Guest Post Chris Macaulay, Advvy: How Microsoft Inspire Changed Everything!



Chris Macaulay
CEO
Advvy

 

The back story

Advvy was a company created with a strong focus on solving some of the biggest challenges facing the advertising industry. My Co-Founder Tristan Ozinga and I started the company to lead the digital transformation of workflow within the media and advertising industry.

Our platform is designed for media agencies to take that vast deluge of information around how they work everyday, and connect it all together in a streamlined work flow. Tristan and I had both been working in an environment where media agencies had sophisticated systems but everything was operating in silos.

There were tools for the planning team, tools for the strategy team and tools for the buying team but none of these systems spoke to each other. People working in the various departments communicated internally by emailing documents to each other and uploading their work various file servers - there was no visibility across 70% of the media agency. So we built a cloud based platform built on top of Dynamics 365 to streamline operations and give top visibility to management on what is actually happening in the business, while driving efficiencies.

We had built our platform on Microsoft technology but our relationship with them was mainly conducted through the Venture Capital firm that backs us and so we made the decision to attend Inspire primarily to develop that direct relationship with Microsoft.

Arriving at Microsoft Inspire

When we got to Microsoft Inspire in 2017 we didn’t know many people but our ISV partner manager had lined up various different meetings with most of the Australian Microsoft executives relevant to us, as well as some of the global executives.

There was a big change happening within Microsoft at the time, during which they shifted their whole business model to make working with partners so much easier and we were awestruck from the moment we arrived. It was a huge eye opener for us, we went to a lot of the sessions and keynotes and during that time we really got an understanding of what was possible for our business.

Microsoft Inspire opened up doors for us. In fact it not only opened doors, but it directed us to the right path and we were invited to join a new partnership initiative driven by the One Commercial Partner model.

A massive return on investment

It was at Microsoft Inspire that Microsoft started to talk about investing to fast-track our product. The conversation developed and before long we were talking about gaining access to co-marketing support and looking at how we could potentially get in front of Microsoft’s sales people. Since that time we have signed a global partnership with Microsoft and a whole new world of opportunities have presented themselves to us.

Microsoft is funding two programs for Advvy, one around Artificial Intelligence and building image recognition software so we can optimise how agencies engage in certain processes; and the other around scalability where we are trying to give the agency the power to control and configure the system themselves – reducing the cost of deployment. From a co-marketing perspective Microsoft have agreed to fund 50% of all of our marketing campaigns going forward.

On the back of signing the partnership agreement with Microsoft we’ve had investors reach out to us enabling us to bring on capital for the business to help us expand and grow the team. The Microsoft partnership has been a game changer for us in every way possible, and I don’t know that any of this would have happened had we not been at Inspire.

The rapid change benefitting Microsoft partners.

On a personal level I was blown away when I got to Microsoft Inspire and discovered that a company as large as Microsoft had made the decision to change their entire business model, which impacted several thousand employees, to more effectively serve their partners. Even with all my experience with tech start ups, and I have been heavily involved with them for the last six years, I have never seen a company undergo so much rapid change as fast. I am truly inspired about what is possible and watching this unfold and witnessing the opportunities open up to all Microsoft partners has been remarkable.

It has been amazing to see the rise of Microsoft over the past five years and how they have gone from the uncool kid to become leaders in so many areas. Not just leaders in technology but leaders with heart and humanity who are looking to change the way we do business and to make the world a better place.

I can’t wait to attend Microsoft Inspire 2018 and see what Microsoft have in store for the next year.


Don't miss out register for Microsoft Inspire today!

ATTENTION GOLD CLOUD COMPETENCY PARTNERS

By attaining Gold status in a cloud competency, you’ve shown your commitment to providing your customers with the best solutions built on Microsoft cloud technology. We’d like to thank you for your achievements by extending to you the discounted price of USD1,995 for a Microsoft Inspire All Access pass when you register before March 31, 2018. This is a savings of USD300 off the current price, only for partners with a gold cloud competency like you. If you have not received your Gold Cloud Competency discount code via email, drop me an email sarahar@microsoft.com

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