As Microsoft moves from being a software licensee to a devices and services company, the Redmond headquartered software giant is taking along the partners for gaining the confidence of enterprises, its primary consumers. Meetul Patel, general manager, small and mid-market solutions & partners (Microsoft India) talks to Anand J on the challenges and opportunities as the company strives hard to take the SMBs to cloud and its Office suite of products. Excerpts:
How is your partner ecosystem evolving as Microsoft changes from software to a devices and services firm?
We are a partner-centric organisation. We go to market with partners. There are large partners who focus on deals with enterprises that are in technical domain. We have value added re-sellers who go out and sell to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). And we donít manage the whole ecosystem, which also includes distributors, service providers, alliance partners and so on and have a specific role in our market reach. There are almost 10,000 partners in our ecosystem in India.
We have a big opportunity here in terms of market for IT. All the four global mega trends namely mobile, cloud, big data and social, are applicable to India as well and which has potential for accelerating IT adoption. Social is relevant to India because it is young and receptive to the idea of doing collaborative work. More and more information is available for businesses to react and make decisions now making big data an important tool.
But does it make sense for the SMEs to invest in IT network and management? Cloud has almost eliminated all of the complexities. Mobility devices let you control your business in a different geography. And we have products to connect across these various dimensions to help businesses. And our uniqueness is in our partner ecosystem which has been selling our products for a long time to these businesses.
But is it not a problem that you are far too dependent on partners at a time when BYOD is changing the work culture and a consumer connect becomes important?
I will like to separate BYOD from the services we offer for SMEs.