Microsoft Aggressive in the Cloud at Toronto Partner Conference

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said yesterday that the company would “respect everyone but fear no one” in going after competitors.

Microsoft will be competitively active in cloud computing, virtualization, security, mobile, workplace software and operating systems.

In the virtualization space, Turner shared IDC research showing that Microsoft’s virtualization software based on its Hyper-V hypervisor gained market share in the x86 segment in the first quarter of 2012.  Understand though that VMware still has double the share of Microsoft.

Microsoft is particularly targeting Google and Salesforce with its Microsoft’s Office 365 the cloud version of Office. Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) software in the cloud and Office 365 CRM now are presented as having more features and a lower per-seat cost than Salesforce.

Wrapping up his talk, Turner told partners to pitch the cloud agressively.  “I don’t want 1 thousand a month, I want 10,000, I want 30,000, I want 50,000 partners a month coming to the cloud,” said Turner. “Many of you haven’t made the shift. You gotta get on the cloud, if you’re not, because it is the future. It’s where the customer is going.”

For more insight on the show see: Microsoft prepares Windows Server 2012 for cloud. The article reports on how Microsoft has released a new set of technologies for hosting Azure-like cloud services.

Microsoft’s aggressive push this week will help accelerate cloud adoption rates.  A good thing for us all….

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Building the Canadian Cloud Ecosystem

Our goal at the CCN is to build an ‘ecosystem’ that encourages more high-growth start-ups, what a recent report calls ‘Gazelles’.

These are start-ups that punch well above their weight, driving more jobs and growth pound for pound than any other organization and hence why they are so important to economic success overall.

This important factor is reported here on Action Canada and also covered in the media, like Globe and Mail and the Financial Post, and also on the NCA, and the report concludes that Canada is falling short of producing enough of them.

They are so important to the Canadian innovation story because they have a strong ability and focus on rapid prototyping and breakthrough product innovations, quickly bringing these disruptive services to high-growth markets.

They are young firms who are pioneering disruptive business models, with the potential to “transform industries through novel technologies or business models”. “If Canada is to increase its global competitiveness, its economy will need to move up the global value chain into higher levels of innovation-based production.”

This type of ecosystem is known as a ‘cluster’, an industry grouping of similar organizations pooling their resources for collective success, and it’s very nicely described in this presentation from one of Canada’s leading providers in this high-growth tech industry, Rackforce –

Download: The Canadian Cloud Ecosystem (large PDF)

Our goal is to combine this type of thought leadership, with other equally powerful ideas, for example what Cisco call a ‘Next Generation Cluster‘, a framework for how the original cluster model from Michael Porter can be upgraded through new Cloud 2.0 technologies. Naturally Cisco suggest their own but the model recommendations aren’t tied to them, so it’s actually a very smart piece.

The central idea is the fundamentally clusters are geographically-centric, like Waterloo in Canada growing around RIM, or the Oceans Technology focus in Newfoundland. A lot of this is obviously tied to the level of Government funding it – The Newfoundland Provincial Govt in the case of this latter example.

Cisco propose that through the use of social collaboration technologies you can enhance the principle another level, with the fundamental shift being an expansion to a virtual community-centric approach, rather than a geographic organizing dynamic.