Today the UK Microsoft team were joined at Twickenham Stadium by roughly 300 partners in the second in the series of our Partner Days events. The day started with an opening keynote, and for those who missed it, here's a quick round up of everything that was covered.
Joe Macri, VP One Commercial Partner UK opened the keynote by thanking everyone for 'your partnership, your business and everything you are doing with our customers'. Noting the incredible opportunity ahead, Joe reflected on the last 6 months at Microsoft and the changes we have been through as an organisation.
With the day focussed on SMB, Joe highlighted the value of the SMB business for Microsoft, which at over $1 billion in revenue, is growing at over 22% year on year, with cloud accounting for roughly 50% of this. Yet despite the success and opportunity within the market, Joe also recognised that we have a lot to do, and are reliant on regular partner and customer feedback to sense check the market and help us to continue to approve.
With 95% of our revenue being delivered by our partners, we are proud of our ecosystem and the impact it is having on the UK's economy.
With a jampacked agenda of breakout sessions and networking, the objective Partner Days is:
1) To help identify our opportunity together
2) Accelerate new customer acquisition in SMB market
3) Help our partners leverage the MPN to be successful
Corporate Vice President of One Commercial Partner, Gavriella Schuster was next up. Commenting on the level of excitement and amount of innovation witnessed within the partner network, Gavriella encouraged the audience to think about how they can embed Microsoft into the services that they deliver.
We are changing, the world is changing, and the way technology is being used is changing.
As mentioned in Joe's session, Microsoft has just completed the best two quarters we have ever had, and it's all down to the drive and commitment of our partners.
With the day focussed on SMB, Gavriella then went on to highlight the SMB market opportunity.
As a company, we know less than 10% of these SMB customers globally, so the opportunity here is immense. With the number of start-ups coming into the market and leading with technology, SMB really is the fastest growing area in the market. There has never been a better time to be a partner!
How can we help you grow and reach these opportunities in this highly competitive way?
Gavriella then called out a few of our Indirect CSP's, that can help you grow and highlight their success.
Our goal - to really empower you to succeed.
The value of partnering with us:
1) Differentiate your business: stand out in the competitive market to deliver real value to your customers.
2) Optimise your operations: figure out how you can digitally transform yourself.
3) Reach more customers: think about how you can get better, faster customer reach
4) Deliver customer lifetime value: how can you deliver this to really add value.
Our latest Practice Development Playbooks have been developed to help you go-to-market and really think about your business end-to-end to help with the four points above. You can visit partner.microsoft.com to download the playbooks most relevant to your business.
Getting value from the Microsoft Partner Network
Customers want to work with a credible, competent partner. When you get to Gold level with us, you can access co-branding and really demonstrate how we work side by side, helping to differentiate you from other partners.
Rich Ellis, Small and Mid-market and Corporate Lead was then joined on stage by Greenwood Campbell, a digital innovation agency, specialising in emerging tech solutions who have been a Microsoft house for the last 9 years. Greenwood Campbell recognised a massive opportunity in data and AI, and 6 months ago created a spin off project looking at where the opportunity lay in emerging tech. This led to extensive research into bot framework and chatbots, and Adam Smithson, Client Services Director and Dan Meineck Chief Technology Officer ran through their latest collaboration with Microsoft, creating a chatbot for AFC Bournemouth. The chatbot was huge success, and has resulted in a completely new revenue stream for the agency.
The keynote ended with a partner panel talking about the opportunity in the market today and how things are shaping up for the year ahead. The common themes in the discussions across all four partners were acquiring and retaining talent, and how relying on the community of partner-to-partner is essential for growth. One partner alone can't be good at everything, establishing strong links with other partners is critical to extend your offering.
Visit the Partner Days website for more information on the event and gain insight into the additional topics covered throughout the day. You can also catch up on the live event tweeting by following us @mspartnersUK.