Ernst & Young, Microsoft Team Up to Give Businesses Cloud Boost

The global professional services firm will tap Microsoft's Azure-backed cloud computing portfolio to help clients digitize their business processes.

Microsoft, Ernst & Young cloud partnership

Ernst & Young (EY) and Microsoft formed a partnership to manage the transition to cloud-enabled work styles and business processes for the professional services firm's clients, the companies announced.

Dubbed the EY-Microsoft Digital Alliance, the project's aim is to help enterprises adopt new innovations in mobile, data analytics and cloud computing to improve business results while building on their current IT setups. "By using the combined forces of EY and Microsoft, companies can accelerate into a highly digitally enabled enterprise and optimize the investments in software they have made over the years," said Mark Weinberger, CEO of EY Global, in an April 22 statement. "This is all about helping companies improve their return on investment as they move to a more analytical, automated, cloud-based environment."

The alliance rests on four distinct pillars, including EY's and Microsoft's Trusted Cloud Services (TCS) that enable businesses to make the transition to the cloud securely and in compliance with regulations governing data privacy.

TCS employs big data processing capabilities to build an inventory of unstructured files and classify them to enhance data governance initiatives by identifying critical business data, and if desired, purge data that has lost its business value. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said in a statement that the combination of "EY's advisory services with Microsoft's trusted cloud capabilities will help customers turn data insights into action, deliver measurable business outcomes and accelerate their transformations."

In addition, the companies said EY will collaborate closely with Microsoft Consulting Services to deploy enterprise products on Azure, Microsoft's globe-spanning cloud computing platform. EY and Microsoft also plan to use Azure applications to derive "near-term value" from a customer's existing software and data.

The Program Performance Center (PCC) combines EY's expertise in business program management with Microsoft Azure, SQL Server, Project Server and Power BI's predictive analytics capabilities to hone their business operations. 3D Spend Analytics keeps an eye on the company checkbook by enlisting Microsoft's cloud and big data technologies, including SQL Server, SharePoint, HPC, HD Insight Hadoop, Azure and Azure Machine Learning. The companies said the service will "help companies assess spend composition and integrity, identify risks and opportunities, predict patterns and plan for optimized future spend."

Arguing that new technology isn't transformative if employees don't use it to its potential, the companies unveiled the final offering, Digital Program Activation. EY will evaluate an organization, including policies that may inhibit productivity and collaboration, to develop a custom Future of Work Playbook that businesses can use to set their digital workplace strategies with an eye toward improving ROI.

More services are in the works, according to Carmine Di Sibio, EY global managing partner for Client Service. "As this relationship accelerates, EY and Microsoft expect to develop and launch a series of new business-driven digital offerings to help customers achieve their potential in a better working world," he said in a statement.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...