​“Cloud, cloud, cloud”… Okay, by now it should be clear that Microsoft is unwavering in its determination to help our partners build a profitable cloud business. Along these lines, one of the most exciting activities I joined during WPC 2011 was ‘Speed Dating for the Cloud’—an activity organized by the US subsidiary to connect Microsoft channel partners and cloud services vendors.


speed-dating-4-cloud-6_3_5F6D0148.jpgIt was exciting to witness the business networking going on at the sunny Target Terrace on top of the Grammy Museum. The crowd was definitely energized and ready to connect with a qualified list of cloud partners, including MaximumBit Inc, nGenx, nivio, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, CA Technologies, PayPerCloud, groupSPARK, USA.NET, and Tieto. Throughout the year we hear loud and clear that partner-to-partner connection is one of the greatest benefits of attending WPC, and fundamentally Tuesday’s speed dating activity was all about forging lasting business relationships between Microsoft partners, and building a network. It was about unleashing the ‘Network Effect’, by bringing complementary business together and fostering partnerships.  
speed-dating-4-cloud-8_3_5F6D0148.jpgThis important activity shouldn’t be restricted to the conference – if you are not yet a member of the Microsoft Partner Network I’d recommend that you consider joining, so Microsoft can help enable, accelerate, promote, facilitate, and support network connections, and hopefully trigger successful relationships within the community. If you are already a member of MPN, make sure you check out the new channel incentives and the Azure marketplace.
But back to the speed dating event…
Well, I heard from several happy partners that these Microsoft-facilitated networking activities help them get faster support from community and further enable their businesses to prosper…and if partners are happy, we’re happy. What about you? Are you ready for the next handshake?