Ten Microsoft WPC Sessions you won’t want to miss

This time last year I wrote a blog post entitled “Seven Microsoft WPC Sessions you won’t want to miss” for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. I had a couple of people ask me prior to WPC where the equivalent for this years WPC in Washington, DC – so here it is!

Great to see a lot more emphasis on Business sessions at this years WPC. Unfortunately there is still too much great content to see it all, as much of it is overlapping on the schedule, but here are ten of the sessions that you won’t want to miss, either in person in Washington, DC, or live via www.digitalwpc.com

There is a also a .PDF containing the full session line-up at http://digitalwpc.blob.core.windows.net/downloads/WPC2010_Session_FINAL.PDF

RES09i – Social Media & Community: It’s All about Business

Monday, July 12 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM WCC-144C

Speaker(s): Jacqueline Touma

If you haven’t already guessed from looking at www.digitalwpc.com, where there are Twitter feeds on the #WPC10 hash-tag, Facebook and LinkedIn links – then it’s all about Social Media. This should be an interesting session to hear how Microsoft Partners are using Social Media to help their businesses:-

“It’s all about business and networking. Tap into growth, learn about business opportunities… from Microsoft, partners and other influencers. The Partner Network Community opens real-time dialog between partners and Microsoft to discuss business and technology topics of interest across a variety of social media, and helps partners find the resources necessary to expand product expertise and better serve customers. Share your experiences (success and improvements) about how you use social media and community to drive your business and open up opportunities”

SMB02 Simplify IT: Selling the Business Ready Infrastructure

Monday, July 12 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM WCC-144AB

Speaker(s): Jamison West, Marco Di Giacomo

Simplification and Return on Investment are key focus areas for small to midsize businesses… (SMB). Are you prepared to capitalize on the next major wave of IT refresh? Join this session to learn how to bring the integrated Microsoft infrastructure stack story to your customers so they can optimize for the Desktop, Networking, Virtualization and Management and Security. Help your customers simplify their IT and learn how Microsoft infrastructure technologies can be leveraged in the Cloud to help your company grow revenue today and chart a course for the future with your customers

BL22 Four Decisions Driving Growth and Profit

Tuesday, July 13 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM WCC-143AB

I saw Verne Harnish of Gazelles speak at the ConnectWise Conference last year, and his presentation and book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-growth Firm have been a real driver behind my own businesses growth.

Speaker(s): Verne Harnish

“There are four critical decisions a business must get right: People, Strategy, Execution,… and Cash — and four tools for helping them make these decisions. The goal is to reduce by 80% the time it takes to manage the business so the senior team can focus considerably more time on market-facing activities to grow the business.”

RES02 Maximizing Your SMB Reseller Sales Advantage

Tuesday, July 13 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM WCC-145B

Speaker(s): Andrea Russell, Andy Trish

SBSC Global Lead, Andrea Russell, and the UK’s own Andy Trish share their experiences to help SMB IT Resellers grow their business.

“Microsoft continues to be committed to the small-to-midsize business (SMB) customer segment… and is deeply invested in its SMB partners and customers. Join us as we highlight the new Channel Sales initiatives for the Value-Added Resellers (VARs) giving you revenue and services opportunities to help you sell to our mutual customers. And, the Microsoft Partner Network Microsoft is offering you the right training and resources to fully take advantage of those opportunities and grow your business. Join us as we demonstrate many of these execution investments. Are you doing everything you can to grow your SMB business? This session is specifically designed for the Value-Added Resellers (VAR) who sell locally to customers without an IT Department and focus on value-added services opportunities on key “attach” workloads like Networking, Virtualization, Security, BI, Messaging and Collaboration”

RES03 Confessions of a Successful VAR!

Tuesday, July 13 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM WCC-147AB

Speaker(s): Arlin Sorensen, Dean Calvert, Jerod Powell, Richard Tubb

Ok – I may be a little biased here, but I’m told that the session that I’m speaking in is the most heavily subscribed of the SMB track – so you’d be crazy to miss it, right? 🙂

“Attend this session and hear from a panel of your peers about how they are maximizing… their sales relationship with Microsoft. Many partners are successful but there’s a handful who have discovered the matrix that is Microsoft and they want to share their secrets with you. From managing the relationship with your Partner Account Manager to navigating untapped sales tools and resources, this session will help you become smarter about how you drive and grow your business with Microsoft. This session is specifically designed for the Value-Added Resellers (VAR) who sell locally to customers without an IT Department and focus on value-added services opportunities on key “attach” workloads like Networking, Virtualization, Security, BI, Messaging and Collaboration”

SMB04 The Meaning of Cloud Computing for My Small or Midsize Business

Wednesday, July 14 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM WCC-143AB

Speaker(s): Marco Di Giacomo, Dave Sobel

When I asked fellow HTG colleague Dave Sobel to share with me his thoughts about this session, he told me he couldn’t do so because he was under NDA. That being the case, I’m surmising Dave is going to be talking about something of real significance to the SMB Community that has yet to be announced – so you simply can’t afford to miss his session!

“Cloud-based infrastructure solutions can now be delivered at an affordable price that… brings enterprise-class functionality, reliability, and security within the reach of virtually every small and midsized business. Are you ready to build and deploy Windows-based infrastructure and help your customers reduce the cost and complexity of new productivity-enhancing Cloud Computing services? Join this session to learn about how to shift from hands-on tactical hardware and software upgrades, day-to-day maintenance and troubleshooting, and instead focus your limited resources toward leveraging Microsoft infrastructure solutions to deliver new strategic business outcomes that can grow the topline and better control the bottom line.”

SMB16i The Windows Server Cross-Premise Story Explained: New Products Described by the Microsoft Engineering Team

Wednesday, July 14 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM WCC-144C

Speaker(s): Kevin Kean, Marco Di Giacomo, Nick King

There are rumours abound about a WPC key-note announcement over some new Small Business Server technologies – and if those rumours prove to be true, then this is a session you’d want to attend.

‘We’ll be running an interactive session discussing the technology and business model that… underpins the Cross-Premise solution designed for Small Businesses. In this session you’ll learn about how customers and you can benefit from selling and implementing solutions in this largely untouched segment.”

MKT04 Mary Jo Foley on Predictions for Partners

Thursday, July 15 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM WCC-204C

Speaker(s): Mary Jo Foley

Mary Jo Foley’s blog and Twitter feed are a must-read for Microsoft Partners. Her session is therefore equally must-attend!

“Few people have covered Microsoft longer and more consistently than award-winning journalist,… Mary Jo Foley, author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era, 2008. In this session, Mary Jo puts together a new forecast around what she sees next for Microsoft partners as it relates to the industry, markets, business models, competition, innovation and key strategies partners can take to position themselves for the future.”

BL15 Getting Things Done

Thursday, July 15 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM WCC-146ABC

Speaker(s): David Allen

GTD (Getting Things Done) is both my own, and many IT Professionals time-management methodology of choice. Miss the opportunity to see David Allen in person? Not bloody likely!

“This presentation is a dynamic and fast-paced overview of the five best (and worst!) practices… of productivity. David covers the areas that most people can improve, to get work done with less effort, and provides practical techniques everyone can use to immediately make a difference in their productivity. Participants learn key principles that have emerged from many years of coaching some of the best, brightest, and busiest people in the world.”

BL17 The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Thursday, July 15 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM WCC-144AB

Speaker(s): Chris McChesney

“Getting your people and teams to do the right things at the right times – the wildly important… projects, tasks, and initiatives that ultimately matter most – remains an enormous challenge for organizations today. As a leader in your organization, you know how difficult it is to cascade the goals and vision from the top into actionable behaviors among frontline workers to achieve the critical objectives. How much time is spent on activities that aren’t aligned with your organization’s goals? Today we focus on 3 simple questions that have lasting impressions when followed through precisely: 1. What are the business effects that result from the lack of clarity, focus, and execution? 2. What needs to change in order to adequately address this issue? 3. What actions can you, as a leader, taker to create a stronger culture of execution within your organization? The 4 Disciplines of Execution are a simple, powerful method for helping organizations EXECUTE in the midst of a whirlwind of competing priorities. No matter how effective your current methods, applying these disciplines will take the performance of your organization to a new level”

Unified Communications with Geomant

Ok – this might count as Session number eleven, but a final shout-out to UK company, Geomant, who are doing some incredible things with Microsoft Communications Server 14. Pop by the Theater on Thursday morning to speak with Kevin Ross (who, incidentally, is my boss from my first ever IT Helpdesk job when I was a youngster!) and tell him Richard Tubb sent you! 🙂

BP Theater:  Level 2, Hall E, Business Productivity Booth 153

Date Start Time Product Partner Company Name Presentation Title Speaker
Thur 7/15 10:00 – 10:30 UC Geomant Extend your UC proposition with Geomant Add-ons for Communications Server “14” Kevin Ross


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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