The Record - Issue 18: Autumn 2020

64 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om But there are other technologies that empower organisations to deliver products, and the mes- saging around them, to the right customers at the right time and place. “In a world where more and more customer decisions are based on online information, it’s critical for our part- ners to power their marketing through data and automation,” says Muckler-Visser. “That’s why we are investing more than ever before in providing digital marketing content that can be easily co-branded and customised to drive and accelerate demand across every stage of the customer’s decision-making process.” For example, customer relationship man- agement solution provider Nimble used Microsoft’s GTM services to give customers a scalable solution while supporting business growth. Switching to the Azure platform allowed the firm to integrate its solution with the Microsoft tools and products their users were already comfortable with. As a result, Nimble was able to increase net-new accounts by 20 per cent, average account size by 22 per cent, and retention rates by 25 per cent. After just one customer webinar, it saw a 75 per cent increase in the number of prod- uct enquiries. Driving customer acquisition for its part- ners has been, and continues to be, one of Microsoft’s main objectives. “Partners consistently tell us that securing new customers is their top priority and that they value vendors who can stimulate market demand and deliver programmes that drive cost-effective customer acquisition at scale,” explains Muckler-Visser. “Their priority is our priority. And, with over half of customer engagement interactions occurring online, our focus over the next 12 months can be summarised as ‘digital, digital, digital’.” In line with this, Microsoft is delivering a robust set of digital campaigns aligned with key solution areas, including Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 to enable its partners to drive demand more efficiently and effec- tively. It is also offering a comprehensive set of sales plays and partner-demand generation campaigns to help partners drive leads. “Collectively, these and other investments will deliver scalable automated marketing approaches and data-driven services that help partners deliver their messages to the right customers at the right time and place.” We asked a selection of technology providers how they are working with Microsoft to drive efficiency, empower workforces and increase profitability for their customers Partner perspectives “Regardless of whose data you look at, uptake of Teams is off the charts – fuelled in part by the Covid-19 crisis. Looking closer at what’s happening inside organisations, however, we found that many users were getting stuck in phase two of their Teams rollouts. Specially, many Teams admins were struggling to get their users to move beyond simple chat and filesharing to taking advantage of video meetings. One of the main stumbling blocks for many of our customers was that they had already invested heavily in conference room systems from Cisco, Poly, Lifesize and others, which aren’t natively Teams-compatible. At BlueJeans we decided to apply our expertise in unified communications interoperability to develop a Microsoft-certified ‘gateway’ that connects all these legacy room systems to Teams. As organisations begin to roll out their ‘back to office’ strategies, the addition of the gateway will help themmove beyond that phase two adoption.” “Gravity Software is the only accounting application built exclusively on the Microsoft Power Platform and offers unique capabilities to our customers that help drive strong financial results. Not every business needs an enterprise accounting system with tons of features that may never be used. Gravity provides an affordable and scalable solution with all the benefits of a wide-ranging solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365. Gravity users benefit from the underlying Microsoft technology because it allows them to seamlessly connect data across their entire business from finance and operations, to marketing and sales. This provides better data insights while also allowing them to easily add apps as needed to enhance their operation over time.” Paul Scholey International senior vice president at BlueJeans by Verizon John Silvani President and CEO of Gravity Software COV E R S TOR Y