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7 partner opportunities in 2017 according to Microsoft

Channel Strategy

Between digital transformation and the cloud, there is plenty for partners to get excited about in 2017, and Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) executives have picked seven opportunities for Microsoft partners to take advantage of.

This builds upon a study the tech giant commissioned IDC for in 2016 that would help partners with their prioritization.

To create the list, seven MPN executives took turns picking an opportunity they believe partners can dive into this year. We’ve got the list below.

1. Help Customers embrace the new digital economy

Corporate vice president Chris Weber suggests dialing into digital transformation. He points to running eCommerce sites, apps, or inventing new revenue streams through digitizing products and processes as ways for partners to grow in 2017.

Meaning cognitive services, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things will be technology partners will want to take a look at sooner rather than later.

2. Take a fresh look at your business and specialize

Corporate vice president Ron Huddleston follows a similar beat. He points out that as technology advances and reinvents industries regularly, there are opportunities to take a new look at the processes and products being created today, and re-imagine them.

As more and more businesses take advantage of this new tech, the one’s who will stand out from the pack are the one’s who made something different.

3. Mix competition with cooperation

Corporate vice president Gavriella Schuster suggests collaboration with your fellow partners. She uses an example of two CSPs in Australia: Charted Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), and HubOne. The two combined offerings to put together a package that is an easier sell to potential customers.

“One of our CSP partners in the region, Rhipe, calls this opportunity the Internet of Partners – I call it a great way to build your business,” Schuster wrote.

4. Prepare for the app explosion

Corporate vice president Mitra Azizirad focuses on application innovation and the idea that enterprises in 2017 are in the ‘experience business’. The demand for business apps that function with the quality and efficiency of consumer apps is bigger than ever, and the businesses who take advantage of that need will be ahead of the game.

“Predictive analytics and Azure data services help you create intelligent apps which drive deeper engagement and in turn greater business results,” wrote Azizirad.

5. Deliver customer lifetime value through managed services

Vice president Aziz Benmalek follows that ‘experience business’ idea as well. The customer relationship is more important than ever, especially as CSPs turn to consulting services on top of their products and offerings.

On top of consulting, Benmalek points out areas such as operations management that with a boost in customer experience could add a “new, higher margin business line that can provide a more stable, steady stream of recurring revenue.”

6. Establish credibility and differentiate via expertise

CTO Eduardo Kassner points out three areas top performing cloud partners leverage: they invest deeply in building their teams’ technical skills, they take an all hands-on deck approach to blogging, and they get involved in the community. With new tech releasing every year, teams without re-training will fall behind.

Plus, for the third point in a row, Microsoft is hammering away the point that the customer experience is a vital one for partners.

7. Make impact that matters with the cloud

Corporate vice president Toni Townes-Whitley points to the growing amount of cloud partners, and the possibilities those partners have to differentiate themselves from the rest. She points to partners such as Epimed ISV who is partnering with 350 hospitals in Brazil to use a mobile, Azure-based analytics solution that has reduced the rate of hospital-induced infections throughout Intensive Care Units by 20 per cent.

Cloud experts have the opportunity to introduce good and positive change in 2017. And the world needs just that.

For more, read on here.