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Partnerships will no longer be an option

In a recent presentation I saw from Microsoft, I was surprised to learn that Microsoft released more than 600 new features and services in Azure. You look at Office 365 and you also see a huge number of new features and capabilities. Dynamics 365 Business Edition will then follow a similar pattern of providing new features and capabilities on monthly bases. You add the opportunities and innovation you can drive by using Microsoft Flow and Power Apps and you are dealing with an amount of innovation that is almost impossible to embrace.

I think managing innovation becomes a new capability that we need to build as partners. It starts before one can learn and internalise innovation. You need to be clear about what business objectives your customers have and how IT innovation can enable scenarios that will accomplish these objectives. It is no longer a rather straightforward approach where you add capabilities over time within the same product platform. It is a constant process, transforming your customer business scenarios into a technology map. Starting at the highest level, whether they benefit from data cloud, productivity cloud or business cloud or combination of the 3. Then it specifies workload areas and then finally can touch upon certain services and product capabilities.

It also indicates, that you might not be able to master the relevant innovations yourself. In this context, partnerships will no longer be an option, they become a life blood to your future. Starting to build a network that can be accessed whenever innovation sitting outside of your competence becomes relevant for one of your customers scenarios, is becoming a foundation of our business just like operations or marketing. I am convinced that Dynasource is the best available network and platform to establish these types of partnerships and to enable capabilities to benefit from a huge range of innovation.

Having a trusted advisor who not only understands the business challenges and opportunities, but who can also map and integrate IT innovation on an ongoing basis, becomes critical.

I also think it is the right moment to bring in young talent into your practice. Most of us have internalised the client server architecture and cloud architecture a while back (which is a polite way to admit that I am getting old), I would argue that IT graduates look at these innovations in a fresh way and will likely explore and benefit in ways that we might not be aware. This is why I applaud initiatives like Generation Z that our team is driving in UK. Bringing in fresh talent to our network.

The positive side of this is that managing innovation for customers becomes the key to differentiate yourself and create customer loyalty. In times of cloud services, standardisation is decreasing the opportunity to differentiate through functionality. Customers will look at more and more functionality that comes from cloud services as being a commodity. But having a trusted advisor who not only understands the business challenges and opportunities, but who can also map and integrate IT innovation on an ongoing basis, becomes critical. If we believe the scale and complexity of innovation is hard to manage for us as Dynamics Partners, then it is even harder for most of our customers. They will rely on you to explore available and upcoming innovations and how these can benefit their business.

At QBS group, we also change the way we deal with the massive amount of innovation and opportunity ahead of us. We have established the role of a Cloud Solution Architect, a senior person that looks across the 3 Microsoft clouds and 3rd party innovation, making sure we can provide guidance and insights to our partners. We also intensified our investments to provide the right learning platform, through a Learning Management System. And we want to provide more platforms for partners to share their learnings and insight on innovation, so we live up to our promise that we have the best informed partners. We understand, with the amount of innovation ahead of us, we cannot trust on us alone to embrace technology and translate that into customer benefits and loyalty. Sign up now and become a QBS group partner.

Michael Hartmann QBSCCO
Michael Hartmann
CEO QBS group
Mhartmann@qbsgroup.com

Profile: Michael had several leading management positions at Microsoft and was involved in creating of the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.