Microsoft aims to send 50 million small-medium businesses to the cloud
Microsoft, boasting cloud partnerships with 64,000 companies internationally, believes it’s capable of taking all of India’s businesses to AI-powered cloud.
The hope is that the initiative will boost growth for India’s small to medium businesses (SMBs).
“In India, adoption of advanced business digital technologies can lead to an increase in revenues by up to 27%, increase in employment by up to 84% and enhanced access to international markets by up to 65% for small and medium business,” reported a ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study
To kick off the initiative, Microsoft India is launching “Future Decoded on Wheels”, a roadshow touring 25 Indian cities with the aim to coach SMB’s across the country on the benefits of adopting Microsoft’s cloud solutions to their business.
“We are targeting 25 cities where we will go and provide real-time experience to the SMBs. I am sure we will touch a single digit percentage of those SMBs over the 13,000 kms that we will cover,” said Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India in an interview with ET.
Maheshwari truly believes that every business will become a software developer at some point, even if only on a minor scale. He also believes that Microsoft is the best candidate to take India’s SMBs to the next level.
“In India, we have 9,000 partners” said Microsoft India’s president. “These are the people who are making entrepreneurial calls, they are very good at choosing who their partner is and they have chosen Microsoft to be a partner for their own good and their own business”.
According to Maheshwari, Microsoft’s plan has three steps, beginning with rolling out software. Businesses will be offered a package that contains Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security in a single bundle, creating an instant modern working space.
From there, Microsoft will assist vendors in adopting their own business apps, like Shelf.io Trello, and Slack. They will then build upon using these apps to establish an intelligent database. This will mean developing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and linking them to the modern working space.
Finally, Maheshwari believes that a cloud used solely for storage is a waste of resources. Thus they will use AI and machine learning to analyse all of the info obtained from the previous steps.
“If you just think about Cloud as hosting, it is not an ‘intelligent’ Cloud. When you start making that cloud ‘intelligent’ with AI and ML, that is when you think continuously about new capabilities. That is where Azure is focused.”
The plan is typical of Microsoft’s ‘pay it forward system’ as they hope that the SMBs that the “Future Decoded on Wheels” roadshow will help spread awareness of Microsoft’s software solutions to potential customers in the country. Microsoft’s accelerator in India will be working alongside the roadshow to ensure it receives maximum publicity.