Ian Chau APAC Partner Enablement Lead One Commercial Partner
Apr 28,2021

From our partners: Investing in skilling and technical depth as a strategic differentiator

In the last year, digital transformation efforts across countries and industries have accelerated. The need for business continuity during a time of rapid change, as well as the need to work differently due to limitations, or to achieve cost savings, has made digital transformation a priority. In this journey, organizations are finding they need an enhanced set of skills and knowledge to thrive.

83% of organizations believe they need to embrace tech intensity to be successful in the future1.

The need to accelerate through – and beyond – COVID-related slow-downs, combined with the uncovering of new opportunities is driving the “skills-based economy2 , where continual learning, upskilling and the validation of knowledge will be the way that companies (and recruiters) identify talent3, improve products, services, and  ultimately, impact lives for the better.

And it is not just the customer organizations that are increasing their investment in tech intensity. As customer organizations’ demand for differentiated and specialized skills continue to grow, partner organizations have also made significant commitments to skilling. At Microsoft, we are also seeing all-time highs in consumption of learning resources, attendance to training and the number of certifications attained4

So, what has motivated Microsoft partners in Asia Pacific to accelerate their tech intensity journey and what have they achieved? Let’s hear from Cloud4C, Cloud Comrade and NTT.

Cloud4C leverages advanced skills as a strategic advantage to achieve growth

As Cloud4C has a small footprint in most countries, not all customers are familiar with their services. Despite this, Cloud4C is still able to win business in new markets thanks to independently audited skills, experience, and past success.

See this video here.

In most countries, we do not have a huge footprint, hence, when we go to customers, we need to give them the reassurance that (a) we know what we are doing (b) we have done this successfully many times over.

Advanced Specialization allows us to give customers validated and audited results in terms of both technical skills, in terms of referenceable customers and the fact that we have done a size of a business in that particular domain.​

Karim Kalaawi
Executive Vice President Alliances

By leveraging advanced skills as a strategic advantage to achieve growth, Cloud4C’s investment is now paying dividends.

Cloud Comrade empowers non-tech teams to add value to customers

At Cloud Comrade, technical role-based exams are not limited to their technical teams. They have actually made it an imperative that their non-technical staff take the Azure Fundamentals exams as well. This not only enables non-technical teams to excel within their roles but also empowers them to have relevant conversations with customers. For example, their billing teams, who now understand cloud fundamentals and cloud economics, can explain cost structures such as CAPEX vs OPEX, services vs subscription and consumption-based billing to customers and prospective customers, helping them make better decisions around their cloud-based digital transformation.

See the video here.

Upskilling and reskilling teaches employees new skills to thrive in their current position and take on new technologies. It provides them with a path to obtain new knowledge and experience for the cloud to add value to customers.

Alex Cheng
Project Director
Cloud Comrade

Understanding how the cloud works has helped me to better explain the cost to each client.

Hannah Yeo
Billing Administration Specialist
Cloud Comrade

NTT empowers employees, and society, to be future-ready with the right skills

It’s not all about the bottom line for businesses. The efforts of businesses include positive network effects, economies of scale, and a global reach of societal benefit and improvements. We are already seeing sectors such as healthcare gaining ground using the power of technology to deliver easier access to practitioners, decrease costs, and treat more patients faster and in a less expensive way.

Closer to home, NTT is creating a culture of learning and growth to benefit their people, organization, and society through their company-wide commitment to skilling, with programs that reach a wide, inclusive audience.

See the video here.

NTT initiated a global cloud skilling program that enabled teams to embark on a learning journey collaboratively cross countries and cross departments. This highlights one of NTT’s key values which is on togetherness. We believe that together we do great things. This program in APAC resulted in 130 people completing different certification paths to the cloud. With this, all our employees have easy access to a platform containing different Microsoft technology courses ranging from fundamental to deep and advanced technical courses.

Louise Co
Regional Alliance Manager

As a purpose-led and performance-driven organization, we see upskilling and reskilling as an essential part of developing our incredible talent and ensuring we continue to build a sustainable high performing business.  We encourage our employees to be proactive and continually seek opportunities to grow knowledge and deepen their expertise…

Our Cloud Awareness Program has been a phenomenal success. Throughout the month, learners have the opportunity to engage with internal experts who share their knowledge and expertise.  They are also afforded the opportunity to take (well curated) online courses that supplement the social learning.  The demand throughout our organization for this program has been outstanding and as such we are looking to extend this program.

Gabi Limberis
Global Learning and Development Director

There is no question that continuous learning is key to having – and maintaining – a competitive advantage. The question is how to make it part of company culture – where instead of making skilling the responsibility of the employee, it is embedded in the organizational DNA itself. Individual’s achievements are multiplied, and the effects go far beyond a single person’s skills. What will this mean for you, your team, and your company?

We hope that this post inspires you, as part of our partner community, to find ways to turn skilling requirements into company commitments and eventually into business achievements. We will continue to share more stories about successes and the impact to your teams and customers as we bring everyone within our spheres of influence along a digital skills journey.

Here are some ways to start or accelerate your learning journeys:

  1. Discover your path. Whether you’re just starting or an experienced professional, our hands-on approach helps you arrive at your goals faster, with more confidence and at your own pace. Check available Microsoft learning paths here.
  2. Earn certifications that show you are keeping pace with today’s technical roles and requirements. Learn more about Microsoft Certification.
  3. Take Advanced Specializations to differentiate your organization, demonstrate expertise, and build stronger connections with customers. Check out what this means.

1 Tech Intensity Quantitative Research, Microsoft, 2019
2 See recent blogs by Microsoft President Brad Smith and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky.
3 The LinkedIn Economic Graph surfaces top hiring companies and the skills they are seeking.
4 Internal Microsoft tools measure certifications across our MPN membership tiers for partners in Microsoft’s definition of APAC: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.