The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

32 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om E X E CUT I V E I NT E R V I EW Microsoft’s Muhammad Alam discusses the value of Dynamics and how the company’s partner network is key to adapting the solution to specific industry requirements The power of partnership BY E L LY YAT E S - ROB E R T S W e’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in April 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold. With no sign of that rapid pace of change abating, Microsoft and its partners continue to help customers adapt to meet the challenges of an unprecedented business landscape. For many organisations, Microsoft Dynamics is at the centre of such change. “Sales organisa- tions across industries are leveraging our cus- tomer engagement applications to create more cohesive and streamlined customer journeys, as well as rapidly shift to 100 per cent digital selling models and deploy solutions for remote work- forces,” says Muhammad Alam, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics 365. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton, for exam- ple, has been able to move to a remote selling model and keep sales teams connected with customers. Its solution uses the latest artificial intelligence capabilities in Dynamics 365, as well as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Teams and Power BI. “Service organisations have also turned to Dynamics 365 to quickly create distributed and remote service centres,” says Alam. “These enable them to deliver always-on service, to empower teams with the tools and insight to effectively engage with the customer across any channel, and to provide a personalised response in an expedient fashion.” Alam and his team are supported by a global network of partners that play a vital role in delivering on Microsoft’s promise of digital transformation and add value to the Dynamics 365 offering. “Our partner ecosystem is key to our success; if it wasn’t for our partners, we would not have been able to achieve outstanding year-on-year growth rates for our Dynamics 365 applica- tions,” he explains. “While the ecosystem com- prises a diverse set of organisations, we have a shared goal to make the digital evolution of our customers real and deliver success. “Our partners are extremely critical in deploy- ing our products for our customers, and this requires that they are experts in our products and our roadmap. To help them achieve this and get the support they need to enable our shared customers’ success, we have programmes such as FastTrack to provide training and guidance. We also have a new holistic measure of partner impact to ensure that credit is given to partners where it is due.” Alam also believes that Microsoft’s partners enable the organisation to meet more specific “