Hosting the way forward

Microsoft’s Aziz Benmalek delves into hosting data services and his company’s latest developments in the market

Tags: Cloud computingInternet of ThingsMicrosoft Corporation
  • E-Mail
Hosting the way forward Aziz Benmalek, vice president of Worldwide Hosting and Cloud Services, Microsoft Corporation.
By  Aziz Benmalek Published  December 12, 2016

ACN: Can you share some details on yourself and your background?

Aziz Benmalek: I am the vice-president of Microsoft’s hosting and managed services business worldwide. I run the services provider business for Microsoft across the world, which spans across all cloud providers, from web hosting to telcos, to services providers — focusing really on the partner ecosystem.

I have been in the company for 20 years and I’ve had the opportunity to really manage different parts of the business, be it in the enterprise space, or small-to-medium business, in different parts of the world. I’m originally from Morocco and I’ve worked in both Europe and Middle East.

ACN: What are some of Microsoft’s recent developments in the cloud?

AB: The cloud for us is continuing to expand in a very fast way around multiple elements. We continue to increase our footprint from a data centre point of view around the hyper-scale with Azure services across the world. Our strategy is to continue to really serve our customers from a cloud point of view and hyper-scale.

We are extending the services we deliver on Azure, from of course the basic infrastructure service to past services, as well as advanced analytics, machine learning, IoT, and power BI. We recently announced Dynamics 365 and how we are extending around our portfolio of offerings from expanding into small businesses, as well as how we are continuing to serve mid-markets and enterprise.

There is also the expansion that we continue to do around productivity, unified communication and the collaboration with Office 365 and Skype for Business. We can really deliver a unique experience from unified communication and collaboration that expanded around modern meeting, public switched telephone network services (PSTN) and hybrid voice for our customers.

ACN: How do you see the current level of cloud development here in the Middle East?

AB: I think it is growing very fast. When you look at it from one angle, which is the health of the ecosystem of the partners that we have here in the Middle East, we have exactly 1,250 services providers in the region that continues to grow and increase.

Our ecosystem is really vibrant — we have more than 200 Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners, who are delivering today to small businesses, mid-markets and enterprises, Microsoft’s cloud services through the CSP business model.

I would say the transformation into the digital world across different customer segments, it’s really happening in different parts of the region.

There are of course some parts that are more advanced than others from a Middle East point of view, but I think it’s moving very fast. The cloud element, which is really how we see our cloud growth in the region, is growing very fast.

ACN: Can you share some details on the CSP program and how it benefits your partners?

AB: As I stated before, our strategy from a cloud vision is really that we believe in the hybrid and we are developing. The first element is the technical strategy which is the consistent platform that I covered with the Azure stack vision that we have from all the work that we are doing today.

The second piece is the business model and how we enable through the business model, service providers and partners in generally, to deliver not only services from their data centre, enabled by our technology, but as well to open the door to the huge set of services that we are delivering through our public cloud.

These includes Azure as an infrastructure service and platform as a service, as well as all finished services, be it SAS applications, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and CRM Online.

These includes Azure as an infrastructure service and platform as a service, as well as all finished services, be it SAS applications, office 365, dynamics 365, CRM online and so on and so forth. There is also the really advanced workload, from advanced analytics, power BI, machine learning and IoT.

So CSP for us is really the business model and e-commerce platform that enables our partner services provider to integrate their provisioning system through the API, which we deliver on the CSP, and enable them in a wholesale model, to deliver all services.

And they own the whole experience with the customer from provisioning a service, to managing the billing to providing support, as well as advanced managed services, which could include dev-ops for the public cloud or other scenarios for managed services.

That is what we are enabling through the CSP platform that enables automation, as well as API, and enable our ecosystem to deliver the end-to-end experience. 

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code