Continued Business Cloud Adoption Drives Q3 Growth at Microsoft
Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics help the company beat Wall Street analyst expectations for the quarter.Microsoft today announced that it generated $6.59 billion in profits during the fiscal 2015 third quarter, or $0.61 per share, beating analyst forecasts by 10 cents. Revenues climbed to $21.7 billion, a 6 percent increase compared with the same year-ago period, surpassing Wall Street estimates of $21 billion. In what is becoming a familiar theme, cloud computing's growing popularity, particularly among enterprises, is lifting the Redmond, Wash., software giant's fortunes. "Customers continue to choose Microsoft to transform their business and as a result we saw incredible growth across our cloud services this quarter," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. According to the company's figures, Azure, Office 365 and the company's cloud-based customer relationship management software, Dynamics CRM Online, helped commercial cloud sales rise by 106 percent last quarter, or 111 percent using constant currency calculations, which disregard currency fluctuations, on a year-over-year basis. Dynamics alone is "nearly a $2 billion business," he said. As a consequence, Microsoft's commercial cloud business now has an annualized revenue run rate of $6.3 billion, "marking the seventh consecutive quarter" of revenue growth, said Nadella during an April 23 investors conference call. Microsoft's cloud-based Azure Active directory now supports "nearly 50 million monthly active users inside businesses," he added. "More than 5 million organizations are represented in Azure Active directory." Azure cloud storage now holds 50 trillion objects, "three trillion [added] in March alone," said Nadella.
The company's IT infrastructure software offerings also fared well last quarter. Together, sales of premium editions of Windows Server, System Center Server and SQL Server grew 25 percent, reported Microsoft. Server products and services revenue experienced a 12 percent gain. Windows volume licensing to businesses declined 2 percent.