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U.S. Enterprises Look to Service Providers to Help Them Maximize Value from Microsoft Tools

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees U.S. companies turning to providers for help adopting Microsoft products like Teams and Mixed Reality to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven many U.S. enterprises to invest in cloud-based Microsoft products and services that support remote work, and many are looking to third-party service providers to help them get full value from that investment, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Microsoft Ecosystem Report for the U.S. sees a significant opportunity for service providers to help enterprises make full use of their Microsoft products. In many cases, companies have failed to capitalize on the full value of their Microsoft suites, the report observes.

At the same time, the pandemic has driven companies to seek provider support for such Microsoft products as Teams and Mixed Reality, and for moving industry-specific workloads to Azure, the report says.

“The pandemic has created upheaval in the Microsoft services ecosystem, throwing plans into disarray through the disruption of in-person work,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Service providers have invested heavily in capabilities that can help their customers get the most out of the Microsoft relationships. Remarkably, they have successfully delivered these services despite their own travel and work restrictions.”

The report sees service providers focused on expanding their capabilities with Microsoft Teams, the collaboration tool that has become popular during the pandemic. Enterprises that have avoided a strong messaging platform culture in the past have been forced to use Teams as a result of office work restrictions. Service providers have invested heavily in deploying bots that users can interact with through Teams, and in some cases, in developing services that can help rein in sprawling deployments marked by haphazard adoption.

In addition, the pandemic has pushed enterprises to adopt Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 suite, if they had not already done so before early 2020, the report says. For most enterprises, the focus now is on evaluating how to get the most from their existing Office 365 licenses. In some cases, companies are paying for capabilities they are not using or using well, and the report sees a major opportunity for service providers to assist in maximizing value from Microsoft’s productivity suite.

The report also sees enterprises increasingly adopting Microsoft’s augmented reality and virtual reality tools, through its Mixed Reality program. Both Office 365 and Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s suite of cloud-based business applications, integrate with the HoloLens hardware to provider immersive experiences for users. With remote work expected to continue after the pandemic subsides, Mixed Reality experience will provide users with a sense of presence even when people are physically distant.

The pandemic also has shaken up the SAP on Azure market, the report notes, with some firms spurred to accelerate the cloud transformation of their critical business applications. Other companies have decided to hold back until the business environment settles down. Service providers can offer significant expertise in migration to the cloud and to HANA, including specific industry know-how.

In addition, the report notes Microsoft is focused on expanding its Azure customer base through the deployment of industry-specific services. The software vendor has recently launched industry-focused cloud environments, and many service providers have begun taking a vertical-focused approach to cloud migration and adoption, with services to augment Microsoft’s offerings.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Microsoft Ecosystem Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 34 providers across four quadrants: Managed Services for Azure, Office 365 – Modern Workplace, Dynamics 365, and SAP on Azure.

The report names Accenture (Avanade), Capgemini, Cognizant, DXC Technology, IBM, Infosys, TCS and Wipro as Leaders in all four quadrants. Hexaware and NTT are named Leaders in three quadrants, and Atos, HCL, LTI and Rackspace Technology are named Leaders in one quadrant.

In addition, Logicalis and Mindtree were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant each.

Customized versions of the report are available from Hexaware and Wipro.

The 2021 ISG Provider LensMicrosoft Ecosystem Report for the U.S. is available to 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, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, 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.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, 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 world’s top 100 enterprises, 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


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