Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 is coming in July—our annual, global convergence of Microsoft’s top partners. In advance of this exciting event, we’re spotlighting five Country Partner of the Year award winners who will be attending this year.
 
 
Provoke Solutions: Microsoft Gold Partner, Wellington, New Zealand
 
Wherever we go, people ask us questions about design, cloud innovation…and rugby.
 
I’ll explain.
 
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has a global fan base, so not all of them get a chance to watch the All Blacks play live. With the Rugby World Cup coming, NZRU needed to provide fans everywhere with real-time updates 24 hours a day. Be it fixture lists, team line-ups or live scoring, NZRU wanted All Blacks fans to have vital information at their fingertips.
 
We created a beautiful NZRU mobile app designed for Microsoft Windows Phone users, that combines All Blacks’ look and feel with the latest Metro design principles. And we built it when Windows Phone development was at its beginnings, which allowed Provoke to continue its reputation for working with latest technology.
 
That story really sums up what Provoke is about. First, we’re design-led. Ever since our inception, 13 years ago, we’ve recognised that technology alone rarely fulfils our customers’ needs, so we’ve instilled in our software development process a strong emphasis on design principles to ensure we keep the priorities of the user at the fore. We blend the latest Microsoft technology with the disciplines of good UX design to ensure our customers aren’t just investing in software, they’re investing in improving their businesses. It’s that combination of user-centered design methodologies and pragmatic technology decisions that really makes the difference.
 
Second, we’re cloud innovators. We recognised the undeniable merit of the cloud early on, and it’s been a core part of our service and solution offering for some years now. Because of this quick adoption, we’re now in the unique position of having a number of our clients well advanced in their cloud journeys. That gives us the opportunity to constantly innovate on Microsoft’s core cloud technologies, Azure and Office 365, to deliver leading-edge solutions.
 
Based on the strength of these successful cloud solutions, Microsoft NZ came to Provoke to help spearhead the nationwide education and awareness initiative within the industry. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been partnering with our local Microsoft sub in driving a national marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Microsoft cloud offering. We’ve also been recognised as one of a few Cloud Accelerate Partners based on our track record.
 
When they aren’t asking us about the cloud or rugby, people often ask about our relationship with Microsoft. It extends far beyond a normal vendor-partner relationship. We work closely with the local Microsoft subs in the regions in which we operate, including joint sales and marketing activities. We have an outstanding relationship with both the executives and our Partner Account Manager who truly understand our business model and actively invest in supporting us to achieve our objectives. The cooperation and support we receive from Microsoft is outstanding and our relationship is truly win-win.
 
Attending WPC has become an annual pilgrimage for Provoke. It’s a fair few air miles to get there from New Zealand, but well worth it to spend the week ensconced in the complete Microsoft experience. It’s a key opportunity to gain insight into the Microsoft roadmap, meet with other partners and contacts who are strategically aligned to our requirements and leave with renewed energy and enthusiasm to inject into our business.
 
This year in particular we’ll enjoy attending WPC as a Country Partner of the Year Award winner, and celebrating our success and recognition with the rest of the community which we very much enjoy being part of.
 
 
Provoke Solutions is a full-service software design and development company that specializes in Microsoft software–based solutions. Provoke is a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with eight Gold and Silver competencies. Headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, Provoke employs 150 people across five offices, in Auckland, Wellington, Seattle, Singapore, and Manila. You can learn more about them at www.provokesolutions.com.