Great First Day at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference!

The kickoff to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was just as extraordinary as you would expect!  Held at Washington DC’s Verizon Center, it had live music, fireworks, and of course Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s dynamic COO as the keynote speaker.  It seemed like every seat was packed.  All were waiting to hear of the direction to be given to Microsoft’s vast reseller/partner network.


It took me a while to cool down after my walk from the Metro Center train station.  I was drenched with sweat after only a few blocks (I had forgotten how hot and humid DC is this time of year).  But, by the end of the musical entertainment, I was refreshed and ready to be enlightened.

What was the message to the resellers?  “Mobile First, Cloud First”, plain and simple.

Not surprising that Microsoft is putting all of its effort behind promoting the Azure platform and becoming a bigger player in the mobile space.  This year, there was no talk about a new Xbox or new operating systems, it was all mobile and cloud.

With regards to mobile, Kevin Turner announced that Microsoft is offering phone and tablet manufacturers a 0% royalty on devices that are 9” or less in size when using the Microsoft Windows platform.  I don’t believe that has ever been done before at Microsoft!  That shows how serious Microsoft is about becoming a big player in the space.

A lot of time was also spent on demonstrating improvements to the Azure hosting platform.  Mr. Turner shared some staggering growth statistics, and discussed enhanced compensation programs for those partners selling those Azure services.  The message was, for those of you resellers helping your customers move to Office 365, thank you.  Now we need you to help them move to Dynamics CRM/ERP.

One thing I found very interesting from my own FormVerse perspective is an integration of Yammer with Office.  Very soon, users will be able to check out Yammer discussion groups from inside of their Outlook email box.  On a small bar to the left of their email box, a user can invoke a Yammer discussion group to ask a question or make a comment.  I see that as being more proof that Outlook and Email are going to continue to be an important part of the solution set for enterprise customers, and adding tools that make users more productive in email is something that everyone is thinking about.  That is exactly what we are trying to do with FormVerse. Check out what Microsoft has to say about FormVerse here.

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