Welcome to our first monthly Microsoft and Pax8 monthly update of the year! To get even more in-depth information about this unique partnership and everything it offers managed service provider (MSP) partners, sign up for our monthly live webcast. Find a summary of everything you might have missed below.
AI and Copilot readiness
The Pax8 and Microsoft AI Playbook is here to share insights and best practices on the strategies that support AI success. By introducing your customers to Microsoft Copilot, AI-powered web chat with commercial data protection, you can start to build the foundational productivity your SMB customers need to become AI-powered businesses. Check out the playbook to learn more about this exciting opportunity, as 83% of companies claim that AI is a top priority.
What is Copilot?
A copilot is an AI orchestration tool that you can interact with using natural language and that connects your applications to a foundational AI model. Connecting organizational data to a pre-built AI model lets the organization use a copilot to receive answers that are specific to that data.
Copilot is now integrated into almost every one of Microsoft’s products, helping users be more productive by giving them a better grasp of the underlying data that is driving an application or automating time-consuming tasks. It’s embedded into Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Microsoft Security, and it’s available for custom projects through Copilot Studio. The idea is to increase productivity and efficiency across the Microsoft stack, from Microsoft 365 Copilot working alongside people on everyday tasks to Dynamics 365 transforming the way employees use business applications and Microsoft Security Copilot, which will provide AI-powered assistance to security professionals.
In addition, Microsoft Copilot for the web is now available with commercial data protection (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise), helping professionals become more productive within their workplace by providing them with a personalized and interactive way to access the web. Copilot can help people find information, answer questions, and perform tasks using the power of AI. It can also generate content such as recaps, summaries, articles, code, essays, and more.
Be sure to reach out to your Pax8 representative to plan your readiness journey for Microsoft Copilot.
Developing an AI strategy
Alongside enabling Copilot for your clients, you should also implement a robust AI strategy, including adopting AI principles and enabling advanced cybersecurity measures such as unified security, identity and access management, and data management. You can also help your clients drive pilot projects to put AI into practice and reap the benefits. Learn more about forming and executing an AI strategy at our blog.
How do I get started?
There are a couple of things you can do to maximize your Copilot launch:
- Get your teams and clients AI-ready; connect with us to conduct a data security assessment.
- You can try Dynamics 365 Copilot today as part of solutions like Viva Sales, helping to increase seller productivity by harnessing the power of generative AI to automatically create rich, customer relevant content right inside the Microsoft 365 apps teams already use every day.
- If Microsoft 365 Copilot is something you’re excited to experience yourself, make sure you’re using Microsoft 365 today so you’re ready as more Copilot capabilities become available.
- Likewise, you’ll want to make sure Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Sentinel are part of your security foundation so that you’re set up to fully leverage Microsoft Security Copilot when it becomes generally available.
CSP Legacy to NCE seat-based migration
Microsoft began migrating Cloud Service Provider (CSP) customers to New Commerce Experience (NCE) as of January 11. Migrations will have a seven-day modification window for changes or cancellations, and if cancelling, partners will only have seven days to retrieve data before it’s lost. Automatic migrations will have annual commitments, with the same billing terms as before, but there are also upfront or monthly billing options.
Partners are encouraged to self-migrate their legacy CSP clients to NCE in the Pax8 Marketplace. You can do this by navigating to the Legacy subscription in the Pax8 Platform and clicking “Upgrade.” Licenses won’t need to be reassigned, and the upgrade tool can only accommodate base licensing and add-ons.
Other things to note about this transition include:
- You can only self-upgrade using the tool for products that have an equivalent NCE offer.
- Public sector (Education, Government, Nonprofit) clients will not have eligible offers until March of 2024.
- Neither partial, nor full, upgrades will open a seven-day cancellation window as they are not seen as new orders, but as permanent ones.
Pricing changes for NOK and SEK
Starting February 1, price changes will go into effect for the Norwegian Krone (NOK), which is a 12% adjustment for both cloud and on-premise, and the Swedish Krone (SEK), which is 10% for both cloud and on-premise. Partners are responsible for updating and maintaining the MSRP in the Pax8 Marketplace.
Success with business apps and AI in 2024
Despite excitement and opportunity around AI, there are still some blockers, namely data challenges (e.g., 75% of executives don’t trust their own data), cultural resistance, and a lack of general understanding of AI and its uses among workforces. In addition, there are cybersecurity concerns, as only 4% of companies have sufficient security for all their data in the cloud.
When organizations are unprepared, adopting AI can lead to:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Wasted resources
- Disruption to business operations
- A negative impact on employees
- Ethical concerns
To avoid hitting these pitfalls, try these tips for your organization and your clients:
- Tidy up data: AI algorithms are only as good as the data they are trained on. Businesses need access to large volumes of high-quality data to train and implement AI solutions effectively.
- Start with a pilot project: Don’t try to implement AI on a large scale all at once. Start with a pilot project to test the AI solution and make necessary adjustments before scaling it up.
- Get buy-in from employees: Communicate with employees about the benefits of AI and how it will impact their jobs. Get their feedback and input on the AI implementation process.
- Develop ethical guidelines for AI: Set clear ethical guidelines for the use of AI in your business. This will help ensure that AI is used responsibly and ethically.
- Monitor the AI solution: Monitor the AI solution on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is performing as expected. Make necessary adjustments as needed.
The benefits and opportunity to partners and clients
Less than 8% of the indirect CSP channel has transacted Modern Work, Azure, Power Platform, and Dynamics 365, yet they’re responsible for over 60% of all annual recurring revenue (ARR) in the channel, according to internal Pax8 and Microsoft research. In fact, we’ve seen partners who begin transacting Dynamics 365 grow 30% faster than other partners in under six months, going on to grow at double the rate over 12 months. For clients, every $1 spent on Dynamics 365 offers an ROI of up to $20 through increased productivity, time savings, a reduction of human errors, better insights, and a reduced total cost of ownership for business applications.*
MSPs can help their clients take advantage of these applications and their AI capabilities by taking some of the following steps:
- Utilize (and organize) your resources
- Build a plan and speak with your customers
- Use Cloud Ascent
- Work with other partners and indirect providers
- “Play” with AI and Copilot yourself to their monitor their impact
You can also look for these signs that your clients need new business applications and take advantage of that opportunity:
- Security concerns
- Duplication and repetition of work
- Outdated processes
- Data silos
- Low productivity
- Inability to adapt quickly
- Solutions from multiple vendors
From here, you can move from a tech-led to a business-led conversation to uncover opportunities not just for business applications but the customer’s entire environment. You don’t have to do this alone; focus on what you do well for your customers and then enable them with market-leading business applications from the Pax8 Marketplace.
Today, 80% of customers expect personalized customer experience. Meanwhile, 55% of service organizations don’t have collaboration tools to resolve customer issues quickly. The Solgari Converged Communication as a Service (CCaaS) offering through Pax8 offers a full-function contact center and unified communications delivered natively inside Microsoft Teams.
With organizations increasingly consolidating their communication strategies within Microsoft Teams, the application has hit 300 million monthly active users. Solgari helps partners take advantage of this by creating an AI contact center in Microsoft Teams, including conversational AI chatbots; AI-powered omni-channel routing across voice, SMS, email, and social; AI-powered Copilots for agents; and more. Learn more at the Pax8 Marketplace.
*Internal Pax8 research, 2022