Digital transformation is the future. It is happening and it is not waiting for you. That is, in a nutshell, the message that business activist Tom Braekeleirs brought for a room full of Microsoft Belux partners. Well, to be honest, before that he went around asking “are you the frog from that famous story that can’t feel the heat rising in the pan” and that really got everyone’s attention!

Needless to say that the partners all wanted to see opportunities, some saw obstacles, and no one wanted to be the frog. But seriously now: how do you grasp all of that potential? First step: think big!

Think big, become a disruptor

Before selling disruption to your customers, don’t be afraid to start by disrupting your own organization. Only recently, Amazon bought Wholefoods. And they gave themselves just two months to integrate. And pulled it off! Yes, that’s right, tech players are now buying retailers, the virtual world has become more powerful than bricks and mortar. So just to be clear, digital transformation is not about replacing paper by computers. We’re talking a whole new ball game!

What’s changing at the same pace, is the playing field for Microsoft partners just like yourself. There was a time where IT service providers were, to a large extent, moving boxes. That time has long gone, we are all aware. Aren’t we selling solutions these days? Actually, we are past that now. We did not just change the ball; we’ve changed the shape of the playing field altogether. Selling times are over, we’re all marketers now, or at least we should be if we want our future to be bright. Because modern consumers – also in business to business – don’t buy products, they like to experience relief or joy when some intelligent system enhances their results and leverages their reach. Do more with the same effort? With the help of Microsoft? Through one of Microsoft’s partners? Yes please – your customers will not say no to that offering!

Just one entry into this wonderful new world of business potential is to extend the reach of your organisation with the help of Microsoft. Through our Partner Network, we stimulate our partners to become thought leaders. We ask you to think, be curious, ask questions and get to know your customer’s business. Only then will you be able to take them by the hand, leading them into new territory, becoming their indispensable companion – and assuring your future in the process! Yes, that’s right, answering your customers’ questions still remains a very strong driver for better business. Using content and content marketing techniques, we can all tap into that vast expanse of high potential customers: the value seekers. Those who are not happy when you just sell them something. Those who’d rather you inspire them, and follow your guidance on whatever challenge occupies their mind.

To become a thought leader overnight might not be simple, but luckily, Microsoft has the roadmap to help you get to that destination in a straight line. In fact, that doesn’t entirely cover it. We have all kinds of roadmaps. And we would like partners like you to pick their favourite destination, and then travel there together.

It’s exactly about this exciting idea of travelling together that Erik Kerkhofs, One Commercial Partner Lead for Microsoft Belux, talked when he showed us this little graph:

The digital transformation opportunity is worth 4.5 what?

An estimated 4.5 trillion dollars will be spent when companies all over the world decide it’s time they too joined the revolution and went ahead to embrace disruption and digital transformation. In a Microsoft sponsored study, the Harvard Business Review Analytical Services estimated that 80% of businesses believe their industry will be disrupted by digital trends (based on interviews with 783 business leaders). And most of those (84 percent) said their industry has either passed the point where disruption kicks in or will be past it by 2020.


Digital transformation is happening all around us, and its becoming core to many businesses. The opportunity amounts to 4.5 trillion dollars worldwide!
Erik Kerkhofs, One Commercial Partner Lead, Microsoft


During the event, Erik Kerkhofs helped partners imagine just how big the opportunity was. He put a figure on the board that helped everyone understand its true value. We’ll just write it out in full because 12 zeroes are quite a lot to take in. By Microsoft’s estimation, the digital transformation opportunity is worth a staggering 4,500,000,000,000 USD. Yes indeed, that’s a 12-zero-figure! Globally, evidently, but even when we narrow it down to the Belux market, we’re still talking about a market opportunity adding up to 9 billion Euro.

What would you need to do to tap into even a small portion of that huge potential? Well, that question is really quite simple to answer. Just stick with Microsoft and let us take some of that burden off your shoulders! In the latest years, Microsoft has defined what we call the One Partner Network approach. Putting partners central is putting it mildly. In fact, we’re putting partners like you first!

Microsoft is a partner centred ecosystem, aiming to join forces with our partners to get ready for that cloud-based future. Today we are supporting our partners in different ways. We have teams that work with partners on building solutions, teams that help them go to market and generate leads, and teams that make sure that every lead Microsoft receives is matched with the best partner. We have programs in place to help support you through the early stages of your journey and to help you get the technical enablement you need.


As many businesses start to leverage the power of digital to transform the way they work, they are looking for solutions to accelerate this process. That’s where our partners come into play. Together with Microsoft, they can build, market and sell solutions that will answer the needs of their customers.

Erik Kerkhofs, One Commercial Partner Lead, Microsoft


Let’s get to work… together!

So go ahead and think for a moment: don’t you think it’s about time you joined the small army of partners already leading the transformation of thousands of Microsoft customers in Belgium and Luxembourg? How many companies are there in your region, just waiting for your help with their own digital transformation? If you haven’t joined Microsoft’s Partner Network yet, visit our enrollment website and let’s get to work… together!




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