Microsoft Caribbean Channel Connect: Channel Opportunities in a Changing World

The event brought together partners, business partners and distributors from the Caribbean, who were able to learn about technology trends and business opportunities from Microsoft experts dedicated to the region.

The agenda was ambitious and the leaders of the brand reviewed the entire Microsoft product line: Windows 10 Pro as the essential tool for remote work today and Windows to boost business in the cloud. Microsoft 365 within the category of modern products to offer to transform workspaces, as well as Windows Server and Microsoft Office.

Throughout the different presentations, Microsoft gave a message to the channels on how to get the best experience with Windows 10 Pro, how to create the future with Office and Windows Server; and the great business opportunity was mentioned, in the framework of the pandemic, the new normal in workspaces, business opportunities with Teams, new generations for work and much more.

Carlos Alves, Sales manager Caribbean and Central American at Microsoft, was in charge of the welcome keynote. The executive referred to how the pandemic impacted the world. «We are in the process of reimagining how the world will turn out to be due to the use of technology and how most customers, especially small businesses, had to adopt it,» he said.

In that regard, the executive commented: «So our mission statement is to build and sell smart cloud and smart edge devices and solutions with device partners. Until now, we have been supporting partners who are creating their own devices, to sometimes locally, sometimes by using certain suppliers in China or other countries. But we are also supporting as part of the mission those partners who are also selling devices that are being manufactured by our main OEMs, such as Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, Samsung, etc. »

Alves said that these devices are evolving over time: «We are no longer necessarily talking only about the PC; but about other types of devices, which can capture data directly, which are the implementation of what we call IoT, and those devices can also help customers communicate and interact better. » And he added: «I am referring to specific devices like Teams Rooms, with certain smart screens that will allow you to use services like Microsoft 365 in a more efficient way.»

The executive explained that Smart Edge is made up of data collection, either from a PC, a sensor or any type of device that is now connected to the Internet and can provide us with what we call ubiquitous computing.

 

Microsoft’s Sales Manager Caribbean and Central American said that the company has three main strategies: «Of course, we are very focused on the manufacture and sale of devices. As part of that smart advantage, the idea is that we work with the devices of our OEM partners who will provide customers with enhanced experiences by harnessing the power of the cloud and those devices, and of course, us, those device partners and you, «he emphasized.

Regarding the company’s innovations that helped customers in this pandemic year, the executive pointed to the facial recognition capabilities with Windows Hello. «And now, even with the pandemic, we have been working with device partners to provide a special surface for devices that are resistant to certain diseases or that prevent the transmission of certain diseases,» he noted. «That’s the kind of innovation and ingenuity that both Microsoft and our partners bring about where we want to innovate,» he stressed.

«Finally,» he added, «we also want to transform the way we sell devices and services to partners, and this is where concepts such as devices as a service like Windows Autopilot come into play.» And he detailed that Microsoft is working with certain partners to provide the ability to replace those devices and pay for those devices in a way that is more financially efficient for customers.

«In the case of Autopilot, for example, where by taking advantage of cloud technology, you have a way to seamlessly deploy the entire infrastructure of your devices, allowing them to be managed automatically without having to dedicate hours and hours of your resources to configure each and every one of those devices before they are provided to end users, «he said.

Looking ahead, Alves said the main area of the year with the pandemic is workplace transformation. «There has been an evolution, for example, in Teams, where we have created new functionality for the team, new features in a very short period of time,» he stressed. Second, he assured that Windows will continue to be «the main fuel for our cloud business and our Microsoft 365 strategy.»

Alves announced that the company will continue to evolve and invest in Windows as the main platform: «You have seen that Windows 10 is now the most reliable and secure operating system of all time and we want to continue doing so, especially in these times when security It is so unforeseen for our companies and for our users in general.

And he concluded: «We are talking about approximately half a million devices that were activated in the last 12 months, 30% of which are what we call commercial, so that you can imagine the size of the opportunity in terms of services and CAL sales. they have with those devices sold in their region. Of course, they can count on Microsoft’s innovation and our support to help them seize that opportunity.»

Key business priorities

Then it was the turn of Mariolli Baragaño, GTM Latam Lead of Microsoft, offered a detail of the business priorities of Windows, Microsoft 365 and Windows Server.

With regard to Windows, he assured that in Latin America «our current PC update cycle is maintained, so the opportunity is clear», while the second priority is to drive additional sales with commercial value, and finally it is devices as a service. , especially for SMEs, and Autopilot’s value proposition to minimize deployment costs and at the same time offer different service opportunities for partners.

Regarding Microsoft 365, he highlighted the opportunity to modernize the legacy Office installed base: «We know that 25% of home and business users maintain legacy versions,» he said about it. The other opportunity is to sell in bundles with the devices: «The moment is when the equipment is updated», he pointed out. «We know that 70% of SMEs buy software in the same channel where they buy equipment. And looking ahead, we know that 49% of users say they will buy Office at the same time they buy the device,» he added . The third opportunity with Microsoft 365 has to do with capitalizing on the needs of remote work with Home & Business.

Finally, regarding Windows Server, he said as key opportunities to monetize with attached CALs: «In Latin America for every 100 servers we only sell 5 CALs», he pointed out; accelerate the Windows Server 2008 upgrade of the installed pool, and take advantage of the sale of hybrid solutions for bakcup and disaster recovery and HCI.

Johanna Belvedere, Commercial Master Trainner Canada at Microsoft, explained how partners can provide better support service. For example, she pointed out that 32% of Windows 10 PCs are currently 4 or older and 79% of companies have plans to replace these old devices, which represents a great opportunity. She also highlighted that remote work went from 6% to 66% in 2020. «The interesting thing is that this is going to continue,» she assured.

He also argued that SMEs need to be more agile to work in a world that is changing, so they require greater productivity, security and flexible administration, highlighting the features that Windows 10 offers in that sense. He also realized the advantages that Windows Autopilot offers.

Lisa Burnett, Partner Sales Executive for English Caribbean at Microsoft, spoke about Microsoft’s strategies and solutions that will drive business for partners and help their clients in their digital transformation process

Burnett gave way to Thiago Crude Coraccini, Brazil Master Trainer, who elaborated on the opportunity represented by the modernization of the installed base of Windows Server.

The event continued after a break with a talk by Jarrod-Best-Mitchel, a renowned sales speaker, and other company executives to help Caribbean partners maximize their business opportunities.