This week, Microsoft kicks off its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto, Canada. WPC is an opportunity for partners – vendors or service providers who build and sell solutions based on Microsoft products – to learn about market trends, the latest technologies for small businesses, including solutions for the cloud and details on the newest hardware and devices.
The energy and sense of community at WPC continues to inspire me year after year. I love catching up with partners I know, meeting new ones, and hearing their success stories as well as their challenges. Their passion for Microsoft and helping small businesses is incredibly motivating to me.
Last year 15,000 members of the Microsoft partner community traveled to Florida from over 135 countries. It was a fast and furious five days of fun, learning and networking. Partners were able to hear directly from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about our plan to work together to empower every person and every organization around the world to achieve more.
Many partners shared that last year’s conference was the best ever. I’d have to agree that the Disney’s Hollywood Studios® location made for an absolutely unforgettable Partner Celebration. This year’s event is back in Toronto, where we broke attendance records in 2012. The city is back by popular demand because of the warm welcome we received and memorable venues such as the Air Canada Center and CN Tower – a wonder of the modern world.
In the midst of the fun, I’m reminded what an incredibly important part of the small business ecosystem partners are. You may not realize it, but Microsoft works with roughly 30,000 partners in the U. S. who help SMBs learn about and implement our wide-range of products and services. Our partners are committed to helping you grow your business through technology such as Office365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Azure.
Often, attending partners are small business owners themselves, which allows them to evaluate new technologies from their customers’ vantage points, because they frequently have the very same needs and concerns. Partners return from the conference with a wealth of knowledge, best practices and new ideas to help SMB owners be more productive through the use of technology.
During WPC, some of our best partners are recognized through our Cloud Champions Club Awards. No matter the location or entertainment at WPC, the awards are always a highlight for me. I’m looking forward to announcing this year’s winners and to a great event overall. Check out my blog after WPC to see who the award winners are and for highlights from the 2016 conference.
For more info, visit the WPC home page.