Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Debuts

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 8, 2003 — ISVs, ISPs, ASPs, VARs, OEMs. They may read like a bowl of alphabet soup, but for Microsoft, these acronyms represent vital industry partners who are critical for customers, the success of the company, and the technology industry as a whole.

Microsoft will bring together more than 5,500 industry partners in New Orleans on Oct. 9 to kick off its inaugural Worldwide Partner Conference. The gathering brings together the best of the two former partner events, Microsoft Fusion and Microsoft Business Solutions Stampede, to present a wide range of opportunity for partners in building full solutions based on the Microsoft platform. The three-day gathering will take place Oct. 9-11 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

With a focus on innovation, customer value and partner opportunity, conference attendees will have the opportunity to experience new technologies and solutions, learn about key strategies, view product demonstrations and attend hands-on labs and workshops. The event will also feature an awards ceremony to honor some of the outstanding achievements of Microsoft’s partners over the past year. Another key focus of the conference is structured networking opportunities to give participants a chance to meet with other partners, compare notes and practices, and develop new ideas and strategies for serving customers.

“We are very excited about the inaugural Worldwide Partner Conference, and we look forward to demonstrating the wealth of technology, marketing and partnership innovations we have that drive tremendous opportunity for partners,”
says Allison Watson, vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner group.
“We also look forward to the conference as an opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to the partners who support us and grow their business alongside of us.”

Keynotes from Microsoft executives will cover topics such as strategies, opportunities, and Microsoft’s commitment to innovation and helping partners bring the best solutions to serve customers. Slated to address Microsoft’s partner community is Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer on the company’s commitment to partners, its mission and what it means to partner with Microsoft.

Also scheduled to speak is Watson, along with the following Microsoft executives:

  • Orlando Ayala, senior vice president, Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partner group

  • Doug Burgum, senior vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions

  • Jeff Raikes, group vice president, Productivity and Business Services group

  • Will Poole, senior vice president, Windows Client group

  • Kevin Johnson, group vice president of the Small and Midmarket Solutions group

  • Simon Witts, corporate vice president

  • Mike Nash, corporate vice president

  • Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president

  • Paul Flessner, senior vice president

  • Pieter Knook, corporate vice president

The Worldwide Partner Conference will also feature the launch of Windows Small Business Server 2003, which, according to Ayala, will serve as a critical example of how targeted research and development, along with integrated technical and partnering innovation, can be a powerful combination in creating a product that will bring enormous benefits to small and mid-sized businesses.

“When you combine the integrated solutions from Microsoft with the services delivered to customers through our partner network, this extended community has the ability to truly deliver the innovation that small and midmarket companies deserve,”
says Ayala.
“The Worldwide Partner Conference is all about empowering our partners to make the most of what Microsoft can provide to bring new value and solutions to these customers.”

Along with keynotes, an array of sessions and programs are designed to provide industry partners with information to help them be successful in their business — and to bring real value to their customers. The breakout tracks provide a more focused venue for discussing specific issues affecting Microsoft industry partners and customers.

The sessions will include discussions on such topics as building a business in the current economic environment, building opportunities from common client issues, product strategy and opportunities in the small and midmarket business space, go-to-market strategies for new solutions, and how Microsoft Solution Accelerators can help partners get closer to customers. In addition to the breakout sessions, more than 100 hands-on lab sessions will be available for attendees to gain new technical skills.

According to Senior Vice President Burgum, while the new technologies on display might be central to the Worldwide Partner Conference, a key function of the event is to bring the entire partner community together and build an understanding of what those technologies mean for customers.

“The Worldwide Partner Conference is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with the partner community and hear their thoughts on how Microsoft can work with them to drive innovation across the globe,”
Burgum says.
“Partners are an essential component of every solution we offer. Together we have an unprecedented opportunity to positively impact the lives and business success of our customers.”

Burgum says the new joint event provides a chance for all partners to better understand where they fit across Microsoft’s range of technologies and where new opportunities lie.

“The coming together of Stampede and Fusion is further evidence of the work Microsoft is doing to bring certified business solutions partners into the broad Microsoft partner community,”
he says.
“I look forward to this annual event not only for the technology on display, but also for that great sense of community as we take time to recognize the tremendous achievements of top partners. Together we’re creating a strong global organization focused on driving opportunities for customers across the entire Microsoft technology stack.”

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