Increasing costs, decreasing confidence, bloated inflation, and talk of recession…it’s clear there’s a storm gathering on the horizon. Thankfully, Microsoft Partners find themselves in the perfect position to shelter their customers from the bad weather.
The last few weeks have been filled with some pretty scary news stories.
Taking up a large portion of airtime, however, is the imminent recession – which the Bank of England has forecasted to begin in Q4 and last for an estimated 14 months.
For businesses, recession has historically been a time of tightened belts and the precarious navigation of controlling spend in the present, while ensuring that once the clouds have parted, they’re in the clear.
While all of that sounds like a lot of doom and gloom, we like to focus on the positive – and there are some reassurances that can certainly provide a little hope to Microsoft Partners and their customers, without doing anything too drastic to ease the bank balance.
So, how can Microsoft Partners help?
Before sailing into the storm, it pays to know the current condition of your ship. For Microsoft customers, this looks like a complete view of their existing environment at any given time, highlighting where there might be any unproductive leaks or too much unnecessary cargo – or in technical terms, at-risk identities, unused accounts, and opportunities to optimise costs.
If partners can provide these insights, they’ll be giving their customers a chance to plug some of those gaps – redressing low solution adoption, tackling unnecessary spend, and removing risk – before charting a safe course through the storm.
Although cost optimisation is a crucial activity here, the reality is that ‘optimisation’ may look different from customer to customer. For some, it’s a series of cost saving steps that lead to strong cost control and governance; for others, it’s acknowledging additional resource scope and either employing it to support powerful new projects, or reinvesting freed-up resources elsewhere in the organisation.
Whatever the customer chooses, they’ll rely on partners to provide the powerful insights to support their business decisions in a difficult time.
As many of you will already know, being a Microsoft Partner paves the way to a number of benefits and boons that can be shared with customers. Of note are the incredibly powerful selection of workshops, accelerators, and training available through Microsoft Partners – helping them to increase adoption, usage, and skills throughout their customer base.
Elsewhere, partners are also able to provide guidance into how best to leverage Microsoft solutions to tackle challenges across the organisation as they appear. How a customer uses Teams to manage employee collaboration, for example, might make all the difference as they approach new ways of working.
Partners will be the advisors and guides – more so than usual – sharing their incredibly valuable knowledge and experience with customers to ensure they’re maximising the Microsoft experience.
Without a clear view of what’s at risk, how much their Microsoft investment is costing, and what M365 and Azure resources are in use, customers can sometimes turn to security as an area to save a few pennies. After all, they’re doing enough already, right?
Leveraging their unique viewpoint, relationship with Microsoft, and customer-facing workshops, partners are in a great position to mitigate disaster by offering training, minimising risks, and identifying opportunities to reinvest in securing the customer’s organisation.
Security no longer needs to be on the chopping block, instead shielding customers from costly internal and external threats, minimising shadow IT’s risk (and cost), and contributing towards a short and long-term strategy.
If knowledge is the key to preparation, then Surveil has the skeleton key – making an introduction to Surveil a must-have item on the to-do list.
Drawing on AI-driven analytics, Surveil surfaces in-depth Azure and Microsoft 365 insights – the kind that tell a customer where they are, where they’ll end up on their current path, and what actions they can take to rewrite the story. This information goes far beyond what native tooling can provide, without the labour-intensive manual surfacing of data partners and customers might be used to.
With a storm approaching, it’s these insights that can help customers to prepare for rough weather. Take Surveil’s usage and adoption dashboards, for example. Without so much as a single spreadsheet export or employee questionnaire, users can monitor and manage how solutions are being used and consumed by employees. Significant gaps in usage can result in licence savings to be used as a buffer in the near future, while low adoption of security functionality – such as MFA – allows users to plug security gaps before they become real issues.
Regardless of the challenges gathering on the horizon, Microsoft Partners are resilient enough to navigate the worst of the storm – we’re very confident in that. For their customers, that’s a reassuring notion and one that can be supported by how partners advise them during the difficult times.
Armed with the right insights and strong ties to Microsoft, partners are sure to be the ray of hope in a cloudy sky – and that’s what being a Microsoft Partner is all about.