Allison Watson: Worldwide Partner Conference 2010

Remarks by Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President, Business and Marketing Group for North America
Washington, D.C.
July 12, 2010

ALLISON WATSON: Welcome, everyone, to Washington, D.C., to WPC 2010.

Washington, D.C. region is the reason I started working at Microsoft 16 and a half years ago, and it’s an appropriate place to welcome partners from all over the world.

Around us today we have 9,500 partners, our biggest ever partner attendance at a Worldwide Partner Conference. (Cheers, applause.)

We have 3,000 Microsoft employees here to hang out and learn and celebrate and build plans with our partners. (Cheers, applause.)

We’re represented for 130 countries around the globe, and we believe about 100,000 digital attendees are joining us online as well.

We have an amazing week set up ahead. Yesterday, it started with all kinds of activities: 900 partners engaged in a Day of Giving activity. We had golf events going on, we have business meetings going on.

Now, of course, there was a small sporting event. We have over 500 partners here from the Netherlands, and over 125 from Spain. (Cheers, applause.) And I’m sure last night as we were out, the Spanish team would probably be rather back in Spain enjoying the evening partying with everyone in those huge areas where people were congregated. So, congratulations to Spain for a smart victory. (Cheers, applause.)

And something new we did this year being in the U.S. capital is we hosted 50 embassies from around the world at sort of the request I have of many partners who want to help build their software economies not only in their local countries but in countries outside of their local countries, and we hope you enjoyed being hosted and meeting the different representatives from the local embassies.

This week, we have a huge lineup. Steve Ballmer will join us this morning. You’ll hear from the senior executives of our information worker groups, STB, Windows. Tomorrow we’re adding a consumer keynote, because all of us are first consumers before we come to work every day. You’ll hear exciting new news in our partnering keynote. And Wednesday we’ll start off with the A list, we’ll hear a warm competition welcome from Kevin Turner, and Bill Clinton will be joining us to talk about how we can all participate in giving back in our global economy.

So, it was an important year we just finished. There was a lot of uncertainty in the global economy. I think many of us are thinking we’re out of it and hoping we’re out of it, but it’s still uncertain out there. There were quite a few natural and manmade disasters that we had to go through this year.

But it was also the biggest year ever. It was the biggest year ever for Microsoft, and it was the biggest year ever for Microsoft’s partners.

I had the opportunity to travel several times around the globe, and I thought I’d share with you some of the great results from many partners around those travels.

So, let’s start. When I visited Japan and visited the Hitachi team, the Hitachi team has taken a hybrid cloud service between on-premises, line-of-business applications and in-the-cloud services, and by connecting things to Windows Azure they’re finding that they’re dropping IT operational costs for their customers up to 50 percent.

In China the UFIDA team had a great time hosting me. They added 200 new customers this year. They grew 45 percent.

Kuala Lumpur, what a beautiful city. The ISV team at ISA Technologies migrated their application to Azure, and they’re seeing five to 10 times the customer growth with new customers with their new application.

In Singapore the Datacraft team, let’s hear what they had to say.

(Video segment.)

ALLISON WATSON: Congratulations, Datacraft. (Applause.)

The next journey took me to India, where the Wipro team grew their Microsoft revenue 25 percent. They added 35 new customers, and had five Notes wins.

In Russia, Michail Erenburg and the Asteros team, they have an ISV application that they sold to over 20 new customers in 20 contact centers.

Next on the journey was Germany where the BGI solutions team realized millions of dollars of new licensing revenue, and they’re having fun getting Bing Maps on websites all across Europe.

On the trip to Belgium the Kitry team has started doing a cloud business, and in finding that they’re tripling their customer base, and growing their services revenue five times.

When we visited the team in France with Didier Comet and Scriba, they’ve added a cloud practice, they’re growing their revenues, and added 30 new BPOS customers.

Next, visiting the U.K., the content and code team. They have a retail team solution, 55 percent revenue growth, and they also built a cloud practice and have 12 new BPOS customers.

When it came back around to a little bit further west, the Canada team and Chris at Fully Managed, wow, what energy Chris has about building a cloud business. His revenue grew 30 percent, and they’ve added 10 new BPOS customers.

Back at home in Phoenix let’s hear what the guys from inSynch had to say.

(Video segment.)

ALLISON WATSON: And finally, in my hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the team from Stonebridge has built an incredible spatial data and mapping solution using SharePoint. They’re having great success in the oil and gas industry, and extending it to casinos and all kinds of other industries, and they’re having a great time and a great year, adding 15 new customers to their application.

So, it was an incredible year. Congratulations to partners, congratulations to customers all over the world, and let’s have a great week of celebration ahead. (Applause.)

So, in addition to the journey logging lots of miles on airplanes and lots of meetings with great partners and Microsoft teams, I’m also making a personal journey this year. And as many of you may know, this is my last time to welcome you and host you at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Today, I’m turning over responsibilities for partnering at Microsoft.

And I’ve had many reflections as I’ve been with you. This is my ninth Partner Conference, my eighth year in the role, and it’s been an amazing journey.

And I just wanted to say personally to thank all of you for such an incredible time, because you don’t get jobs like this that much in your life I think. I think this will be the only job I get to have that was this cool. (Cheers, applause.)

It was great to meet a partner last night as I was out who had no idea who I was. I said, it doesn’t matter, you don’t need to know anymore, you’ll get to meet the new person.

So, my whole job up here today is I get to introduce you to the next person, but I wanted to do a few more thank yous, in addition to the partners. I really want to thank the Worldwide Partner Group team who’s worked tirelessly with me for nine years to help build this business that it is today with you, and I thank them every day. We have a great conference ahead because of their personal energy.

I want to thank the Microsoft field teams who work with partners every day, and I really want to thank, if you will, the cast and crew that helps us put on this event every year. It’s an incredible group to work with. I have a blast doing it. They have a blast doing it. And there’s people who always say, hey, I really want to be on the Partner Conference every year. So, I’ll miss personally working with them, but I’ll be with you all in the audience in the future.

And the final personal thank you I want to say, for many of you who know an important leader. She’s not going anywhere, but she’s still been with me for a long time, and that’s Pam Salzer, who has led this incredible event for us. (Cheers, applause.)

So, I just wanted to do a few thank yous before I do the next thing.

So, today — I’ve been asked over the years, “Hey, Allison, when are you going to leave, what are you going to do, what’s your next thing at Microsoft?” Well, I have an incredible opportunity ahead of me working inside the U.S. subsidiary getting to help lead our marketing efforts and working with partners to really accelerate velocity with our customers and our consumers.

But I’m pleased and wouldn’t leave and take that new opportunity if there wasn’t, in fact, an entirely capable and exciting person who could take over the reins of this really most important job at Microsoft.

So, today, with thanks and anticipation, I’m pleased to introduce you to a longtime colleague, a big fan of partners, and someone who I’ve worked with very closely over the last eight years personally in helping build a great partnering business in the United States subsidiary. He’s pleased to join me and take on a global responsibility. And if I could have everyone help me and join a warm round of applause for the new corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill. (Cheers, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Gracious, gracious introduction, and let’s have another big hand for Allison, Allison’s eight years. (Applause.)


JON ROSKILL: No, no, you can’t go yet. This is for you. (Applause.)

Allison’s eight years as a tireless champion and advocate of the partner community, most importantly back into Microsoft. Very, very important voice for all of you that I now have to take over. So, thank you very much. Thank you for the introduction.

ALLISON WATSON: Have a great conference, have a great week. (Applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Okay. Well, good morning, everyone. I’m very excited to be here as partners are Microsoft’s more important asset. Each and every one of you is out in the marketplace every day making a difference with our new innovation and our transformational business models.

I’ve been working with partners for 18 years. They’ve always been a big part of my job here at Microsoft.

Over my Microsoft career, I’ve worked on a number of products. I started working on the Visual Studio family of products, and those products succeeded because of partners.

From there I worked on the Internet servers. We worked side by side with partners such as yourselves in the battle with Sun.

And then for the last six years I’ve been working in the U.S. subsidiary as the BMO, taking marketing campaigns and delivering them with and through partners, in partnership with you.

Now, for all of you in the audience I want to start off by bringing up the three overarching themes that you’re going to hear over the next few days of this conference.

First, let’s talk about the incredible wave of innovation that we’re in the middle of right now. We’ve got Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Office 2010, and all the server products that are going on around them. And anybody out there doing any Dynamics? (Cheers, applause.) I thought so. So, there’s going to be a lot of other exciting news around that set of products. Those are the products we’re using to create the opportunity to drive our business today.

But the second theme, and I bet you guessed this one already, the second theme is about the cloud. And this is the year where the billions of dollars that Microsoft is spending on R&D comes to fruition in platforms, products and programs that are based on your feedback. Partners are using cloud services to beat the competition today, and you’re going to hear lots of news this week on that subject.

But then the third theme is about business transformation. The show is about showing you the cloud business opportunity, and the path to transformation to take advantage of that opportunity. We have the tools, we have the programs to help you transform your businesses to the cloud along with us.

But before I go, I thought it would be good to acknowledge another event that’s been going on over the last month or so, a small, little soccer tournament that’s been going on over in South Africa called the World Cup. And we had the finals yesterday, and many of you were out. As was mentioned, that was probably some of the Spanish team out there. Many of you were out in D.C. for the finals of Netherlands versus Spain. We sent out camera crews out to go and do some taping out there, and what we found was there’s something going on other than World Cup fever in Washington, D.C. So, let’s take a look.

(Video segment.)


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