DXC Technology CTO On The Power Of Its Microsoft Azure Digital Transformation Practice

‘The notion is we're going to partner much more intimately with clients to ensure that [they get] to the outcomes that they're looking for—whether that is a migration to the cloud, as a way to reoperationalize IT, a modernization to the cloud to begin to transform the business,’ Dan Hushon, DXC senior vice president and CTO, tells CRN.

DXC, Microsoft Team Up

Tysons, Va.-based DXC Technology recently unveiled a partnership with Microsoft centered around Microsoft Azure that will help DXC move more of its customers to the cloud and do so in a way that is strategically aligned with their goals.

“The notion is we're going to partner much more intimately with clients to ensure that [they] get to the outcomes that they're looking for,” Dan Hushon, DXC senior vice president and chief technology officer, told CRN.

The deal builds on DXC’s already huge Azure practice, which boasts 900 Azure professional certifications and the recognition of being an Azure Expert Managed Service Provider, the highest level of Azure certification, according to DXC. In addition, DXC plans to grow its total number of in-house Azure certifications to 5,000 in the next three years.

“The expanded partnership deepens the long-standing DXC Technology and Microsoft relationship to help organizations more swiftly benefit from digital solutions through Microsoft Azure,” Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft, said in a statement. “I am inspired by the digital transformation stories from our clients who leverage the power of the Azure cloud. Together, DXC and Microsoft will bring even greater innovation and value to enterprises from Azure.”

DXC and Microsoft said they will co-invest in the development of products and services built for Azure, and go to market jointly with sales, consulting and solution delivery teams composed of DXC’s Azure professionals and Microsoft architects and technical strategists.

Here is more of what Hushon had to say about the partnership in an interview with CRN.

In terms of this expanded partnership, how does this start off with clients? What does it look like?

Really, it starts up front with client-based account planning, sometimes intimately with the clients, building them their transformational digital road map. The partners are in the room with DXC and the client, all hearing the same thing from the client.

These are kind of design-think sessions that turn into transformational planning sessions. We tend to run those with our largest clients and Microsoft, being one of our largest partners, is in the room with us very frequently … because we have a very, very high joint-engagement rate with Microsoft. Think of it in the high 90 percent of shared clients, which probably isn’t rare for Microsoft since they touch so much of the Fortune 1000.

A big part of this partnership for DXC is focused around generating greater employee productivity for the enterprise customer, correct?

DXC is kind of a market leader in that space, and we've actually built up a practice around Microsoft in the [Microsoft] 365 space. You might have seen another announcement come out around the Azure Lighthouse program, which is really our ability to kind of move into a managed services agreement around a broad set of their technologies: Azure and 365.

So that’s interesting because basically what that’s beginning to do for us now is really create an augmented experience for clients that use a number of Microsoft’s technologies. [And] because of the size and penetration of Office 365, [it] is beginning to yield a lot of telemetry and value, not just to protecting the environment but also improving the productivity in the environment for individuals.

You mentioned DXC has a large enterprise application practice and has completed 10 acquisitions around Microsoft Dynamics. What is the opportunity there?

This is really exciting because Dynamics now has launched a PowerApps platform that kind of sits on top of it, that allows a low-code, no-code development environment to touch a process engine that is dynamic, that can then sit on top of an Azure-based workload and all be managed through a common deployment vehicle.

I don’t know how technical you are, but you know developers really like to be able to kind of write code, check code in, and have the system, either pass it for me, or push it right into deployment. And it's always been hard in these spaces where you had multiple tiers of your architecture to create a deployment schematic which was seamless. Microsoft has now done that. And that's really going to open up the enterprise to new ways to transform its core processes using Dynamics as a process engine, and then Azure and Azure AI, as the information intelligence tier. And then PowerApps to enable you to to really create an API economy inside your own company.

DXC already partners with Microsoft on many different fronts. What did you see here that drove this deal forward?

Azure is such an incredibly big ecosystem. There are a huge number of companies doing a huge amount with Azure. ...

When you look at this deal that we've done with the integrated practice, the notion is we're going to partner much more intimately with clients to ensure that [they get] to the outcomes that they're looking for—whether that is a migration to the cloud, as a way to reoperationalize IT, a modernization to the cloud to begin to transform the business. We're seeing IoT in the cloud and the data migration services which we announced, our Azure Analytics practice, which is basically migrating in-house data to the cloud where it can be combined with new data from partners for IoT devices to actually create that larger, more detailed data landscape to steer your business with machine learning and AI.

And so, as we're looking at the Azure Integrated Practice, what we're really looking to do is to form a very high capability to both sell, and then ‘solution, and then deliver these transformational experiences in which DXC and Microsoft are showing up together with our clients with a joint responsibility around delivering those outcomes.

Have enterprise clients figured out their digital transformation strategy and journey to the cloud?

We have clients who have 4,000 or 5,000 applications and you sit there and say, ‘Do you need all of those on bespoke, unshared infrastructure? Do they all need to have an intimate operating model?’

There’s a whole bunch of work that needs to be done to help customers put together a transformational map and move things to the cloud. Now typically, IT outsourcing agreements, because of the way that they’re structured, tend to establish a huge amount of cost on the initial transition and transformation, but then really carry the margin producer in later years. And really what we’re looking for is to begin to introduce new constructs to help our clients take incremental steps to the cloud, even despite that contrast. DXC’s transformational model is working with customers to make sure some of the contracts that they’re in work for them, if they need to make changes within their business.

I think everybody would love to sit back and say, ‘This customer is a lock-in for five years.’ The reality of business transformation is we cannot get in the way of the changes our clients need to make.

What we're really trying to do is become a part of the solution, but to do it with it effectiveness and a set of partnerships that makes it lower-risk, makes it substantially faster to realization for the clients, and uses what both partners know about the client in order to improve their ability to execute their plan against the cloud, and get to the transformation of the business that they're looking for.