Looking ahead: Opportunities for partners in 2019
Are you set for success in 2019? Are you ready to build on last year’s growth and innovate in this dynamic market? With wind in our sails, now is the time to capitalize on the opportunities ahead. Last year was an action-packed year for Microsoft and our partners. The IP co-sell motion we launched at Inspire 2017 has taken off. New numbers show partner revenue through IP co-sell has reached US8 billion, in just 18 months. We rolled out the Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) program, creating a new pinnacle of partner differentiation to deliver repeatable, high-fidelity managed services on Azure for customers. And we enhanced go-to-market benefits packages, advanced specializations, and brought new capabilities to Azure Marketplace and AppSource, From our vantage point, this momentum is not slowing down, and the opportunity over the next few years is phenomenal. So, I asked Microsoft leaders from across the company what they believe are the biggest opportunities for our partners in 2019. Today we’re sharing how we believe partners can accelerate their growth in 2019 and beyond.
Gavriella SchusterCharacteristics of a modern partner People often ask, “What is Microsoft’s vision of a perfect partner?” There’s really no such thing. But there are several characteristics that set some apart from others, starting with customer obsession. When partners put the customer at the center, they get a clear view of the partner ecosystem that surrounds every customer and can tailor their offerings based on the organization’s core objectives and needs. Modern partners provide integrated cloud/infrastructure offerings that utilize the full capabilities of the cloud. Their solutions integrate deeply across the customer’s business. Standout partners also have industry and domain experts who are able to bypass IT and go directly to sales, finance, and marketing leaders, creating a richer relationship with the customer. The connection allows partners to bring the customer the right solution at just the right time. Modern partners develop IP that is embedded directly into their solutions, which unlocks enormous value. At the end of the day, the greatest opportunity for partners isn’t in reselling technology. It’s the partner’s IP and subject matter expertise that is infused in solutions that generate the most long-term value. Data. Since everything generates data, the most valuable asset to the customer is the ability to pull all their data together and make sense of it. Modern partners have a focused approach on helping customers with their data estate empowered by AI and machine learning. Folding these characteristics into your business will set you apart and keep you a step ahead of the pack.
Steve GuggenheimerStart leveraging the next generation of building blocks ISVs have partnered with Microsoft for more than four decades to create business solutions that have leveraged successive generations of hardware and software building blocks. This journey has taken us all from client software through client/server, internet, mobile/cloud, and now to the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Each generation changes how we build, sell, and monetize our solutions. As our building blocks have improved, so has our pace of mutual innovation. In 2019, ISVs can leverage the next generation of software building blocks to enhance their existing solutions and build new ones with advanced capabilities. Internet of Things (IoT), AI, blockchain, mixed reality, and eventually quantum computing will enable a new generation of solutions. For line-of-business ISVs, new tools for robotic process automation like Microsoft’s Power platform will let them automate business processes across Microsoft’s SaaS offerings (Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Dynamics 365) and third-party solutions to support customers to achieve more. In support of this new capability and the opportunity it provides, we not only continue to invest in the Power platform and the Dynamics 365 SaaS services for ISVs, but also the programs and tools to support them. Look for more updates on this work throughout the year here as it happens. With these new building blocks, we can begin our journey to drive the next four decades of innovation together. I look forward to our journey.
Alysa TaylorChampion industry innovation Technology refreshes daily. The pressures of modern customer demand and international regulation challenge industries to transform. I find that what differentiates truly exceptional organizations is their ability to find a partner who understands them, who helps them navigate market challenges, and who helps establish them as an industry leader. Partners inspire change and set new courses for industries. They offer strategic advice, implement revolutionary technology, and craft iconic experiences. There are amazing examples of this in action. In manufacturing, small support teams manage whole skyscrapers—tracking systems like air, water, and heat remotely. In healthcare, advancements in IT connect patients, caregivers, and clinicians, lowering hospital costs and keeping patients healthy. In retail, technology personalizes shopping experiences on mobile and in redefined brick-and-mortar stores. Not only do partners have a chance to change a single customer within an industry vertical, they also have a unique opportunity to expand their reach, offering proven results to additional organizations in the same industry. The art of what is possible has never been more exciting, with advancements in collaboration, AI, mixed reality, and unified data. With the investments we are making in industry programs at Microsoft, together, we can support our customers in fundamentally reimagining the digital face of industries.
Eric BoydAI for customer solutions AI, data, and cloud are ushering the next wave of transformative innovations across industries. With Azure AI, our goal is to empower organizations to apply AI across the spectrum of their business to engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products. Partners with their in-depth industry knowledge, geographic reach, and implementation expertise are critical in making AI real for businesses. We see partners using Azure AI to deliver customer solutions across three key areas:
- First, using machine learning to build predictive models that optimize business processes.
- Second, building AI-powered apps and agents to deliver natural user experience by integrating vision, speech, and language capabilities into web and mobile apps.
- Third, applying knowledge mining to uncover latent insights from documents.