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Azure Cloud Adoption Accelerated By Pandemic: Gavriella Schuster

‘You’re the digital first responders. The unsung heroes supporting and lifting the front line workers up as they respond to this crisis, and your speed has been remarkable,’ says Microsoft global channel chief Gavriella Schuster at this year’s MSInspire event.

This year, Microsoft Inspire welcomed its global partner community to its very first digital-only event, navigating through uncharted waters with partners to find shared solutions for customers as we all start to look ahead.

“It is wonderful to see how our partners have responded to customers,” said Microsoft global channel chief Gavriella Schuster. “How agile they’ve been. How innovative they’ve been. How many customers, how many people they have been able to support and serve.”

Schuster lauded the channel community during the virtual global partner conference as today’s “digital first responders.”

“The unsung heroes supporting and lifting the front line workers up as they respond to this crisis,” she said. “And your speed has been remarkable.”

COVID-19 Drives Azure Cloud Adoption

As companies accelerate their journey to and in the cloud, Schuster told CRN, she’s seen fast-growth within Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop and Azure.

“I think that customers are realizing through this pandemic, unfortunately, that they really need to have a much better way for employees to use remote work. They also need business continuity and they need to shore up their security solutions, and so, a lot of that points to cloud migrations,” said Schuster.

“A lot of the services that we have with both Teams on Microsoft 365 as well as Windows Virtual Desktops in Azure are driving our customers to move to Azure in a much more accelerated pace than may be they had original planned,” she added.

Which is why Microsoft sees the value in investing in the channel.

“We need our channel, we need our partners,” Schuster told CRN. “I mean 95 percent of our sales and our service are delivered through partners, and so, they’re just critical to our success.”

Partner Of The Year

Out of 3,300 nominations, 146 winners across 100 countries were selected as this year’s Microsoft Inspire Partner of the Year Award recipients, including RedBIt, a Canadian solution provider, whose solution used a variety of Microsoft technologies to ensure that those in need of food during the COVID-19 pandemic could be reached.

In under a week, the Community Response recipient built a grand portal to help Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization, by leveraging Azure to scale their FoodRescue platform.

“So [by] using Microsoft Azure and scaling out, we were able to take the FoodRescue platform that they have and scale nationally, which was previously a three-year plan… When the pandemic hit, there was no three-year plan it had to happen now because the need for food was growing with each hour,” said Hazel Van Der Werken, head of operations at RedBit.

Microsoft Continues To Focus On Partners

Aside from celebrating a big team win for a good cause, RedBit founder and President Mark Arteaga told CRN, he was happy to hear Microsoft “is still focused on partners.”

“They’ve always been focused on partners, they are increasing programs for partners and leveraging partners,” said Arteaga. “One of the things I noticed [at Inspire] is they are going after the SMB market more, which is fantastic for us because that’s where we play.”

“And I think just the showcasing of what’s going on and what all the different partners are doing with Microsoft products is so exciting to see,” added Van Der Werken.

Head over to CRNtv to learn more.

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