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Microsoft's Roskill said it is realistic to believe that not all partners will cross the chasm. But, those that do can expect explosive growth, he said, citing an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft and released July 8 to coincide with the first full day of WPC.
The three-pronged approach could help soothe partners' fears by allowing them to keep their on-prem role while transitioning their business model and training staff with the skills and processes they will need to adapt.
Partners that have converted expect the private cloud offering to help satisfy customers' concern for security, especially among companies that deal in financial services, healthcare and government contracts.
Security is a worry that predates even Windows, "but the cloud makes it front and center," said Stanley Chan of San Jose, Calif.-based cloud encryption vendor CipherCloud said, in an interview with CRN at WPC. "Microsoft will be a major driver to the cloud through products like Office 365," he said. "The challenge is to take advantage of the Microsoft infrastructure -- the pool of resources."
Beginning Jan. 14, the cloud will be fully integrated into the Microsoft Partner Network, according to Microsoft executives.
Partners are beginning to close more deals and are not as worried about investing in new technology because the economy is improving, said Jimmy Payne, senior director of global channels at DiCentral, a Houston-based provider of supply chain management solutions and business-to-business integration and Microsoft partner. "We're starting to see that fear go away," he said.
Their customers know they need new technology and have the budget to make the investments. And once they dip their toes in the cloud they want to jump all the way in, Payne said. "The mindset is changing."