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Microsoft Adds Massive Cloud Sales Muscle With New EY Deal

“If there’s one lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that we really have to be on top of modern technologies,” EY Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio says. “The world is changing, innovation is accelerating and every single organization needs a plan to adapt.”

Microsoft is adding significant cloud sales firepower to its arsenal as part of a new deal with EY in which the systems integrator giant works to train more that 150,000 of its workers on Microsoft technologies.

As part of the deal, London-based EY will implement one of the largest enterprise deployments of Microsoft Power Platform globally, train thousands of its professionals on Microsoft technologies and work to simplify regulatory hurdles to cloud adoption, among other goals.

The two companies will focus on new solutions and platforms to help organizations “address business and societal challenges at scale through digital transformation,” according to a statement Wednesday. It will focus on improving back-office operations, particularly in regulated sectors including financial services, energy, health, government and manufacturing.

CRN has reached out to Microsoft and EY for comment.

In a video published Wednesday, EY Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio called Microsoft EY’s “biggest alliance partner” and said that “80 percent of our clients’ service solutions are platformed on Microsoft Azure or in the cloud.”

[RELATED: SAS Teams With Microsoft To Offer Viya Analytics On Azure]

More than 300,000 EY employees use Microsoft’s Teams collaboration app, Di Sibio said. More than 1 million client personnel access Microsoft-powered systems and process about 250 million transactions per day.

But EY has plenty more work in modernizing clients’ technology operations. Di Sibio said in the video that only 25 percent of clients at the start of the pandemic had digitized supply chains. Now, they want more tools to digitally track supply chains at all times.

In an example of the scale Di Sibio wants from the expanded Microsoft relationship, he said he expects to grow EY’s Global Tax Platform product from 1,600 clients to 20,000 over the next five years.

“If there’s one lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that we really have to be on top of modern technologies,” Di Sibio said. “The world is changing, innovation is accelerating and every single organization needs a plan to adapt.”

In the video, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted Microsoft products such as Power Platform, Azure and Microsoft 365, which includes Teams, as ways to improve back-office operations in regulated industries from health care to manufacturing.

“Digital adoption curves are not slowing down,” Nadella said. “We’re experiencing, I would say, some real structural change across every industry, across every business function.”

Microsoft’s cloud revenue has been on a tear. During the company’s latest quarterly earnings call in July, the company reported that revenue in its intelligent cloud division totaled $17.4 billion for the quarter, up 30 percent year over year from $13.4 billion. The biggest driver for the growth was the 51-percent increase in revenue for the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft said.

As part of the deal, EY will extend the EY Microsoft Services Group to provide clients with “deeper access” to more than 40,000 EY technology consulting professionals, according to the statement.

EY announced the Microsoft Services Group in a December statement. At the time, EY had “several thousand” certified Microsoft practitioners. The group promised to grow that number to more than 20,000 EY employees with Microsoft training.

Under the expanded partnership, Microsoft will work with EY to train more than 150,000 EY professionals on Microsoft technologies. The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant will also dedicate engineers to “accelerate the development of key solutions over the next five years.”

The tech giant will also integrate EY’s existing Financial Crime Platform and EY Comply, which manages and report financial regulatory requirements for financial institutions, into the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. Cloud for Financial Services is part of Microsoft’s industry clouds strategy of deploying vertical-focused packages of cloud products and services.

The collaboration will lead to EY expanding managed services in areas such as tax, supply chain, risk and compliance, among other areas.

In the statement, Andy Baldwin, EY global managing partner of client service, said that the relationship will support clients in areas previously underserved by technology.

The two companies are developing “EY Trusted Data Fabric,” an “enterprise data offering that will automate the processing and adoption of data and provide access to data with advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-powered data management capabilities across multiple EY platforms.”

EY Trusted Data Fabric and Power Platform will allow more capabilities on EY Azure-native managed services platforms, more access to advanced technologies to create products, according to the statement.

Another goal is to collaborate on cloud solutions for regulated industries to accelerate digital transformation and “help clients overcome regulatory hurdles to move to and innovate in the cloud,” according to the statement. This part of the collaboration is focused on industries including financial services, health, energy and government.

EY already offers an Azure-based audit solution and Azure-based tax solution.

“We are building on our collaborative success in multiple domains to help businesses and governments save costs, monetize data, realize long-term value and create agility,” he said. “With this significant expansion of our relationship, we will leverage Azure, Power Platform and combined EY and Microsoft engineering capabilities to support organizations and businesses to modernize back office operations, leverage the cloud and accelerate transformations with new Microsoft-enabled solutions and platforms.”

The partnership will help bring more EY clients’ back-office operations to the cloud, ”fundamentally changing how they harness data to drive critical business functions,” Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in the statement.

According to EY’s website, leaders of the Microsoft alliance at the systems integrator include Jim Little, EY global Microsoft alliance lead and EY Americas technology strategy lead; Greg Jenko, EY global Microsoft Services Group leader and Chris Paradise, EY Americas Microsoft go-to-market leader.

Little and Jenko have been with EY since 2014, according to their LinkedIn accounts.

Paradise joined EY last year, according to his LinkedIn.

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