Monday Morning Impact – July 29

Published On: July 29, 2019Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Microsoft Announces Key Updates to Partner Strategy

Microsoft has announced new investments in technologies and programs designed to support its partner engagement in the cloud era.

“Customers and partners alike continue to move to the cloud and accelerate their digital transformation, leading us to new and different levels of partnership,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner group. “Our portfolio of programs, offers and resources for companies partnering with Microsoft is transforming to help them capitalize on this opportunity.”

Among the highlights, the company has announced new enhancements to Microsoft Teams, including new partner integrations that include support for contact centers, compliance recording and cloud solution providers.

The company announced significant updates to the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and two new integrations for Dynamics 365 that support the automotive and financial services industries. In addition, the Business Applications ISV Connect program is now generally available, with new development tools and guidance, marketplace resources, joint field engagement processes and go-to-market support.

Microsoft has also rolled out “Azure Lighthouse,” a platform that provides partners with a single control plane to view and manage Azure at scale across all their customers. Meanwhile, the new Azure Migration Program (AMP) helps customers accelerate their migration to Azure by providing advice and tools to help mitigate risks and address common issues associated with moving workloads to the cloud.

The company has additionally announced general availability of the Microsoft Security competency, allowing partners to market their expertise and provides access to a range of benefits. Along similar lines, five advanced specializations include Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure, Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure, Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure, Modernization of Web Applications in Microsoft Azure, and Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure.

Channel Impact®
Designed to assist partners in developing and proving their cloud expertise, these enhancements effectively provide greater depth to the existing partner program.

Report: Midmarket IPT and UCaaS Posting Solid Growth

Businesses are increasingly adopting Internet Protocol telephony and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions to increase worker productivity, improve collaboration and enhance customer experiences. That’s according to a study by Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by Claro Enterprise Solutions, which also states that UCaaS options are expanding for mid-market organizations (those with anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 users).

“Mid-market organizations have traditionally been underserved by UCaaS providers,” said Elka Popova, the lead researcher for the Frost & Sullivan report. “This is changing, as the range of UCaaS options and technology bundles is expanding significantly. For mid-market buyers, the challenge now becomes to find the right mix of capabilities and select the right technology partner.”

UCaaS solutions were first adopted by small businesses with minimal legacy infrastructure seeking flexibility, simplicity and low costs. Larger enterprises pursuing digital transformation followed suit. While major telecommunications companies focused on the requirements of these two segments, the mid-market was largely neglected.

According to Frost & Sullivan, 82 percent of North American technology decision makers are moving or planning to move parts or all of their enterprise telephony to the Cloud by the end of 2019. Drivers of this trend include growing numbers of mobile and remote workers, a pressing need to reduce IT complexity to focus on business strategy and the increasing affordability and functionality of technology solutions.

Channel Impact®
The research demonstrates a key sales opportunity for channel partners serving mid-market customers positioned to leverage UCaaS to address increasingly sophisticated business requirements around scalability, collaboration and customer experiences in a cost-effective manner.

IBM And AT&T Announce Multi-Year Strategic Alliance

IBM and AT&T have announced a multi-year strategic alliance through which AT&T Communications will use IBM’s expertise to modernize AT&T Business Solutions’ internal software applications, enabling migrations to the IBM Cloud. In addition, IBM will provide infrastructure to support AT&T Business’s applications, using Red Hat’s open source platform to manage workloads and applications.

IBM will also make AT&T Business its primary provider of software-defined networking, thus building on the existing relationship where AT&T Business is IBM’s strategic global networking provider.

“In AT&T Business, we’re constantly evolving to better serve business customers around the globe by securely connecting them to the digital capabilities they need,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business. “This includes optimizing our core operations and modernizing our internal business applications to accelerate innovation. Through our collaboration with IBM, we’re adopting open, flexible, cloud technologies, that will ultimately help accelerate our business leadership.”

IBM will be the primary developer and cloud provider for AT&T Business’s operational applications and will help manage the AT&T Communications IT infrastructure, on and off-premises and across different clouds –private and public. This approach will enable AT&T Business to build and deploy internal application workloads, and deliver new services.

The two companies will also collaborate on edge computing platforms, which will help enterprise clients capitalize on 5G network speeds and the internet-connected devices and sensors at the edge of the network.

Channel Impact®
The upshot of this development is to better enable the movement of AT&T Business applications to IBM Cloud with the intent of better serving enterprise customers.

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