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WPC day 3 – The 5 Year Question

Update from day 3 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which I am attending with Mike Dearlove our Managing Director and Jason Bass, our Technical Director…

If you have been asked the same question for the last five years, then maybe the answer you are giving should change.

Phil Sorgen kicked off Day 3 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) by declaring that the most common question Partners ask him is about Cloud Profitability. It demonstrates how difficult this job has been if this conversation is still common. However, as a Partner and as if I needed reminding, Microsoft is on a mission in terms of its cloud services and you will either be on the bus or not…but its leaving anyway.

I’ve attended WPC for a number of years now and heard a variety of keynotes. This year I heard the best one yet. Brad Smith is Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He is the guy who is responsible for ensuring that Microsoft has the most trusted Cloud Platform. His mantra is that when it comes to the Internet everybody should be empowered and protected.

Brad spoke about some of the issues that Microsoft and all of us face in the current ever changing political and social climate. These included Microsoft’s reaction to incidents such as Charlie Hebdo and the cyber-attacks on Sony. This is the guy who has sued the American Government three times. He has already won twice and is expecting a decision about the third issue soon.

Whatever I write won’t do this justice, so I am hoping that we will be able to share the keynote content with you at some point in the near future. You should all take a look if you can.

Last on the keynote, as usual, was Kevin Turner who laid out Microsoft’s strategy for FY2016:

  1. Own the cloud
  2. Windows 10
  3. Compete to Win
  4. Obsess over customer satisfaction

For me it took a while to get going and the cheerleading wasn’t as impactful. However, there is no arguing that Microsoft has a very strong story in each of its prime focus areas.

Last year the competitive element was more subdued. This year the gloves were loosened if not fully off but the fact that they regularly showcase Microsoft delivering services across vendors is to be applauded. For example, the collaboration of Linux in Azure and the integration of Office 365 and Salesforce shows a maturity that I believe has become stronger since Satya Nadella took over. Kevin couldn’t resist having a dig at the prime competitor Google though.

Much of today’s sessions focused on leadership and digital marketing, as well as predictions from Gartner in their annual reading of the tea leaves session. Tomorrow there are the UK and worldwide subsidiary Partner events where the local teams get to confirm what their priorities are for 2016.

The big pluses for me at this year’s conference have been the conversations and meetings held with the leadership teams and I hope to be able to share some of the great things that EACS will be doing in the coming weeks and months.

Hopefully you have enjoyed and benefitted from some of these insights, but you can always reach out to us if you would like to have a longer discussion.

David Fuller, Partners & Alliances Director at EACS

WPC Day 2: There must be an award for that?

WPC Day 1: Universal Windows, Business Intelligence & Constant Innovation

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust – What to expect at this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

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Update from day 3 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which I am attending with Mike Dearlove our Managing Director and Jason Bass, our Technical Director… If you have been asked the same question for the last five years, then maybe the answer you are giving should change. Phil Sorgen kicked off Day 3 […] ...read the full article

WPC Day 2: There must be an award for that?

Update from day 2 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which I am attending with Mike Dearlove our Managing Director and Jason Bass, our Technical Director.

Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference delivers many things and one of these is to showcase some of the great work that Partners have done with customers. It is there to encourage others to do the same, so that Microsoft can benefit from a Global non-direct salesforce.

It’s not just Microsoft who hands out awards, but also Partner to Partner. For example, EACS are Cireson’s UK Partner of the Year for 2015.

There should also be an award for the breakout session that least resembles the title! There are over 600 breakouts during the week and so it’s important to choose wisely. I think my wisdom must have been stopped at customs on the way in. If a session is titled x then it should be this topic that is the main area of focus and takes the most time. Not have the compulsory messaging that Microsoft wants us all to hear this week.

There were some interesting roundtable discussions about how Microsoft will execute the strategy of customers deploying and consuming cloud based services. Over 500 Azure services were released in the last year alone and this rate of change is only going to intensify. It feels a bit scatter gun in its approach to see if they can find the killer Azure “app” that will drive cloud consumption and can be confusing for both customers and partners as to where to place their bets.

Microsoft believes that for cloud coupled with mainstream services such as Office 365, then a next step on this journey is Enterprise Mobility. Managing and controlling end points whilst delivering a great user experience is a dichotomy, but the EMS suite gives a foundation for this.

Swans swimming on water is not a bad analogy for how Partners have to sometimes execute the operational tasks that go with delivering cloud based services. However, this has been recognised and Microsoft is putting steps in place to make this process as seamless as possible. Customers should feel no impact but the service that partners can then give will accelerate.

Tomorrow are the partner keynotes including Kevin Turner to rally the troops. He usually has a trick up his sleeve that will be unexpected. I’m looking forward to seeing what this is.

David Fuller, Partners & Alliances Director at EACS

WPC Day 1: Universal Windows, Business Intelligence & Constant Innovation

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust – What to expect at this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Share

Update from day 2 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which I am attending with Mike Dearlove our Managing Director and Jason Bass, our Technical Director. Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference delivers many things and one of these is to showcase some of the great work that Partners have done with customers. It is there to […] ...read the full article