year together, having launched in 2000.

The Microsoft solution provider can now boast more than $2bn in global sales and the relationship which the companies have dubbed ‘the power of 3’ looks set to last.

CBR met with Emma McGuigan, Managing Director, Accenture Technology UKI, Cliff Evans, Azure Business Lead at Microsoft UK and Mark Corley, CTO for Avanade UK to talk about the future for the partnership, cloud technology and growth.

The benefits of the partnership are quite clear, Microsoft gets to utilise Accenture’s customer focused virtues and Accenture is able to utilise Microsoft’s technology focus, the child of this relationship is Avanade – the best of both worlds.

The leaders in the cloud market view the future as being in the hybrid arena and this is where Avanade is focused, Cliff Evans, said: "People want the option to say that they can pick and choose what they want and where and then move it around later."

The Accenture hybrid cloud solution serves the purpose of giving control to organisations, to be be able to see and manage what is going on in the estate.

One of the issues that is currently facing the cloud market is the potential issues with multiple cloud vendors. It has recently been discovered that hidden costs caused by the complexity of multiple vendors in an organisation, is minimising the cost benefits of a cloud solution.

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Emma McGuigan expects that this is an issue which is not likely to go away: "Multiple vendor environments, we should expect more of not less of, this is not a problem which is going to go away."

McGuigan, however, believes that the solution which is on offer is one that can remedy, or at least manage this situation.

"We think that the hybrid cloud solution which we are proposing is about easing the ability to have those different solutions playing together, but simplifying and understanding what is going on."

So, for these companies it is not about telling organisations not to have multiple vendors, instead what they believe is tenable is to help manage these complex environments in a more effective way, which is of course where the hybrid cloud solution comes in to play.

One other element that is clear is that organisations need to have a cloud strategy as they look to the future.

One of the benefits of the growth of the Big Data market is that it is proving to be one of the driving factors behind cloud growth. Due to the volumes of data that are being created, the requirements for larger amounts of processing power increase.

McGuigan, said: "The processing power that you need to build into those intelligent applications to make them work well – that’s a huge demand and that’s a change."

"The only sensible place where that can from is cloud."

"This is about enabling organisations to look forward and be ready, be ready to be able to adopt some of these things as it’s sensible to do within the industry that they are working in."

"It’s important that when we look at growth we don’t just restrict it to mirroring what is done today."

Virtually everybody states that the need to have a digital strategy is absolutely key to their business, to growth and that the digital industry is disrupting business.

However, the reality is that very few actually have a digital strategy, this is not necessarily a bad thing though. The traditional business strategy no longer fits according to McGuigan. Instead, a nimble and agile approach is required.

This flexibility is something which the ‘power of 3’ companies believe is made possible due to the hybrid cloud solution.

The message coming from the three companies is clear, they are working together and they believe that the hybrid cloud solution is one that can manage multiple issues as well as being a driver for growth.

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