U.S. Enterprises Expecting More from Microsoft Providers

ISG Provider Lens™ report finds Microsoft MSPs being asked to serve as system integrators, VARs as more applications move to Azure


STAMFORD, Conn., April 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- U.S. enterprises are expecting more from their Microsoft ecosystem partners, as Microsoft moves to an as-a-service model and the Microsoft Azure cloud hosts more enterprise business systems and software, a new report from Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, finds.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensMicrosoft Ecosystem Partners Report for the U.S. finds Microsoft-certified managed service providers (MSPs) being asked to migrate an array of applications—including SAP and other non-Microsoft applications—to the Azure platform and to make them work not just on Azure, but on other clouds.

MSPs focused on Microsoft Azure are “likely to be indistinguishable from the systems integrators and value-added resellers of the past,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Clients expect their MSPs to perform these other roles and offer such services as application development and management and DevOps.”

Microsoft is encouraging technology vendors to participate in its Cloud Solution Provider program through which vendors embed Microsoft technology into their own solutions. Microsoft also offers an intellectual property co-sell program that rewards partners for selling third-party solutions that run on Azure.

MSPs will need to invest in artificial intelligence capabilities as Microsoft moves ahead with AI development and implementation across Azure, the report says. While many enterprise customers aren’t yet ready to use AI, MSPs will need to enhance their AI expertise to keep up with Microsoft certifications and partnerships. The new focus on AI will “further blur any remaining lines between Azure MSPs and traditional system integrators and VARs,” the report notes.

The report also sees a growing interest in the Internet of Things and advanced data analytics among U.S. enterprise customers. MSPs are beginning to use their expertise in the IoT and data analytics to differentiate themselves from competitors.

U.S. enterprises are also evaluating Microsoft MSPs for their ability to work with large and complex databases, to optimize network connectivity and to integrate with other critical software applications, the report says. Enterprises want MSPs that can minimize downtime before, during and after migration to the Microsoft as-a-service model.

The report also sees enterprise adoption of Office 365 enabling integrated delivery of Microsoft products like Office, Exchange and Teams, while improving directory services, digital rights management capabilities and other core digital workplace capabilities. Because Office is the de facto enterprise productivity platform, Office 365 is increasingly becoming a key component of digital workplace solutions.

The report finds at least half of MSP business related to implementing and integrating Office 365 begins with U.S. enterprises seeking migration and modernization of enterprise productivity software. This suggests that MSPs need a set of baseline development, implementation and integration tools and skills.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensMicrosoft Ecosystem Partners Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 40 providers across four quadrants: Managed Service Provider for Azure, Office 365 Integration, SAP on Azure and SharePoint Integration.

The report names Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, DXC Technology, HCL, IBM, NTT DATA, TCS and Wipro as leaders in all four quadrants. Infosys is named a leader in three quadrants, while Atos, Fujitsu, Hexaware, LTI and Rackspace are named as leaders in one.

A customized version of the report is available from Hexaware.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensMicrosoft Ecosystem Partners Report for the U.S. is available to ISG Provider Lens™ subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe and Latin America, as well as in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

The series is a complement to the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, which offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the top 100 enterprises in the world, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

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