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How Avanade is changing the cloud conversation

How Avanade is changing the cloud conversation

The Microsoft partner is set to move its customers up the stack

Cloud computing has undergone an acute shift from value-add to "business imperative" as adoption rates continue to soar within Australian enterprises, according to Avanade senior director and Australian cloud marketing unit lead, Matt Hallewell.

As a result, Hallewell suggests, businesses are maturing as quickly as the market, creating opportunity for partners to move beyond simple infrastructure transformation, and into conversations with customers about complex workloads transformation.

Avanade, as a Microsoft integrator, is one partner primed for the maturing market.

“We need to be ready for the next wave of cloud which is moving up the stack, out of infrastructure-as-a-service and into bigger enterprise workloads and complex applications being moved into the cloud,” Hallewell told ARN.

“We are positioning ourselves very much around complex workloads transformation, not just infrastructure transformation. It’s certainly a change that has happened this year and it will accelerate further going into next year,” he said.

As particular vertical industries, like media and retail, continue to be “highly disrupted” by the cloud phenomenon, Hallewell said realisation has set in that they must “be completely on the ball” with the surface of new customer channels.

“It’s all about being able to have digital platforms that they can engage with their customers on. Whether it is an e-commerce website, or a customer connection to be able to provide real-time analytics around how their products are moving. It might also be about how to provide a better digital experience across mobile platforms,” he said.

“Those are the absolute reasons why customers in Australia are building digital platforms that provide that real-time, next-generation experience, all running in the cloud. That is the opportunity around using platform-as-a-service or software-as-a-service-type of modern offerings.”

Hallewell said that particular mining and energy companies, for example, are looking at core ERP systems like SAP, to get the flexibility and scale the cloud offers for those business systems.

In terms of Avanade’s strategy in changing the cloud conversation, Hallewell said the business expects to see an increase in the enthusiasm of existing customers who have already adopted public cloud.

“We have helped customers get their head around some of the regulatory concerns that particularly impact financial services customers in terms of moving things to the public cloud.”

“Those types of customers who now have a big bet in public cloud, for example, are now moving SAP systems that they run their business on into public Azure. I definitely see that as a big step in change for next year.”

“Some of the other customers who are just getting started with cloud are looking at more simple workloads, looking at their collaboration platform or email systems, and moving to Office 365. But that is another big growth area we see, in terms of the more tentative organisations,” he said.

In order to take advantage of the growing market, Hallewell said Avanade’s strategy moving forward, is two-pronged.

“I think we do two things. One, we help complex customers get their workloads in the cloud. But more importantly, once i there, the second part is about how they can use that data and intelligent machine learning and cognitive services to actually use the power of the cloud to capture more information about their customers or information about their selling patterns,” he said.

“We are definitely doing projects there where we can see the overlap into the customers that are using machine learning to improve their safety and their maintenance records for petroleum companies who have deployed complex workloads to the cloud,” he added.

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