As I am writing this update near the end of WPC… even though I have been here for a few days now… I can only reinforce the magnitude of this event. I am blown away by the sheer size and scale of the Worldwide Partner Conference. To put things into perspective, just the lunch hall set up at the MTCC is the equivalent of two of the trade show exhibition spaces at the Brisbane Convention Centre COMBINED. By my count, enough chairs and tables for 6000 people to eat at the same time.
But when I talk about magnitude… it isn’t just about the size and scale of the event. It is clear to me that there is a significant opportunity for partners who have invested the time, money and effort to execute at WPC. Every time I walk through the Commons or the Regional Lounges, no matter what time of the day, no matter which direction you look, there are hundreds of business focused conversations taking place. The access you have to Microsoft stakeholders and other partners is staggering – so much more than 20 visits to North Ryde across the year. At the APAC party last night, there was a true sense of community – with partners introducing each other to key contacts at Microsoft, and people who would be competitors on paper putting everything aside to enjoy each other’s company over a few cold drinks.
To be honest, I haven’t really got to many of the sessions – knowing full well that most of the content will be available via DigitalWPC.com after the conference. That decision has given me the time to set up meetings and have some great conversations across the last few days. That being said I did end up getting to a few sessions – two of which I think you should take a look at when you get a chance.
The first one is CA02 – P-Seller 101: The A, B, Cs of the P-Seller sales motion. In this session Jennifer Stockton – the Senior Director of Global Partner Sales at Microsoft walked the audience through an overview, the opportunity and the gives and gets of the P-Seller program. Now to be completely transparent, I am a big fan of the P-Seller program. As a partner if you engage in the program and execute well it can deliver significant value. In our short lifetime at Adopt & Embrace, we are already reaping the benefits of the access, connection and revenue opportunity that the P-Seller program has opened up for us. Because of that it was an honour to get on stage with Jennifer, and the P-Seller program lead in Australia – Sarah Arnold – to talk about our P-Seller experience along with a number other P-sellers and P-Seller leads from around the world.
The key takeaway for me from the other speakers is that partners that are investing the right resources into the P-Seller program are out performing similar organisations who are not. Whether you are productivity, platform, or ISV focused, there is opportunity and partner profitability to be unlocked via the program
Another session that resonated with me was one of the very last sessions of the conference. This session was focused on helping Office 365 partners improve their profitability leveraging the FastTrack service. Delivered by Parri Munsell, the session reinforced the key aspects of the FastTrack service, then dove into specific scenarios and examples where partners around the world are leveraging the service to deliver more value to more customers. Parri also reiterated how despite there not being an FY17 Adoption Offer… there is plenty of cash still on the table for partners to assist customers using the FY16 offer. By focusing on not re-inventing the wheel and leveraging the resources Microsoft provides partners through the FastTrack program, again there is more opportunity to own customer relationships, deliver higher value, and ultimately increase profitability.
After a solid few days networking, engaging, and reflecting on how to improve our business… the Partner Celebration was a great way to (nearly) finish off the conference. The warm up DJ was good. Icona Pop were great. Gwen Stefani was superb.
The partner celebration (almost) wraps up WPC for another year. Tomorrow we have the APAC regional keynote… then the commute home begins. The one thing I have done is blocked out a few hours in my calendar for when I get back to wade through some of the great content I missed during the week at WPC. It is really like drinking from a firehose.
My next post will be when I am back in Australia and I will reflect on my first time attendee experience at WPC. The highs, the lows, and the value we unlocked during our time in Toronto.