Monday, July 13, 2009

WPC09 New Orleans - Jazzed To Be Here!

New Orleans is a great city for a partner conference, southern hospitality, great weather and some of the best eating I've experienced in a long time.

Each year WPC is a great opportunity to catch up with other partners and Microsoft execs on a kind of level playing field. Everyone is playing away and a sense of openness of communication generally prevails, making for some genuinely interesting exchanges of ideas.

The agenda for this years WPC has been restructured significantly and I'm finding it much easier to navigate the content that I'm looking for. For me, last years agenda was really disappointing with alot of subject/content mismatch.

At Monday's keynote Allison Watson (Corporate VP, Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group) announced the new Microsoft Partner Network and outlined the transition that will take place from the current Microsoft Partner Program over the next 18 months or so. Already there are some interesting consipiracy theories about exactly what shape this will take and what it will mean for partners in the SMB space and for the Small Business Specialist program. I'm looking forward to sitting down with Sarah Arnold later today, where Wayne Small and myself will be getting more details and raising some of the questions coming out of the user groups and wider SMB community. I'm looking forward to bringing further information to you.

I've also got a number of meetings to attend in my new role as SBSC PAL and I'm anxious to find out more about the role and how I can assist partners and Microsoft to get more value out of working together and to navigate some of the fantastic opportunity being driven my many innovative products Microsoft will be brining to market over the next few years.

As always in this industry, change dominates and its a reminder of why we have chosen to make our careers and businesses in this industry - its dynamic, exciting and we get the buzz of being a conduit for innovation and productivity in the community.

Keira McIntosh is the General Manager at Directions Technology - an Australia owned small business providing managed and reliable IT Support in Brisbane. You can also find her on Twitter and Linked In.

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