Microsoft is competing with Amazon for the enterprise cloud by focusing on being more than just a technology provider. Julia White, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Azure Marketing, says that they are “helping companies with their transformation and not just being a technology vendor or a cloud vendor for them.”
Microsoft Corporate VP of Azure Marketing, Julia White, discussed Microsoft’s approach to the cloud and how they compare to Amazon in a recent interview which you can view below:
Microsoft Helping Companies in their Transformation to the Cloud
Azure works for companies because of our understanding of the enterprise and things like building hybrid, understanding that technology running across data centers, across the Edge, and in the public cloud and building that from the very beginning.
It’s also about our partnerships, these aren’t just customers, like Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, and Chevron. We are really partnering deeply with them with them helping them with their transformation and not just being a technology vendor or a cloud vendor for them. I think that those are some of the important reasons customers are choosing Azure.
How Can Microsoft Compete with Amazon?
Certainly, Amazon has been around longer but they have much more of a technology provider approach. We go in and talk to customers and engage with them in a long-term strategy. This isn’t just about selling them technology or using our cloud. How are you changing your business? What does it look like to have a connected car platform? What does it mean using AI for shell and finding better drilling processes?
It’s much more of a partnership on the business side and not just the technology. We have so much history in working with enterprise customers for over 40 years so we have a different point of view that we can bring to those customer engagements.
The Cloud is a $4 Trillion Market
I don’t see Google a lot in our customer engagements. I think Amazon certainly had the first come market leadership position, but I don’t see the other vendors coming up very much. The cloud pie is so big, it’s almost unlimited total opportunity.
The cloud is about a $4 trillion market if you took what is being run on-premise today and where it’s going to the cloud. I’m not so worried about the other competition, rather what are we doing with customers to take advantage of that and really help them embrace that? It is an interesting time at this moment when there is effectively no threshold for growth.
AI is an Enablement of Humans
We spend a lot of time around AI ethics and AI for good and the approach we have had from the beginning is that AI is an enablement of humans and we should be using it in those ways. That is our investment, that is our focus, and that is how we are engaged with that technology.
It’s also important in playing our part in this industry as to how we shape this moving forward. It’s super important we do our part, but also bring the industry together on this.
Microsoft Cloud Security is World Class
One of the reasons I’m passionate about the cloud with our customers is because we are best set up to deal with this type of adversary (Russian election interference). We spend a billion dollars a year on cybersecurity across our cloud. We have 3,500 security engineers and that’s all they do. That is their lifeblood. Compared to any organization, even a large commercial well-funded organization, doesn’t have that kind of resource to be able to keep up with the threats.
It’s not people in basements trying to embarrass executives anymore, it is these nation-state threats. That’s why we invest at the level we do and that’s why I’m so passionate about getting our customers to take advantage of cloud-based security because it’s just better. Ultimately, security is a data game of who has better data and who has better insight.
Across all of Microsoft, we have signal coming from our billion Windows endpoints, or email system, the largest commercial email system, and the largest directory system. That gives us unique insight to understand what is good and bad intent.