How Microsoft partners are building talent through AI and cloud skills
Our guest contributor for today’s blog is Amy Boyle, Director of Commercial and Advisory Partner Enablement.
As Microsoft and our partners find innovative ways to push the capabilities of advanced technologies, the need for IT employees with updated skills remains. Organizations across the industry are having difficulty finding employees with expertise on the latest platforms.
During this year’s Microsoft Inspire event, leaders from our partners TCS and Kyndryl talked about how training employees is fueling growth within their companies and the industry as a whole. Working together, Microsoft, TCS, and Kyndryl are making skills development on Microsoft Cloud and other platforms more accessible and adding to community development through job creation.
Such efforts provide a blueprint for other Microsoft partners wanting to invest in their employees’ skills.
TCS drives growth through large-scale skilling
TCS, a Microsoft Partner of the Year winner for three straight years, has pursued a successful strategy to address the worldwide skills gap by training associates in cloud and AI skills. By helping their global associates achieve literacy, fluency, expertise, and mastery with Microsoft Cloud, TCS took the initiative to stay ahead of the curve.
When the organization’s Microsoft Business Unit team saw that having a clear talent development strategy would be a defining factor for business success, they focused on building talent from the ground up. All of their associates—now totaling more than 600,000—are required to develop their cloud skills.
The skilling strategy they developed uses resources that TCS already has, along with training provided by Microsoft. First, the TCS Microsoft Business Unit team leverages the company’s existing learning platforms to develop IT, digital, and process skills. They also leverage Microsoft certifications and platforms such as Microsoft Learn to validate associates’ skills. Finally, TCS has created customized content that covers multiple customer-specific and project-specific skilling needs.
Benefits of training partnership with Microsoft
TCS not only helps to provide cloud skills but also inspires them to invest their time into learning using two curated workshops: Educational and Inspirational:
- Educational workshops: These workshops feature more structured, involved course content and facilitators from Microsoft and their learning partners, along with project deployment and customer contextual sessions by TCS subject matter experts.
- Inspirational workshops: These sessions are more free flowing with speakers, facilitators, and presenters from Microsoft, TCS customer base, or TCS leaders from product and offering teams. They share with learners the potential of Azure, customer transformation stories, and the nuances of working on Azure by sharing their personal stories and journey—and the joy of helping to transform a business.
By requiring TCS associates to go through skilling courses, they are highly skilled and can have meaningful conversations with customers about cloud-related and AI technology. For TCS, it means customers who rely on the company’s knowledgeable advice and use the company for future projects. Because their associates’ skills are a competitive differentiator for TCS, the company continues to work closely with Microsoft partner enablement teams to make sure their training strategy stays updated with in-demand skills and emerging technologies. For example, TCS is expanding their associates’ knowledge of generative AI with plans to upskill 25,000 engineers on Microsoft Azure OpenAI.
Kyndryl focuses on world-class Microsoft Cloud skills
Kyndryl, an IT infrastructure services provider, also saw skilling as a growth engine and applied innovative training models to train their employees and aligned their technical training with sales.
At Inspire, Kyndryl talked about their experiences in skilling up their workforce and the value of the Microsoft Cloud Executive Enablement Series. While there are many crucial components in a global skilling strategy, Kyndryl prioritized the following three elements:
- Enablement content that aligns with business priorities and skilling requirements and is role-specific to maximize the learning experience for individuals.
- Continual follow-up after training to keep skills updated and relevant to ongoing business priorities and evolving skills requirements.
- Executive sponsorship to provide clear messaging and alignment around the importance of skilling for all team members.
Kyndryl focused over the past year on developing and implementing Kyndryl University for Microsoft. This world-class platform drives Microsoft Cloud enablement initiatives across all roles that focus on sales, solutions, and delivery. Through their skilling programs, Kyndryl teams go into client engagements fully prepared to deliver high-level quality solutions. They have also strengthened their alignment with Microsoft teams for more effective sales of joint solutions.
Talking business value with the Microsoft Cloud Executive Enablement Series
A recent addition to the Kyndryl University for Microsoft curriculum is the Microsoft Cloud Executive Enablement Series. This new series sets out to enable organizations to bring the value of the Microsoft Cloud to their customers. During this series, partners learn how to leverage Microsoft capabilities to drive innovation, digital transformation, and growth. The fireside chat style of the episodes ensures that everyone—from executive leadership to the sales and solutions teams—can understand and deliver key messaging and insights related to Microsoft Cloud technologies.
Senior leaders have embraced the series, incorporating it into their own development plans and making a concerted effort to cascade the knowledge to their teams. This level of engagement and endorsement from leadership shows the positive impact executive sponsorship has on skilling programs.
Aligning teams for greater sales impact
When tech teams and sales teams collaborate to solve specific client challenges, they deliver high-quality solutions. With this in mind, Kyndryl has partnered with Microsoft to build complementary sales and technical training workshops that target specific customer use cases—such as deploying SAP on Azure. The sales team learns why SAP on Azure is a smart business decision while the technical team learns best practices for deploying SAP on Azure. This parallel training delivers exceptional results around the specific use case, and the alignment of teams uncovers new solutions opportunities with clients.
Investing in enablement programs
TCS and Kyndryl show how other Microsoft partners can use skilling as a growth engine to drive business value and innovation at the same time. For information on how Microsoft is expanding partner enablement opportunities, watch the Increase customer outcomes through enablement session, and don’t miss catching up on other on-demand Inspire sessions.
To learn more about how Microsoft Cloud technologies can enable you and your teams to achieve more, subscribe to the Microsoft Cloud Executive Enablement Series in video and podcast format. Additionally, Microsoft Cloud Week for Partner events offer numerous opportunities to build skills. Learn about upcoming training events covering Azure, Modern Work, Security, and Business Applications. You also can learn about the benefits of joining the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program.