ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Partner content
Story image

Interview: Mobile Mentor's take on what it means to be an award-winning Microsoft partner

By Sara Barker
Wed 28 Jul 2021

This year Mobile Mentor was named the global 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year for Modern Endpoint Management. It was a landmark win for a New Zealand-founded company that has made leaps and bounds with Microsoft technologies for countless customers - and one customer in particular. 

The award recognised Mobile Mentor’s work with United States-based end-of-life care provider Alive Hospice, which supports more than 3,600 patients and their families every year. Mobile Mentor worked with Alive Hospice to roll out Microsoft Intune, which makes it easier for the hospice to provision laptops for clinical workers, and tablets for patients.

This all happened just a few months before the COVID-19 lockdowns, which meant that hospice staff found it much easier to work remotely and provide care to people throughout the tough lockdown periods. Mobile Mentor’s New Zealand head of sales Jared Pedersen says it was serendipitous timing for Alive Hospice as it was able to cope during the COVID-19 restrictions in the US.

The award recognition demonstrates that device management is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, particularly in the healthcare sector which has an important mission - to care for people. That mission would not be possible without the right balance of productivity and security.

Pedersen adds that the Partner of the Year for Modern Endpoint Management award is a great recognition of the company’s work with Alive Hospice and the utilisation of Microsoft technologies, but partnerships are so much more than just awards.

Pedersen also understands the importance of partners from a Microsoft point of view - prior to joining Mobile Mentor, Pedersen was in charge of the Partner Award programme administration for Microsoft New Zealand until late 2017.

“Microsoft invests billions of dollars every year into their partner channel - from a Microsoft perspective it’s sincere, and 95% - maybe even more - of all Microsoft revenue goes through partners. Microsoft naturally advocates its own solutions, but it also acknowledges the critical need for partners to take those solutions to market.”

He says the Microsoft Partner Network not only recognises Mobile Mentor’s credibility as a Microsoft partner but also allows customers to highlight their achievements as they adopt technology solutions. 

“It’s never just about hiring a partner to do a job for a customer. It takes mutual participation, it takes an understanding of the customer, and the customer needs to be equally as passionate about solving their business issue.”

Microsoft also ensures that partners have the right resources, capabilities, engineering and sales skills to ensure that partners can provide the right solutions for customers.

“Microsoft focuses on building the infrastructure to help their partners, and they also help with things like marketing campaigns, competency training programmes and rebate programmes - it’s all there," says Pedersen.

From Mobile Mentor’s perspective, the company has shaped itself around Microsoft’s products and services. The company provides modern endpoint management capabilities through Microsoft services. It’s an area of specialisation that also enables the company to make the most of Microsoft’s offerings. 

Mobile Mentor chose to align with Microsoft technologies - mainly endpoint management like Microsoft Intune - after founder Denis O’Shea attended Microsoft Inspire in Washington DC a few years ago.

“Everybody at Mobile Mentor focuses on how we can leverage our Microsoft relationship for the benefit of our own business and our customers," says Pedersen.

"Being on that journey - making a decision, and then sticking by it, building goals around it, and being recognised for it - are all critical parts of making sure that you're getting all the goodness that you possibly can out of the vendors that you're aligning to.”

He adds, “You only get out of a partnership what you put in. When we focus on key areas that Microsoft is investing in, we can make Microsoft’s programmes work for us.”

Collaboration between partners is also an important focus for Mobile Mentor. Pedersen calls this ‘spreading partner goodwill’, which means ensuring that no partner operates in a bubble. Competent partners working together can usually achieve more for a customer than any one partner operating on their own. It’s all about leveraging complementary strengths.

“At Mobile Mentor, we do modern endpoint management, and we’ll work with other specialist Microsoft solution partners and resellers for mutual benefit and that of the customer. 

"Collectively, we can do much good as an industry for our joint customers and for the NZ economy in general.”

Pedersen also has some advice for organisations navigating the partner ecosystem.

1.  Practice and ‘live in’ the ethos that partners are better together.

“Identify where you play - be clear about it, and make sure that others in the industry know where you play. That way, it becomes easier to see where you, as a partner, can add value and where another partner can add value.”

2. Relationship transparency encourages trust

“In a small market like New Zealand, you might think that it pays to keep information under wraps and be suspicious of any other partners out there. If you believe in partnering, then you'll be willing to, in the right way, provide transparency so that you can work closer together."

3. Practice friendly advocacy amongst partners

“When you’re talking with customers or potential customers and they bring up a partner they’re already working with, if you know that partner and can credibly boost them in the eyes of their customer do so. Being sincere and honest breeds good karma.”

4. Drive commercial clarity

“When you partner, you need to understand what the partnership actually entails. Is this a handshake where you are both talking to a customer but there is no commercial arrangement between partners? Or is one partner going to be white labelling the other service?  Are you going to be building an RFP together with that? Ensure you drive commercial clarity.”

5. Avoid making preconceived assumptions about whether a partner is good for you 

“There may be times when you’ve considered a partnership but aren’t sure it will work. Give them a call or go visit them anyway.

“In all my time reaching out to other partners, there has been maybe one time where an organisation has said ‘no, we don’t want to partner.’ In almost every other instance, there's some opportunity to come together.

"You might have to look at your service offerings versus theirs and stratify these more, or you may need to work out how you're going to work together. In almost all cases, there's going to be some way that you can mutually benefit by working together. Try not to make any preconceived assumptions about partners before you actually speak to them.”

Learn more about Mobile Mentor here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
Azure-based technology asBuilt signals better BIM outcomes in NZ
The Microsoft Azure-based asBuilt intelligence hub is helping Kiwi businesses accelerate their building information management potential.
Story image
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Sony releases a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers
Sony has unveiled INZONETM, a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers that makes gaming more immersive and offers greater gaming ability.
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Financial results
Margins & revenues up at New Zealand arm of Acer Computer
We look at the local financial statements of Taiwanese manufacturer Acer Computer Inc.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Airwallex launches global payment services in New Zealand
The launch will enable businesses in New Zealand to tap into Airwallex's global payments services, offering an alternative to traditional banks.
Story image
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Supply chain
Supply chains continue to be disrupted, enterprises embrace circular economy
“Businesses urgently need to find a solution that can help them to manage this disruption, and transition to a circular economy."
Story image
Up to $2.4 million shortfall in the collapse of IndeServe
We delve into the liquidators first report on long-standing networking service provider IndeServes collapse.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Retailers must invest in new tech to keep up with online shopping demand
There's a higher demand for more purchasing opportunities at our fingertips, as well as greater expectations when it comes to the online customer experience."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Data crucial to capture shoppers' wallets post-COVID
First-party data strategies key to driving personalisation, customer satisfaction, and long-lasting relationships according to a new report.
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
NEC expands Open RAN ecosystem with Aspire Tech acquisition
With its agreement to acquire Aspire Technology, NEC Corporation has further increased its capacity to deliver End-to-End Open RAN ecosystems.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Advent One acquires Layer 8 Networks, complements hybrid cloud offering
The acquisition comes at a time of surging demand in hybrid cloud, network virtualisation and network security.
Story image
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Microsoft names A/NZ Partner of the Year award winners
The awards recognise partners across the globe for their innovative use of Microsoft technologies to help customers succeed.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Datacom announces revenue of $1.45 billion, fall in profit
Growing market pressures and border closures saw Datacom place increased focus on talent development initiatives for both existing and future employees.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic looks to observability market with new partner programme
New Relic has announced the availability of New Relic Partner Stack, an enhanced programme expanding New Relic’s commitment to partners.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Blasé attitudes to cybersecurity by business a national risk
The largely unregulated state of cybersecurity in NZ, and consequential ambivalence of most businesses, risk hurting the country's trading prospects.
Story image
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Digital innovation could shape the future of NZ - Microsoft
With cloud technologies available to more people around the world than ever before, it is not only businesses who will benefit from using them.