WPC13 was our first experience attending a major Microsoft event. Having spent the last year focusing on developing our business by selling O365 we felt it was our duty to the business, and to its future development, to attend.
We didn’t have any preconceptions as to what we would achieve at the event other than learning about the Microsoft roadmap for the next one to two years. We felt that was compelling enough for us to attend. However, it soon become evident that the event was so much more than this. Once we started exploring DigitalWPC we realised that there was a wealth of opportunities to up skill ourselves in areas of the Microsoft suite of services and products that in a normal working week we would never have time to understand and evaluate. We took over two weeks identifying tracks that we felt would allow us to gain the maximum benefit from our investment.
Yammer certification sets the tone
Our event started by taking a day before the event to attend a Yammer certification course. We had heard about Yammer, and being social media enthusiasts we were keen to learn more. The course gave us a ‘deep dive’ in to the product. Upon completing our certification, it not only gave us confidence in how to introduce the product, but the biggest takeaway was that we had instantly created a new revenue stream for our business. Having the certification gave us a competitive edge over our competitors, as did gaining the experience and knowledge to successfully conduct a role out. This was definitely not a consideration of ours before attending.
Yammer set the tone for the rest of the event and gave us the gusto to find more knowledge and more services that we could introduce to our business. It suddenly dawned on us that, not only was WPC13 about learning, it was about development and how Microsoft really cared about the development of its partners by giving us access to its unlimited resources and subject experts.
We attended approximately 5-6 demos a day, and I was already filling up our 1st OneNote notebook with notes and key tips to take home.
Key takeaways: WPC is so much more than learning the Microsoft roadmap
As a new attendee, it was quite overwhelming. Whilst we felt we knew what we wanted to achieve, having the first time attendees lunch was incredibly insightful. Fortuitously, we landed on a table with Julie Simpson, and we were introduced to another element of WPC that we hadn’t originally considered: Meeting new contacts and partners. Julie listened to our experiences thus far and guided us on areas within WPC that we could further explore including meeting with partners and key suppliers aligned to our requirements.
Aside from learning of the Microsoft roadmap at WPC, our intention was to up-skill ourselves with knowledge about Lync and the future development of it. At WPC we met key executives from within Microsoft as well strategic partners that would accelerate our growth and reduce our time to market with key services that were only a pipeline dream before attending the conference.
The key takeaways from WPC13 were as follows (not limited to!):
- New skills
- Deepened understanding of Microsoft Roadmap
- Overwhelming confidence that the path we had chosen in ‘backing the cloud’ was the right journey
- New contacts
- Confidence that Microsoft were our partners and were keen to help us develop and grow as a business
- Increased revenue streams and opportunities
- Renewed energy and enthusiasm
Before we booked WPC we had the perception that as a Microsoft partner we had a duty to be there. After attending, my opinion is that as a Microsoft partner it is essential to be there.
WPC has been a catalyst to our growth and allowed us to gain absolute clarity as to the future vision and roadmap for our business.
I cannot recommend the WPC experience enough to any partner who is serious about their business and its future success. I can say with absolute confidence to other partners: I will see you there, and I would be delighted to meet with and share my experiences to help accelerate your growth and to gain maximum value from your wise investment in attending.