Guest Post Steven Worrall: It’s a Family Affair – but not quite like you know it

stevenThe Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference is one of my favourite events of the year – the single opportunity for Microsoft partners and colleagues to come together as a team, to celebrate the year that was and set the course for the year ahead. Some might think it trite to describe us like family, but there is no doubt we have something in common - a desire to deliver the best outcomes for our customers and a passion for technology. That’s why I’m so looking forward to meeting and connecting with our partners at Microsoft Inspire.

Formerly known as the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Inspire will be held in Washington DC from 9-13 July. With past attendance of 16,000 delegates from more than 140 countries, there are literally thousands of networking opportunities; providing invaluable connections for new businesses.

While the opportunity to network is one thing, there is so much more to Microsoft Inspire. The event gives us an opportunity to learn about our huge footprint; uncovering what best practice looks like and how we can improve our own businesses right now. And I emphasise the idea of ‘right now’ because we are going through a time of immense change. The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and as we look forward to this new era of digital transformation, it’s important for us to embrace opportunities like this to learn from each other.

We often have partners up on stage talking about how they have navigated their own transformations, establishing themselves as formidable Cloud partners. Those types of stories are critical in the world we find ourselves in today, with digital transformation, high on most of our agendas. Hearing these success stories not only helps our local partners to grow, it also educates us as a business in Australia, informing the investments we need to make in our partners to help them grow.

Another big part of Microsoft Inspire is the presentation of the MPN Partner of the Year Awards, a prestigious awards program which offers, amongst other benefits, a benchmarking opportunity to find out if the work you are doing is truly world leading. With 11,000 partners in Australia alone and over 370,000 around the world, the ability to submit your solution and have it assessed against partners from all around the world, is an incredible opportunity for recognition and growth.

And while all of the awards are prestigious, I see great value in the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award, which recognises partners at the country level who have had substantial growth in their customer base and/or revenue by driving customer impact and satisfaction with Microsoft Cloud offerings.

This award, apart from giving full bragging rights, provides an invaluable profile. I have loved seeing what this has been able to do for past winners like Readify. They were very successful, winning four MPN Partner of the Year Awards over the past few years. This recognition has helped them build awareness of who they are and the work that they do among the tens of thousands of other Microsoft Partners.

I’d like to encourage all our partners to submit a nomination for the awards this year. Further details can be found here or via the awards tool.

I’m looking forward to meeting many Microsoft partners at Microsoft Inspire in July, and to bringing our experiences and learnings back to Australia as a family connected by the same goals.

I hope to see you there.