Almost exactly one year ago, many of you were present when the initial IDC Cloud Partner profitability study was presented at WPC 2013 in Houston, TX. I’m pleased to say that our upcoming WPC in Washington, D.C. has even more content and resources dedicated to helping you become more profitable in the cloud. In preparation for WPC 2014, I have been talking with partners and asking what they hope to get out of the event. Some of what I heard may resonate with you and your goals for WPC.

“I want to build a more profitable business” – It is no surprise that making money is top of mind for solution providers, but this is especially important as the cloud brings new opportunity to make money – and more reliable money. At WPC there will be several sessions that address the topic of building recurring revenue and valuation. For example, I’ll be offering the session Evolving your business model to improve profitability by selling cloud solutions where I’ll discuss how successful partners have leveraged new revenue stream opportunities that the cloud has opened up across multiple business models. I’ll address how these business model evolutions are providing the foundation to increase margins, establish annuity and allow aggressive growth through new customer acquisition in the whitespace. Brian Cook, executive chairman of Nintex, is leading a session titled Transform your business from IT consulting services to cloud ISV where he’ll discuss how Nintex secured funding from a venture capitalist firm. In this session, he’ll discuss attributes that are appealing to VC firms, including rapid growth, strong distribution models, a large addressable market, high gross margin and easily predictable revenue. All of these attributes come with selling cloud products and services. Lastly, you will want to check out the Cloud Track Keynote on Monday titled “Maximize Your Cloud Business.” This keynote will feature a panel of experts including a top venture capitalist and Microsoft leaders on approaches to create more sticky customer relationships as well as practices that accelerate the transition to profitability and investments that create a stronger market valuation.
“I want to hear from other partners, not just Microsoft” – No one knows more about running a successful cloud practice than a successful cloud partner. For the first time ever, we are offering 10 sessions led 100 percent by Microsoft partners. These partners have been selected because they have either made successful business transformations to the cloud or they have built new cloud businesses. These partners will offer insights into what does and does not work, as well as best practices in building your cloud business. I encourage you to attend these sessions and begin building out your network of successful peers.
“I want to know where the industry is going so I can be prepared” – Change is the only constant in the technology industry, and we are fortunate to have some of the best industry analysts at WPC to help partners understand and navigate that change. Darren Bibby, IDC vice president of Channels and Alliances, will be leading a session that dives into the insights gained from the Cloud Partner Profitability eBook published earlier this year. The latest IDC research is projecting worldwide public IT cloud services revenue to reach $107.2 billion in 2017 with five times the growth of the IT industry overall. The IDC research found trending insights into how successful cloud partners have not only changed their business strategy, but they have also changed how they market and how they sell. Additionally, we have Tiffani Bova, vice president at Gartner, who will be leading a session titled Reading the Tea Leaves – Future Growth Will Require New Sales Models. This is going to be a very productive session as Tiffani has a great viewpoint on how the cloud has changed the engagement model, which ultimately changes how customers purchase.
I’m confident you’ll find a number of sessions that can help you towards your business goals, and I encourage you to take a look at all of the cloud sessions we have in the session scheduler.


Safe travels, and I look forward to seeing you all in Washington D.C.!