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We are living in a remarkable period in history that many refer to as a “crisis of a generation”. Our lives have changed dramatically, as has our work environment. The initial impact of the pandemic was swift, and it continues.
This is accelerating digital transformation, which is changing all it touches. In line with this, Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific (JAPAC) has embarked on a channel transformation program that we believe will help our partners across the region to thrive. Certainly, we are extremely excited about the many opportunities ahead of us, but first, some changes need to be made. Why?
As International Data Corporation (IDC) highlights1 , there is a third platform which consists of four underlying growth pillars: cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and social. Its evolution has accelerated innovation by providing a foundation for the key emerging technologies that are enabling digital transformation such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), edge computing and next-generation security.
To grow and to take market share – The third platform, a term coined by IDC2 for a computing platform model, is where the money is. According to an IDC report published online3 , IT spend is predicted to grow at 5.7% in the next 5 years, and forecasted expenditure on the Innovation Accelerators such as AI, IoT, and Augmented/Virtual Reality, is 17%, indicating that the opportunities are huge in Innovation Accelerators.
Furthermore, in the next two years, the number of “digitally determined”4 organizations with a fully integrated enterprise-wide technology architecture is expected to grow from 46 percent to over 905 percent.
As you can see, there is no time to wait. According to IDC, most companies in the Asia Pacific region are in the early stages of digital transformation - from making no changes to their digital transformation journey to those making the biggest changes to the business to become disruptors. Regardless of their maturity, with the global health pandemic, the sense of urgency is accelerating.
Partners will have a big role in helping customers through the transformation required to become winners in the digital economy. So the time is now to start having conversations around their digital transformation journey.
The digital world necessitates a move to cloud, which will bring with it a change in revenue models given the move to a subscription basis. This has the potential to provide a far more stable revenue stream than the peaks and valleys of the on-premise or traditional project work. But to achieve this, it is imperative to build recurring revenue that will grow over time.
To do this requires a different type of customer relationship and depth of understanding of customer behavior, and a new way of working. The relationship needs to extend beyond just a successful implementation to identifying expanded opportunities, so partners need to be engaged across all the stages of the customer lifecycle in order to drive renewals and expanded value into your client base.
This, in part, can be achieved through the introduction of Customer Success Managers (CSM), for example. Their role is to ensure customer adoption and help with customer renewals. CSMs can help extend the value and footprint of the partners’ business within those customers, which can help translate to significantly more revenue and profitability.
Cloud is an opportunity that can’t be ignored and it will continue to evolve into a bigger part of a partner’s overall business. Those who develop on the cloud will grow the fastest, and with the cloud being a partner value accelerator, many in the community are turning towards this as a development activity by becoming service partners.
How else can we drive more meaningful interactions, deeply understand how to work together and create value through the data driven innovations that we are seeing transforming industries? The fundamentals to build a thriving partner eco-system will still be important, with key pillars around channel structure, enablement, tools and processes.
As we build this digital bridge to help our customers thrive in the next normal, there will be a huge partner opportunity. With all these transformations in the market, we need to better understand how partners fit within the market so that we can leverage each other to be the force multiplier.
(The writer is Senior Vice President, Systems, Alliances, Channels and ISV, Oracle Asia Pacific and Japan )