“More than ever before, customers are placing their trust in the Microsoft cloud.” – Microsft CEO Satya Nadella

The “cloud” is becoming an increasing important growth sector for Microsoft with its Azure-brand revenues surging 97 percent year-over-year. CEO Satya Nadella explains what’s happening in his own words.

This excerpt is from a conference call Nadella and Microsoft execs had Thursday with analysts to discuss the tech giant’s latest earnings.

Nadella’s overview:

Our commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate now exceeds $18.9 billion. This quarter’s cloud growth puts us squarely on track to reach the goal we set a little over two years ago, of $20 billion in commercial cloud ARR in fiscal 2018. More than ever before, customers are placing their trust in the Microsoft cloud.

Azure revenue accelerated this quarter, growing 97% year-over-year. CIOs and Business Decision Makers increasingly prefer Azure as they make decisions about their cloud strategy. …

AXA Global, KPMG, Dun & Bradstreet, Hearst, Walgreens, T-Mobile and Sephora all chose Azure to transform their businesses. Box announced that it will bring its content and collaboration services to Azureand plans to use our AI to simplify discovery and use of all types of content across the enterprise. And Baidu will use Azure to take its autonomous driving platform worldwide.

The core currency of any business going forward will be the ability to convert their data into AI that drives competitive advantage. It all starts with having support for the comprehensive data estate spanning Azure Database, Cosmos DB, Data Warehouse, Data Lake, combined with SQL Server. Azure Cosmos DB is the industry’s first globally distributed database service. It enables customers to securely and reliably power data-intensive applications at unprecedented scale and performance, from IoT to AI to mobile and much more.

Retailer Jet.com is using Azure Cosmos DB to process trillions of transactions every day. Customers are infusing AI into their products & services using Azure AI infrastructure and services such as Bot Framework and Cognitive Services. Sabre, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, is piloting AI-powered solutions for travel agencies to better serve customers. …

Azure is also unique in its support for this emerging intelligent cloud and intelligent edge applications. Azure IoT Edge extends cloud intelligence to edge devices … so customers can meet any regulatory requirement and bring cloud applications to remote or disconnected locations like cruise ships or oil rigs.

Read the full transcript at: