Learning with Partners at WPC 2016

Hey folks,

What a whirlwind WPC2016 was this year!  I was happy to see Dynamics 365 get unveiled and to hear Satya talk about the Common Data Model.  We're very excited to see unification happen on the various entity models that have evolved over the years and to see another example of the One Microsoft strategy coming together under our CEO.  We met with hundreds of folks and since returning from WPC have started many conversations with our partners and customers about how Dynamics and Cortana Intelligence can create digital transformation in businesses around the world.

Over at the Advanced Analytics Booth we ranked #4 out of the entire Microsoft set of 50+ booths, and we want to thank you for stopping by, filling out surveys and badging in.  We handed out over 700 flash drives loaded with content and training material to partners. It's clear our partners are embracing the digital transformation and we're proud to work with you as we are Building the Intelligent Cloud.  

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So, as a reward for your hard work filling out surveys and badging in, we wanted to give back to the community of Advanced Analytics customers and partners with a gift of data; and with it some interpretation on how Microsoft and the Cortana Intelligence group is adjusting its plans based on your feedback.  So let's dive in!

First of all, we had 3 breakout sessions, 2 partner roundtables, 2 booths, 3 workshops and 3 theater sessions in addition to many 1:1 partner meetings.  From these we saw a resounding amount of excitement and a consistent need for training and learning opportunities.

73% of survey respondents were interested in upcoming webinars and training opportunities related to Cortana Intelligence Suite and Microsoft R.
54% of survey respondents wanted to get more information about Microsoft Advanced Analytics products.
40% of survey respondents wanted to learn how to get their Advanced Analytics application certified by Microsoft.
39% of survey respondents wanted to develop and publish their application on the partner showcase portal.
55% of survey respondents said that their major challenge with building advanced analytics solutions was a Lack of Data Science expertise (40% said that it was a lack of product competency using Microsoft tools to build a solution).

From these numbers it’s pretty clear that we have work to do in education, training and partner awareness.  So, in the upcoming fiscal year, Microsoft is investing heavily in partner and customer education programs to help grow the pool of trainers to train and certify thousands of people. To help in that mission, at WPC2016 the Microsoft Advanced Analytics and Partner Ecosystem team released two new websites, devoted to partners and education:

  • http://learnanalytics.microsoft.com This page serves as the learning portal for analytics, featuring self-service training videos, live on-line training opportunities, and in-person training opportunities for customers and partners to leverage and get started with the Microsoft Advanced Analytics portfolio including Cortana Intelligence Suite, and Microsoft R.
  • http://analyticspartner.microsoft.com Our partner solution showcase, which (at launch) features 18 partners with 27 solutions built on top of the Microsoft Advanced Analytics portfolio.

In addition to these two websites, and specifically for the readers of this blog, we have two additional in-person Microsoft Dynamics and Cortana Intelligence training workshops coming up for our Dynamics Industry Partner Program participants in Charlotte, North Carolina in the week of September 13th.  During these workshops you’ll get hands-on experience using Cortana Intelligence Suite components, build machine learning models, integrate Cognitive APIs into Dynamics AX2012 and see the paths and architecture Microsoft uses to power the advanced analytics and Power BI features in the new Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365.

Invites to these workshops will be sent in the upcoming week, so if you’re an IPP partner look out for them and let us know what additional training opportunities and resources are needed from the Dynamics and Cortana Intelligence group.  Feel free to use the comments section below (we read them all!).

Thanks for making our WPC 2016 awesome and we look forward to seeing you again in WPC 2017 in Washington, DC!

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