Cloud innovation and business agility

20 July, 2021

Increase profitability, decrease technical skills gap challenges, and secure existing customers by delivering an all-in-one solutions stack

The Microsoft Modern Workplace framework delivers security capabilities for remote work, hybrid technologies for connectivity and lower latency, Power Platform to automate contactless processes, integrated Azure Lighthouse technology to view the shape of all your customers in just one click and so much more for greater efficiency, transparency and control.

As Microsoft solutions continue to accelerate partner performance, hear insights on the next steps for growth in the Australian market as our Synnex CSP Marketing Specialist, Kathy Zheng, chat with Microsoft Partner Technology Strategist, Philip Meyer in our recent Channel Talk podcast episode.

The state of the market 

Philip Meyer’s restaurant analogy

Traditional partners: They used to run a general store where customers would engage to buy "bits and pieces".

The current market: Partners are running a restaurant, with managed services for customers to access a "meal deal package". Here, partner source the ingredients and charges customers for a constructed meal.

Q1: What are the three top challenges partners facing today with the move to a hybrid work environment?

1. The transformation to managed services (moving from a general store to a restaurant)

  • This is a challenge that emerged prior to covid. It helps the partner community move towards becoming a managed service partner rather than a transactional partner to their customers, increasing profitability.
  • Margins are getting thinner - prompting the opportunity for partners to "create meals", build relationships and move towards an IT-as-a-service to provide a range of other services like network and security assessments, help desk or ongoing management.

2. Skills gap: Understanding and equipping staff with technical skills to work with new technologies. Equipping staff with the necessary skills particularly around security.

3. Amplifying business presence online, to secure go to market strategies (GTMS):

  • With traditional face-to-face selling no longer the only way to interact with customers, GTM strategies that are refined to utilise online platforms like social media are helping businesses stand out from the competition.
  • Training of sales on the customer conversations for change.

Q2: How can partners deliver an all-in-one solution across current trends with Microsoft’s integrated solutions under the one banner?  

Microsoft’s best-of-suite cloud solution: The Workplace Evolution published by Harvard Business Review found that 78% of senior executives in enterprise businesses believe fostering a modern workplace strategy is essential. However, only 31% think their company is forward-thinking enough to do so. 

"It’s about Change, and change can be a challenge. If you embrace change and enjoy change, you will love this industry. It’s about leaning into building an understanding of the full and comprehensiveness of the Microsoft portfolio for security, productivity and collaboration."

Office is much more than Word, Excel and PowerPoint now, it isn't just a virtual machine cloud or chat cloud, it's all of those things and much more. Including expensive security capabilities from end-point, anti-malware and anti-virus through to anti-phishing, anti-ransomeware, data loss prevention and protecting corporate data.

"We now call it Microsoft 365 because it brings in extensive collaboration for chat, meetings, webinars and large live events, 10s of 1,000s of attendees in Microsoft Teams" 

The range of security capabilities and management capabilities covering devices, users, documents, applications and email.  The change for partners is a change in using numerous dis-integrated products from a vast array of vendors to starting with Microsoft, applying that to address the breadth and depths of needs at a lower cost to the customer, freeing up the IT budget for them to then spend with you the partner on profitable managed services. 

With a dedicated partner team focused on:  

  1. Guiding Partners on building Solutions and Managed Services,  
  2. Assisting with material for Technical at , and Synnex Upskill Rewards Program  
  3. A GTM material (templates for email, sales calls, presentations) and marketplace to profile the partners Solutions and Services to Microsoft Sellers and to customers.   

The customer management challenge is navigating in a "multi-customer world": The Microsoft Lighthouse technology (Azure lighthouse and Microsoft 365 lighthouse) is 1 console to see the health of their customers, compute, storage, alerts and updates needed to be applied done by one click of a button.

Q3: With commercial cloud revenue reaching $16.7 billion, up 34% year on year, how is Microsoft keeping up with the accelerating demand for differentiated offerings? 

Secure remote work enabled by Microsoft 365 coupled with extensive capabilities in Azure have enabled our teams to be even more productive in the past 12 months.  We’ve seen two years of transformation for us and more for our customers every two months. We’re also committed to building 50 to 100 new data centers every year covering Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics 365.  That’s faster growth and deeper commitment to local regions and countries than any other public cloud provider. Plus we’re adding to the range of hybrid capabilities for areas where connectivity is limited, such as Azure Stack Edge and HCI, and Azure Arc for interconnect leading to management of on-premise servers, virtual machines, Kubernetes and containers.  

Current offerings:

  • Power Platform is more than just Power BI / a data visualisation tool  
  • Microsoft Viva - employee health, well-being, learning, recommendations

A great starting point is for your business, and for your customers so they understand some best practices to enable Secure Remote Work.   

Q4: How is Power Platform more than Power BI?

A data visualisation tools for devision making. Power Platform is part of a family of four; power automate, power apps and virtual agents bot, which have been popular with partners who need to connect their customers' different processes and existing systems to automated processes with no code, that wasn't easily accessible before.

Did you know?

  • You can turn images into spreadsheets in excel using AI?
  • On Teams, you can turn your PowerPoint live captioning to translate in a different language?

Partnering with Microsoft through Synnex 

Q5: So, you survived 2020, now what? What opportunities are there for partners who have now already transitioned?

The growth areas/next steps for the modern workplace and security space for the next 6-8 months are:

  • Microsoft Workplace technology implementation - there are still opportunities for more integration e.g. ensuring multi-factor authentication is turned on through Azure.
  • Secure remote work: The full journey of preventing attack paths that predators are taking.
  • Well-being: Microsoft Viva - Introducing new technologies to gain greater insights and guidance for future innovations.

Join the Microsoft Partner network

For more information:

Contact our CSP team for more information on partnering with us and if you have any questions on information mentioned in this podcast episode:
📞 1300 100 108