Lost & found: Finding great ideas and the next big thing in Asia Pacific

Enormous Potential for Microsoft Partners to Participate in Digital Transformation Opportunities in Asia Pacific

By Valerie Beaulieu, General Manager, Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners, Microsoft Asia Pacific

At Microsoft, we are constantly reminded of the important role that our partners play to help bring digital innovations to life for their end customers using Microsoft cloud.

I would like to share three of my favorite stories, showcasing the best of technology innovations from our partners in Asia Pacific. And, interestingly, all are related to the theme of ‘lost & found’.

Lost & Found: Tools, Assets and Construction Materials

Where’s the spanner when you need it? A widespread problem at large construction sites is the misplacement of tools, assets and materials; there are simply too many of them lying around.

This is a problem that Australian technology firm Track’Em solved with plenty of imagination, and the Microsoft Cloud. Using barcodes, GPS, and radio-frequency identification, Kashif Saleem, CEO and Founder of Track’Em, built a cloud-based asset tracking solution that is used today by a growing base of clients in the mining, oil and gas, construction, and engineering industries.

Kashif Saleem, CEO and Founder of Track’Em (extreme right) shared his inspirations on stage at the recent Microsoft Inspire 2017 with Gavin Miller, Executive Chairman of Ertech Holdings Pty Ltd and Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business of Microsoft

A key theme at Microsoft’s recent Inspire conference in Washington D.C, was how Microsoft partners, such as Track’Em, could be at the center of a US$4.5 trillion digital transformation opportunity globally. This comes as major technological advancements usher in a new wave of cloud-driven business innovation, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.

What’s exciting is that the digital transformation journeys of most organizations in Asia Pacific have only just begun. A recent Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study that surveyed close to 1,500 business leaders in the region found that 80% agreed that there is a need for their organization to become a digital business. But only 29% have a full digital strategy in place. This means that these business leaders require the expertise of our partners like Track’Em, to help them assemble their own digital transformation roadmap.

Crucially, partners have an opportunity in the digital age to help organizations accelerate their digital transformation journeys today, especially when the study revealed that business leaders identified the lack of a digitally skilled workforce as the number one barrier in their transformation journey.

Lost & Found: Wallets, Phones and Vehicles in India  

To create a real impact in digital transformation, we need a paradigm shift in industry collaboration. We must work even closer with our partners and their customers – not only to co-ideate, but also to co-create digital solutions that are unique to their industries or even their operations. Also, we increasingly need our partners to consider the greater risk by moving from providing broad point solutions to specialized areas.

Screenshots of Delhi Police MV Theft e-FIR mobile app.

One notable example of this new world of partnership is PC Solutions, an end-to-end technology solutions provider based in India. The company first worked with the Delhi Police Department to create an app that citizens can use to easily report any lost items instead of heading to nearby police stations to make a report. The app, which cost US$15,000 to build, was an efficient and time-saving tool that quickly gained popularity among users and the police department. Today, the app is used by around 2.5 million users in the city.

Devendra Taneja CEO of PC Solutions (third from right) with the commissioner of Delhi Police during the Launch ceremony, officiated by the former Minister of Home Affairs Sushil Kumar Shinde.

After the success of the app, PC Solutions went on to develop a mobile and web app to help the Delhi Police force to combat motor vehicle theft. The app transformed the Delhi police’s investigation process and filing of first information report (FIR), accelerated the closing of cases and provided citizens with a hassle-free lodging of report. The app is also integrated with the Judiciary system for a simple and easy insurance claims process. As the number of prospective users could go up to as many as 10 million, PC Solutions developed the Motor Vehicle Theft app on Microsoft Stack of technology to ensure maximum security and scalability.

Lost & Found: Solving Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia

Digital transformation is not all about commercial endeavours – it can also be about saving lives. One award-winning Asian partner lauded at Microsoft Inspire 2017 was Avepoint, a Microsoft partner, which has worked with more than 15,000 companies and 5 million cloud users worldwide to accelerate their digital transformation on the cloud.

Partnering with Microsoft and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the company developed 6degree.org, a crowd funding portal to help human trafficking victims in ASEAN countries (pictured below).

Deservingly, Avepoint was awarded CityNext Partner of the Year at Microsoft Inspire 2017.

For more than 40 years we have been, and continue to be, a partner-led company. In fact, we generate more than 95% of our business through our diverse and dynamic partner ecosystem. The three partners that I have highlighted here are just some of the exemplary technology companies that are enabling digital transformation for organizations in Asia Pacific.

Today, we have more than 64,000 cloud partners globally – more than AWS, Google and Salesforce combined. Without these partners, we cannot succeed in our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Lastly, I am excited to be bringing to Asia Pacific a new model that was unveiled at Microsoft Inspire 2017. One Commercial Partner will align all partner-facing roles into one organization. This will enable our partners to innovate faster and better for their customers. This new model will help realize new business opportunities with our partners, especially with the exciting launch of new Microsoft Azure programs and Microsoft 365.

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