It takes a whole village to help software companies grow, especially in the midst of a skills shortage

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Matt Bostwick says working together has been a winning approach for Microsoft's partners, and it's something we'll need a lot more to address the key issues we're facing, like skills shortages and the frantic pace of change.

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Matt Bostwick says working together has been a winning approach for Microsoft’s partners, and it’s something we’ll need a lot more to address the key issues we’re facing, like skills shortages and the frantic pace of change.

Matt Bostwick, Partner Director of Microsoft New Zealand, explains why business collaboration is more important than ever to help solve today’s challenges facing the technology sector.

There has been no shortage of lessons to be learned over the past two years. In the technology sector, we have seen the growing importance of the products we make, as digitalization accelerates and innovation becomes essential for survival.

As we saw at the recent Microsoft NZ Partner Awards, our technology sector has played a central role in the big stories of our time, from digital democracy to protecting our supply chain and supporting healthcare services. during a pandemic.

Along with these trends, we have all realized how much we rely on others. This experience has been mirrored by our partners: those who take a collaborative approach are able to solve problems faster and become more resilient to change.

Working together has been a winning approach for our partners, and it’s something we will need a lot more to address the key issues we face, such as skills shortages and the rapid pace of change.

Matt Bostwick, Associate Director for Microsoft New Zealand.

PROVIDED

Matt Bostwick, Associate Director for Microsoft New Zealand.

When a new SaaS partner joins our team at Microsoft, they often need support in specific areas, just like any growing business. In recent years, SaaS companies might have needed to turn to a large network without specific SaaS expertise for support.

However, as our local industry has matured, there are a growing number of specialty shops and partners who can help startups create new aspects of their business in areas they may not be expert in.

We regularly work to connect partners with complementary skills, and as the technology sector in New Zealand has grown and matured, I have been extremely encouraged to see the willingness of companies to help each other.

The breadth and maturity of our technology ecosystem also means that there are many specialized expertise our software startups can draw upon as they grow, whether they seek to implement specific technology, improve their operations or to access additional capital. This helps grow our entire partner ecosystem (and by extension, the New Zealand economy), allowing companies to outsource specialist skills and focus on their core operating model, while being less affected by skills shortages.

One of New Zealand’s SaaS success stories, retail inventory management company Cin7, is a prime example of this “it takes a village” approach. Cin7 has seen tremendous growth globally, bringing its inventory management platform to retailers around the world. This year it was highly recommended in the SaaS category at the Microsoft NZ Partner Awards, for good reason.

Cin7 CEO David Leach (third from right) with the Cin7 team and Microsoft.

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Cin7 CEO David Leach (third from right) with the Cin7 team and Microsoft.

Instead of trying to handle everything on its own, Cin7 focused on its core business while relying on expert assistance when needed. It’s a winning approach: Cin7 has acquired two international companies this year and has established itself as one of the flagships of the SaaS sector in New Zealand.

Parallo, a specialist partner that provides cloud services to scale SaaS businesses, works alongside Cin7 to help maintain its core infrastructure. Cin7 has huge growth projections over the next few years, so leveraging Parallo’s expertise in DevOps and public cloud optimization allows the company to maintain a solid foundation to build from, without having to to develop this capacity internally, nor to be distracted from its growth focus.

Cin7 also benefited from the support of Aware Group. Aware and Cin7 first connected during a two-day Microsoft Innovate program, which allowed Aware to share its specialist data management expertise and build a system that continues to help the company as it strengthens.

New businesses face many challenges in today’s environment. If we’re going to continue the incredible momentum we’re seeing in the tech sector, we’ll all have to work together. I can’t wait to see the next big thing come out of an industry that stands behind its own.

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