Thursday, 23 July 2015

WPC 2015 Recap

So, another Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) comes to a close. As usual it was a big mix of keynotes, breakout sessions, partner meetings and evening party/networking. This was a quiet year for big announcements, but Windows 10 and their CSP programme definitely took centre stage for Microsoft’s focus. The most value for me is very much the evening networking where you get to speak to peers in the industry and listen to their challenges and successes within their own businesses. When you say the word ‘party’ people instantly think of too much drink and revelry but typically these are all very well behaved and actually a lot gets done then, or maybe that was just us!...

There was also a strong message as to how Microsoft is changing, they’re different now maybe even than the organisation they were 2-3 years ago. What’s driving this change? Is it Satya or maybe even the marketplace and the opportunities that are presenting themselves? Apple has a very strong message around its own products and the limitations they put in, not allowing cross platform functionality. Microsoft could have previously been seen as guilty of this too but this has definitely changed and seeing things like Office on the iPhone/iPad and also open development with Linux is evidence in how they have adapted their strategy of more openness.
Microsoft’s transition to almost all of their software, as a service, continues with Windows 10’s imminent release and as the ‘final’ packaged OS product with all future versions to be ‘evergreen’. This ability to restrict piracy which has always been one of Microsoft’s biggest issues would have been unheard of ten years ago. So, is Microsoft changing? Absolutely and definitely for the better. They have regained an air of ‘coolness’ and are no longer the faceless monolith that was hated far and wide but still used because it had the best products.
Orlando was a good location with everything within a ten minute walking distance of the conference centre and all went smoothly for an event of this magnitude. Next year is Toronto and if they do as good of a job as this year then things will continue to change for the better.
Finally my thanks to all the Microsoft UK team for making us all feel so welcome and looking after us and to all the partners I had the opportunity to catch up with. You are the people that made the event so worthwhile.

If you would like to find out more about our time at WPC join our LinkedIn Group Westcoast @ WPC

By Mark Davies – Westcoast Cloud Services Director

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