How the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Microsoft partners


Posted by Faustine Ladeiro-Levent 8 months ago

Ever since the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China, the outbreak of coronavirus has dominated the headlines. As the virus takes hold globally, cases across Europe, the US and Asia have led to many governments putting lockdowns in place.

From a business perspective, this has meant organisations have reduced in-person gatherings and many have switched to fully remote-working operations.

These are dramatic changes to how many of us work. An article on MSDynamicsWorld asks how Microsoft partners and ISVs are coping and helping other industries to adapt. They spoke to a number of professionals to get their view on how the coronavirus is impacting the IT services industry.

On 5 March – long before travel restrictions or school closures came into play – Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro published a blog about how the company planned to support its customers during the pandemic.

Taking the experience of Microsoft workers in Shanghai as a case in point, all employees in the Seattle area were advised to work from home and use Teams to collaborate with one another. In that communication, he reminded customers that Teams was included within the Office 365 licensed package and highlighted the freemium version of the service with other work, school or Gmail accounts.

The hope is that Microsoft is able to keep Teams running even when demand is high or when sickness reduces the effectiveness of its operational teams. To achieve this it has set up fault isolation, reduced the scope of incidents and adopted an active/active design.

Here’s what tech firms are doing to help organisations make the transition to remote working:

“To get business from a device heavy, VPN centric remote-working model to a SaaS- and browser-native model isn’t necessarily an overnight story. The challenge is how we get them what they need on a short-term basis. A lot of this depends on communications around meetings, video, and supporting collaboration...It’s less a matter of technology [scaling], but more people [scaling] to have customer conversations.”
Scott Kinka, CEO and founder of Evolve IP

“In the near-term, we see a correlation between the spread of coronavirus and the demand for Microsoft products easing the remote work transition. Looking ahead, Microsoft will continue to own the DaaS (desktop as a service) market as all user productivity and workplace productivity (regardless of where workers are located) is centred around Microsoft technologies.”
Joseph Landes, chief revenue officer at Nerdio

“Microsoft’s investments in teamwork and collaboration technologies like Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, and Surface Hub could potentially mean some incremental volume as businesses get serious about fewer meetings and less travel. On the other hand, global economic weakness will likely translate to less hiring and sluggish PC and server sales. A company of Microsoft’s scale and reach will almost certainly both win and lose during any global public health crisis.”
Scott Paul, senior director of Microsoft Alliance at AppRiver

The current coronavirus pandemic could be described as a simultaneous example of demand shock and supply shock. Shortages in medicines and medical equipment were quickly felt when China’s factories closed at the same time as demand for other products and services dropped overnight. Meanwhile, demand for certain products – toilet roll, food and masks – has gone through the roof. Every industry is working hard to adapt to these changes in demand, supply and working practices.

Microsoft partners (as well as the company itself) need to remain poised to help organisations make these transitions and remain solvent. Get in touch with Hunter Charles for advice.


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