My job is to collaborate with our partner ecosystem, to help differentiate their value to optimize the most customer success and innovation. Today, I’m focused on driving the joint value proposition to our customers. We work closely with partners, innovating to deliver the best solutions to market. Partners are the fuel that drives the growth, satisfaction and innovation of our customers — they’re the pivotal contributors to customer value realization. It’s through honed specialized skills, trusted expertise and ongoing curiosity that Microsoft partners seek to drive the next generation of innovation — sharpening their industry knowledge and solution experience to drive the solutions of tomorrow for Microsoft customers. I anticipate that my role in the future may change to accommodate new technologies and global influences impacting our customers, but at the core, my focus will remain on helping our partners and customers achieve more. I will be working hard to deeply understand the true satisfaction of our customers and, together with our partners, ensure our efforts (how are we showing up, delivering the right technology, helping them implement, etc.) contribute to our reputation as the trusted choice today and in the future.
We believe Azure cloud is the strongest technical offering in the industry. We work with the best partners to be the most skilled and innovative advisers to our customers so we can make the impossible possible. Our partners are able to leverage the power of our cloud to specialize in industry-specific solutions. Together, we bring AI and data insights to energize the directions of companies and democratize decision-making to the end user. We can do more together than we can do independently, and it all accrues to the benefit of our customers. That’s why I believe in the power of partnership.
This year, I believe it’s paramount to focus on growing deeper skill sets with greater recognition of a partner’s contribution and impact to the innovation of our shared customers. This will result in greater Microsoft-Partner-Customer collaboration, satisfaction and, most importantly, growth for all parties. I want to celebrate the pivotal contribution our partners make in delivering success to our customers — and share their stories.
If we bring Microsoft technology with the talents, innovation, insights and IP from our partners, we could solve things for our customers that we couldn’t do alone. Together we are exponentially stronger than if we went to market alone. It essentially means that we make one plus one equal eleven!
Yes, the tech industry has had a tremendous growth spurt in the last 3-5 years, and things are now balancing out based on the new reality. Lots of companies are making hard decisions. In this atmosphere, I go back to strategy — what is the goal, how are we going to do it? We are creating the framework, looking closely at what we are prioritizing, deciding what we’re going to do (or not going to do), and doing all of this in close collaboration with our employees and partners.
I think there are a few important things to keep in mind during these times. I believe my role is to help everyone see how they are contributing to the strategy, what we’re going to do and what we will achieve. Our goals and priorities have to be super clear and people have to be connected to them.
The other thing that is of paramount importance is company culture. It would be easy to dismiss or ignore culture when things are difficult. But this is exactly when a healthy culture is most important. Our CEO has been known to say “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and that’s what he’s talking about.
My personal mentor taught me that people are essential to the success of anything. They are the essence. In every customer conversation, sales opportunity, partner conversation or internal conversation, you have to bring in the people component. Any relationship starts with trust.
I’m a fan of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I think the potential of AI is almost boundless. I see it as a complement to the talent — AI can answer the common moments and provide the process pieces. When the mundane and rote tasks are managed, it will provide freedom for people to focus on strategy, design and innovation.
Someday I want to be the Chief Customer Storyteller. I believe in the power of customer storytelling and making them the ambassadors of what you’re doing and driving. Our partners are the hero motion. My ambition is that we don’t go to market talking about the “what.” I want us to go to market by highlighting the success our customers are experiencing, not the functionality we provide. This is something I’m always working on and I believe it will be a constant goal.
If we learned anything from the pandemic, it’s the importance of agility. We all had to shift to be successful — restaurants started focusing on takeout, retailers enabled curbside pick up and telehealth became a common way to help patients. I think this is going to be a lifelong skill business leaders should try to develop. Leaders should be looking for opportunities to meet the shifting needs of their customers, their supply chains, their employees and their partners. Instead of staying comfortable with “how we’ve always done it,” we should be challenging ourselves to rethink what’s possible.
I LOVE feedback. I seek it out. I can tell who is actually invested in my success because they give me candid feedback. One of the greatest lessons I learned in graduate school is about the feedback loop. The thing to do, right when you walk out of the meeting, is talk with the person next to you — your colleague, peer, boss, direct report — any of them. Ask what you did well, what could you do differently or better. I think of it as an always-on feedback loop. I believe the truest form of support is constructive feedback. When people give me constructive feedback, it means they care about my success. They want me to be the best I can be. They wouldn’t give feedback if they didn’t care.