We’re now into a single digit countdown until Microsoft Partner Summit 2017. While I’ve had my travel arrangements booked for months, there may still be partners who are nervous about taking this time away from their business. Microsoft Partner Summit is one event in my calendar each year that I don’t question. Here’s why I make the investment every year;
Birds of a feather
Sometimes you need to look outside the Microsoft ecosystem to appreciate how much Microsoft invests in its partner community. Regardless of the conference format, this is our chance each year to talk about the unique challenges that partners face – from sales and marketing to upskilling technical employees. Those areas are broader than just technology announcements and it’s refreshing to have those kinds of conversations with like-minded people.
Connect with other partners
For me personally, attending Microsoft Australia’s Partner events has directly lead to ongoing business relationships with other partners, both in our local region and across Australia. It just takes a “Hi, what do you do?” conversation as you sit next to a stranger waiting for a session to start, to find great partners with skills and solutions that you don’t have. It’s no longer possible to be an effective “jack of all trades” for our customers, so building those partnering relationships gives you confidence with new opportunities, as you know you can bring in other specialised experts.
Find new solutions
There are a growing number of organisations with products and services that complement the Microsoft technology stacks, who rely on partners. They know that Microsoft Partner Summit is the best way to get in front of as many partners as possible, in the one location at the same time. This makes life easier for you too, as you can learn about their offers and how they will help your clients, and ask their reps any hard questions in person. While you may not be looking for that particular solution right now, if you have an opportunity come up in three months’ time you’ll know who to call.
Connect with Microsoft contacts
Like any large organisation, Microsoft is not immune to staff moving into different roles or new employees joining. The recent One Commercial Partner reorganisation was the largest shake up in some time regarding how Microsoft supports its partners. If you’re not sure who your best Microsoft partner contact is, Microsoft Partner Summit is your chance to track down the right people and meet them in person. Building those relationships is more powerful than being a faceless name in an email.
About those sessions ...
One key difference for this year’s partner event is the number of international speakers. Mark Leigh (Director, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft Australia) and Julia White (Corporate Vice President Cloud Platform, Microsoft) confirm Microsoft’s commitment to the partner community here in Australia. Steve Clayton (Chief Storyteller, Microsoft) is always amazing to listen to, as he shares how storytelling can make you stand out from the crowd. Closer to home, Lawrence Crumpton (HoloLens Solutions & Partners, Microsoft Asia Pacific) and David Reilly (Director, Microsoft Quantum Sydney) give us a taste of the Microsoft Ignite excitement about Mixed Reality and Quantum Computing. And to end on a high note, Innovation Psychologist Dr Amantha Imber will break down the barriers holding organisations back from innovating.
Will I see you there?
As a small Microsoft partner, I understand the investment you’re making both in cost and in time away from your business. It is possible to keep an eye on the office from your phone or laptop and take advantage of the best partner resources in one location for two days. The connections we’ve made have proven to us the value of attending, making the annual Microsoft Partner event a permanent fixture on our calendar, regardless of the date or location.