It’s almost time for WPC17 which will take place from 9th -13th of July in Washington, D.C. The biggest partner conference was renamed Microsoft Inspire in order to further align it with other flagship Microsoft events such as Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Envision. It is THE PLACE to be to form connections, increase engagement with Microsoft and revamp your business. This is our fourth year and we cannot wait to share the insights we will obtain there with you.

In this post, we will reveal why we believe digital transformation will again play a key part and give you a selection of articles worth reading before the conference.

“Change happens fast and Inspire can help you stay ahead of the game”

As always Microsoft will present their vision for the next financial year, and the related partner opportunities. Last year the conference began with a keynote from Satya Nedela who stressed the importance of digital transformation and we believe this will also be the main focus this year.

According to IDC research, about 80 percent of customers are either deploying or have already embraced cloud technology. The “greater cloud market”—including SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, the supporting hardware and software, and all the professional and managed services surrounding cloud technology—will exceed $500 billion by 2020!*

*Source: IDC eBook, sponsored by Microsoft, The Modern Microsoft Partner Series, Part 1: The Booming Cloud Opportunity, 2016

As it can be a little daunting to figure out which sessions to attend, here are our recommendations if you are interested in this topic:

  • ODR02 Grow your business with smart digital marketing: here you will learn how to use sophisticated targeting to build a powerful B2B advertising strategy.
  • COM57d (Digital) squared: Maximize the digital transformation opportunity with digital marketing: here you will be able to discuss this topic with other attendees
  • PRAC04 Cloud enabled digital transformation: this session will help you to successfully envision solutions and develop your practices

We also made a selection of articles that will help you get the most out of the conference:

  1. Microsoft Inspire strategy guide: an Interview with Microsoft’s Kati Quigley

Before the conference, you should establish a plan and have a well-defined idea of what you want to achieve.  Inspire has a lot to offer regardless of what your specific interests are. If you are there to learn about growing your business you should invest some time in choosing the right sessions for you. On the other hand, if you are there to network you should visit the Commons to introduce yourself and discuss ideas with other attendees. You can use the MyInspire event planning tool to easily set up Connect meetings.

You can read the whole article here.

  1. 9 lessons to take to Microsoft Inspire: a partner perspective

You should put together a target list of:

  • Named leads & companies that you would like to meet
  • Exhibiting booths that you would like to go to
  • Existing clients that you would like to speak to
  • Microsoft employees that you want to get acquainted with

Finally, make sure to follow up with leads and fresh contacts from Inspire.

You can read the whole article here.

  1. Maximizing your investment in the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

It is crucial to be realistic about the schedule. This is especially true for first timers as they can get overwhelmed by the sheer size of the conference. Time is a limited commodity and thus you should make sure to spend it wisely.

And lastly, you should remember to wear comfortable clothes, particularly on your feet as you will probably do a lot of walking. Business casual will take you effortlessly from the morning sessions to the evening activities. 

You can read the whole article here.

After the conference, we will continue with part II. Please, look forward to it in the upcoming week.

Microsoft Inspire 2017 is just around the corner – Part I
Microsoft Inspire 2017 is just around the corner – Part I