Attributed to: Rachel Bondi, General Manager, Chief Partner Officer, Microsoft Australia
We call our annual Partner event Inspire for good reason; the work that partners do with us, with one another and for our shared customers is genuinely inspirational.
We are starting a new chapter as we bring together Microsoft in Australia and New Zealand, and that new chapter brings significant opportunity for our partners in ANZ through increased partner-to-partner collaboration and a fresh perspective on customer needs on both sides of the ditch.
Most of our customers in this region operate as ANZ entities, and we believe by coming together we can enhance our impact. Microsoft’s investment in ANZ with four data centre regions in Australia and another planned for New Zealand has created important digital foundations on which we can build a better future.
There is no getting away from the fact that 2020 and 2021 have been tough, and we are not out of the woods yet. But I’m deeply optimistic about the future, not least because our customers have made such amazing progress with digital transformation in recent months.
By our estimates the transition to a digital economy has accelerated 10-fold in the last 18 months as every industry, every individual has sought out new ways to work, to learn, to connect. At Microsoft ANZ we know that our partners act as both catalyst and fuel for successful digital transformation across this region.
I believe that Microsoft, our partners, and our customers understand that there are four steps involved in sustained success – aspire to something, deliver against that, inspire another innovation, repeat. Over the next year I look forward to working with you in all of those endeavours.
These are the steps that have led to recent successes including the development and deployment of a vaccine management solution in Victoria; the announcement by Euclideon that it plans to build the world’s largest geospatial data platform on Azure; and the work by Paraflare to secure critical transportation networks with Azure.
To maintain this momentum there are challenges that we will have to address – but we will address them together. That’s what partners do.
Challenge1: talent and inclusion
One of the challenges that we will all have to continue to tackle is around skills as we all strive to attract, retain and upskill talent. The Australian Government’s Digital Economy Strategy reveals that 87 per cent of modern-day jobs require digital skills and it predicts that 250,000 new jobs will come on stream by 2025 because of digitalisation.
In the last year we have successfully awarded 11,554 certifications and we have seen 250 people – 200 women and 50 men – undertake the first Women Rising program with another significant group signed up for the next one. This financial year we are committed to helping train 150,000 partners and customers, to encourage further certification, and to invest in TAFE training in ANZ – supporting 250 trainees in 50 organisations.
In Australia, women currently hold less than a third of all technology job. I believe that gender equality, and we believe that all workplaces should be inclusive and places where people – all our people – feel like they belong. We want to leverage that opportunity as a major brand and influencer to empower all smaller organizations to get involved. Microsoft is very committed to taking action – from Champion of Change and our 12 participating partners, to the hundreds of women and men participating in our Women Rising program.
By nurturing learning cultures and championing diversity and inclusion, we are all setting ourselves up for sustained success. There’s more detail on each of the initiatives in the links above – why not sign up now for one of the programs now and get involved in upskilling ANZ?
Challenge 2: growth
Most of my career was working in product leadership and I was always thrilled to see how solutions can be built for global scale and reach. Microsoft Commercial Marketplace turbocharges that growth potential by dramatically expanding the reach of partners. In the last year 78 per cent of Australian enterprises had downloaded or purchased an application or service from Marketplace. Our clients are closely evaluating their data estates, and realizing that industry and data-led repeatable solutions scale much faster.
This is an unmissable opportunity for partners to leverage your IP, and to gear for growth by ensuring your products and services are visible and accessible to customers in 140 countries, for sale in 17 different currencies.
In the coming year we will double down our efforts and invest in digital business, start up and ISV community and expand Marketplace, which is already home to 30,000+ applications and services. I strongly urge all partners to explore how you can leverage your IP, further commercialise your industry experience and expertise, and accelerate your partner-to-partner collaboration efforts. There’s more information here on next steps.
Challenge 3: depth
I firmly believe that industry prioritisation and greater specialisation brings great rewards for customers and partners. Take for example the impact that Fusion5, our NZ Partner of the Year, is having after establishing a manufacturing centre of excellence. If, like me, you and your family grew up on SPC fruits and preserves, the fact that Fusion5 is now supporting SPC manufacturing is a truly iconic win and testament to our partner’s understanding of this sector’s needs.
At Microsoft we have aligned our sales teams to have an industry focus, and we are rolling out tailored cloud solutions in a number of areas such as financial services, manufacturing and not-for-profit with more in the wings. There is enormous opportunity for partners with deep vertical understanding and experience in a particular sector – and also to productise that via Marketplace.
I started out saying that the reason we call our annual partner event Inspire, is because of the inspiration that comes from our ecosystem, from the people, from the stories that you share, from the impact that you have. This year was particularly inspirational as we were able to celebrate a record three winners and 11 finalists in our Global Partner awards. Congratulations all!
A quick word from our global leader Nick Parker who wanted me to share this with you all.
I’m immensely proud of the values, the commitment, the capability of our partner community and I look forward with great optimism to the year ahead and working with you to bring our shared customers exceptional success, and to inspire us all to achieve our very best.