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My Visit to WPC 2014

Last week I attended WPC. This is an annual event organized by Microsoft for its partners around the world. WPC stands for “Worldwide Partner Conference”, and this is exactly what it is. Last week it was held in Washington D.C, and there were 16,000 people in this event from over 150 countries. All of them are Microsoft partners in various technological areas.

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It was my first time, and certainly not the last. I enjoyed this event very much, I learned a lot, and I also seized several new business opportunities and made some new friends. And I would like to share my experience with you…

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As far as I see it, WPC has two goals. One of them is to learn about Microsoft’s strategy and roadmap for the next couple of years. There are vision keynotes as well as many sessions on specific areas of interest, where Microsoft reveals its plans for the near future, and this is where partners can plan their business strategy accordingly. The second goal is partner networking. Many people come to this event in order to meet other partners and to find business opportunities. There is a very well organized networking environment both online and physically during the event. The online networking actually begins many weeks before the event, and continues after it is finished.

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I met a lot of people from the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. In some cases, I found a real potential for a partnership and a promising business opportunity. For me, this was well worth the travel. But I also attended the keynotes and various other sessions, and I learned a lot about Microsoft’s vision in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. Microsoft has shifted to a more agile development and deployment model, where new releases are made public very often, in some cases – on a weekly basis. Every new feature or product is designed to be accessible and consumed from any device and from the cloud. Every development by Microsoft is made first for the cloud, and in many cases – only for the cloud.

 


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Microsoft Azure is improved every day, and it is becoming a very strong and rich platform that really changes the game. Today it is so much easier, cheaper and safer to develop and deploy a solution in Azure. And by using services, such as Office 365 and Power BI, it is so easy to consume the data and services that are in the cloud from any device anywhere in the world.

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So as a Microsoft partner which is built around Microsoft’s technology, we are shifting as well and adapting to the changing world and to the Microsoft vision. In our case, we deal with the data platform. So we are already offering cloud-based solutions, such as setting up SQL Server in Azure, moving existing systems to Azure, setting up a cloud-only or a hybrid AlwaysOn solution, setting up and using HDInsight, and many more.
And this is only the beginning… Microsoft adds more and more services to the cloud, and improves the existing services on a regular basis. At the same time, Microsoft adds more and more data centers around the world and improves its offering in terms of latency, availability and security.

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Personally, I have a lot of homework to do after WPC 2014. I am continuing the networking and promoting the various business opportunities that I have found there. The majority of these business opportunities are partnerships with local partner around the world, which will allow us to offer our professional services and expand our business globally.
I’m already waiting for WPC 2015. If you are a Microsoft partner, and you haven’t been to WPC yet, then you should consider it too…

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Guy Glantser

Guy Glantser, Data Platform MVP, is the leader of the Israeli PASS chapter and also the CEO and founder of Madeira Data Solutions. His career has been focused on the Microsoft Data Platform for the past 20 years, performing various database roles as either an on-site DBA, an external consultant or a speaker. Guy is involved in many activities in the Microsoft Data Platform community. He occasionally speaks at community events, such as PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Saturdays and user groups around the world. He also co-hosts the SQL Server Radio podcast.

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