A miniseries recounting the Microsoft journey to the cloud—told by the pioneers who took us there.
Microsoft IT pros were some of the first to explore, settle, and shape what was at the time a wild, new frontier: The Cloud. Our latest web series has all the information you need to prepare for your own cloud journey: first-hand stories, advice, deep technical knowledge, and proven practices.
Cloud computing is a total paradigm shift that happens only once in a generation. A decade ago, IT experts around the world were contemplating how to harness this promising yet unexplored frontier. Not long after, experts at Microsoft were excitedly plotting the move of Microsoft operations from on-premises to the cloud. To kick off the Expedition Cloud series, Brad Wright, one of the leaders driving this change, recounts the good, the bad, and the ugly of moving to the cloud. He also explains how the experience profoundly challenged him and his team, and changed everything they knew to be true about IT.
When you have decades’ worth of data to move to the cloud, where do you start? Do you “lift and shift” existing applications, or rebuild and optimize them in the cloud? What’s the most efficient way to transition to cloud technology, and what’s the right order of operations? When on the verge of moving nearly all Microsoft operations to the cloud, our pros had these questions—and more. Now that we’re more than 90 percent in the cloud, Senior Service Engineer Mel Lowe offers answers for those facing the same massive undertaking.
Technology has a high rate of innovation, a short product shelf life, and razor-thin profit margins. That means companies have to be very careful about where to invest in digital transformation—especially when it comes to supply chain management. In this episode, Darren Coil, a supply chain business technologies expert for Microsoft, explains why he and his colleagues invested their efforts in transforming operations using data analytics, Microsoft Power BI, and the connective power of cloud computing. And how it made processing more than a terabyte of data each day far more manageable.
Principal IT Architect Robert Venable and his team oversee MS Sales, the beating heart of financial tracking and billing at Microsoft. When the app was built 20 years ago, Microsoft released new versions of software for purchase only every few years. Now, Microsoft releases products faster, and handles billions of microtransactions from selling software as a service (SaaS)—billing pennies here and there for a Skype call, a few minutes of Microsoft Azure server time, or an Xbox avatar’s new shoes. Robert and his team realized the outdated app faced imminent collapse and got to work imagining the new, scalable, cloud-based solution highlighted in this episode.
Microsoft had several challenges affecting sales productivity. Disparate tools and technologies didn’t align with core business priorities, in addition platform customizations and complex requirements introduced significant management delays. Users were impacted as system level issues affected performance and data was always out of sync when multiple systems were mingled together. In this episode, Principle Software Engineer Deron Daum discusses how Microsoft simplified its environment by making a clean break from the highly customized CRM platform and implementing a SaaS solution using Dynamics 365 for sales.
In planning to move the company’s operations to the cloud, Microsoft quickly realized security in a virtual environment is significantly different than in an on-premises datacenter. In this episode, Microsoft cloud security expert Rob Polly outlines the challenges Microsoft faced during the transition, and how the company addressed additional concerns related to privacy and geopolitical and data sovereignty. He also explains how security must evolve as applications and services migrate to cloud computing solutions such as Microsoft Azure, and shares DevOps best practices Microsoft has adopted for cloud security.