Many analysts have predicted 2017 to be the year of tech breakthroughs. But with a number of these technologies constantly evolving and other new technologies coming into play, which areas are most lucrative for partners to bank on?
Key leaders across Microsoft have provided their perspective on the greatest opportunities they see for partners in 2017.
Microsoft corporate vice-president, Chris Weber, said the best way partners can create opportunity this year is to help customers embrace the new digital economy.
“Today, most companies are also becoming a technology business. In fact, IDC reports that 70 per cent of the top 500 global companies will have dedicated digital transformation and innovation teams by the end of 2017.
“From running eCommerce sites to apps or inventing entirely new revenue streams by digitising products and processes–the new digital economy is changing the face of business,” he said.
Weber mentioned that with cognitive services and artificial intelligence (AI) becoming increasingly important, CEOs and business owners are wanting to use digital transformation, machine learning and the IoT to improve customer engagement, empower employees, optimise operations, and transform products.
“According to IDC, investment in digital transformation initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion by 2019 (almost 60 per cent more than this year) and by 2018, 75 per cent of developer teams will include cognitive and AI functionality in one or more applications.”
He said partners have an opportunity in 2017 to capitalise on this by bringing value-added services.
“Beyond helping customers, partners can transform their own businesses, shifting traditional business models from reselling or system integration to becoming more managed service providers or ISVs,” he said.
Microsoft corporate vice-president, Ron Huddleston, said specialisation is the way to go.
“Are you still trying to do everything for everyone or have you identified what you’re good at? There are many ways to differentiate – it doesn’t always mean creating a unique app. With the technology advances driving digital transformation, industries are regularly being reinvented.
“However, transformation is not just limited to technology. Your processes, your vertical, your customer identity, your go-to-market model can all be differentiating factors – but to do that, you must know who you are at the core,” he said.
He added that partners differentiating their businesses by targeting verticals or industries, establishing a technology specialisation, and building intellectual property services are standing out in a competitive marketplace.