The public cloud market is extremely competitive, with AWS having the largest market share in Australia. We were brought into top-secret discussions in mid 2016 around Microsoft’s plan to capture the lucrative public sector market. First we announced that Microsoft had achieved unclassified certification from the ASD, then we announced a partnership with Canberra Data Centres to launch new cloud regions in Canberra. Finally, we announced a brand new data centre along with the news that Microsoft had achieved protected certification. The challenge was to ensure we landed the news with the most impact, while managing a complex network of stakeholders.
Because of the sensitivity and complexity of the news we took a very careful approach. Leveraging our strong media relationships we were able to convince eight top-tier media to fly to Canberra for a top-secret briefing, we complemented this by pre-briefing additional journalists on the news. Given we were announcing multiple announcements at once we also planned a separate news conference where Angus Taylor, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity, landed the protected certification news. Finally, we added credibility to our stories by showcasing the power of Azure for our customers and partners, which in this case was the Victorian Supreme Court of Justice and national security app, Citadel
We achieved 74 unique stories, and a further 73 syndications. The real success was that just about all the coverage achieved our objective of positioning Microsoft as the most secure and trusted cloud platform with a competitive edge in public sector opportunities and critical national infrastructure. More importantly, the news cycle was planned to disrupt the AWS Summit – happening the week after these news announcements. Our marquee headline in The Australianread: “Microsoft beats Amazon to federal government cloud certification