Went to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference over the weekend in Toronto. Was a fairly good event, although I didn’t get nearly as much out of it as I did last year. I think there were several factors that contributed to this:
- this was the 2nd year I’ve gone, so there wasn’t as much new for me to learn about MSFT in general.
- MSFT is in the middle of a technology wave, so there wasn’t as much exciting new news for them to talk about.
- The venue was really difficult to get around. It was split between the Metro Toronto convention center (which itself is two buildings joined by a seemlingly mile long cat walk) and the Air Canada Center, which are seperated a a few large (and rubble filled) parking lots.
The things I did learn:
- MSFT is clearly pushing their vertical strategy for partners. I think this is a good move on their part because probably the only way they can keep from competing with their partners is through their partners going vertical
- Nobody has nearly the scale or scope of partner program as MSFT. This is great for me since I picked up alot of ideas that we can use in our partner program.
- MSFT partners see alot of opportunity. There will be alot of value captured by MSFT partners in translating what MSFT is delivering to the market into solutions to specific customer requirements. This is partly due to the fact that MSFT’s portfolio is so large, and also due to the fact that customers are demanding more specific (rather than generic) software solutions.