Diving in at Microsoft #WPC15

According to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynote yesterday, 12,000 attendees are here in Orlando networking, catching up on new solutions, and learning more and more how to be successful in the channel.  The discussions in the expo alone have been worth the trip.  Microsoft made a number of announcements and gave several tremendous demos in the opening keynote.  The session options appear to be unlimited.  So much so, one partner told me at dinner he’s finding it difficult to choose between everything he wants to learn about this week. 

The keynote Monday AM, in typical WPC fashion, was energetic, engaging and informative. There were several announcements including:  

  • The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program will be expanded to include 131 markets adding and Azure and CRM Online as available services in the program.
  • HoloLens: The world's first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10
  • Project GigJam: empowers business workers to spontaneously summon, assign, and track information from their line of business and SaaS apps.
  • New Office 365 E5 offering
  • Cortana Analytics Suite: The Cortana Analytics Suite, a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action, will be available this Fall as a monthly subscription, as well as through third party solutions. As well as several Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) updates. 

You can find out more about the Microsoft WPC announcements from the Microsoft official blog here. The most memorable portions of the keynote for me included an in-depth look at Windows 10, which focused on new features, security and design improvements coupled with a very humorous and light-hearted poke at past mistakes (i.e. desktop, start button.) In addition there was a truly crowd pleasing demo of HoloLens. The entire audience was able to see from the perspective of the HoloLens user showing life-like holographic visuals such as using AutoDesk to build out and reconfigure a motorcycle on the fly.

Throughout my time here I’ve met with partners at meals, in the booth, and in sessions. I asked each of them what they thought werethe most compelling takeaways from the conference thus far. The majority of responses focused on the CSP announcements as well as the business intelligence capabilities of the Cortana Analytics suite.

Speaking of CSP – Partners are getting an early look at CloudRunner in the Dell Booth, which will be officially launched next week.  CloudRunner allows a partner to be a CSP to their customers.  In other words your customers can get anywhere, anytime, any device access to all their applications and data, simply, securely, and fully managed by you through the platform.

Pictured above: Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft stopped by and met with Dell Channel Leadership.

Tuesday morning at #WPC15, Dell unveiled its latest Wyse thin clients, becoming the first major OEM to deliver thin clients based on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system.  This offering is making it easier than ever for IT managers to plan, deploy and run desktop virtualization.

One of the partners I had an opportunity to meet with was Eamon Moore from e-mit Solutions  headquarted in Dublin, Ireland.  Eamon and I met on Twitter and subsequently began a joint marketing effort that garnered some fantastic exposure culminating in a direct contact from Michael Dell and a highlight in an industry publication. This week, Eamon and crew were in an Office 365 Success Story video launched at the Microsoft World Partner Conference.

As you can see, I’ve been having a fantastic time engaging with those partners and learning about what’s important to them and what we at Dell need to do to make them successful. There was one hiccup this week I have to share –as I first arrived at the convention center, I managed to lose my sport coat, and in record time! While making the walk from hotel to the venue through the not-so sport-coat like weather, I had hung the garment on my laptop bag strap.  When I arrived at check-in, I noticed it was gone.  After walking the route several times and having to log a lost item ticket with the help desk, I gave up and made the obligatory ‘hey honey, funny story’ call to my better half as we had just purchased the jacket just a few days prior. Mid-explanation, I walked by a maintenance cart in a hallway, and lo and behold THERE it was, thankfully!. I then instituted the ‘never mind honey’ portion of the call and continued on with my day more than a bit relieved. Sport-coat related drama aside, #WPC15 thus far has been a great experience and well worth the trip. 

Questions?  Reach out to me on twitter @jeffsullivan  

About the Author: Jeff Sullivan