OP ED: Key Takeaways from WPC Today

OP ED: Key Takeaways from WPC Today

Highlights include an expanded CSP Program, a new premium Office 365 suite and Project GigJam

As you would expect Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) was a widely anticipated flurry of activity today. As always it provided the chance to meet with old friends and peers, whilst at the same time opening the door to new relationships and the opportunities these might bring.

There was much talk of the intelligent cloud and a drive to reinvent productivity and business processes. Indeed, the theme for this year’s event was ‘Achieving More’ in a cloud-first, mobile first world – something Microsoft is investing heavily in to help its partner ecosystem.

On his blog, Neil Holloway, Corporate Vice President, Sales & Partners, Microsoft Business Solutions, explains that productivity in the workplace is being reinvented around simple, more agile and connected business processes.

“Dynamics-centered business solutions are leading the way in helping organisations of all sizes better engage with their customers and intelligently run their operations,” he said.

With this in mind, an expanded Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) which now includes Dynamics CRM Online was just one of a number of updates announced today.

Holloway believes that CSP is a great fit for Dynamics partners, enabling the provisioning and management of subscriptions for multiple cloud services and a smoother buying process for customers, something he says gives them what they really want from solution providers. Next year Dynamics AX7, the next version of Microsoft’s ERP product, will be added. You can read more about it here.

That expanded CSP program now sees the offering being available in 131 different markets, with Azure and CRM Online joining Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services within it.

A new premium Office 365 enterprise suite called E5 will also debut before the year is out, offering a host of new features including new Skype for Business services like Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast, as well as Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics. Added security features come in the form of eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox and Advanced threat protection.

Of today’s other announcements, Project GigJam will interest those seeking new ways to transform business processes by breaking down barriers between devices, apps and people. Essentially this means workers being able to call upon information from line of business and SaaS apps and use this to instantly drive productivity. You can read more about that here.

But for those enterprises set in their ways and reluctant to embrace change, Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Channel at Microsoft also issued a warning on his blog today.

In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, those businesses that embrace technology to reinvent themselves and their industries will thrive, and those who embrace status quo risk extinction. Its Microsoft’s hundreds of thousands of global partners that will bring about this transformation, help our mutual customers through this change and forge the next industrial revolution.”

Myself and other members of the Crayon team are here at WPC15, so please do come and have a chat when you have a moment. Would be great to catch-up.

G

I am the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon. My team are focused on driving enhanced lead generation campaigns and nurturing for our sales organisations across multiple geographies though the utilisation and coordination of all online and offline communication channels. We are driving increased brand awareness in the business's core competency areas of Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing solutions and associated consultancy services. I have over 20 years of senior business leadership experience within direct marketing/direct sales and mass distribution businesses, in both the B2B and B2C markets serving on the boards of both private and public multinational corporations.