Day Ten of Microsoft Partner Learning Series: Worldwide Partner Conference (The Gift of Relationships)

Today is the tenth day in our 12 days of Christmas blog series. I’ve been on vacation with my family in New Zealand over Christmas so maybe I can add a Kiwi flavour, literally! In the New Zealand version of the song, day is “ten juicy fish heads”… doesn’t sound too tasty, I think I’ll stick to Turkey!

Today is about the Gift of Relationships.

This year will be my fourth Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and the third as the head of the Partner Business at Microsoft. Each year I get to meet and spend time with people from our across partner network – some I know well and some I’m meeting for the first time. One thing that always strikes me is the number of new partner to partner relationships that are built at WPC. For some it’s about building a better network to serve customers, for others it’s about forming new partnerships or even mergers and acquisitions.

Now, it could be something in the water, or the food (maybe the fish heads?). But it’s more straight forward than that. WPC, like many conferences, is a great place to step back and spend time working on your business rather than in the business. Doing that against the back drop of great sessions and of course spending time with like-minded people is a recipe for business growth and new ventures.

If you haven’t been before or if you’re thinking of coming back, attending WPC 2016 should be on the New Year’s resolutions list. WPC is the largest partner event of the year—a place to connect with fellow partners and with Microsoft, hear about the future direction of Microsoft and the broader IT industry, discover new business opportunities, learn, teach, and share with peers. With past attendance reaching 16,000 attendees from over 140 countries, no other event brings together so many of the most successful, top-tier partners in the Microsoft Partner Network.

This year promises to be special taking place July 10-14 in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world: Toronto, Canada. Before joining Microsoft I worked for Nortel Networks for 9 years – one of Canada’s biggest companies at the time – and never once made it to Canada. So I’m really looking forward to exploring Toronto with our partners. It should be a great week.

If this is your first time attending WPC, we’ve got you covered. The First Time Attendee (FTA) program helps those new to WPC stay on track by providing mentors and extra assistance before, during, and after the event.

Visit the WPC pages on the MPN Portal and join Connect, a niche interest network for partners looking to connect throughout the year—you’ll find blogs from Microsoft and partner leaders, videos from past WPCs, and have the ability to connect with partners just like you.

So I hope you join us July 10-14 in Toronto, Canada. My team will take great care of you and maybe we can find a good Singaporean or Malay restaurant to enjoy that fish head curry.