The Record Issue 13: Summer 2019

30 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om I NT E R V I EW Tell us about what’s happened since we spoke last year. Where have the last 12 months taken Microsoft? I’m happy to say we’ve had an incredible year with our partners so far. In my 23 years with Microsoft, I can’t remember a time when there’s been this much excitement and energy around the technology and the innovation our partners are building for customers.  We know that when Microsoft has a strong year or quarter, our partners are a huge reason why. It’s no secret that 95% of Microsoft’s commercial revenue is driven by partners and earlier this year Satya disclosed that our partner co-sell pro- gramme has driven US$8 billion in partner rev- enue – that is Microsoft acting as a channel, not Microsoft revenue – in the last several quarters. Also, our partner base is continuing to growwith more than 12,000 partners joining the Microsoft channel every month. We have seen some incred- ible momentum since Inspire last year. We’re just over a year down the road from the launch of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner strategy. Where have Microsoft and its partners seen the biggest wins? The One Commercial Partner team was built to create pathways for success through partner- ship and to deliver on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. The truth is, partners make more possible and with that fundamental understanding, the One Commercial Partner model has modernised our approach to how we partner with our ecosystem. We have evolved from a model of ‘partnering’ to one of ‘partnership’. Our partners build on top of Microsoft’s products, adding value for customers and creating new revenue opportuni- ties that weren’t possible before. When I travel around the world speaking to our partners, exec- utives tell me they appreciate Microsoft more now because we’re laser-focused on true two- way partnerships – and on their success, not just ours. This means we’re just as invested in selling third-party partner solutions as we are our own. This approach has been really impactful and we’re seeing great momentum in our ecosystem. For example, our initial US$250 million invest- ment in the intellectual property (IP) co-sell pro- gramme – which rewards Microsoft sellers for selling partner solutions – is already paying big dividends. We’ve found that when co-sell part- ners are involved, deals close nearly three times faster, projects are nearly six times larger and Azure consumption is eight times higher when a partner is involved. Already this fiscal year we’ve seen nearly 9,000 wins and 78,000 joint deals in our pipeline, compared with last year’s total 11,000 wins and 100,000 joint deals. Microsoft’s vision for digital transformation has evolved to become more about customer implementation than potential adoption. How has this changed the game-plan for you, and where do you see the big wins coming from over the next twelve months? We are always innovating and updating our ser- vices with our customers in mind. For us this means taking a practical look at how best our products and services can help customers of all sizes succeed. Sometimes, this means encouraging changes and implementations that can be tough for customers to execute on their own. However, this also means a huge opportunity for partners to provide valuable migration services. For example, SQL Server 2008 is approach- ing end-of-support this coming July, along with Windows Server 2008 a year from now. Our services and IP partners are finding huge Over the last 12 months, Microsoft has reinvented the way it works with its partners – a move which has led to over US$8 billion in additional revenue. Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner Group, tells us more Putting partners first BY ANDY C L AY TON - SM I TH