Shortly after Microsoft made some changes to the structure of its partner team, Microsoft is looking forward to opportunities its partners can take advantage of over the next 12 months.
According to Microsoft’s top execs, helping customers navigate digital transformation, specialization, and establishing partnerships are all ways its partners can seize the opportunities available to them in 2017.
To see its full list of 7 partner opportunities for 2017, check out the Microsoft Partner Network blog.
1. Help Customers Embrace New Digital Economy
You’ve likely heard that every company is now a technology company. In fact, according to IDC, investment in digital transformation initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion by 2019. This spending provides a tremendous opportunity for partners, Microsoft Corporate VP Chris Weber says.
“Partners have an opportunity in 2017 to capitalize on this by bringing value-added services. Beyond helping customers, partners can transform their own businesses, shifting traditional business models from reselling or system integration to becoming more managed service providers or ISVs.”
Aziz Benmalek, VP, Microsoft, says, “From consulting to migrations, to operations management, managed services provides you with an opportunity to add a new, higher margin business line that can provide a more stable, steady stream of recurring revenue.”
2. Find Out Who You Are and Specialize
Though technology is a big part of digital transformation, there are other things that make a partner’s organization unique. According to Ron Huddleston, Corporate VP, Microsoft, “your processes, your vertical, your customer identity, your go-to-market model can all be differentiating factors – but to do that, you must know who you are at the core.”
“Differentiation is key to standing out in a competitive marketplace. Partners are differentiating their businesses by targeting verticals or industries, establishing a technology specialization and building intellectual property services,” Huddleston says. “New intellectual property services are being created from advances in AI, bots, mixed reality and more. Keep learning, creating and finding new ways to differentiate yourself.”
3. Partner Up
Once you’ve discovered who “you are at the core”, you may be ready to look for partnerships to build your business. A recent report by Gartner found that top-performing organizations have, on average, 78 partners in their digital ecosystems, with the expectation that they will nearly double the number of these partners to 143 in the next two years.
Gavriella Schuster, Corporate VP, Microsoft, says, “How you define your business, and who you choose to partner with, must evolve as more and more companies embrace digital transformation. Defining your unique core is critical to finding truly complementary partnerships, so look inward to figure out your secret sauce. Remember that it’s not about becoming a different partner – it’s about doing things differently.”