Usually I write about WPC and the great opportunities it provides to network with colleagues and learn about the road ahead for Microsoft and our partners. Today is a little different—I want to offer thoughts about our industry as a whole and the transformation that drives all of your businesses to grow and change.
I’ve heard a few perspectives in the last few weeks from various groups of partners and industry experts. Gaining insight into your priorities as Microsoft partners and as business owners about the opportunities and challenges offered by transformations in the technology industry is always enlightening to me, and we continue to create opportunities for face-to-face connection to make sure we hear your viewpoints. I’ve been lucky to hear firsthand recently from Darren Bibby, Vice-President, IDC Channels and Alliances Research, and Phil Sorgen, Microsoft’s Channel Chief, as they shared with partners how the industry transformation is changing the industry landscape for not only Microsoft, but for our broad range of partners as well.
According to Darren, one of the biggest transformations affecting almost every player in the technology industry is the revenue model. The industry is moving from short-term, project-based sales to a long-term revenue model. A second major change in the industry is who is buying our services and technologies. Formerly, the CIO made primary purchasing decisions; now, there is greater emphasis on other CXO level buyers. Consequently, the sales approach is different than it has been in years past.
Phil has addressed the transformation in technology by discussing how consumption-based, incremental pricing models encourage creation of unique IP and managed services. He outlined the four pillars that Microsoft is aligning, all designed to help partners succeed in their transformation to the Cloud:
Product—we are offering platforms for ISVs and IP solution providers to build on, while exposing APIs to make it easier for these partners to extend platforms in the future.
Markets—we are creating markets to drive down the cost of sale. The Microsoft brand is trusted and important for ISVs using our cloud platforms.
Enablement—we are working through various channels to make it easier for ISVs to provide managed services to their customers.
Sales Engagement—we are providing training and supplementary materials at the field level to make sure we have the right tools to support partners selling managed services.
I always feel so energized after spending time with partners, hearing your successes and discussing your challenges. This type of dialogue is so important, and the value of examining industry trends and proactively addressing challenges and opportunities face-to-face cannot be understated. We’re continuing to provide avenues for partners to connect with each other and with Microsoft. As we lead up to WPC 2015, one of the biggest opportunities to form these face-to-face relationships, we will be addressing what matters to you and where we are going as a company. I can’t wait to see you at WPC in Orlando!