In the Microsoft partner ecosystem it’s all about Utilization.
Microsoft has moved past awareness and is moving through consumption. The ultimate destination (for now) is Utilization.
Hint: There is a destination beyond Utilization, but this accomplishment needs to be unlocked first.
Utilization drives the digital transformation efforts that are required for the ultimate success of Microsoft, Partners and especially Customers.
u·ti·li·za·tion ˌyo͞odələˈzāSH(ə) - noun
The action of making practical and effective use of something.
The Future is Utilization
From Awareness thru Consumption to Utilization
Over the last 7 years Microsoft has gone “All In” on the cloud. Steve Ballmer spoke about that at the Microsoft WPC event in Washington DC in 2010. As I wrote about in WPC 2010 --- All About Clouds.
Since then, Microsoft has a new CEO in Satya Nadella. He has doubled down on some of these bets and launched a few new Moon Shots and a Mars Shot. As I wrote about in What is Microsoft getting with LinkedIn?
In January of 2017 Microsoft announced the next phase in this process with a re-organization of the executives in charge of partnering by creating a One Commercial Partner team as I wrote about in A Microsoft Partner Motion … It’s time!
The gist of this is … Utilization will be the mandate and the mantra for Microsoft corporate and field resources. Microsoft and the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem has done a good job driving awareness. They’ve done a good job driving consumption. They need to do a GREAT job driving Utilization.
Don’t confuse Consumption with Utilization -
- Consumption just means buying it.
- Utilization means using it.
Microsoft’s sales efforts and partner efforts are all being aligned under the leader of the Microsoft sales efforts, Judson Althoff. If you haven’t heard much about him before you will start to hear more in the future.
I look forward to Judson Althoff’s next keynote at the Microsoft Inspire event in DC this July. It’s going to be critical to get the partners onboard.
Ballmer (c2010) thru Satya (c2014) to Today with Judson, et al
The roadmap is set. The leadership is in place. The next steps are to communicate the vision, the plan and the metrics.
The One Commercial Partner team will include the current Microsoft execs:
- Kim Akers – The ISV team
- Victor Morales - The Enterprise Partner team
- Gavriella Schuster - The WPG team
Partners are very smart. They will quickly determine how to use the plans Microsoft puts forth. Or, if it doesn’t make sense for their business they will find other ways to partner and drive their business forward.
I’m optimistic that this new leadership team understands the market and the challenges. However, as several people at Microsoft know I am willing to help – either from the inside or the outside. My offer still stands. You know where to find me.
The writing is on the wall … Intellectual Property (IP) creators will be recognized and rewarded. As noted in Redmond Channel Partner writer, Scott Bekker’s, article Microsoft Quietly Shifts Partner Focus to ISVs.
What does this mean?
If you build it … they will come.
The they in this case is … Microsoft.
Where to Start?
Build vertical, horizontal and perhaps vertizontal™ solutions and Microsoft will beat a path to your door.
VertiZontals is a word I coined in the halls of building 16 at Microsoft. It means solutions that are purpose built for vertical industries, but are horizontal in nature. Meaning they can be applied to many different businesses in that vertical.
The Future is Utilization. Are you Ready?
Image Credits: Microsoft
Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.
Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey