Our strong collaboration shines through 2021 Microsoft partner awards

  • Posted on July 14, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Microsoft announced its 2021 Partner of the Year award winners on July 8. Once again, Accenture and Avanade are honored to be recognized for our work. In addition to being named Global Alliance SI Partner of the Year for a record 16th time, Accenture and Avanade took the award in eight other categories; we were also named finalists in seven categories

Pam Maynard, Avanade CEO, and Chris Howarth, Global Lead – Accenture Microsoft Business Group, reflected on what these awards mean for their organizations and their ability to transform organizations and people’s lives through innovation in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Accenture, Avanade, and Microsoft have been collaborating closely for more than 20 years, what distinguishes this year—and these Partner of the Year awards—from others?

Chris Howarth: Clearly, 2020 will be remembered as the year that COVID changed all of our lives. For Accenture and Avanade, what stands out to me is how quickly we were able to pivot nearly all of our business, and continue to serve our clients. Our clients’ priorities changed overnight—as did the way we deliver our work. In the midst of this unexpected upheaval, we knew that the Microsoft ecosystem and platforms would be equal to the task, and we trusted our people’s expertise to innovate fast to meet clients’ needs. We helped the jeweler Pandora successfully transition approximately 70% of its applications and infrastructure to Azure; the money and resources gained are able to be redirected to new digital initiatives including enhanced online shopping experiences.

Pam Maynard
: This was a year for fast innovation: it was also a reminder of the importance of a people-first workplace experience. Just as organizations were sending people home to work, Microsoft introduces Viva, a platform that creates a seamless employee experience and gives employers data and analytics tools to achieve strategic objectives and productivity goals. We brought Viva into environmental services consultant Golder to help its 14,000-person team work better together during COVID, and we introduced a new approach to knowledge management to Syngenta’s workforce comprising 28,000 across 90 countries. Our 20+-year collaboration has given us the insight and creativity to put Microsoft technology into organizations to face whatever expected and unexpected challenges and opportunities come their way. This year demonstrated that over and over.

What has the partnership among Accenture, Avanade, and Microsoft done for clients over the past year?

Chris Howarth: In every nomination we submitted for Microsoft Partner of the Year, we define our achievements and success based on the results we deliver to clients, and, ultimately, their customers. Our work with CNH Industrial is helping them connect their vehicles with functionalities in computer-aided farming, predictive maintenance, enhanced fleet management and green transportation. And the work we did with The Felix Project in London will help that nonprofit provide 100 million meals per year by 2024, a tenfold increase over current levels. 

Pam Maynard: Our three organizations are closely aligned in our values and we are each are focused on digital innovation to improve the lives of people and communities in complementary ways. Over the past year, I have been encouraging all Avanade people to look for and celebrate the genuine human impact we are able to make through our work. Working with energy companies on sustainability efforts, partnering with a drug store chain to deliver personalized recommendations and rewards to their customers—these are some examples of the work we highlighted for Microsoft this year, and each can be traced to improving someone’s life.

In your view, what makes this collaboration among Accenture, Avanade, and Microsoft special?

Pam Maynard
: I think it really comes down to bringing the best of all three organizations to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems with a sense of humanity. Solving problems isn’t always about bottom-line impact or getting to use the latest and coolest tech – it’s about the human element. Having a purpose-driven partnership that strives to make a genuine human impact for our clients, their customers and employees, and our communities.

Chris Howarth: There’s no partnership like ours in the market. We bring together Accenture's industry and technological expertise, the most trusted enterprise platform in Microsoft, and Avanade’s executional rigor to embed industry, innovation and insight into the very heart of businesses and communities.

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