The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

30 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om Delivering impact for industry and community L ocated in 15 cities across the US, Microsoft Technology Centers (MTCs) reside at the heart of Microsoft’s ecosystem for customer engagement. With deep roots in the provision of technical expertise, the MTC organisation is steadfast in its goal to be solution-oriented in helping customers resolve their most complex business and technological challenges. A key aspect of MTCs’ methodology for customer engagement is the value-driven approach to innovation. Companies that engage with the MTC team will be led through a rigorous process to discern their most critical problems, solidify core business objectives, and establish measurable success criteria for delivering digital transformation. As enterprises embark upon the digital transformation journey to accelerate impact, alter how business is done, deliver value to customers, and remain competitive in the face of disruption, the business challenges are considerable, but the subsequent opportunities are vast. Through an ecosystem of its people and proven methods for strategic and technical customer engagement, the MTCs enable companies to devise plans, develop ideas and deliver results. Achieving change of any kind, particularly enterprise-wide digital transformation, requires a willingness to alter existing behaviours. Budget constraints, technical skills gaps and lack of comprehensive change management processes that could lead to prolonged service outages resulting in disruption to business operations and productivity, are all viable reasons for leaders to be averse to taking risk. However, efforts to digitally transform should not be abandoned altogether: to not transform poses far greater risks and financial consequence. The Covid- 19 pandemic and ongoing increase in demand for better customer experiences have driven the need for organisations to discard many of the legacy processes that no longer meet the demands of the day. Industry leaders have had to make necessary attitude adjustments that embrace and reward the practice of failing fast. The notion of cutting your losses and moving on is a critical part of the transformation process, and companies must implement processes that encompass intentional and consistent review. No, it will not be easy, but the alternative – sustaining status quo – could lead to loss of market share and competitive advantage. The US MTC team has the right mix of industry experience, technical know-how and solutions that our customers can leverage to reimagine the opportunity for transformation and mitigate many of these risks, even in the most challenging of times. Undoubtedly there is no person or industry that has been left unscathed by Covid-19. The pandemic has forced many companies to rethink existing business models and rapidly innovate. Recognising this heightened sense of urgency, the MTC team demonstrated their agility to meet increased demand by pivoting to an all-virtual engagement model. Further, the MTCs doubled down on industry alignment and developed solutions to address the specific needs of our customers. Although most industries saw rapid need for change, the retail and healthcare sectors experienced remarkable demand for transformation. The pandemic affected consumer shopping habits and behaviours in a big way, causing MAR K E TWATCH : MTC FOCU S The US Microsoft Technology Centers have aligned their efforts to create a national organisation to help industries and communities navigate their digital transformation journeys through a changing world AP R I L WA L K E R : U S M I C ROSOF T T E CHNOLOGY C ENT E R S “MTCs enable companies to devise plans, develop ideas and deliver results”