On July 12th, thousands of Microsoft channel partners traveled to Orlando, Florida for World Partner Conference (WPC) 2015. Recognized as Microsoft’s biggest partner conference of the year, the technology giant did not disappoint. As the premier partner event of the year, WPC educated channel partners on new opportunities to grow their business by aligning with Microsoft programs, learning from market experts and networking with the global Microsoft partner community.
As a Titanium sponsor, Ingram Micro dominated WPC, demonstrating to over 15,000 attendees why we are the company to watch in the cloud space. Our racing-themed exhibit, literally put attendees in the driver’s seat with an exciting racing simulator. In addition to putting the pedal to the metal, attendees also received live demos of the innovative Cloud Marketplace in a variety of languages.
If you were unable to attend the conference, we have you covered. Check out what we think were the highlights of WPC and how they will impact your cloud practice for the year ahead.
Cloud First, Mobile First Becomes Smarter and Automated
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, outlined his vision for a cloud first, mobile first world at WPC 2014. Microsoft supported this vision with innovative solutions such as porting Office 365 to the iPad, and improving Azure’s cloud capabilities for increased scalability and support for cloud containers. At WPC 2015, Microsoft took those innovations to another level by announcing plans to integrate big data and automation into their solutions.
Notable announcements included the Cortana Analytics Suite and Project Gigjam. Both will help companies leverage big data to improve collaboration, connect employees, and unify a socialized workforce.
CSP Takes Center Stage
Many of you will recall that Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) was first debuted at WPC 2014. At WPC 2015, Microsoft announced an expansion for the CSP program beyond Office 365, giving channel partners the opportunity to bundle their own services alongside its popular solutions. Additionally, CSP enables channel partners to own the complete customer lifecycle including billing and management, while earning greater margins and top line revenue.
With CSP taking center stage, it’s worth noting that Ingram Micro is authorized to sell Microsoft Cloud Services via CSP in over 40 countries, and is the only 2-Tier partner to offer Office 365 on a fully automated Cloud Marketplace. Thomas Hansen, vice president of Worldwide SMB at Microsoft Corp summed it up best, “Ingram Micro has demonstrated leadership by rolling out Microsoft CSP through the Cloud Marketplace across 13 different countries, supporting five languages and eight currencies, all to help channel partners worldwide achieve greater profitability in the cloud. Ingram Micro is well aligned with Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first strategy, and we expect our joint partnership to continue driving momentum within the Microsoft community.”
Ingram Micro’s global CSP success with Microsoft is showcased in this video. We believe the future is bright with our channel partners slated to earn more monthly recurring revenue on CSP while serving as their customers’ trusted advisor.
Increased Revenue through Channel Expansion
The final highlight from WPC was Microsoft giving more channel partners the opportunity to sell the Surface tablet. In the past, only tier 1 partners were able to carry the device, limiting its reach. The availability of the device alongside the launch of Windows 10 will create many sales opportunities for resellers, particularly those who want to offer bundled solutions to their customers.
Other opportunities mentioned at WPC 2015 included the end of life for Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL 2005. As companies look to upgrade their technologies, channel partners will find themselves in a unique situation to provide the support and services needed for a smooth transition. Combined with the innovations Microsoft is currently implementing for the cloud, the potential for channel partners to add value to their customers’ needs is endless.
To learn more about how you can work with Ingram Micro Cloud to simplify your success in the cloud, visit www.ingrammicrocloud.com. You can also watch many of the keynotes and speeches given at WPC at https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/pages/wpc/overview.aspx.