I had such a wonderful time last week meeting US Partners at WPC 2015 in Orlando. The US Regional Lounge was a constant hive of activity, the US Sessions and the Microsoft North America General Session on Tuesday received high marks from attendees, and our US Celebration on Tuesday night at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World Resort was truly a magical experience.
If you attended WPC 2015, I hope you had a successful, productive, and fun conference, and that you left energized and ready to move forward with Microsoft. Thanks to those of you who were not able to join us in person, but watched the Vision Keynotes online and joined the #WPC15 conversation on Twitter. If you’re already thinking ahead to the next conference, WPC 2016 is in Toronto, Canada, July 10–14.
In this post, I have compiled a list of announcements and resources that were released during the conference, so you can get the latest partner-related news and information.
Watch Vision Keynotes and the MSNA General Session on demand
The Vision Keynotes and the Microsoft North America General Session are available for on-demand viewing by all partners.
- Day 1 Vision Keynote with Satya Nadella, Terry Myerson, Phil Sorgen, and Julia White
- Day 2 Microsoft North America General Session with Judson Althoff
- Day 3 Vision Keynote with Kevin Turner, Phil Sorgen, Brad Smith, and Steve Guggenheimer
If you’re looking for other WPC 2015 content as an attendee, sign in to Connect and go to Sessions > WPC 2015 Session Resources, where you can filter and search. At the end of July, many of the session videos and some content resources will be made publicly available.
Windows 10 and the bold ambition of more personal computing
During the Day 1 Vision Keynote, Terry Myerson talked about the partner opportunity with Windows 10, then brought out Bryan Roper, the executive demo lead for Windows Product Management. Bryan demoed the end user experience, talked about some new innovations to the platform, and explained the opportunities with the Windows universal application platform.
- Watch the More personal computing – the modern desktop video
- Visit the Windows 10 for Partners portal page
New profitability resources go deeper into helping you transform your business to the cloud
Over the past few years, we’ve partnered with IDC to explain why it’s critical for our channel to make investments in shifting their businesses to capitalize on the cloud. Recent research indicates that IT spend is in transition—customers spend more than half of their IT budget (55 percent) on cloud and managed services versus traditional IT (45 percent).
- Customers want partners, Microsoft knows partners – read the blog post by Darren Bibby, VP of Channels and Alliances Research at IDC
- Review our new cloud profitability scenarios portal page
- Download the complete Microsoft Cloud Profitability Scenarios overview (PDF)
- Read the Microsoft Cloud Profitability Scenarios research summary report
Partner investments and program updates
Gavriella Schuster, General Manager in the Worldwide Partner Group, announced some of the significant changes you’ll see over the next year as a Microsoft partner, as we continue to focus on addressing customer needs in this mobile-first, cloud-first world. Read Gavriella’s blog post, Investing in a mobile-first, cloud-first future, for details about these program updates:
- Mobile-first. With the release of Windows 10, we’ll address the mobile-first opportunity by introducing two new competencies: the Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) competency, and the Windows and Devices competency.
- Cloud-first. Last year, we introduced cloud competencies that emphasize your ability to sell cloud solutions. This year, we want to enable you to not just sell the cloud, but encourage customer adoption and usage. For partners delivering Microsoft Azure-based solutions, we are refreshing the Cloud Platform competency to improve its value and relevance to you.
The new “What’s new” portal page is your source for regular updates about competencies, including changes to benefits and requirements, active usage, and new and retiring competencies.
Trusted Cloud and online security
Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, spoke in the Day 3 Vision Keynote about putting trust at the core of technology.
- Watch the video of Brad Smith’s presentation, Building a trusted cloud in an uncertain world
- Learn more about the #TrustInTech initiative from Voices for Innovation, and how you can be involved in rebuilding trust in the cloud
Product announcements and partner investments
Throughout the Vision Keynotes, there were product announcements and information about the investments Microsoft is making in how partners enable their customers through technology. Read Phil Sorgen’s blog post on The Official Microsoft Blog for an overview, then get a deeper look from leaders of three of our global teams.
- Read the blog post by John Case about delivering significant new value for partners and customers with Office 365, including the announcement of a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called E5
- Read the blog post by Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer: Disrupt or be disrupted, about the necessity for all companies to become ISVs, and how partners can and should use disruption to their advantage
- Read the blog post by Takeshi Numoto, about Cloud and Data Platform announcements and the new Cortana Analytics Suite
Increase your market value, amplify your market impact, and grow your market influence
In addition to the competency changes and updates, Gavriella Schuster also discussed program investments that will help partner businesses grow and thrive. In her blog post, We’re committed to our partners’ success, Gavriella details how we’re approaching helping you with these three things:
- Increase your market value. Look for a new partner training platform this year, as well as changes to certification, exams, and tracking that simplify the experience of getting your technical and sales teams skilled and knowledgable
- Amplify your market impact. Partners have asked us to help them more effectively market their businesses through digital marketing, and we’re responding to your requests by providing more prescriptive guidance and packaged resources
- Grow your market. We want to enable you to find the people resources your business needs, whether that’s through temporary staffing, more easily finding new talent, building your channel, or creating new partnerships