Greetings from the Worldwide Partner Conference! Being that the WPC is in Bamboo's backyard this year, it was a no-brainer for many of us to attend – not only to meet with our own great partners, but also to hear about the latest and greatest from Microsoft. The first thing a WPC attendee notices about the conference as compared to many other conferences is the diversity of attendees – not just developers, not just Americans – there are literally people from all over the world, from techies to IT Directors to COOs. As you are walking around throughout the day, you'll hear a variety of different languages being spoken, so it's a particularly key event at which to meet other partners in the Microsoft ecosystem from all over the world. In the wake of Sunday's World Cup match, I can also attest that there are quite a few happy Spanish partners in attendance, as well as some rather sad Dutch ones.
Day one started very early yesterday with keynotes beginning at 8 a.m. We heard from Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President of Business & Marketing, who is handing over her role to Jon Roskill, the new Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group. Steve Ballmer was up next, talking not only about the future of the Cloud, but also about how partners could incorporate it into their business model for success.
This is one of the first shows I've attended where Bamboo has not been an exhibitor, and I must say that it was such a relief to be able to enjoy the keynotes and sessions without having to run back to a booth! In the afternoon when we ventured into the Exhibit Hall, for the first time it was me who was getting scanned, grabbing goodies, and signing up to win a car and Rolex among other things! There doesn't seem to be as many exhibitors this year as I've seen at WPCs in the past; I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the economy or not, but Microsoft certainly has booths everywhere – I checked out the new Office Communicator 14, CRM 5.0, the new Windows phones, and the aforementioned car that comes loaded with Sync, Microsoft's in-car entertainment and information system.
After the Exhibit Hall closed, it was our pleasure to enjoy dinner with one of our most valued partners, Amexus, at the District Chophouse downtown. Amexus CEO Stefan Nacke is here all the way from Germany, and it was great catching up with him and hearing about the business he is driving in SharePoint with our products. It was a great way to end a busy and fun day… more to report tomorrow!