As more and more businesses strive to embrace Cloud in India, Microsoft, with its vast partner network, is in a unique place, offering a complete Cloud platform as well as productivity and business applications, a top global executive has stressed. For Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner Worldwide, Microsoft Corporation, the ‘Intelligent Cloud’ and ‘Intelligent Edge’ opportunities in India are pegged at $107 billion.
“Cloud services form the backbone of digital services and Microsoft stands in a unique place as it offers both a complete cloud platform and productivity and business applications,” she told IANS. Businesses and government across the world, including in India, are increasingly looking to transform their operations digitally. “They are aiming to have efficiency in operations, empower employees, engage better with customers, and transform their products and services,” Schuster said.
Microsoft has always been a partner-led company and 95 percent of its revenue comes from its partner network. At present, the company has over 9,000 partners in India, adding more than 400 partners every month. “Our partner organisations are taking our platform and using some of those applications to develop new high-value intellectual property to help organisations digitally transform themselves,” Schuster said.
In order to work closely with its partners, Microsoft has brought them under the “One Commercial Partner” organisation. “The ‘One Commercial Partner’ organisation has unified our partner-facing workforce and narrowed our focus to building solutions, taking these solutions to market and co-selling with our partners — working as a unified team,” the executive stressed.
For example, a Microsoft partner, “Precimetrix”, is providing Jaipur Municipal Corporation Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics solutions — to help them manage street lights from a single central location. The move, along with the use of LED bulbs, has led to 80 percent savings in energy use. “We also have partners like ‘Progressive Infotech’ which enables its customers to capitalise on Microsoft Azure and collaborate better. Since the collaboration, Progressive has grown multifold and has seen compound quarter growth rate (CQGR) of over 17 percent over the last seven quarters, and an increase of over 900 percent in its employee headcount,” Schuster told IANS.
In 2015, Microsoft launched Cloud services from three local data centres in India, bringing the power of Cloud to organisations, especially those that require local data residency. “The effort was recognised by the government as we became one of the first global Cloud service providers to achieve full accreditation from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY),” Schuster said.
Microsoft, along with its partners, is offering a variety of solutions that cater to all of their needs, servicing industries, including banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, healthcare, IT/ITeS and manufacturing — all built on its platform. “At present, we have 70 of the 100 top Bombay Stock Exchange-listed companies across sectors as well as start-ups using our Cloud. Last year, we made our Cloud services available to over 5,000 start-ups in India,” Schuster noted.
As part of its new co-sell programme, Microsoft is investing additional resources to help bring solutions to the market and connecting with the right customers. “We are taking the end-solution that a partner has built on our platform by bringing that partner in to sell with us to those business decision-makers,” the executive informed. “The customer benefits because they get their solutions. The partner benefits as they get increased sales. Microsoft benefits through the adoption of our platform. So that, in a nutshell, is the concept of co-selling,” Schuster told IANS.
In India, Microsoft has some interesting partner and customer cases such as Talview, a leading talent assessment technology platform. “Its collaboration with Microsoft has pushed frontiers in an application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in recruitment. It harnesses advanced data science and ML algorithms to help clients expedite hiring and reduce turnaround time,” Schuster said.
ZingHR, a hire-to-retire HR platform, has built an application to ease HR processes for organisations offering services like digital lockers, attendance mapping and employee reimbursements, among others. The app is hosted on Azure and can be accessed by employees of an organisation on their mobile phones.