HARMAN, a specialized Microsoft Partner, have been attending WPC for over a decade. We would like to reaffirm to the fact that WPC 2016 was easily the most comprehensive one yet, with a message on how software and technology is changing people and business. Starting with Jeff Immelt’s Keynote on how change is inevitable, Microsoft painted the future to be digitally transformed, one that is led by customer experiences and conversations. Post WPC 2016, here are few things to think about.

 

Focus on Digital Transformation

It is a well-recognized fact on how the industries and businesses are changing in the connected world. Microsoft’s vision of Digital Transformation is primarily focused on achieving business outcomes across the following four pivots using Systems of Intelligence as illustrated below: 

 

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In order to achieve this, Microsoft offers the following core capabilities which can be used as a platform by partners to accelerate their customer’s Digital Transformation Journey.

 

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What does this mean for a partner?

While Microsoft focuses on being the enabler for Digital Transformation, Partners too will experience a paradigm shift in their relationship next year. We believe that partners need to do the following to be successful:

  • Differentiate to stand out:  In such a wide ecosystem, it is important for partners to find their sweet spot and differentiate themselves. A partner with a well-defined Unique Value Proposition would be of immense value to Microsoft and even to the Customers in a digital journey.

  • Modernize Sales and Marketing:  In a digital world, it is likely a customer will make a decision about a partner even before they meet them for the first time. In this scenario, it is important that the partners modernize their sales and marketing process to be more content lead using different channels like social media, Microsoft channel, and other ecosystem to establish their credibility faster.

  • Create Customer Lifetime Value: In the digital space, a partner who creates more lifetime value for customer implicitly creates more revenue for themselves and Microsoft. Therefore partners should think beyond transaction when they engage with customers.

 

What does it mean for Harman?

At HARMAN, we believe in Microsoft’s criteria for evaluating partnership success. We have clearly differentiated ourselves in the marketplace by focusing on the Intelligent Cloud pivot of Microsoft with the following core propositions:

  • IOT solution accelerator on Azure: HARMAN helps in accelerating the development of our customer’s future connected products leveraging our capabilities across the axes of device, design and data on the Azure IOT platform. This will span businesses like Connected Cars, Enterprise, Retail and Healthcare.

  • Operating Advanced Analytics with Cortana Intelligence: HARMAN comes with a strong advanced analytics DNA with the experience of building a leading advanced analytics platform for organizations like IRI. We will bring this experience to operationalize advanced analytics faster with Cortana Intelligence.

  • Help in migrating expensive advanced analytics platforms to Microsoft R: HARMAN has exposure and specialized skills in helping migration from expensive advanced analytics platform like SAS into R. We are focusing on this GTM to help our customers realize Microsoft’s vision of building Systems of Intelligence in a faster and cost-effective fashion.

 

This focus helps us to differentiate ourselves in our core value proposition - greater customer lifetime value. The average time span of relationships in these areas is over three years with a Minimum Viable Product approach, thus delivering sustained business value on a continuous basis.