Microsoft’s annual Inspire partner conference takes place this week in sunny (and super-hot) Las Vegas. Inspire offers partners an opportunity to hear about the latest Microsoft innovations, explore new ecosystem alliances and further develop existing partnerships. Most importantly, Inspire enables our team to discover new and innovative ways to help our clients transform their business leveraging cutting edge Microsoft solutions.
Starting today, we’re launching a series of daily blog posts featuring interviews with members of our Microsoft practice. We’ll highlight key Inspire announcements, explore solutions they’re most excited about and offer their varying and unique perspectives on the future of the Perficient and Microsoft partnership. We’ll also dispel the rumor that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Today’s interview features Matt McGillen, Perficient Microsoft Practice VP. Matt discusses Perficient’s unique position as one of few systems integrators able to look at the “big picture” to solve the enterprise’s toughest business challenges in ways that transcend technology.
Matt, this is your fifth time attending Inspire. Why are you looking forward to attending this year?
Inspire is an awesome opportunity for our team to connect with our Microsoft and ecosystem partners. Our team always comes out of Inspire with so much great information about what Microsoft and our ecosystem partners are doing, and that really informs our own client strategy.
I would say that I’m looking forward to Inspire for a couple of reasons. First, it’s super-useful to members of our Microsoft practice to hear directly from them what’s coming down the pipe within the Microsoft stack, understanding how they are going to market and learning what’s new in terms of client and partner innovations. If Microsoft is making a big push into Dynamics 365, custom development in Azure and/or Teams, it’s good for us to know. Given Microsoft is one of our Enterprise partners, it’s important that we have consistent messaging to our joint clients. Inspire helps inform our team where to invest in terms of training, sales and technology.
The second big draw to Inspire is that it gives our Microsoft practice an opportunity to meet with Microsoft’s senior leadership, to inform them of all the great things we’re doing. We’re very proud of our position in the Microsoft ecosystem. We play in their three clouds – Dynamics, Azure and Microsoft 365. Very few partners say they play in all three Microsoft clouds. Our differentiating strength is that we can bring all three clouds together into one cloud for our clients. That’s unique for us and I like getting that story in front of Microsoft.
“It’s unusual for a large systems integrator like Perficient to say we play well everywhere. It’s great for us because no other partner can say that.”
Inspire also gives our team an opportunity to share just how unique our capabilities are when it comes to Azure. We do more than just Microsoft work in Azure. For instance, we have an Oracle practice and our team internally works with our Oracle team to focus on Azure. We can say the same thing about OneStream on Azure, Sitecore on Azure, Adobe on Azure. Everything on Azure. No other Microsoft partner can say that. There is no other partner that does what we do. There is certainly not another partner with the depth and breadth that we bring for our clients innovating on the Microsoft stack. Honestly, I think it’s exciting that we can go into Inspire with our Perficient story and just blow people’s minds.
“We hope Microsoft comes away from Inspire thinking, ‘we have a really unique partner in Perficient’.”
Along similar same lines, can you share some of the challenges and pain points we’ve heard from our client’s this last year and explain Perficient’s approach to solving them?
I definitely can. The first thing that comes to mind for me is application modernization, but a step further: app modernization for the cloud age . Our clients come to us saying, “we run our business on a number of apps and it’s time for us to take advantage of the size & scale of the cloud. But we need help doing that.”
That’s the number one challenge we hear from our clients, specifically clients who aren’t just representative of IT but the business. We also hear it across all sectors: healthcare, automotive, financial services. They are looking at cloud and digital to broaden their reach, knock down silos between departments. That’s super exciting for us because that’s what we’re really good at it.
“We really excel at sitting down with our client’s to understand their business and their specific challenges to offer creative, innovative solutions that go beyond just technology.”
Most of those conversations ultimately end up leveraging the Microsoft stack and a lot of the solutions we build for clients are on Azure. But it’s interesting because it might not be purely homogenized Microsoft Azure. The solutions we build for our clients are big picture. It might be back-end app development plugged into Oracle or Salesforce. Some of our clients really need a lot of help. They have apps they’ve built and run on for the last 10 years. But they want and need to differentiate. To gain a competitive advantage, they need big picture solutions. That’s why it’s key that we come in and do more than just look at one application.
““We offer end-to-end solutions that will help our clients out-compete their competition.”
In closing, how about a fun question! Given the location of Inspire this year, tell us, what is your favorite part of Las Vegas?
I love getting up at 5 am, trying to find a Starbucks and then walking the strip at 5:30 am. You can’t beat it! It’s so many things at once – peaceful, not too hot. Then you see the people who’ve not gone to bed. Everything just comes together in a weird way. It’s crazy like no other city.
Check back tomorrow day two of our #msinspire2019 blog series. Our Microsoft Azure Practice Director will share his insights on partner conversations he’s looking forward to and why Microsoft Azure is no longer a single-play solution for many clients.