We caught up with a first time attendee at WPC last year, Chris Clark to share his thoughts on his experience.
In 2015, despite being an organisation of 25 staff we ‘went for it’, I as CEO and founder of Prosperity 24.7, proposed, authorised and paid for five of us to attend WPC. When you consider we are based in Jersey in the Channel Islands, this was a significant investment for a business that required multiple flights, stop overs, a week out of our growing business for the top five performers but it was worth it...
Why did we go en masse?
I am personally very closely aligned to Microsoft in the UK, the Executive team and the wider partner network. I also recognise the very real business opportunity through adopting a Cloud first strategy, both regarding how it accelerates the way we can transform our client’s businesses as well as how it can provide significant cost and security benefits to everyone. Although I knew my colleagues were aware of the ‘art of the possible’, I really wanted them to drink it all in and have a fully immersive experience - living, breathing, eating and sleeping everything that Microsoft has to offer, aligned to the vision of the modern way of working, led by Satya Nadella.
Although we are a relatively young organisation, we believe we have to have strategic alignment across a business of any scale to transform it, or to pivot it if required. WPC enabled my colleagues to derive so much passion about the future possibilities and most importantly, to work it out for themselves rather than to be told ‘this is what I want you to do’. Over the course of the event I saw more and more ‘light bulb’ moments illuminate across the faces of my colleagues which culminated in a fantastic evening on the Wednesday, where everyone was positively gushing about the various avenues, possibilities and opportunities that we could explore and deliver to make our clients’ and our industry in general, function far more securely, seamlessly and elegantly.
This was just one of the benefits ‘team alignment’ and I think it was after reflecting upon this that I posted this tweet the following day:
Whilst my colleagues immersed themselves in the ‘Microsoft experience’, I had many, many meetings, spanning US Public Sector contacts discussing what we have achieved and are looking to achieve with our CityNext partnership through to catching up with Dutch friends running successful CRM practices. Our ability to discuss our successes led to Prosperity 24.7 being selected as a CityNext showcase which was phenomenal both for our client as well as our business - video showcase here. This has had a directly positive impact upon our business, as you can well imagine.
I managed to meet almost all of the UK Executive team either in a social context or through structured meetings at the UK lounge which in turn resulted in Microsoft placing us on a Dynamics CRM partner accelerator programme to develop ‘micro-vertical’ solutions in CRM online.
What value have we derived subsequent to WPC15?
The support and encouragement we received following our Executive meetings at WPC resulted in Prosperity 24.7’s first CRM product for Financial Services – Self Certify 24/7 - which we developed and delivered in partnership with Microsoft UK.
As if this was not enough ‘value derived’ from our investment in WPC, for the first time ever, we have appeared on the UK leader board for CRM partners.
All of this can be directly attributed to our investment in WPC and the following activity where we have worked in partnership with the UK Dynamics and Partner teams.
Above, I'm only just scratching the surface of benefits we derived from attending WPC 2015, we had our best year by a mile, whilst really helping our wider community both with charity endeavours and successful delivery of projects. 2016 has continued in an incredible way, our team alone has already grown by another 20% in the last three months with diversification into IoT and Azure Machine Learning coming to fruition already – all insights gleaned from WPC15.
The true financial value to our business is yet to be realised, but one of the greatest benefits is that I feel that Microsoft Executives know me, they know my business, they know our aspirations and our success stories – this is essential for us all to thrive and prosper in the Microsoft Partner Network – I look forward to meeting you in Toronto. Register for your all access pass today.
Chris Clark, CEO, Prosperity 24.7