Jan 27, 2021

Microsoft releases strong Q2 results based on cloud, gaming

Microsoft
Q2
Earnings
William Smith
2 min
Some of the strongest performing parts of Microsoft’s business were all related to sectors that have boomed during the pandemic
Some of the strongest performing parts of Microsoft’s business were all related to sectors that have boomed during the pandemic...

Microsoft has released its earnings for the second quarter of the 2020 financial year, with strong growth in its 'Intelligent Cloud' business area.

In a transcript of the earnings call, Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood summarised the results, saying: ”This quarter, revenue was $43.1 billion, up 17% and 15% in constant currency. Earnings per share was $2.03, increasing 34% and 31% in constant currency. Across our business, results exceeded expectations, driven by strong execution and improving trends across industries, customer segments and geographical markets, resulting in double-digit top and bottom line growth.”

Changing habits

Some of the strongest performing parts of Microsoft’s business were all related to sectors that have boomed during the pandemic - namely increased PC sales, cloud services and gaming.

In a press release, Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said: ““What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry. Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”

Gaming and the cloud

In the past year, Microsoft has launched its next generation Xbox Series X video game console and acquired veteran video game developer Bethesda. Its renewed impetus in the sector has paid dividends, with Xbox content and services revenue increasing 40%.

The commercial cloud part of its business, which in recent times has been the main driver of growth, was no slouch either, achieving $16bn in revenue, up 34% year over year. “What we are witnessing is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” said Nadella. “Digital capability is key to both resilience and growth. [...] Microsoft is powering the shift with the world's largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”

(Image: Microsoft)

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May 14, 2021

Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF

U.S Air Force
Dark Wolf Solutions
2 min
Dark Wolf Solutions is small and agile, its partnership with the US Air Force is helping to deliver critical security faster and better than ever before

As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.

The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”

It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.

“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”

The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”

Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.

“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”

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