A strong Microsoft is essential for the channel, and fortunately, Microsoft is looking rock-solid right now under Satya Nadella, if the cover story of this month's edition of CRN is anything to go by.
At a time when the market is being flooded with a new generation of primarily direct-selling protagonists, the channel is looking for one of their traditional allies to seize back the initiative.
Whether this would be Microsoft remained unclear three or four years ago, when it's fair to say the Redmond-based firm was facing an identity crisis as it struggled to move beyond its original mission statement of putting a PC in every home and on every desk.
Enter stage left Satya Nadella, a two-decade employee of Microsoft who was promoted to the CEO post in 2014 on the strength of his performance heading up Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group.
Early missteps may have left partners questioning whether Nadella was the right man to help Microsoft rediscover its mojo.
But three years on it's hard to judge Nadella's track record as anything but a success. Reflecting its re-invention as one of the leading lights in cloud, Microsoft's share price has doubled since he took the reins. Azure is now a genuine challenger to AWS and Nadella is now intent on pushing Microsoft into emerging areas such as AI, mixed reality and quantum computing.
Nadella speaks about how he has gone about shifting Microsoft's identity in his new book, Hit Refresh, and CRN attended the launch event, the write-up of which provides the cover story for this month's edition of CRN.
Microsoft's resurgence was confirmed by our recent Vendor Report, which saw it nominated by four times as many resellers as its closest competitors for being the most forward-thinking vendor.
Even if Microsoft's new goal of ‘empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more' perhaps lacks the punchiness of its original mission statement, Nadella certainly exudes the confidence of someone who has helped Microsoft rediscover its mojo, which can only be good for the channel.
Changing identities was also one of the hot topics at this year's Canalys Channels Forum in Venice, the round-up for which you can read on p22 of our October edition.
Elsewhere in this month's issue, don't miss our Big Interview with IBM's newly appointed European channel chief Diego Segre. With the GDPR live date looming, this issue also contrasting views on whether the incoming law will be an opportunity, or just a nuisance, for MSPs and resellers.
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