Microsoft World Partner Conference 2016

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto Canada. We stayed at the Toronto Eaton Centre Marriott and I walked from there to the convention center each day. Great weather! Great food! But most of all a fantastic conference!

The opening session led by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, was very much on vision with a nod to performance but overall inspiring. Microsoft is doing a great job of transforming itself from a mature technology company to one that is Innovative and, noted during the conference, cool and hip. Office 365 is on par with any new software from any younger software company and it has features that excite the newest generation of workers and those of us that have been in the industry for a while. There were a number of new announcements regarding Office 365. The most important one that I valued was the importance of security to businesses. Business are concerned about their online presence, offering of access to their remote workers, and the growing sophistication and threat of hackers. Therefore, Microsoft has beefed up Office 365security features to provide a level of assurance to businesses that they are safer utilizing Office 365 than not. Moreover, the Enterprise Mobility Suite is now known as Enterprise Mobility + Security (It’s good that the acronym EMS stays as I can continue to leverage most of my existing EMS documents).

The other very interesting announcement, albeit difficult for me to figure out how to utilize it in our business, were the 3D/augmented reality products. Microsoft has working with its Partners to create and evolve a very interesting new technology, HoloLens, that has many practical applications. We saw examples used to sell cars, provide training on technical and mechanical devices, support healthcare and instruct and analyze golfer play. It’ll be interesting to watch HoloLens progress.

So, what did I benefit from my time with Microsoft? The show floor presented a lot of new products such as the Surface Hub touch screen for video conferencing, white boarding and more ─ very cool. Also, Microsoft is offering a leasing program for the Surface Pro 4 in conjunction with the deployment of Windows 10. Quite frankly, just being around so many applications, companies and people that depend upon Microsoft for their success is invigorating and exciting!

The CloudRoute team met with several new partners that can expand our product offering for our customers and agents, attended a number of workshops and breakout sessions, and met our Microsoft Marketing Team.

If you’ve never attended WPC it’s worth considering. If you’re not interested in being around 15,000 to 20,000 technology oriented people, then this is not the event for you. But the value, if you choose to attend, is great! Go Microsoft!

WPC 2016 News and Announcements can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/wpc/announcements (no login required).

David Byrd

David Byrd leads marketing and operations for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, he was CMO at ANPI, and CMO & EVP of sales at Broadvox.