New Industry Report Reveals Opportunities and Uncertainties of the Microsoft Mobile Cloud Finds Microsoft Partners Still Hedging Their Cloud Bets Given Uncertainty of Future Business Models

BOSTON, MA — July 13, 2015 – Enterprise mobile collaboration leader today released a new industry report, “Transitioning to the Mobile Cloud: Microsoft Office 365 Opportunities and Challenges for Microsoft Ecosystem Partners.” Exploring the impact of the mobile cloud on Microsoft partners and their customers, the report reveals increased momentum for Office 365, alongside customer caution around core business application migration and partner uncertainty about the sustainability of cloud business models.

Businesses are adopting the cloud at different paces – with an almost event split between those committed to Office 365 and those still dabbling with it. Partners see immediate revenue opportunities with consulting, cloud management and hybrid integration, although no single service is expected to drive more than a quarter of revenues in 2015 and 2016.

“We are at a tipping point as an industry. There is no doubt that businesses are moving to Microsoft Office 365, but on-premises is certainly not going away,” noted Yaacov Cohen, CEO of “Although the mobile-first, cloud-first era is still in its infancy, now is the time for partners to craft services and solutions to ease their customers’ migration concerns while driving immediate business agility and CAPEX savings. As the market matures, partners will face multiple opportunities to gain critical new skillsets and build a recurring cloud-based revenue stream.”

More than 190 Microsoft partners, including local and national systems integrators, IT outsourcing services and value added resellers (VARs), shared their take on the current move to the mobile cloud. Exposing major trends, roadblocks and new opportunities for Microsoft partners, the report also includes contributions from the top 25 Office 365 influencers.

As Microsoft partners embrace Office 365 and the larger cloud transformation, they must learn how to effectively craft and deliver relevant service offerings to bridge legacy and cloud solutions. A quick snapshot of top findings from the report is shown below.

State of the Cloud:

  • Now is the time for partners to define their cloud strategy and begin executing in market or risk being left behind. An overwhelming majority (97 percent) of respondents expect clients’ use of Microsoft Office 365 to increase in the next 12 months, while more than half think it will grow from 30 percent to more than 50 percent. Cost savings is the primary driver for the move to the cloud, with almost 68 percent of partners citing CAPEX reduction as a major driver for businesses.

  • Email leads the cloud charge, with social and collaboration tools trailing far behind. The majority of organizations have taken the cloud email leap. Wider adoption of business productivity in the mobile cloud comes with its challenges and most partners and businesses are not yet ready to move beyond individual productivity tools to more comprehensive, integrated cloud collaboration environments – only 12 percent use Lync regularly, while a mere three percent use Yammer regularly. When asked which functions companies intend to move to the cloud in the next 12 months, file sharing, email, calendaring and office applications topped the charts.

  • SharePoint stuck on-premisse, calls for hybrid expertise. According to surveyed partners, 72 percent of their customers use SharePoint on premises or as a hybrid today. Partners see the hybrid architecture as an opportunity - 47 percent of respondents called out hybrid integration services as an area of potential revenue growth.

Cloud Uncertainties and Opportunities:

  • Security and migration concerns linger. Sixty-two percent of partners cited security as an obstacle to customer adoption. Top concerns ranged from privacy and security in multi-tenancy environments to control over IT infrastructure. In addition, 74 percent of partners reported migration factors as a top concern for customers.

  • Microsoft partners embrace a best-of-breed, multi-cloud consulting model. Partners are betting on consulting services (72 percent), hybrid integration (47 percent) and cloud management (41 percent) as the top three services with the biggest immediate revenue potential. More than half (60 percent) are developing expertise in other business cloud providers for cloud applications outside of the Microsoft portfolio of mobile and cloud applications and services. The most popular cloud applications being implemented by these partners include enterprise file sync and storage workloads, CRM, Collaboration and Customer Service, while noted cloud partners include Dropbox, Box, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Citrix, WebEx and Zendesk.

“The hybrid cloud model will become the de facto standard in 2015, giving enterprises the ability to realize all the benefits of the cloud, but still keeping confidential data in house,” added Patrick Hosch, technical evangelist, Nintex, 2015 Influencer Award Winner.

Download the comprehensive report, which includes detailed analysis, stats and findings, Transitioning to the Mobile Cloud-July 2015.

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