Microsoft has flagged four key priorities for its partner network in the year ahead, focusing on the theme of resilience.
In a blog post, the vendor's One Commercial Partner corporate vice president Gavriella Schuster stated remote working, business continuity, security and cloud migrations will remain top of its agenda for the next 12 months. The basis for these priorities follows the actions of the tech giant’s partners through the pandemic, Schuster explained.
“Despite last year’s challenges, our partners have continued to step up to the plate, delivering innovative solutions and services to help our customers continually adapt,” she said. "And together we’re going a step further by helping partner organisations and customers build resiliency.”
1. Remote working
Schuster claimed some organisations are still taking on board technologies to enable remote working almost 12 months on from the start of the pandemic.
This provides partners an opportunity to come in with solutions that allow for working outside of the office, she added. Schuster pointed to Microsoft Teams as an example of such a solution, which saw a public preview launch for enterprises in December.
2. Business continuity
Schuster said the speed of digital transformation within businesses has increased, which has then emphasised business continuity through protection from “a wide variety of potential disruptions”.
“Fusing resilience into an organisation’s DNA can help it weather the storm and, over time, can even reveal the leaders and laggards for any given industry,” she said.
An example of a product that Schuster claimed as promoting resilience through business continuity was Microsoft Dynamics 365. This is an area that’s proven to be profitable for Microsoft over the last few months, as revenue from its Dynamics and cloud services products grew by 12 per cent in its first quarter for the 2021 financial year.
With the rise of remote working and the need to reinforce business continuity, these two priorities then lead into the third — cyber security.
“A key element of maintaining business continuity is the effective management of cyber security across the organisation," Schuster said. “The mass shift to remote work has made this even more critical for every organisation worldwide, and nurturing cyber resilience has never been more important for you or your customers.”
4. Cloud migrations
As the nature of workplaces have become somewhat separated from physical offices over the last year, cloud migrations formed the last 2021 key priority for the Microsoft Partner Network, according to Schuster.
“The cloud has become a business imperative, particularly in the past year, as companies have leaned on the added flexibility and benefits cloud computing brings for remote workers,” she said.
For 2021 as a whole, Schuster said she was feeling a “sense of renewed hope and optimism”, and added she was committed to the mutual success of the network of Microsoft partners.
"There’s no denying that the past year has challenged organisations and individuals around the globe, disrupting our businesses, governments, communities, families, and individual lives,” she said. “While some of these factors will unavoidably carry over to 2021, I am confident things are headed in the right direction, and I see a bright future on the horizon for our partner ecosystem.”