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Microsoft’s World Partner Conference has grown to epic proportions. This year looks to be a record breaker, with 20,000 gathering to learn from each other and network with their peers in the city of Toronto. Out of the many events we attend each year, WPC is by far the most significant. As a headline sponsor, the conference offers us the opportunity the meet the partners that help power our ecosystem. It’s a chance to tap into the community, to network and to see what is on the horizon for one of our key partners, Microsoft. Traditionally, Microsoft has used WPC as a platform to launch initiatives relevant to its partner ecosystem, and today was no different. But behind the headline announcements was one key theme.


Digital transformation

It’s safe to say that Microsoft’s message has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Having been a Microsoft partner for more than 20 years, we can safely say that Satya Nadella has significantly changed Microsoft in his short tenure as CEO. In his opening keynote, Nadella made it clear that Microsoft’s strategy was to reinvent productivity and business processes. It’s less about the technology itself, and more about how that technology transforms business outcomes. “It is about celebrating what our customers are able to do with technology, how they're transforming their own business. Achieving their own success and having their own impact,” he told the capacity crowd. “Whether it be how they engage their customers and personalise that, how they empower their employees so that they can make better decisions and drive their business forward, how they optimise their operations, how they build out that predictive power inside of their organisation so that every operation is intelligent,” Satya said. “And lastly how they transform their products and services and the fundamental business model, it's these digital outcomes that every CEO deeply cares about.” “I think digital transformation really is key,” explains Michael Frisby, Managing Director of Vuzion. “In other words how can you make your business more digital? How can you make it more efficient? Whether you're a holiday company, a media outlet, a manufacturer, or a healthcare provider, how does digital impact your business?”s


Transformation in the channel

The need for digital transformation applies not just to end customers, but right the way up the channel. Cloud has flipped the traditional role of the reseller on its head. Speaking in the Partner Theatre, Rocco Seyboth, VP at BitTitan, summed it up nicely.“Helping the channel transform and become cloud-first, recurring revenue first and creating managed services will be the key to digital transformation and driving cloud adoption.” “Partners themselves have to transform along this road as well,” says Julian Dyer, Cobweb’s Chief Technology Officer. “The reseller in his own right is going through the same transformation and has to be part of this. Their efficiencies and the gains that they can grab for service delivery in particular and profitability depend on their transformation.” Traditional resellers know that they need to establish themselves as ‘cloud players’; but they are faced with the harsh reality of economics. How can small and medium resellers deploy and operate bona fide cloud services in any financially viable sense? Vuzion’s Cloud Reseller in a Box proposition acts as an enablement tool for resellers looking to make this transformation. Vuzion customers gain immediate access to ready-packaged cloud services, ready-to-use platform capabilities, marketing resources and our fully automated billing system and support. Cloud Reseller in a Box allows traditional channel players to build sustainable cloud businesses in the most streamlined manner possible. And time really is of the essence. “Unlike the on-premise world, once a customer is using cloud service, they will typically stick with the partner who's taken them there,” Michael continues. “You have to be able to build your customer base right now because once people are on the cloud they're not moving. That cloud will continue to evolve for them.