Arrow_rightRegister now | WPC 2015, July 12-16
Worldwide Partner Conference
sunday  |  monday  |  tuesday  |  wednesday  |  thursday
WPC 2014 maybe over but the networking opportunities are not. Learn more.
Another WPC begins! On July 13, we welcomed over 16,000 attendees from more than 140 countries to Washington D.C. for the 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference. Read the welcome blog post from WPC Experience Ambassador Kati Quigley.
The weather cooperated beautifully, and partners had a great time at the IAMCP Golf Tournament with Gavriella Schuster, new General Manager of the Worldwide Partner Group. Before the tournament, Gavriella presented a $5,000 check to YouthSpark, an organization focused on providing “education, empowerment, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for millions of young people around the world.”
With all its sessions, keynotes, events, and networking opportunities, WPC can be overwhelming to a first-timer. The First Time Attendee program (FTA program) helps FTAs stay on track by providing mentors and extra assistance. This year, for the first time, we had volunteer mentors – identified by green lanyards – paired with FTAs and available to answer questions throughout the event.
Additionally, WPC alums Jeff Shuey, Julie Simpson, and Jeff Hilton joined WPC Ambassador Kati Quigley in a panel-led FTA Orientation to help FTAs get the most from WPC, from session scheduling to P2P meetings to following up after. Going to WPC 2015 in Orlando? Whether you’re new to WPC or an old hand, you’ll find a lot of good information in the FTA Orientation session video available on WPC Connect.  
The WPC Welcome Reception was a great, informal way for partners to chat with Microsoft execs and each other. Partners moved around the Commons, enjoying product demos, delicious food and drink, and great conversations. The reception provided the perfect spark to ignite the excitement that is WPC!

It was a high-energy kick off to WPC 2014, with Latin guitarists Gabriela and Rodrigo firing up the crowd with their unique and vibrant sound. During Monday’s keynote, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, Channel Chief Phil Sorgen, General Manager of the Worldwide Partner Group Gavriella Schuster, and other top Microsoft leaders discussed Microsoft’s plans for the future in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. To view this keynote in its entirety or to watch other WPC 2014 Vision and Track Keynotes, be sure to visit the Videos page. 
As Corporate VP of the Worldwide Partner Group Phil Sorgen said in his Day 1 news blog, “Putting partners first in our go-to-market strategy has always been key to our joint success,” and Day 1 of WPC was all about how Microsoft and its partners are winning together.
This was both Phil Sorgen and Gavriella Schuster’s first time addressing partners in their new roles from the WPC stage. Both discussed the place partners have in the future of Microsoft, and Gavriella focused on upcoming program changes that will make it easier and more profitable for partners to do business with Microsoft. As she said in her keynote, “As you invest in your business, as your success with your customers grows, Microsoft’s investment in you will also grow.” You can read more about how she’s putting her commitment to partners into action in her post-keynote blog.
MPN is continuing to invest in partners in a variety of ways, and some examples were shared from the mainstage: The brand-new Cloud Solution Provider Program, announced at the Vision Keynote, allows partners to own 100 percent of the customer lifecycle and serve as the only contact for all customer needs. Also announced was a new Open Licensing opportunity. Beginning August 1, 2014, Microsoft Azure will be available to partners via the Open Licensing program, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be added later this fiscal year. Partners can now preview Azure Machine Learning University, a series of video tutorials which offers partners step-by-step instructions to the data science life cycle. Discover the future!
Also on Monday, we saluted and celebrated our 2014 Partner of the Year Award Winners and Finalists. As Chief Operating Office Kevin Turner said to the assembled honorees, “You distinguished yourselves this past year and got it done!” Check out the complete list of winners and finalists.
On Monday partners attended the Track Keynotes to hear the latest news about Microsoft products, services, goals, and direction directly from the Microsoft execs. Josh Waldo, Senior Director of Cloud Partner Strategy, led the Cloud Keynote, foregrounding for partners the reasons customers choose Microsoft when making the transition to the cloud. Phil Sorgen led the Leadership, Sales and Marketing Keynote. Phil led off with the statistic that 87% of WPC attendees are senior business leaders within their organization, making WPC one of the biggest leadership conferences in the world! GM Eron Kelly took the helm of the Big Data Keynote, concentrating on how Microsoft solutions can help partners accelerate your customers’ businesses with Big Data.
With no Vision Keynotes on the schedule, Tuesday was the day for partners to really focus on sessions, exploring The Commons, and making the most of WPC’s networking opportunities.
At the top of many partner’s lists of sessions to attend were Tuesday’s Track Keynotes. These were deeper dives into two more industry megatrends that matter most to our partners. Microsoft General Manager Jared Spataro led the Enterprise Social keynote and described for partners the ways Microsoft is helping businesses “work like a network.” The Mobility and Devices keynote, led by GM Erwin Visser, focused on how partners can leverage the evolution of mobility and mobile devices – paired with Microsoft products – to fulfill customers’ needs.
Partners moved freely from Expo demonstrations and discussions to the open space of the Social Hub, from Connect meeting areas at one end to First Time Attendee events at the other. The Commons was designed to be the heart of the WPC experience. We saw it come to life as a place for partners to meet, recharge their devices and their energy, see demonstrations of new offerings from Microsoft and from partners, eat, drink, learn, and talk.
The Networking Opportunities of WPC are unsurpassed, and as we hear from partners again and again, one of the biggest reasons you make the investment to attend. On Tuesday, partners were invited to spend Happy Hour in the Social Hub where margaritas and music set the stage for some great, informal P2P conversations. There were opportunities to meet with Microsoft execs, including Phil Sorgen and Kati Quigley; informative and entertaining Social Media 101 sessions led by partners and guest speakers were a big draw; and those who took the lessons to heart and tweeted using the #WPC14 hashtag had a chance to see their tweet larger than life on the Live Wall. You can access the Social Media 101 sessions and other session resources on WPC Connect, as attendees, by selecting “Session Resources” beneath the Sessions drop-down menu or, for non-attendees, selecting “Videos” or "Documents" under the Content dropdown menu.
Wednesday’s Vision Keynote was launched by famed blues guitarists Buddy Guy and Quinn Sullivan. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Microsoft execs Phil Sorgen, Tony Prophet, Brad Anderson and others for the Wednesday keynote address. Speakers focused on Microsoft’s leadership as the productivity and platform company in this mobile-first, cloud-first world, and how Microsoft, together with its partner community, will provide the solutions that allow every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.
As CEO Satya said in his keynote, it’s the stories of partners that have inspired Microsoft, partners such as Juan Rodriguez and his teaching of technology to 30,000 individuals; Dan Scarfe of Dot Net Solutions with 300 percent growth building mobile solutions; and Hatem Sallam, education partner from Dubai who is building solutions that have a broad impact in society. To view this keynote in its entirety or to watch other WPC 2014 Vision and Track Keynotes, be sure to visit the Videos page.
On Wednesday, we honored an important and growing group of leaders in the technology industry: women. Women in Technology (WIT) is a very active part of the IAMCP community, and at WPC 2014, WIT hosted a luncheon and panel discussion. Cheryl Cook, Vice President of Global Channels & Alliances at Dell, was the guest speaker at the WIT luncheon, where she inspired the audience and reminded us all that “nothing is more powerful than a confident woman.”
Attendees at the WIT panel had the opportunity to hear from U.S. Senator for Washington Maria Cantwell. Senator Cantwell shared with the audience her frustration at the gender imbalances in both technology and government and her plan of action for correcting that imbalance. Attendees were also able to hear from and ask questions of a panel of powerful women, all trailblazers in the technology industry.
When you work this hard to absorb so much information, a little free-and-fun time becomes as necessary as a good breakfast. The Partner Celebration is a terrific way to unwind and have those informal conversations that can cement relationships. This year, with Neon Trees and Paramore energizing the crowd and food trucks supplying additional (delicious) fuel, the Party in the Park was an enormously fun way to recharge.
For more about Wednesday’s events, read Phil Sorgen’s “Thank you, Partners” blog post.
Thursday was the day for the many regions represented in our partner community to showcase their area in a Regional Keynote. You can view your region’s keynote in Session Resources by choosing “Regional Session” under “Session Type.”
The 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference may be over, but the networking, community and resources last all year. Your job now? Follow up on those conversations you had. Utilize the many tools and resources of WPC Connect, and reach out to partners who present opportunities to do business, learn, grow, and expand your possibilities. Join groups and add your voice to the conversation. Find partners on the People page and build mutually beneficial relationships. And follow hashtag #WPC15 on Twitter for the WPC news, announcements, and information you won’t want to miss. Be sure to read Kati Quigley’s blog, A look back at WPC 2014.
WPC is the premier partner event of the year – a place to connect with other partners and with Microsoft, hear important announcements about Microsoft’s vision and direction for the future, discover opportunities, learn, teach, and share with peers. Thank you for a terrific WPC 2014, and we’ll see you next year in Orlando, Florida!