7 Microsoft WPC Sessions you won’t want to miss

This Thursday the GG and I leave for a couple of days break in New York (one of my favourite places in the world) before heading on to New Orleans for Microsoft’s Annual Worldwide Partner Conference beginning next Monday 13th July 2009.

Having attended WPC last year in Houston, TX, I’m aware of what a HUGE event it is. I’d suggest the key to getting the most out of WPC is to plan ahead – be pro-active and arrange meet-up’s with vendors and partners NOW, set a schedule for the break-out sessions you want to attend, and most importantly… plan an efficient route between as many different parties on the evenings as possible. 🙂

But seriously, there are over 400 Break-Out sessions (that I’m aware of!) during WPC week and it’s difficult to pick what to attend. My first suggestion would be to visit the WPC Schedule Builder at https://www.mspartnerconference.com/public/sessionlist.aspx and take a look the content on offer. But if you want some quick tips, here’s my Top 7 Break-Out sessions you won’t want to miss.

All times below are CST – which is GMT-6.


1. SMB002 Help Your Customers Reduce IT Costs and Risks and Strengthen Your Business

Presenters: Arnold Bogaards, Eric Ligman, Andrew Trish

Mon 7/13 | 5:00 PM-6:00 PM | 218-219

Small and midsized businesses (SMB) (500 or fewer employees) want to stay focused on running their business by simplifying their IT environment, minimizing network disruptions, and keeping important data highly secure. Hear current IT pain points for SMB customers and learn from a leading Partner how you can build your business by becoming–or strengthening your role as–a trusted advisor to your customers, while helping your customers resolve their key pain points.

UK SBSC PAL Andy Trish joins Arnold Bogaards and “Mr Licensing” himself, Eric Ligman.


2. SM004 Marketing Survival Strategies for the Attention Economy

Presenter: Jeremy Epstein

Tue 7/14 | 2:00 PM-3:00 PM | 225-227

Curious about the impact Social Media Marketing can make on your business? Attend this session and understand the ‘Power of Permission’ where customers have more power than ever to decide who gets through and who doesn’t. Discover critical strategies for thriving in the ‘Attention Economy’ created by the Social Media phenomenon. Learn to leverage the ‘Ridiculous Reach of the Individual’ where with one click you or I can tell hundreds or thousands of people that we like or hate a product/service.

I met Jeremy Epstein earlier this year when I visited Washington, DC and attended his WOM SLAM! event. He’s a former Microsoft man and just a great source of ideas. If you’re not following Jeremy’s blog, then you’re really missing out on a unique view on Marketing. Go take a look at http://jer979.com/igniting-the-revolution/ and make sure to see the man speak in person at WPC – you’ll come away inspired!


3. DYN010 Are You Stuck in Your Comfort Zone?

Presenter: George Brown

Tue 7/14 | 3:30 PM-4:30 PM | 271-273

Just like a tree, when a business stops growing, it starts dying. But so many Partner companies get stuck at a certain level–whether it’s defined by revenue level, profits, number of employees, infrastructure, or technology investments–while management wonders why just maintaining seems to get more difficult. Learn how to stop clinging to the status quo. This session helps business owners explore what is holding them back, discover ways to get "unstuck," and envision a different future.

George Brown of Salesworks (http://www.salesworks.com/about/georgebrown.php) with what is sure to be a thought provoking session.


4. BL004R Speed of Trust – Leading in Crisis

Presenter: Stephen M.R. Covey

Tue 7/14 | 5:00 PM-6:00 PM | La Nouvelle C

New York Times bestselling author Stephen M. R. Covey presents the business case for trust to help leaders lower costs, speed up results, and increase profits and influence during this time of crisis. Leaders learn to restore trust and confidence by exhibiting 13 behaviors common to all high-trust leaders around the world. Learn how making trust your strategic advantage will accelerate growth, enhance innovation, improve collaboration and execution, and increase shareholder value.

Miss a chance to see Stephen Covey speak? Not on your life!


5. SMB007 Power of Community

Presenters: Mark Crall, Dave Sobel, Erik Thorsell, Richard Tubb, Jamison West

Wed 7/15 | 2:00 PM-3:00 PM | 215-216

Learn from esteemed peers who have successfully harnessed the "Power of the Community" in not only establishing better operational, sales, marketing and financial practices but greater work/life balance through execution of goals and accountability to their peers who become lifelong friends. Get ready to be personally challenged to aspire to greater things as you witness fellow SMB IT community peers who have called each other higher though a commitment to giving and execution.

Hey, it’s my blog, so I can plug my own session if I want to! <grin>


6. SMB010 Virtualization: What You Need to Know to Get Your Business Ready

Presenter: Dave Sobel

Wed 7/15 | 3:30 PM-4:30 PM | 215-216

Virtualization is a game-changing new approach to infrastructure. Learn what you need to know to start implementing projects using virtualization technologies, specifically as it relates to Windows Small Business Server and Windows Essential Business Server. See real life techniques and experiences that get you ready to deliver solutions, including a complete restore into a virtual machine from raw backup. Not just for the big boys, this is the next generation of infrastructure.

We call Dave “Mr. Virtualization” (with a Z) and for good reason – this guy IS the source for SMB Virtualisation information. Check out his new site at http://www.smbvirtualization.net



7. SMB013 Partner Planning Workshop: Putting Pen to Paper

Presenters: Scott Scrogin, Arlin Sorensen, Erik Thorsell

Wed 7/15 | 5:00 PM-6:00 PM | 208-210

In this session, a workbook is provided for working on your company business plan, personal leadership plan, life plan, or continuity plan. We break into groups to work on at least one plan that is specific to your situation. Partners provide feedback and ideas to help you with the process. One of the outcomes of this session includes follow-up and accountability. Plan to spend this hour working on your business developing foundational direction that will lead to success!

One of the highlights of WPC in 2008 for me was seeing Arlin Sorensen speak for the first time. Just an incredible session where I came away inspired and buzzing with ideas. I was convinced that joining the Heartlands Technology Group, which Arlin leads, was the right move as a result of that session and I’ve been proved right over the past few months. If you’re looking for ideas and guidance on where to move your IT Consultancy business next – this is a can’t miss session for you.




There you have it – seven “must see” sessions for the SMB Consultant at the Worldwide Partner Conference!

If you’ve got any suggestions for “must see” sessions or are attending WPC yourself – please leave a comment below.

I’ll be updating my blog and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/tubblog) throughout WPC, and you can also track WPC via Twitter (http://twitter.com/wpc09), the hash-tag #wpc09 and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/wpc09).

If you’re heading to NOLA yourself – let me know, I’ll look forward to seeing you there!


3 Responses to “7 Microsoft WPC Sessions you won’t want to miss”

  1. 1 Chris July 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Ric.. Great blog as usual.. So wish I could be at WPC this year , but I will be sunning my self in Cyprus at the same time. Anyway say Hi to Arlin and Dave Sobel for me.

  2. 2 Nick July 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Some great looking sessions there, best of luck in yours. Maybe next year I can make it out next year.

  3. 3 Richard July 7, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    There\’s actually a 9th session I\’d like to plug, and that\’s because I\’ve somehow just been roped into delivering a Windows 7 Professional demo during it. :-)SMB001 Increase your Service and Sales Opportunities in SMB with Windows 7 ProfessionalPresenter: Sandrine SkinnerMon 7/13 | 3:30 PM-4:30 PM | 218-219Hear from Partners how they\’ll use Windows 7 Professional to drive service and solution revenue by delivering greater value to their SMB customers. This session showcases Partner opportunities enabled by new features such as XP Mode and Advanced Backup and shows how Windows 7 Professional can help you more efficiently provide SMB-critical services such as increased data security, mobile and branch IT support, and streamlined PC migrations and upgrades.

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