On Thursday, Dell EMC and Microsoft announced the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, a joint offering that aims to speed the process for organizations looking to deploy and manage a hybrid cloud strategy.

For enterprises looking to build a hybrid cloud deployment based on Microsoft Azure, the Dell EMC integration will offer automated delivery of IT services for both cloud-native and traditional applications, according to a press release. The joint service also seeks to unify the experience across the Azure public cloud environment and the Azure Stack private cloud, making it easier to deploy new new apps in the cloud, regardless of which cloud they are deployed to.

Cost-effective application access and secure sharing of services in both traditional Azure environments and Azure Stack environments are additional benefits offered by the new platform, the press release said.

SEE: Hybrid cloud: The smart person’s guide

“Cloud is an operating model, not a place, and adopting a hybrid model has become the clear answer,” Peter Cutts, senior vice president of hybrid cloud platforms at Dell EMC, said in the release. “Making hybrid cloud platforms simple and turnkey enables businesses to rapidly develop and deploy new applications, optimize resources, control costs and deliver the best possible customer experiences.”

Microsoft first launched a technical preview of Azure Stack in January 2016. The purpose of Azure Stack is to “helps organizations deliver Azure services from their own datacenter,” according to the company’s original blog post.

Along with the launch of the new service, Dell EMC released the results of an IDC survey that said some 79.7% of large (1,000+ employees) organizations currently have a hybrid cloud strategy. Additionally, the results found that more than half of those surveyed use both public and private cloud infrastructure, with than number expected to increase by 29% within the next year.

As noted by RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud Report, hybrid cloud is the “preferred enterprise strategy” for cloud deployments, with 85% of enterprises claiming a multi-cloud strategy. With Amazon Web Services’ strong focus on public cloud, integrations like the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack could help Microsoft carve out a niche for itself among hybrid cloud fans in the enterprise.

Being that Microsoft Azure Stack already allows for developers to write and deploy applications in both Azure and Azure Stack, the big value of the Dell EMC partnership with likely come more from the services offered around the applications.

As reported by ZDNet’s Larry Dignan, Microsoft’s recent earnings highlighted the company’s work in hybrid cloud. While it’s likely that their cloud revenues are primarily being driven by Office 365, the company continues to focus heavily on growing its infrastructure offerings, and is beginning to take a more cloud-centric approach to CRM and ERP, CEO Satya Nadella said on an earnings call.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is a joint offering that aims to help speed enterprises along on their journey to the hybrid cloud and digital transformation.
  2. The platform offers a unified experience across Azure and Azure Stack, and will focus on automated IT services for cloud-native apps as well.
  3. Microsoft’s cloud strength is definitely in hybrid deployments, but the company is continuing to focus on CRM and ERP solutions in the cloud as well.