An Entrepreneur’s Top 5 Takeaways from Microsoft WPC 2015
Time is the most important resource an entrepreneur has. So why did I decide to spend 4 days at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and what did I gain from it? Here are my top five takeaways from the event:
Real business partnership opportunities
The conference attracts thousands of IT experts seeking to extend their offerings with new technologies, making it the perfect place for a startup to get in front of the right partners. Following my presentation on the Hybrid cloud and the new Identity Management challenges in modern IT organizations, I was approached by several partners that wanted to learn more about our solutions and our general approach to IAM. That led to a lively discussion on the subject, exchanging contact information, and plans to follow up on potential collaborations.
Networking at its best
Sitting with partners and Microsoft personnel at a shared table during breakfast or lunch provides an amazing opportunity to extend your network worldwide. During one of the lunches, I was lucky to share the table with a Microsoft Corporate Vice President who overheard a debate I was part of about using different types of databases in a SaaS solution and volunteered to help. We ended up sitting together discussing the architecture and the challenges we needed to address. Of course, a 15 minutes conversation isn’t enough to develop the absolute best architecture for your product. But following the initial review, we exchanged contact info and agreed to continue the discussion once the conference was over.
Meeting and deal-making with global players
Many of the enterprise software startups choose the channel distribution model as their go-to-market strategy. Meeting partners from around the globe at one central location allowed us to close an agreement with one of biggest Microsoft distributors in Brazil - Brasoftware. We initially met them during my roadshow in Brazil about a month before the conference. After careful review they decided to shake hands with us at the WPC. What a great way to officially launch the partnership!
Microsoft collaboration opportunities
One of the things I learned to appreciate most as a startup is the help from, and partnership with, bigger players. Enterprise Cloud Alliance is a great example of such a partnership. Meeting with Burcu Hall (Microsoft Alliance Program Manager) at the conference opened new ways for us to collaborate with Microsoft.
Microsoft road map intelligence
The keynotes held at the WPC shed light on Microsoft’s future vision and roadmap. This can significantly help you steer your product development to align with theirs. Technical sessions held during the conference provide an excellent way to dive deep into new areas for expanding your product line. The keynote speeches are a good example of what Microsoft believes customers will be expecting in the coming years.
All of these benefits in just four days? I’d say WPC 2015 was well worth this entrepreneur’s time!
See you next year?