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Partners of Choice, a partner discussion event, organised by Microsoft received overwhelming response from the company partner ecosystem as globally there is a new synergy is evolving amid new noraml after Covid-19 second wave.

As part of the event, Microsoft India Director – Partner Development Alok Lall addressed a session where the company interreacted with various partners to understand ground level realities.

The Panelists present in the discussion were Birlasoft Chief Delivery Officer Shreeranganath Kulkarni, Celebal Tech Co-founder Anirudh Kala, EY EMEIA Microsoft & India Alliances & Ecosystems Leader-EY Sibjyoti Basu, G7CR Technologies India Business Head Jesintha Louis, Embee Software MD & CEO Sudhir Kothari and Softline Managing Director Vinod Nair.

Describing Microsoft’s mission, and overall partner ecosystem, Microsoft India Director – Partner Development Alok Lall said Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more partners.

“Microsoft continues to be a partner first company. Globally, we have over 400,000 partners and 95% of our commercial revenue comes through partners, and so our focus will always be on expanding the power partner opportunity. If I look at India, we have a 14,000 plus partner ecosystem that delivers value to businesses and to the country’s economy,” said Alok Lall

He also highlighted that partners play different roles. “As a services scale partner and advisory and a global system integrator, a managed service provider, etc. into one of our six solution areas, hardware and devices, partners and ISVs lead with IP on top of our platform. Now with our partners, we share a common goal here to help customers drive business growth and digital acceleration,” said Microsoft India Director – Partner Development Alok Lall.

On Digital Transformation trends across sectors, EY EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) Microsoft & India Alliances & Ecosystems Leader Sibjyoti Basu said EY experience has been that digital transformation means different things for different clients.

“For some, it’s an enterprise-wide transformation and driving the tech acceleration or adding intensity. That’s where the more progressive ones are headed. But for some others, it’s more around driving growth or managing business model disruptions,” said Sibjyoti Basu.

While there could be some others who are looking at a more functional transformation of the front office, Sibjyoti Basu said some others look at back office or reshaping the supply chain or workforce transformation and so on and so forth. “So, it’s a very diverse pattern,” said EY EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) Microsoft & India Alliances & Ecosystems Leader Sibjyoti Basu.

Speaking about the transformation across SMBs, Embee Software CEO & Managing Director Sudhir Kothari said he thinks small and medium business (SMB) opportunities in India are massive and the pandemic has forced a lot of SMBs to adopt technologies overnight to remain relevant in the business.

“So, we see all kinds of opportunities in SMBs right now if you ask me – For example ERP, CRM collaboration, security, hybrid cloud solutions. All opportunities are coming up and the decision making and inclination towards cloud innovation. This is something where Microsoft has a big role to play with their offerings,” said Sudhir Kothari.

On innovation across startups, G7CR Technologies Director – Partner Success Jesintha Louis said there is a culture that is very different from what you see traditionally with any other business.

“If I have to break down and say, what do startups expect from GRC7, and Microsoft is driving that tech intensity because speed is very, very important for these guys. Like you rightly said, Azure is about creating the differentiator for partners. And that is a differentiator for startups,” said Jesintha Louis.

Driving digital transformation across customers, both local and global, Birlasoft Chief Delivery Officer Shreeranganath Kulkarni said he thinks the whole world is coming closer, what you see happening in North America happens at the same time in Asia too.

“People have started to look at the adversity of Covid-19 as an opportunity. It is very evident that COVID has accelerated the digital journey for all of us. And that is working out for players like us as technology is no longer just an enabler now and is a differentiator for business,” said Birlasoft Chief Delivery Officer Shreeranganath Kulkarni.

At this point of time, Shreeranganath Kulkarni. said he should look at the advantage of partnering together. “One, as a service provider, we understand the domain. We have industry knowledge and know where our clients are present across industry verticals. Every client has a specific challenge that they are going through and we are using technology as a medium to provide specific solutions to help our customers differentiate themselves in the marketplace as well as move ahead. While doing so, scalability is an important aspect to look at,” said Shreeranganath Kulkarni.

Celebal Technologies Director Chief Data Scientist Anirudh Kala said customers implementing solutions leveraging emerging technologies and increasing innovation, commented that what he is finding is that organisations are not just looking for a point solution.

“They are looking for a pervasive transformation. First thing that brings into the ecosystem is the cloud. So, of course moving to the cloud becomes the first step but we need to understand what is on the cloud. Azure is by far the choice for the enterprises specifically, where they’re looking at the security, the compliance as well as the end-to-end ecosystem,” said Anirudh Kala.

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