It's an Exciting Time to be an Integration Partner with Microsoft

27 October, 2016 by Dean Robertson

Mexia has Microsoft’s BizTalk Server in our blood.  If you’re not familiar, BizTalk is the proven workhorse of Microsoft’s on-premises server products designed to manage enterprise application integration connectivity in large enterprise customers.  Mexia is one of the premier Microsoft-focussed Digital Transformation technology partners in Australia who still have the deep architectural, technical & commercial skills to ensure success with Microsoft BizTalk Server, and our clients love us for it.

However, in recent years we noticed BizTalk was falling out of favour in sales conversations with both new and existing clients – partially driven I think by the lack of clarity from Microsoft on their integration vision and the future of BizTalk.  In 2012 even Gartner cautioned customers about deploying BizTalk given the uncertainty of the product roadmap.  So whilst Microsoft was working to create a coherent product strategy to address these concerns, other non-Microsoft cloud iPaaS providers went on worldwide marketing sprees and succeeded in luring some customers away.

Luckily the clouds for Microsoft’s enterprise integration strategy have parted in 2016, and in a very big way.

  • Microsoft has blogged about their Integration Vision that announced the release of BizTalk Server 2016, with many long-awaited features that demonstrate real net-new product investment
  • Microsoft moved the team that owns BizTalk development back into Redmond (Microsoft HQ) to be closer to the heart of the Azure engineering teams
  • BizTalk is now owned by the same team that develop Microsoft’s cloud iPaaS integration technologies: Azure Service Bus, API Management and Azure Logic Apps
  • A number of well-known BizTalk Server experts (Jon Fancey, Dan Rosanova, Tord Glad Nordahl et al.) have joined Microsoft to help guide product development based on real-world experience
  • The Azure Portal now has an Enterprise Integration section containing BizTalk Server as a first-class citizen, along with Microsoft’s related iPaaS enterprise integration services
  • Microsoft have released Azure Service Fabric for fine-grained microservice architectures with full application lifecycle management and Visual Studio support.

As a result of this clarity, Mexia has started to win several new BizTalk Server-based customers again who all report feeling very confident in Microsoft’s vision for enterprise integration. Mexia has also started to win highly competitive tenders where BizTalk Server is named as the primary technical requirement.  Mexia is again being invited to meet with Microsoft account executives and their customers to discuss BizTalk, and we’re seeing a large up-tick in Microsoft Partner Seller (P-Seller) conversation that involve BizTalk.

Mexia’s customers can now:

  1. Create hybrid integration platforms that span traditional BizTalk Server enterprise workloads with modern cloud integration with Azure Logic Apps, with seamless integration between the two technologies.
  2. Deploy their integration platforms on-premises or in the dual Australian Azure datacentres providing geographic redundancy
  3. Leverage a common Visual Studio developer tooling and Visual Studio Team Services for the application lifecycle management (ALM) of all Microsoft .NET, BizTalk and Azure development activity
  4. Pay licencing for cloud services on a ‘consumption’ or ‘serverless’ basis with the ability to provision, scale up, scale down and de-provision all through automation.
  5. Leverage the deep Azure ecosystem to run other workloads in addition to enterprise integration, such as data analytics, mobile services, web hosting, IoT, IaaS server hosting etc, all with a single commercial and technical relationship with Microsoft.

These recent investments by Microsoft bring clarity to their enterprise integration vision, and ensures Azure PaaS, Service Fabric and BizTalk technologies are now the legitimate, if not the default, choice for enterprise clients embarking on their Digital Transformation journey to connect with customers, streamline business operations and enable organisational agility.

It's an exciting time to be an integration partner with Microsoft.  Thank you team.

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