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Partners help Microsoft deliver solid fourth quarter

Vendor's CFO highlights the role that partners have played in the vendor's crucial fourth quarter

Microsoft has capped a week where its partners took centre stage at Inspire with a chance to highlight the role that the channel has made in its fourth quarter results.

The vendor has spent the last few days talking about the importance of Azure, collaboration tools and the popularity of Windows 10 and the firm's senior vendors got the chance to do that again when discussing the Q4 numbers.

The headlines were reported revenues of $33.4bn an increase of 12% on the same period last year and a 39% increase in commercial cloud revenues to hit $11bn, with the Intelligent Cloud business improving by 19% with revenues of $11.4bn.

There was also 23% growth in the number of commercial Office 365 seats and strong demand for Windows 10 among commercial PC manufacturers driven by end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020.

Amy Hood, evp and CFO at Microsoft, used her time on an analyst call to underline the performance of partners.

"In our largest quarter of the year, our sales teams and partners delivered exceptional commercial results, which drove another quarter of double-digit top and bottom line growth. From a geographic perspective, we saw broad-based strength across markets of all sizes," she said.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said that it had a strong relationship with customers that had been built on trust, a theme that had come out in his keynote at Inspire.

"Every day, we work alongside our customers to help them build their own digital capability, creating new businesses with them, innovating with them, and earning their trust," he said.

"This commitment to our customers’ success is resulting in deeper partnerships, larger multiyear cloud agreements, and growing momentum across every layer of our differentiated technology stack from application infrastructure to data and AI to business process to productivity and collaboration," he added.

When it comes to getting an idea of what the priorities will be for the channel in the FY19/20, which started on 1 July, a fair indication was given at Inspire earlier this week.

In her keynote session Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, said that the areas it wanted the channel to go after included security, Azure migrations and its Teams collaboration software.

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