Get part 1 of this post, here. If you are a customer, partner or competitor of Microsoft, you’ll want to review Windows Azure Platform Business Model “Transforming to a services business” by Dianne O’Brien, Sr. Director of Business Strategy at Microsoft.

The Session

In just 32 minutes, Dianne details the business specifics of Windows Azure including workloads that make sense for Windows Azure…

Workload Patterns

Optimal workload patterns for cloud computing.

…and the tools to help in business case justification to move workloads to Windows Azure. These include a TCO Tool (TCO Tool screen shots by Bill Zack) and pricing

Pricing

Windows Azure; priced to move

As part of the pricing review, Dianne mentioned various purchasing models (e.g. Consumption, Subscription, etc.) and talked about promotional offers and programs (development accelerators, MSDN Ultimate, off-peak ingress discounts until 6/2010, 5% discount for partners and more!).

Dianne rounded out the Windows Azure Platform story with a business roadmap:

Business Roadmap

Windows Azure the road ahead

What about the Q&A?

Good use of a clock for a session like this. With 30 minutes to go, she left plenty of time for questions that included…

  • Potential for Premium SLAs?
  • Pricing difference between Windows Azure Staging and Production?
  • Is there a Service Management API to spin up/down services?
  • Is there a Billing API?
  • What are the opportunities for Microsoft Partners?
  • Any Academic pricing?
  • more!

Did she do a good job of answering the questions? You make the call. Watch the video!

Some final thoughts

As part of her session, Dianne mentioned Persistent Systems and RiskMetrics who represent the public sector and the financial sector respectively. It is great to see these early success stories. If you’d like more, check out the Evidence section of the Windows Azure site.

This is a great start with exceptional support (Microsoft is offering Microsoft Premier Support for Windows Azure) and a focus on customer/partner satisfaction (Microsoft PinPoint is the marketplace to make connections and discover new services). It is also good to know that what differentiates the Windows Azure Platform from its cloud competitors is the focus on service lifecycle management to reduce complexity and cost. And as Dianne reminded us, there is zero cost to you for this on Windows Azure!

value of service management