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You probably already know that digital transformation is driving exponential cloud IT spending. An impressive 86% of CEOs consider digital transformation to be their number one priority, according to a recent PWC CEO survey. Also, IDC calculates worldwide revenue on public IT cloud services and infrastructure will reach $122.5 billion by the end of 2017.

Microsoft cloud partners are the trusted advisors to companies trying to navigate their transition to the cloud, and they are realizing strong business growth through Azure consumption. What you may not know is that with 1 in 3 virtual machines on Azure running Linux, an increasing number of partners are finding their biggest opportunities for growth on Azure with these open source capabilities.

Leveraging Open Source on Azure

Planning for digital transformation is a daunting process for customers. Our partners are finding that customers count on their expertise more than ever to chart the most direct course to digital transformation, while continuing to leverage their existing technology investments. Many of these existing investments are in open source technologies. Case in point, IDC has found that more than 60% of enterprises are embracing open source and open APIs as the underpinning for cloud integration strategies in 2017.

That’s where Azure comes in. With Azure, your customers get the freedom to build and deploy their workloads to the public cloud, using the operating systems, programming languages, tools, applications, and frameworks of their choice. Azure provides deep, integrated support across the broadest selection of open source technologies.

To help partners fully leverage the Open Source opportunity on Azure, Microsoft recently released several Massively Open Online Courses (MooC’s), including Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft Azure for AWS Experts, and Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, which provide in-depth, practical, hands-on training and assessment checkpoints to help partners scale technical capabilities on Azure towards capturing this market opportunity.

Building the Bridge

Today, many partners have open source divisions or practices that are kept separate from their Microsoft practices, either because they are unaware of the opportunities Azure presents with open source technologies, or because their open source practice leaders operate outside the Microsoft partner ecosystem.

But partners like OpenSistemas of Spain have realized the benefits of partnering with Microsoft enable them to deliver the best solutions based on open source innovation to the business world. “Microsoft Azure allows total integration with open source technologies, which represents important savings for customers, as well as a unique market opportunity for OpenSistemas, and for the open source technology industry,” said Ignacio Escudero, OpenSistemas Supporting Manager, in a video case study. OpenSistemas is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Partner, and winner of the 2016 Partner of the Year award for Open Source on Azure.

Ready to grow your business through open source on Azure? Here’s how to get started.

Learn more about the open source support on Azure:

  • Get to know the Azure platform by taking advantage of training and certification offers, and make plans to add Azure to your suite of offerings.
  • Visit the Microsoft + Open Source partner page to learn more about the Microsoft partner opportunities within the open source ecosystem.
  • Join the Open Source Solutions (OSS) Partner Community on Yammer and read our blog series.
  • Follow the Microsoft + Open Source team @OpenAtMicrosoft and sign up for the Microsoft + Open Source blog RSS to stay current on open source news across the company.

Talk to your customer about open source technologies within their Digital Transformation journey:

Your customers may already be running solutions built on Linux or open source technologies from Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical; data platforms like Cloudera, HortonWorks and Datastax; DevOps solutions like Chef, Docker and Kubernetes or web solutions like WordPress and Drupal.

How do you see your business taking advantage of the Azure and open source opportunities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.