Digital transformation ignites higher margins, faster growth for Microsoft partners

If I could choose one word to define the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) for partners, it’s this: opportunity. Our partners realize almost 20 percent higher margins than those of the next closest competitor. Opportunity draws more than 16,000 attendees from around the world to Toronto this week, for what many of our partners view as the most important event of the year. Today, opportunity means the cloud, which is driving digital transformation across industries and in businesses of all sizes.

Customer demand for our cloud services has exploded over the past year with over 85 percent of the Fortune 500 using the Microsoft Cloud today. The power of our channel network in helping us deliver on our promise to customers has been also been tremendous. Our partners drive creative implementations of our technologies and build partnerships with each other to delivery complementary services that power new revenue streams.

According to an IDC study, cloud partners with more than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud are growing twice as fast, realizing 1.5 times more gross profit and experiencing 1.8 times more recurring revenue than partners with less than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud. Microsoft partners with more than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud are attaching $5.87 of their own services for every $1.00 of Microsoft cloud solutions sold. And we’re all just barely tapping into the potential. IDC forecasts that the greater cloud market will exceed $500 billion by 2020. To capitalize on the opportunity ahead, we know our partners need both a technology partner and a business partner to help them succeed. This is a dual role we aim to excel at.

We’ve designed WPC to help partners seize the opportunity by inspiring new thinking, sparking new relationships and driving new business across our partner ecosystem. More than 145,000 meetings are scheduled onsite for partners to network and learn, all with the goal of increasing their profitability and business growth. At WPC this week, we will celebrate our partners’ successes, recognize our Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists, and announce new technology innovations and channel investments to help partners maximize their profitability potential in the year ahead.

Empowering Digital Transformation

It’s incredible to watch our partners embrace digital transformation through Microsoft’s cloud by taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility combined with the power of intelligence and security. Today we announced some great examples of digital transformation through the likes of General Electric (GE), Ecolab and Japan Airlines.

  • GE’s Predix comes to the Azure cloud. GE shines as an example of transformation. Today General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt joined CEO Satya Nadella onstage to announce a partnership that will make GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Microsoft Azure cloud for industrial businesses. The move marks the first step in a broad strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will allow customers around the world to capture intelligence from their industrial assets and take advantage of Microsoft’s enterprise cloud applications.

    Azure will support the growth of the entire industrial IoT ecosystem by offering Predix customers access to the largest cloud footprint available today, along with data sovereignty, hybrid capabilities, and advanced developer and data services. Additionally, GE and Microsoft plan to integrate Predix with Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Intelligence Suite along with Microsoft business applications, such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI, in order to connect industrial data with business processes and analytics.

  • Ecolab and the Microsoft Cloud. Ecolab, a leading global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, is teaming with Microsoft to help companies operate more sustainably with the Microsoft cloud. Ecolab is committed to conserving water, a precious, limited resource and is partnering with companies worldwide to help them significantly reduce their water usage. Today at WPC, Microsoft demonstrated how Ecolab is transforming its business by connecting their controllers and other equipment to Azure in order to help their customers conserve water while maintaining peak efficiency.

    Through the use of Microsoft technologies, including Azure IoT Suite, Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Dynamics 365, Ecolab is bringing together seamless solutions that will enable it to collect, analyze and share data across its customers’ multiple locations worldwide.  The result is more effective and efficient operations designed to support their ultimate goal of conserving up to 300 billion gallons by 2030 – equaling the annual drinking needs of more than 1 billion people.

  • Japan Airlines and HoloLens. Another innovation we think will deliver tremendous future opportunity for our partners is holographic computing. On stage today Microsoft highlighted how Japan Airlines uses Microsoft HoloLens to change the training paradigm for flight crews and mechanics. HoloLens can project holograms into the environment, offering a remarkable new way to display cockpit instruments or how jet engine parts fit together, with vastly improved safety.

    HoloLens is the first fully untethered holographic computer, completely self-contained and powered by Windows 10. It uses mixed reality, blending 3-D holographic content into the physical world allowing users to interact with both digital content and the world around them. Japan Airlines is just one example of how HoloLens enables new possibilities, not just in training but in services that deliver an unmatched experience.

Seizing Opportunities Together

These are just a few examples where companies are embracing the power of technology to transform how they do business and drive new revenue streams. We are also looking at ways in which we can leverage the power of our partner community to deliver enhanced experiences to our mutual customers. A great example of this can be seen in last week’s announcement of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Satya Nadella shared his perspective on how we are reinventing business processes on LinkedIn.

Available this fall, Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies our current CRM and ERP cloud solutions into one cloud service with new purpose-built apps to help manage specific business functions, including Financials, Field Service, Sales, Operations, Marketing, Project Service Automation and Customer Service.

Microsoft AppSource is Microsoft’s new destination for business users to find and try out line-of-business SaaS apps from Microsoft and our partners. At launch AppSource includes more than 200 line- of-business SaaS apps, add-ins and content packs.

The week is just getting started and we will have so much more to share. Tune in tomorrow to learn more about the new intelligent and secured technology innovations we will be delivering that will create new opportunities for our partner community.