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Confluent and Microsoft extend strategic partnership agreement

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 6 Apr 2022

Confluent has entered into a new strategic partnership agreement with Microsoft, with the partnership intended to add greater investments across technology integrations, solution development and go-to-market activities.

With this commitment, Confluent and Microsoft state they aim to reduce the operational burden of managing data streams in Azure and speed up real-time application development in the cloud.

Confluent president of field operations Erica Schultz comments, “COVID-driven disruption has drastically accelerated timelines for delivering end-to-end digital experiences and real-time operations. We are extremely dedicated to ensuring our customers can innovate fast in the cloud, and have deepened our partnership with Microsoft to support businesses at this critical time in their transformation.”

Microsoft executive vice president and chief commercial officer Judson Althoff says, “Streaming data in the cloud is the foundation of next-generation customer experiences and business operations.

"Through Microsoft and Confluent’s expanded relationship, more organisations will be able to fully realise the power of cloud-native data streaming and benefit from faster development of modern applications with easier access to real-time data in the cloud.”

Since the start of their strategic alliance, Confluent and Microsoft have worked to build tighter integrations, extending Confluent’s managed cloud connectors across Azure services and supporting customers’ business-level initiatives.

Confluent maintains a large portfolio of data streaming connectors, and recently released new fully managed connectors for Azure deployments, including Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics.

These pre-built connectors are designed with Confluent’s expertise in Apache Kafka to save organisations the engineering time typically needed to build and maintain custom integrations, the company states.

Setting data in motion with Confluent and Azure is designed to be quick and frictionless. Confluent Cloud can be accessed with single sign-on through Azure Marketplace’s Active Directory, and billing is integrated with Azure billing accounts for simple cost management.

According to the company, Confluent on Azure is one of the simpliest ways to get started with Kafka and removes the operational burden of managing a complex, open-source distributed system.

Customers commented on the partnership and integrations between Confluent and Microsoft.

Walgreens Boots Alliance vice president global IT, integration and intelligent automation, Yal Gomez, says, “Confluent and Microsoft Azure are core to the modern technology stack that underpins our digital transformation programs.

"With real-time data streams in the cloud, we have the performance, scalability and reliability to ensure today’s most essential items get to customers the way they choose.”

Homepoint senior managing director of systems development Chris Varro says, “Confluent Cloud on Microsoft Azure enables us to see our data in motion much more effectively than we could previously.

"Now, we are much more capable of monitoring data trends and how the data changes over time, which is critically important for us operationally.

"Much like the weather radar that shows how your situation has changed by the minute, seeing our data in motion with Confluent and Azure have enabled us to tackle business challenges more efficiently, lower our costs, and deliver improved customer experiences.”

Bankers Health Group interim senior manager enterprise architecture Tim Wesley says, “The new streaming architecture we built with Confluent and Microsoft Azure enables our product teams to dream up new products and exciting new ideas, instead of simply making existing products less costly to operate and keeping the lights on.

"One of the draws of moving to the cloud and Azure was to get away from the noise of the on-prem environment, with its legacy hardware and systems. Now, Confluent and Azure play a key role in our ability to scale and enable our product teams to come up with new and original products.”

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