As we all get to work on our New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2014, I think it is good to take a moment to look at all that we have accomplished in the past year.

As a leader in Microsoft’s global cloud business, I am amazed at what a long way we have come with our cloud business.  Office 365 is the fastest growing business in Microsoft’s history, one out of four enterprise clients owns Office 365 and in the past 12 months we’ve seen an 150 percent increase in SMBs adopting Office 365. Windows Azure has more than 250,000 customers and we are adding 1,000 per day. Azure is exploding! We reached more than 100 million licenses of Windows 8 and we’ve certified 3,400 devices. These are incredible results in a very short amount of time and we are the only vendor out there that does this almost exclusively through our partners.
It is through you, our partners, that this was possible and it is our tried and true strategy for the long term!
Now that we have taken a moment to recognize how much we have accomplished in the past year, let’s get back to what we want to accomplish in 2014. Improving business profitability is at the top of the list for all of our partners. Doing this in a cloud world presents challenges and opportunities but it is imperative to our collective success.
Growth in public cloud is growing exponentially. According to IDC research, worldwide public IT cloud services revenue is expected to reach  100 billion dollars in 2016 which is five times the growth of the IT industry. 45 percent of IT budgets are expected to be devoted to cloud IT initiatives by then as well. Ask yourself how many customers you’ve talked to in the past year and the term cloud has come up in some way. If you don’t have an answer for them, your competition will.
This is the reality, and, although the reality is highly disruptive, it comes with a huge opportunity. According to the same IDC research study, cloud-oriented partners have experienced on average 1.6 times the gross profit and 2.4 times faster growth than other partners. Cloud-oriented partners are winning deals from other partners, selling into white space, and driving hybrid solutions.
For more details check out the full IDC study.