In January of last year, I posted a blog about the integration of the Windows Azure cloud services platforms and Intuit’s cloud services platform, which is called the Intuit Partner Platform. Our collective goal was to give developers and channel partners the tools to deliver solutions that reach the millions of people that use QuickBooks® and other Intuit financial software. 

This alliance represented an exciting time because it underscored the reality that an industry-respected company like Intuit would bet on Microsoft to deliver a cloud computing platform to the people they care most about: their developers and customers.

Intuit’s decision was not an easy one as there are many options to choose from. Therefore, we knew that in order to “do right” by Intuit and its partners, we must deliver against the mutual commitments we set forth. Above all, be consistent in our delivery against Intuit’s priorities. More than a year has passed and I’m thrilled to share that Intuit and Microsoft are continuing their partnership. (See Intuit's Alex Chriss's announcement here)

As part of this decision we’ll be releasing version 2.0 of Intuit’s Windows Azure SDK for Intuit Partner PlatformIf you are a partner or customer then you are most likely curious about what’s in store with this update. Here’s what you’ll find:

-      Support for one-click publishing & authentication of federated IPP and Intuit Anywhere apps hosted on Windows Azure; the primary cloud platform of choice for Intuit’s Developer Network...(prior custom coding concerns related to identity management (e.g. Auth, OAuth, OpenID etc) will be significantly reduced)

-      A flexible, secure platform (on Windows Azure) that provides better development tools, an easier development cycle and a quicker time to markets around the world

If you’re a member of the Front Runner Program (for third party developers) then you’ll also benefit from technical and business support that simplifies getting your apps hosted onto Windows Azure, while also integrating with Quickbooks data. Once you are on-boarded, Intuit & Microsoft will promote your application to Intuit’s 26M million (and growing) SMB customers.

At the core of any lasting partnership are the real (aka what makes this partnership real and credible) benefits that partners and customers can rely upon, and which translate to tangible business outcomes. It’s testament to the Microsoft/ Intuit partnership that partners are willing to speak up about their experience.  Propelware and CoreConnex are two such examples:

  • Joe Dwyer, CEO of Propelware: Extend market reach 300 to 500 percent and Saves 50 percent on time, cost of development
  • Frank Coker, CEO of CoreConnex, Inc.: “We are estimating that it will cost 30% to 60% less to run the Corelytics™ Financial Dashboard on the Windows Azure cloud than it would cost for us to run in our own data center.
    Further, the Microsoft Windows Azure platform removed the up-front capital investment; which in turn, allowed us total flexibility to take on a spike in growth and global expansion without any worries about server capacity or bandwidth. Finally, the data security and system reliability features of Windows Azure are much greater than what we could afford if we were building this on our own. We have nearly 1,000 companies in 11 countries using the Corelytics™ Financial Dashboard and they depend on us to be always-on in support of their business management processes.”

To our friends at Intuit and to every Intuit developer partner, we continue our thanks and look forward to meeting you at Intuit’s Cloud Jam, and at future Intuit and Microsoft developer events.

Liz Ngo, Global ISV Group, Microsoft Corporation