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Worldwide Partner Conference - an attendee's perspective

Having been to previous WPCs, I was looking forward to seeing how the conference had evolved in the four years since I last went. While good, the previous conferences for me were more about style than substance and on more than one occasion I left a keynote dazed and a little confused.

This was certainly not the case in Houston. The WPC has grown and developed to a point where (IMHO) it delivers real value for partners who engage with Microsoft. The messages from the keynotes were clear and while there was still a degree of gloss it was more relevant.

WPC for me is about four key areas, all of which delivered:

  • Keynotes – the opportunity to hear from the Microsoft execs on their vision and directions.
  • Expo – a chance to meet with organisations which we already work with as well as potential new partners. Requires serious time and comfortable shoes.
  • Breakouts/streams – the ability to “deep dive” (from a sales and marketing perspective) into Microsoft activities and product directions.
  • Networking – A major aspect and focus. There is where you get to meet other partners and gain insights into their markets, businesses and the challenges they face. An important aspect that needs serious attention and usually requires time “out of hours”.

Key messages and highlights can be summarised as:

Software + Services – a major undertaking by Microsoft and something that fits well with Intergen’s capabilities.

Vista Deployment (now is the time) – despite undue media attention, Windows Vista is now ready for deployment and this will be a key focus for Microsoft.

Presidents Club 2008 – Intergen is a 2008 President’s Club for Microsoft Dynamics member which recognises our business performance and high level of sales achievement.

New product versions – including Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 5 and the Launchwave suite (Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008)

Lastly, while business trips of this nature are important, they can be very tiring and it is important to have some fun. This was certainly the case and thanks to great hospitality from Microsoft New Zealand, the absolute “fun” highlight was the visit to Mission Control at the Houston Space Centre. A visit I’d certainly recommend to anyone who finds themselves in Houston.

Posted by: Wayne Forgesson | 05 August 2008

Tags: Worldwide Partner Conference

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