The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) will take place this year from July 10-14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California at the Los Angeles Convention Center[i]. WPC is an annual gathering for the Microsoft partner community to meet top Microsoft executives, learn about Microsoft’s roadmap for the upcoming year and see the latest Microsoft product innovations. Since 2003, WPC has served as a major Microsoft support event for thousands of partners from more than 130 countries worldwide, better enabling partners to plan their business strategies for the upcoming year. Microsoft executives who will speak at WPC include Steve Ballmer (CEO), Kevin Turner (COO) and Jon Roskill (corporate VP of the Worldwide Partner Group). Executives from the Microsoft U.S. financial services industry group and other industry groups also will be attending WPC and meeting with partners. The guest speaker on Wednesday, July 13th, will be Sir Richard Branson, founder and President of Virgin Group.
It should be noted that WPC is just one of many ways that Microsoft supports its partner ecosystem. With respect to the activities that Microsoft and its strategic partners can jointly undertake to pursue joint business opportunities, these can include a wide variety of joint marketing and sales activities, such as the following:
- Joint presentations at major trade conferences[ii]:
- Joint presentations at Microsoft Technology Centers[iii]
- Joint solution marketing videos[iv]
- Joint webinars[v]
- Jointly written white papers[vi]
- Coordinated booths at trade conferences[vii]
- Microsoft sponsorship of partner events and provision of speakers for partner events[viii]
- Microsoft highlighting of partner solutions in this Microsoft GRC blog and on the Microsoft Financial Services Industry Group website[ix]
- Microsoft participation in partner think tanks[x]
Sometimes the close collaboration between Microsoft and a GRC partner may lead both to decide that an even closer working relationship makes sense. For example, Microsoft recently announced the acquisition of Prodiance, a Gold Certified, industry-managed partner that markets leading Excel spreadsheet and Access database control solutions[xi], with the stated goal of bringing more compliance functionality within Microsoft Office.
[ii] see http://www.arma.org/conference/2010/SolutionsShowcase.aspx (ARMA conference in San Francisco, CA)
[vi] see http://www.trintech.com/unity-suite/financial-close-software/ and referenced white paper "From Crisis To Control: Full Command of Financial Close Processes and Performance"
[vii] See http://www.rsaconference.com/2010/usa/pdf/rsac2010-floor-plan.pdf (Microsoft partner pavilion -1527, next to Microsoft booth – 1517)
[ix] See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/grc/archive/2010/05/03/open-text-content-day-in-new-york-city.aspx , http://blogs.msdn.com/b/grc/archive/2011/04/14/jeff-jinnett-april-2011-update-grc-white-papers-books-webcasts-and-blogs-of-some-microsoft-partners.aspx and http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/industry/financial-services/default.aspx