Microsoft Partner Days: Modern Workplace, Devices and Business Applications


I am back at Twickenham again this morning for the last day of our Microsoft Partner Days event. Today the focus is on Modern Workplace, Devices and Business Applications. (If you missed yesterday's keynote you can catch up on my wrap-up blog post here.)

Joe Macri once more took to the stage to welcome hundreds of our UK partners in the morning keynote, with the opening session focusing on the theme of connection; connecting with our solutions, our systems, processes and people.

Connecting for growth

Touching on the UK One Commercial Partner (OCP) ambition that was outlined yesterday, Joe reiterated the main priority for OCP: helping you, our partners, grow your business. The fourth industrial revolution has created a huge opportunity globally, and the potential for our 25,000 strong Microsoft partner ecosystem to create real impact on both the economy and the society within the UK has never been bigger.

At the centre of partner growth is our Cloud Solution Provider programme. If we look at the opportunity here through the notion of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge, and moving from transactional interaction to creating new markets, providing differentiated services and lifetime customer value through a repeatable and scalable platform - CSP is the true enabler here.

As per the below image, we have had some great momentum this fiscal, and with technology ever-changing, there is a huge opportunity for us to continue to work together to acquire new customers and develop premium workloads in the market.

Connecting with the opportunity

Within the context of opportunity, Chris Rothwell and Angela Evans, M&O Business Group Leads for Microsoft UK delved deeper into how we connect our solutions and processes to enable partner growth in a changing customer landscape.

Customers and employees are changing, with increased expectations being driven by digital transformation: the wave of business innovation being fuelled by cloud technologies. New IDC research outlines the economic value of Digital Transformation over the next 5 years is $20 Trillion - that's a figure hard to even fathom, and equates to more than 20% of the global GDP.

Today, with almost 80% (79.6%) of businesses deploying or fully embracing the cloud and only 8% expressing no interest (down from 21% in 2014), we have crossed the chasm and are into the "early majority" stage of the adoption curve.

Concluding thought here? The opportunity is huge!

Connecting with the needs of the customer

CEO's and company leaders across industries are seeing digital as the way their business will transform, yet few have a clear vision or have the right technologies in place to keep up with the pace of change. Whilst most of the systems, tools and processes they are using are already digital - they're legacy, not in the cloud, not mobile and not connected together. Customers need to adapt their business applications to deliver digital transformation, and ultimately, we need to connect with them to help them on their journey.

As we prepare for our next fiscal year, these are our three priorities:

  • Cloud Acceleration: The adoption of cloud technologies is still only now becoming mainstream and there is significant opportunity for all in accelerating this.
  • Customer Success: In a subscription world, unless we help customers to get the value from the solutions they have purchased, we won't get satisfied users who want to renew. We are focusing significant internal investments on our large enterprise customers to help them deploy and drive usage and value from their investments, and for most customers this means working with partners to help the get the solutions rolled out and staff trained and engaged.
  • Connect Solutions: We've worked to really integrate our solutions - to ensure they are simple to deploy, that the data, security and compliance all connects, and that they are easier to manage and maintain. By working across more solutions, customers get more value with no additional complexity of integrating multi-vendor solutions and management tools, which also helps simplify and lower costs for partners. The more of the stack, from Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics a customer buys into, the more their value will increase.

Connecting our solutions

It is easy for us to speak about the value of our solutions in isolation, but we need to think about how we engage with the customer and enable customer outcomes spread across the four pillars of digital transformation:

  1. Empower employees
  2. Engage customers
  3. Optimise operations
  4. Transform products

To fully enable digital transformation, all of our solutions need to be brought together.

Creating a connected business model

The decisions around our technology are no longer made in isolation by an IT department, business decision makers are far more involved than ever before. This has a significant impact on how we engage with customers, and we need to adapt our businesses models to:

  1. Differentiate to stand out
  2. Modernise sales and marketing
  3. Optimise operations
  4. Deliver customer lifetime value

And this is a change we are seeing throughout our partner ecosystem: the value of being a reseller is limited, more and more partners are moving to become Managed Service Providers, with an increased value in partner to partner collaboration.

Connecting for customer success

"Our success is in our customer success" Satya Nadella.

If we look back a few years ago, the opportunity was mainly in selling licenses to customers. But now it is about us being side by side with partners, to ensure customers are getting continued value from our solutions.

Microsoft 365 is the lead solution in Modern Workplace, providing "an end-to-end solution that gives customers the opportunity to empower their employees to be creative and work together, securely."

Made up of M365 Enterprise and M365 Business, both have common drivers for our customers:

  • M365 Enterprise - how do we help organisations unlock the potential of their teams, employees to innovate and be one step ahead in their space? And secondly, how do we do this in a way that we always have a close eye on the total cost of ownership, and in a simple yet secure way?
  • M365 Business - launched late last year and built on same principles of the enterprise edition, but more targeted into the scale and mid-sized companies that may not have an established IT department.

Benefits of M365:

  • Achieve more together - we work with more teams than ever before, with a need to collaborate to provide better outcomes, and with the right tools we need to connect it all together.
  • Anywhere it matters - mobility is more important than ever before.
  • Always-on security - sits side-by-side with added mobility.
  • Simplified for business - allows customers to simply manage business devices and services.

Connecting with the right tools to succeed

Take a look at our Business Value Programmes, a suite of tools that help you bring to life the value and benefits of M365. Begin with a customised Value Discovery Workshop to demonstrate the value and benefits of Microsoft 365 with industry - and business-specific scenarios. Next, experience Microsoft 365 through familiar, everyday business situations in the Customer Immersion Experience. Finally, help build the business case for Microsoft 365 with the Value Calculator.

And that marks the end of our Microsoft Partner Days events for this financial year! Thank you again to all our sponsors and partners who supported and attended the sessions.

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