In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Mark Bowker recaps the highlights of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.
Announcer: The following is an "ESG on Location" video.
Mark: Hi, everybody. Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group here. I recently attended Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. It's always interesting to watch the message in the voice that Microsoft uses into that community, and really what they do to get them excited and ultimately really run the next fiscal year with them to really sell more of Microsoft's products and services into businesses.
So a couple things that I noticed there. One is they really highlighted this idea about digital transformation, and this is really taking more business process and digitizing them more. Moving away from paper process, moving away from manual things, and really bringing everything into a more mobile, connected, deeper insight to data type of world. The other thing that was pretty obvious as well is that the buyer is changing. No longer are these resellers and borrowers selling directly to that IT buyer. The line of business is having more influencing on that decision.
They have better insight potentially into the business, into what they're looking for from an application perspective, and they're really influencing working together or ideally working together with that IT buyer. So they do a lot of time educating, making sure that you're not only talking to that line of business, but also the IT buyer as well. Another thing they really encourage partners to do is be unique in what you can do with delivering Microsoft. So if you're going in to a customer delivering, for example, Office 365, a Windows 10 upgrade, be unique into that environment. Maybe it's specific to that vertical. Maybe it's specific to a certain use case in the retail industry around certain challenges that they see in that environment.
Then, the other thing that they stressed as well is a lot of sales are happening without a sales person. Meaning, people are going online and buying, and swiping their credit card. So as a partner, how are you adding services? Whether they be early assessment services, whether they're services that go in and provide support services, whether it's really just guidance service. Once people buy into that initial offering, what are some additional things that they can be doing? One of the initial offerings Microsoft stressed, which is very interesting, is around single sign-on.
So with the integration of mobile apps and web apps, and even standard kind of desktop apps, being able to have single sign-on, even potentially multi-factor authentication across those applications is really that good entry into the door. Once you get that, now it's about, "How can I support BYOD better? How can I support these devices? How do I bring, or how do I take that digital business, digital transformation into these investments that I'm making?"
So Microsoft is always an interesting company to watch. Certainly seeing more really transition to that cloud computing, to mobility, and watching how they do it through ways of working together with their partners. It's always exciting to see how they're really talking to them, communicating with them, really helping them change the way they do business with their customers.