It’s all about the end user!
As lead of the Internet of Things & Advanced Analytics business within Microsoft Australia’s Cloud and Enterprise marketing organisation I get to do a lot of different jobs. This involves working on a software platform that essentially allows people to connect everything, from mining trucks through to traffic lights through to vending machines, and bring all the data together to create better or more efficient business processes. This work enables me to indulge my true passion of understanding our customers’ business models and helping them, through Microsoft platforms, to deliver lasting change and business value.
It’s for this reason I get excited around this time of the year when submissions for the Microsoft Australia Partner Awards program start to bubble to the surface, particularly in the area in which I focus - the Optimise Your Operations Award.
During this period of digital transformation, optimising operations is of significant importance. We now have the technology at hand to concentrate on elevating business processes so that the emphasis lies on providing value to the end customer all the while delivering the optimum in technology.
The Optimise Your Operations category focuses on partners who help stabilise the environment for their customers. The award recognises a partner organisation that is helping their customers embrace the optimisation of their operations in order to reshape their relationships and service models. Judges will be looking for partners who have done this by gathering data across a wide, dispersed set of endpoints and drawn insights through advanced analytics that can be used to introduce improvements on a continuous, real time basis.
The winning solution will be one that enables customers to analyse any data, including unstructured and streaming data, to make fast, strategic business decisions and to predict future business opportunities.
Completed case studies are reviewed by a judging panel who will be looking for outcomes which have driven value for the customer, a key outcome of any IT project. Whether it has changed the time to market or the speed of execution, right through to changing the financial dynamics of the organisation whether that be by cost savings or profitability. The judges will also be looking at how partner organisations have used Microsoft products to develop their solution and whether they are driving innovation across our platform ecosystem.
The value of entering into these awards cannot be overstated, it gives partner organisations a unique opportunity to showcase the solutions that they have built with customers, to the market. In doing so they gain recognition in a broad partnership ecosystem and are able to demonstrate their strong capabilities and where they have driven value to the customer.
But it’s not only about winning. Completing the case studies required for submission allows partner organisations to look at their businesses through a different and unique lens. It allows them to stand outside the normal day-to-day of their operations and look closely at what they have achieved for their customer, an invaluable process for any business looking to optimise their own processes. In addition to this, the customer is an integral part of the submission and will normally work together, or at least be aware of the case study and submission process, so the learning extends to that customer even as it is funnelled through the partner organisation.
Of course there is glory in winning and given that there are only five awards at MAPA this year, the stakes and the glory are that much higher. But really, at the end of the day the winner is the customer who is always the one to benefit from optimising operations in an increasingly digital world.
Michael O'Keefe | Internet of Things & Advanced Analytics Business Lead | Microsoft Australia