Rajiv Sodhi, General Manager- Partner Ecosystem, Microsoft India, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
Year 2018 was significant for Microsoft as our newly constituted internal model, One Commercial Partner (OCP) organisation, completed a year. The OCP organisation has aligned Microsoft’s teams into building solutions with partners as well as connecting our partners with customers. Today, we are working with over 9,500 partners which include ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), SIs (System Integrators) and MSPs (Managed Service Providers), and the OCP organisation is accelerating digital transformation journey of our customers across business and government organisations.
Nearly 3,000 of our partners offer cloud services, which makes the Microsoft cloud ecosystem the largest in India. We are also working with over 700 partners to infuse AI and cognitive services in the workings of organisations across verticals, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, automotive, education, financial services and government services, among others.
With organisations increasingly looking at technology to drive their growth, these are exciting times for Microsoft and our partners. We have been working closely with our partners and are also assisting them with resources and trainings to build their capacity in not only creating unique solutions but also taking the solutions to customers.
Top tech trends for channel community
From a technology perspective, AI, IoT and data centre transformation are some of the noteworthy trends. Another technology trend is building of business app which address needs of CXOs. As an example, Ramco has developed an AI based chat interface using Microsoft Azure AI framework, the interface helps human resource personnel manage routine tasks such as addressing queries around an employee’s employment history, timesheet, expense filing and approvals, among others. The user just needs to enter his/her email address and password, and can then have a human-like, natural conversation about the query, while the interface responds with relevant information.
I am also going to see more and more partners building unique Intellectual Property and managed services as customers transition to the cloud. We are working with our partners to help our customers not only seamlessly shift from legacy solutions to the cloud but also provide our customers with AI and IoT integrated cloud services.
Another noteworthy trend is that our conversations with customers are getting more industry focused. I, along with our partners, are creating Digital Transformation strategy which is not only tailor-made to specific industries, but also to specific organisations.
Channel directions for partners
We are focused on enabling partners build AI solutions. We are working with our partners to analyse market needs for new solutions, making available to our partners technical specialists and architects to help build the solution and training our partners on AI.
Working with our partners as solution providers and advisors, we need to demonstrate to our customers a true understanding of their business and ways in which digitisation can improve it.
One of the best reasons to use Microsoft Azure cloud for applications and services is its wide array of security tools and capabilities. These tools and capabilities help make it possible to create secure solutions, Microsoft Azure provides confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data, while also enabling transparent accountability.
There are several ways in which organisations can leverage digital services, and we need to empower our customers through information sharing and consulting, making sure that our customers have choices in their digital transformation journey.