Seven partners have been named as the implementation services leaders of Dynamics 365 in Asia Pacific, as the Microsoft suite of solutions gains traction through the channel.
According to IDC MarketScape findings - a vendor assessment tool - category ‘leaders’ have been cited as DXC Technology, HCL Technologies, Infosys and KPMG, while Sonata Software has been ranked as a ‘major player’ across the region. Tech Mahindra and Hexaware were named in the ‘contender’ category.
“Service vendors in general are ramping up their investments in Dynamics 365 service capabilities to capitalise on the growing opportunities in the Asia Pacific region,” said Rijo George Thomas, senior market analyst, IDC Asia Pacific.
“This includes investing in dedicated Dynamics 365 consultants for countries, local delivery centers to support regional implementations, industry focus and IPs to differentiate, training programs to build certified internal talent and acquisitions to support growth strategies across the region.”
Thomas said the “revamped partner engagement model” from Microsoft shows “big bets” being made on service partners to address new market opportunities by jointly building and selling solutions that cater to the digital transformation aspirations of customers in Asia Pacific.
As a result, Microsoft’s service partners are increasingly investing in expanding service capabilities and offerings around Dynamics 365 in Asia Pacific, "making it quite difficult" for enterprises to select the right implementation partner, according to Thomas.
“As Dynamics 365 continues to evolve as a platform that ensures business agility, transforms customer experience and fuels operational transformation, buyers looking for an implementation partner in Asia Pacific need to look beyond table stakes to identify the elements of differentiation in each vendor that maximises value from Dynamics 365 investments,” Thomas added.
As reported by Channel Asia, the regional channel stepped up mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in early 2019, driven by an increased need for Microsoft Dynamics 365 capabilities.
Within the space of a week in January, two specialist partners were acquired across Australia and New Zealand, adding to a recent global buy and a multimillion-dollar deal finalised in early December.
Collectively, the channel went to market four times in six weeks during the start of the year in search of expertise across enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, with three specialists housed in Queensland, Australia.
Specifically, Rhipe entered into a binding agreement to acquire Brisbane-based Microsoft partner Dynamics Business IT Solutions in a $4.5 million deal, potentially rising to $8 million.
Two days later, Fusion5 followed suit with the acquisition of Dynamics Group, a start-up also headquartered in Brisbane.
Further afield, DXC snapped up the service business of Danish IT firm EG, integrating offerings into the provider's Microsoft Dynamics business, Eclipse. The acquisition mirrors the double buyout of Sable37 in A/NZ and UK-based eBECS in early 2018, as reported by sister publication ARN.
Kick-starting six weeks of M&A activity, India-based Sonata Software also acquired Scalable Data Systems for $5.5 million in December, a specialist Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner once again headquartered in Brisbane.
The acquisitions come amid a continued period of strong growth for the Microsoft productivity suite, backed by a host of customer wins.
In the UK, Centrica is relying on Power BI, Power Apps, and Flow, along with Dynamics 365, to transform scheduling and dispatch for its first-line workforce.
Meanwhile, Virgin Group is using Power Apps and Dynamics 365 to generate a single view of its passengers, surfacing insights to improve customer service and increase operational efficiency. Furthermore, in Italy, the postal service is using Dynamics 365 to jump-start the digital transformation of thousands of post offices across the country.
Such customer demand is likely to further drive M&A within the channel, as the ecosystem aligns to one of Microsoft's fastest growing offerings.