It was a high-energy kick off to WPC 2014, with Latin guitarists Gabriela and Rodrigo
firing up the crowd with their unique and vibrant sound. During Monday's keynote
, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, Channel Chief Phil Sorgen, General Manager of the Worldwide Partner Group Gavriella Schuster, and other top Microsoft leaders discussed Microsoft's plans for the future in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. To view this keynote in its entirety or to watch other WPC 2014 Vision and Track Keynotes, be sure to visit the Videos
As Corporate VP of the Worldwide Partner Group Phil Sorgen said in his Day 1 news blog
, "Putting partners first in our go-to-market strategy has always been key to our joint success," and Day 1 of WPC was all about how Microsoft and its partners are winning together.
This was both Phil Sorgen and Gavriella Schuster's first time addressing partners in their new roles from the WPC stage. Both discussed the place partners have in the future of Microsoft, and Gavriella focused on upcoming program changes that will make it easier and more profitable for partners to do business with Microsoft. As she said in her keynote, "As you invest in your business, as your success with your customers grows, Microsoft's investment in you will also grow." You can read more about how she's putting her commitment to partners into action in her post-keynote blog
MPN is continuing to invest in partners in a variety of ways, and some examples were shared from the mainstage: The brand-new Cloud Solution Provider Program, announced at the Vision Keynote, allows partners to own 100 percent of the customer lifecycle and serve as the only contact for all customer needs. Also announced was a new Open Licensing opportunity. Beginning August 1, 2014, Microsoft Azure will be available to partners via the Open Licensing program, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be added later this fiscal year. Partners can now preview Azure Machine Learning University, a series of video tutorials which offers partners step-by-step instructions to the data science life cycle. Discover the future!
Also on Monday, we saluted and celebrated our 2014 Partner of the Year Award
Winners and Finalists. As Chief Operating Office Kevin Turner said to the assembled honorees, "You distinguished yourselves this past year and got it done!" Check out the complete list of winners and finalists
On Monday partners attended the Track Keynotes
to hear the latest news about Microsoft products, services, goals, and direction directly from the Microsoft execs. Josh Waldo, Senior Director of Cloud Partner Strategy, led the Cloud Keynote
, foregrounding for partners the reasons customers choose Microsoft when making the transition to the cloud. Phil Sorgen led the Leadership, Sales and Marketing Keynote
. Phil led off with the statistic that 87% of WPC attendees are senior business leaders within their organization, making WPC one of the biggest leadership conferences in the world! GM Eron Kelly took the helm of the Big Data Keynote
, concentrating on how Microsoft solutions can help partners accelerate your customers' businesses with Big Data.