How partners can support increased customer appetite for transformation

Vivek Puthucode, Chief Partner Officer, Microsoft Asia Pacific

Vivek Puthucode, Chief Partner Officer, Microsoft Asia Pacific

Credit: Microsoft

As transformation becomes the default priority of organisations in Asia Pacific – coupled with a rise in cloud, digital and security investments – the partner ecosystem is primed to capitalise through deep specialisation and end-to-end lifecycle expertise.

Motivated by data and shaped by innovation agendas, new opportunities are emerging for partners to convert increased end-user demand into commercial projects and deployments – this is a market emerging from the pandemic with a mandate for growth and expansion.

“The underlying business parameters haven’t changed, they’ve just become more urgent and critical,” observed Vivek Puthucode, Chief Partner Officer at Microsoft Asia Pacific. “The market has a unique cloud opportunity to work with and we’re seeing organisations find ways to grow and expand into new market segments.”

Despite ongoing supply chain disruptions, evolving geopolitical developments and rising inflation levels – which continue to impact all regions globally – Puthucode cited the importance of driving efficiency and sustainability at a customer level, underpinned by an increased commitment to security.

“This need has not changed and represents an opportunity for our partners to become even more relevant to customers,” he noted. “This is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for partners to capitalise on increased demand for hybrid cloud experience, hybrid employee experience and agile workforces. We’ve only just scratched the surface on this potential in Asia Pacific.”

Echoing Puthucode’s observations, and according to State of the CIO research – commissioned and produced by CIO.com and Foundry – 59 per cent of CIOs are focused on increasing operational efficiency in the months ahead across Asia Pacific. This is ahead of transforming existing business processes (58 per cent), improving customer experience (49 per cent) and enhancing cyber security protection levels (46 per cent).

Such priorities will result in only five per cent of organisations decreasing technology investment across the region, with 59 per cent committing more funds to transformation and 39 per cent remaining the same.

In addition, CIO agenda items align to evolving CEO priorities which highlight the need to kick-start digital transformation initiatives (35 per cent), upgrade data security to reduce corporate risk (34 per cent) and create an overall data analytics strategy (25 per cent).

Within this context, Puthucode acknowledged that as customer priorities evolve, deployments of cloud-based analytics, data and artificial intelligence (AI) continues to increase in parallel.

“We’re seeing this being rolled out at scale,” he said. “We’re bringing analytics and data AI capabilities to every customer – irrespective of size – and we’re backing that up with continued investment in our cloud infrastructure capabilities across the region, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, India and Korea among others.”

Take Indonesia as a recent example, with plans to launch a first data centre region to deliver cloud services locally, aligned to in-country data security and privacy laws.

Such investment in Indonesia is expected to generate up to US$6.3 billion in new revenues from the country’s ecosystem of local customers and partners. In addition, cloud-consuming businesses are expected to contribute 60,000 jobs to the local economy during the next four years.

“The expansion of our cloud infrastructure capabilities brings more opportunity for our partners to provide industry relevant solutions to customers in local markets, but also across the wider region,” Puthucode added. “Through our investments, the opportunity is there for all of us to win.”

New partner value

Winners of Microsoft Asia Pacific Region Partner of the Year Awards 2021

Heightened customer appetite for transformation comes with a caveat for the partner ecosystem however – the transactional nature of the past is no longer relevant in a market seeking value-added services and deep levels of expertise.

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