This year we have had our largest Australian Partner contingency (221) making up the 14,000 worldwide Partners heading to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for one of the largest conferences in the world of IT.
Kicking off with an amazing drumming/ladder performance to get the crowd moving and ready for the day ahead, The Keynote was opened by Phil Sorgen welcoming us, highlighting 2015 Worldwide Award Winning Partners and thanking all Partners for the essential role you play in executing on this vision to foster our mutual success.
Then Satya Nadella took the stage reinforcing our bold mission, To empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. “Together with our partners we are transforming the business world for the next era.” and outlined just how this will be accomplished;
- Create more personal computing
- Reinvent productivity and business processes
- Continue to build, strengthen, and evangelise the intelligent cloud
Throughout the keynote we were shown investment in tools, resources, and product offerings to enable Partners to take advantage of the rapidly expanding markets for cloud and mobile technologies. And with the imminent release of Windows 10 creating additional opportunities for partners as it ushers in a new era of personal computing with one operating system that spans all platforms and devices.
Day 1’s big announcements
- Enabling partner cloud profitability: The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program was rolled out in 40 countries in its first year to great acclaim. This year, CSP will be expanded to include 131 markets, and Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune, and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the program.
- Surface opportunities for partners: Customer interest in our Surface family of products continues to grow. With the help of our distribution partners, we’re increasing the number of Surface sellers from a couple hundred to a few thousand partners globally.
- HoloLens: Today, we saw how one of our partners, Autodesk, will use HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10, to fundamentally change how design professionals create, communicate, visualise, and work. This technology is truly mind blowing and in an interview with one of our Australian Partners Len Finley – Director at VMtech he sees “a clear opportunity for Partners in commercial space especially around Medical, Education, Construction”.
- Project GigJam: As part of the company’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, we introduced Project GigJam, which empowers business workers to spontaneously summon, assign, and track information from their line of business and SaaS apps. Project GigJam breaks down the barriers between people, devices, and apps to expedite business tasks.
- Cortana Analytics Suite: The Cortana Analytics Suite, a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action, will be available this Fall as a monthly subscription, as well as through third party solutions. The Suite brings together leading technology infrastructure with perceptual intelligence to enable businesses of any size to transform themselves through the power of data.
- Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) updates: MPN program changes will enable partners to better take advantage of the cloud opportunity and make doing business with us easier. These include a new app certification platform that will enable more partners to certify their apps in order to qualify for competencies, new Azure incentives designed to drive active usage, and a new Microsoft Azure Certified Hybrid Cloud program. All this will allow service providers to deliver Microsoft-certified hybrid solutions to make it easier for customers to leverage the cloud on their own terms.
- New Office 365 E5 offering: In October, we will introduce a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite. The new E5 plan will include Cloud PBX, analytics, Power BI, and advanced security capabilities, providing partners with a complete productivity and communications offering for their enterprise customers.
All Vision Keynote videos will be available 24 hours after the sessions, if you missed out on the opportunity to attend WPC2015, And Don’t forget Australia Partner Conference 2015 is only 7 weeks away and we will be discussing all these announcements in details and what the opportunity is for Partners in Australia.