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The right people are key as the cloud rolls in

The right people are key as the cloud rolls in

Change agents

The message about managing change in the new environment resonated with the New Zealand channel partner executives who attended the conference.

Ray Noonan, executive managing director for Integral/Axon, says, “willingness to accept change” is important for success in the channel business. He cites how his company has changed from five years ago when it made money out of mainframe systems.

“They are still a very important part of our business because that is a core strategy platform for our customers. But today we write software and we sell solutions [that were different from] five years ago,” he says.

The cloud will impact on all organisations as people move from their old infrastructure. “We are just at the tip of the iceberg” says Paul Plester, general manager of sales and marketing for Express Data New Zealand. He says a raft of new products will come out and the company has people looking very clearly in this direction.

A lot of New Zealand businesses become incredibly focused on one particular aspect of the business because they are so hands-on when running the business, he says. “They sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and they sometimes don’t step back and have a close look at the business, or step back and take time to see if they are going into the right direction.”

“We have to be quite ruthless about how we do as vendors”, Plester says. “We want to be worldwide winners. We focus on dealing with the very best people [and] the very best people are the ones that are adapting to change.”

He says it is about how you evolve and adapt to the change that is going to be critical.

Cloud offerings have made small trusted advisors to a large government department of equal importance to a large software seller, he says. The large government department may choose the small trusted channel it has been working with for a long time, because Microsoft is supporting that partner.

Provoke CTO Brendon Ford says one of the advantages of attending the partner conference is talking to other partners about their experiences. “If you live in a cocoon sometimes you get a tunnel vision. It is interesting listening to different ideas.

Ford says it is also useful to talk to the vendors exhibiting at the Expo at the WPC. “We can look at value add on top of our stack,” he says. “I have solved a couple of problems … by getting upstairs and talking to one specific exhibitor.”

However,he believes the learning curve towards the shift to cloud computing is “relatively small”, if the partner already has skills and capabilities for on-premise solutions.

Leigh Richardson, Auckland sales manager for Auldhouse, says this year the focus for her company is the evolution of the new Microsoft Partner Network and the products and programmes that will help drive Auldhouse’s training business and opportunities. These include expanding the company’s Microsoft curriculum with new technology launches, including the cloud strategy.

Richardson, who has been to eight WPC events over the years, says Auldhouse continues to invest in the event to gain an insight into Microsoft’s new product learning campaigns; connect with and looking for opportunities to collaborate with other Microsoft partners; and connect with and solidifying their relationship with Microsoft locally and internationally.

“The cloud message has been delivered at WPC over the past two years. However, this year delivered specific content on how to realise this opportunity from the learning partner perspective,” she says.

Bennett Medary, CEO of the Simpl Group, has attended nine of these conferences. He says it pays to go online and look at the conference and figure out what you are interested in, based on where your business is at. He also arranges for a lot of meetings before coming over. “All of Microsoft are here so it is much easier to come and see Microsoft in one place,” says Medary.

This, he says, is important for a company like Simpl that works with Microsoft globally around health systems. “We look at what needs to happen to the primary sector, where health interchange takes place. We have thousands of organisations in New Zealand alone and need to provide functionality around the management and administration of health to the cloud, where people can subscribe to as a one-man-band or community service.”

Divina Paredes travelled to Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference as a guest of Microsoft.

Change agents

The message about managing change in the new environment resonated with the New Zealand channel partner executives who attended the conference.

Ray Noonan, executive managing director for Integral/Axon, says, “willingness to accept change” is important for success in the channel business. He cites how his company has changed from five years ago when it made money out of mainframe systems.

“They are still a very important part of our business because that is a core strategy platform for our customers. But today we write software and we sell solutions [that were different from] five years ago,” he says.

The cloud will impact on all organisations as people move from their old infrastructure. “We are just at the tip of the iceberg” says Paul Plester, general manager of sales and marketing for Express Data New Zealand. He says a raft of new products will come out and the company has people looking very clearly in this direction.

A lot of New Zealand businesses become incredibly focused on one particular aspect of the business because they are so hands-on when running the business, he says. “They sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and they sometimes don’t step back and have a close look at the business, or step back and take time to see if they are going into the right direction.”

“We have to be quite ruthless about how we do as vendors”, Plester says. “We want to be worldwide winners. We focus on dealing with the very best people [and] the very best people are the ones that are adapting to change.”

He says it is about how you evolve and adapt to the change that is going to be critical.

Cloud offerings have made small trusted advisors to a large government department of equal importance to a large software seller, he says. The large government department may choose the small trusted channel it has been working with for a long time, because Microsoft is supporting that partner.

Provoke CTO Brendon Ford says one of the advantages of attending the partner conference is talking to other partners about their experiences. “If you live in a cocoon sometimes you get a tunnel vision. It is interesting listening to different ideas.

Ford says it is also useful to talk to the vendors exhibiting at the Expo at the WPC. “We can look at value add on top of our stack,” he says. “I have solved a couple of problems … by getting upstairs and talking to one specific exhibitor.”

However,he believes the learning curve towards the shift to cloud computing is “relatively small”, if the partner already has skills and capabilities for on-premise solutions.

Leigh Richardson, Auckland sales manager for Auldhouse, says this year the focus for her company is the evolution of the new Microsoft Partner Network and the products and programmes that will help drive Auldhouse’s training business and opportunities. These include expanding the company’s Microsoft curriculum with new technology launches, including the cloud strategy.

Richardson, who has been to eight WPC events over the years, says Auldhouse continues to invest in the event to gain an insight into Microsoft’s new product learning campaigns; connect with and looking for opportunities to collaborate with other Microsoft partners; and connect with and solidifying their relationship with Microsoft locally and internationally.

“The cloud message has been delivered at WPC over the past two years. However, this year delivered specific content on how to realise this opportunity from the learning partner perspective,” she says.

Bennett Medary, CEO of the Simpl Group, has attended nine of these conferences. He says it pays to go online and look at the conference and figure out what you are interested in, based on where your business is at. He also arranges for a lot of meetings before coming over. “All of Microsoft are here so it is much easier to come and see Microsoft in one place,” says Medary.

This, he says, is important for a company like Simpl that works with Microsoft globally around health systems. “We look at what needs to happen to the primary sector, where health interchange takes place. We have thousands of organisations in New Zealand alone and need to provide functionality around the management and administration of health to the cloud, where people can subscribe to as a one-man-band or community service.”

Divina Paredes travelled to Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference as a guest of Microsoft.


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