I frequently write about WPC, and today I’d like to talk about how WPC resonates through partner events worldwide, many of which happen at this time each year, a few months after the conference.
Local events allow us to connect more specifically with you, our partners, and continue the conversations that began at WPC, transitioning from a global perspective to a focus on local strategy and connections. At WPC, for example, the regional lounges provide a place to connect with partners and Microsoft representatives from each region. A regional event provides similar networking opportunities, but with a larger number of partners from your region specifically. The Regional Keynotes, an ever-popular feature of WPC, allow regional executives to address their partners directly, and much of the follow up discussion to these keynotes occurs at regional events where the engagement goes deeper.
According to the U.K. Partner Conference’s planning team, its event “certainly complements WPC and the mobile-first, cloud-first vision.” Those of you who attended WPC in July heard this vision loud and clear from CEO Satya Nadella. The planning team for Sweden’s Partner Day is also eager to strengthen partners’ business in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. With a foundation of strong and engaged partnership, established in part at WPC, Sweden emphasizes its desire to “continue to inspire our partners and grow our business together” on a local level. Making sure partners “accelerate their transformation and build a cloud business” is critical for collective success. This is a great example of work started at WPC and continued at Sweden’s Fall Partner Day, and other events worldwide.
In addition to bringing more information about company-wide strategy to the local level, many of the sessions at regional partner events, as they were at WPC, are designed to educate and equip a marketing, sales and pre-sales audience. While WPC was focused on accelerating our partnership, a local conference can provide more specifics on accelerating your cloud practice in the area where you work. Sweden’s Partner Day team emphasizes how it takes WPC’s high-level messaging and “breaks the information down” to apply it to local focus areas, making the information as relevant as possible for partners. The focus is on cloud solutions including Microsoft Azure and Office 365.
The U.K. takes a comparable approach, making its sessions uniquely relevant for local partners. One session, for example, might teach an attendee how to pitch their cloud platform in 30 minutes. Another session called “Drive Office 365 Consumption by ‘Selling it Right’” targets the U.K. market.
The German Partner Conference provides a similar breakdown of higher-level WPC themes into local-level strategy. Its planning team worked closely with the WPC team to align the content structures so that its sessions are based around the same industry megatrends: Cloud, Big Data, Enterprise Social, Mobility & Devices, and Leadership, Sales & Marketing.
It’s not just the overall framework, theme and content from WPC that are aligned among partner events worldwide and applied specifically on a local level; awards factor in, as well. Norway’s Annual Partner Day, for instance, honors award winners in their home country after the initial announcement and celebration at WPC. With a robust country-level award recognition program in addition to the overall Partner of the Year Awards, Norway guides partners through the process of becoming a partner company that excels and is recognized on a local and global scale—check out Norway’s partner blog for more information. Norway’s Annual Partner Day is a chance for award-winning partners to gain greater recognition among their peers in a more specific geographic area. It’s one more way that planning teams worldwide are in sync with WPC’s larger messaging in order to provide the greatest value to partners everywhere.
If you were unable to attend WPC 2014 in Washington, D.C., go to another Microsoft event in your region to accelerate your business success in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Then register for WPC 2015 in Orlando, Florida to build upon your learning, continue the conversation and make the connections you need to be successful locally and on a global scale. I look forward to seeing you there.