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Open letter to kiwi channel from Microsoft NZ's partner chief

By Sean Mitchell, Fri 14 Jul 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Inspire has lived up to its name. This phenomenal event reminds me again just how much we learn from our partners every day. Partners are our lifeblood, and every year Inspire reaffirms our commitment to all of them.

I am consistently impressed by the two-way flow of information and understanding between us and our partners, and at Inspire every day you see that dynamic in action. The world is digitally transforming and together with our partners, we are all accelerating our understanding of the businesses of tomorrow.

This Inspire has been rich in announcements, too many to list here. However, every one of the announcements had a singular focus which was: enabling partners to potentially unlock $4.5 trillion transformation opportunity:

- We unveiled Microsoft 365, a new set of commercial offerings that draws from the best of the company’s commercial products across Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

- To fuel our partners’ success and help meet our goal of a $20 billion cloud run rate by 2018, we announced with our launch hardware partners, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo that Microsoft Azure Stack is now available to order

- We also are making it easier for partners to modernise existing business applications, and build new ones, with a new programme called ISV Cloud Embed.

- New programmes such as the integration of LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 and the expanded global Mixed Reality Partner Program will help companies in every industry grow faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Beyond products, our main announcement, and one that has had a very positive reception at Ignite is that we have aligned all partner-facing roles to three primary functions:

•    Build-With

•    Go-To-Market

•    Sell-With

One Commercial Partner harnesses our partner expertise and knowledge and fosters a culture of work that puts our partners first. Ron Huddleston, Microsoft CVP of OMP, has a great blog about this restructure here.

As well as multiple announcements, there was no shortage of breath-taking statistics. Locally we had more than a hundred Kiwi partners attend Inspire with us this year. And globally, there were people from 140 countries at Inspire attending more than 145,000 meetings. And our partners employ more than 17 million people around the world, and IDC estimates that Microsoft and its partner ecosystem will garner almost a trillion dollars in revenue in 2017.

Beyond announcements and statistics, I was reminded of the privilege of working with our partners every day, an impressive group of diverse, insightful and innovative people.

I will leave you with two important quotes that came out of Inspire and which I personally believe sums up the core importance of our partners and our continued commitment to them.

The first is from  Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, who said, ‘Our partners tell us they choose Microsoft because we are more than a technology provider – we are their business partner.’

The second is from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: ‘The ethos of being partner-led is always going to be in everything we do.’

Until next year.

Philip Goldie Director, SMB, Mid-market and Partners Microsoft New Zealand

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