My experience as the European Alliances Director
Having a strong alliances department is crucial for many businesses, as it is the ultimate way of establishing trusting relationships across partners. Hitachi Solutions maintains a strong, constantly evolving, relationship to Microsoft. Being in the company for almost 5 years and watching our business grow, it is a good moment to shed light on the industry, my experience and my own journey to reaching the role of European Alliances Director.
After finishing university, I wanted to gain experience within a large corporation so I accepted a role at Microsoft supporting an international management team. This role turned out to be the perfect launch pad for me to start my career as I had the opportunity to work alongside a team working across 12 different countries in different roles (partner, marketing, sales, business management), maintaining communication with high level executives, enhancing my learning about the Dynamics business, sales, marketing, reporting and the partner business. During my time at Microsoft, I also discovered my passion for innovation and was able to witness the whole cloud transition and development of the Dynamics product suite. After gaining more experience on the partner side of the business I joined Hitachi Solutions Europe in 2018.
I joined at a very exciting time, as Hitachi Solutions did not have a dedicated international alliances team yet. As we had just launched our German business, alongside our presence in UK and France, our European presence was starting to shape up. Joining Hitachi Solutions was also the perfect opportunity to be part of an organisation that has a great reputation in the market; sizeable, yet still entrepreneurial and known for its high-quality work. Finally Hitachi Solutions is a pure Microsoft player – which gave me an opportunity to continue to be at the forefront of the latest developments in Microsoft technology.
In the role, you are at the forefront of the latest innovations. There is always something new to learn, talk about, or discover.
As our business grew, so did our Microsoft relationship. Alliances are the Hitachi Solutions ambassadors for Microsoft. The team positions our expertise and experience with the relevant Microsoft stakeholders and closely cooperates with the different departments with the ultimate goal to uncover and win new joint business. Throughout the past couple years, we have been able to expand the team with dedicated alliances managers per region and build successful co-selling strategies around our local joint go to market with Microsoft.
There is never a dull moment in alliances. In the role, you are at the forefront of the latest innovations. Our relationship to Microsoft is constantly evolving and developing. There is always something new to learn, talk about, or discover. The scope of the role is quite broad. From organising events, leading co-sell engagements to managing joint programmes, and campaigns whilst also educating and supporting the Hitachi Solutions organisation on how to drive business with Microsoft. Having such a range of different tasks, no two days are ever the same.
At Hitachi Solutions, I work in an international environment, in a team of the most talented people in the business, giving me the opportunity to consistently learn and grow. Hitachi Solutions also holds an entrepreneurial spirit and flat organisation in which you have the freedom and space to pitch and develop new ideas
We are now at a point where this expansion calls for a further need to professionalise our alliances approach and look at our ambitions from a regional perspective. Therefore, this year, we are focussing on operational excellence and sales support. Further into the future, Hitachi Solutions’ ambition is to become the global Microsoft digital transformation partner. Alliances will be pivotal to achieving this goal. With Hitachi Solutions being only one of the few partners globally that can service international complex projects, it is our responsibility to, at a regional level, connect the dots for Microsoft so that we can together, best service our current customers as well as future ones.