For the fourth time in seven years, Tech Data has been named Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner of the Year in the Indirect Provider of the Year award category. With so much digital transformation and change happening across the IT industry, Microsoft has cemented itself at the forefront of driving and supporting that change. Between Microsoft’s new technologies and new solutions, and Tech Data’s ecosystem of vendor and channel partners, innovation is happening at a rapid pace to support the needs of today’s savvy, connected consumers.
Tech Data’s Bert Schep, vice president and global lead, Microsoft, and Reza Honarmand, senior vice president, global hyperscaler transformation, were two of the leading influences behind Tech Data’s application and key members of the Tech Data – Microsoft relationship. We sat down with each of them to gather a behind-the-scenes look at the Tech Data-Microsoft partnership.
The Big Picture: A Unified Commitment to Excellence
For the past four decades and beyond, Microsoft and Tech Data have continued to invest in driving change. Especially true in the last five years, Tech Data has set a path of commitment alongside Microsoft to gather steam and produce results faster than ever before so that our customers become more efficient and successful. Our job, as a solution aggregator, used to be very linear. Today, it’s much more complex and transformative to the way the technology channel does business. As Microsoft continues to invest in Tech Data and the channel, Tech Data has helped partners grow their Azure practice, convert software licenses and become more enabled to operate successfully.
Setting the Stage: A Team Effort
For the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards, Tech Data was ready to take it to the next level. As the awards garner tremendous praise from Microsoft on a global scale, it takes a team effort to showcase why you’re the most unique partner. As part of the nomination process, Tech Data built a dedicated website, complete with global customer testimonials (including one testimonial referenced by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a recent keynote), creative, results-oriented videos and helpful value proposition resources to ensure the full Tech Data – Microsoft story was told.
That story largely runs through the multiple global teams of colleagues, according to both Reza and Bert, who each took the time to give recognition to individuals within Tech Data that consistently went the extra mile to assist with change. Interactions with other colleagues and Tech Data customers answered the question: “how do I create the technology that will help boost productivity, solve problems or help in the digital transformation journey?” In the new world, solution aggregators serve as the intermediary to empower and enable customers to understand the full impact for end users.
The Microsoft team at Tech Data spans many countries and continents around the world but operates as a single unit. “We all operated as one team with one strategy. It was never ‘you go do this, you go do this…,” it was always collaborative.”
Beyond Expectations: Navigating a Challenging Year
Receiving a Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2021 holds additional value after a tumultuous year for businesses around the world. As more companies moved to a remote working environment, they faced new, unique challenges to stay profitable, or in many cases, operable. Tech Data worked closely with our partners through a full immersion program, giving them technology they need to turn things around quickly, with zero downtime.
Reza re-enforced, “we do what we preach.” Tech Data uses all of the Microsoft technology that we assist our partners with, including Office 365, Teams, and Azure cloud-based applications to help run our own business. While Windows-based software continues to be Microsoft’s bread and butter, the pandemic inspired the question “how do I create?” Despite all of the chaos and lockdowns around the world, our teams were able to pick up everything and serve customers with new, innovative technologies. As a result, the Tech Data Microsoft team held a vision of the “3 R’s: Respond. Recover. Resilience.” Through the execution of this motto, we were able to support companies working both directly and indirectly with the Covid-19 crisis.
Moving Forward: Just the Beginning
“How do I become successful?” That’s the top concern for channel partners, and we work closely with them to become enabled with the right elements, the right people and deep insights to make strong business decisions. This is done through:
- Customer immersion workshops – some as quick as 30 minutes, these practical workshops help drive business models
- Practice builders – customers form assessments, whether it’s cloud, security, IoT or other next-gen technologies, to gather the step-by-step approach to becoming successful
- Depth approach – For specific challenges and requirements, Tech Data works closely with customers for major undertakings, such as data migration to Azure platforms
“I’m really proud of the partners that talk about how Tech Data is making a real impact in growing their day-to-day business” – Bert Schep
About the Author
Mike Fitch is a content marketing expert with more than 9 years of experience in B2B marketing, specializing in marketing automation, branding, social media, and content strategy. Mike currently serves as a Senior eMarketing Strategist for Tech Data’s Americas Communications team.