Phil Sorgen: WPC 2014 Keynote

Worldwide Partner Conference

Phil Sorgen

Washington, DC

July 14, 2014

ANNOUNCER:Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2014 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.And now please welcome the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, Phil Sorgen. (Applause.)

PHIL SORGEN:I just have to thank Rodrigo and Gabriela. Wow, what an amazing performance to start our morning.

Well, hello, partners, and welcome to the 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference. I’m Phil Sorgen and I run the Worldwide Partner Group, and I’m honored to be with you this week.

And I have to say, what a way to start the week.I was out there with quite a few of you yesterday afternoon watching the final of the World Cup between Argentina and Germany. (Cheers, applause.) What a game, what a game!

Now, as I see it, it was a competitive tournament, it was a well-fought final, and two great performances.So congratulations to Germany for coming out on top. (Cheers, applause.) There’s my friends from Germany.

Now, staying on this theme of great performances, I can’t think of a better way to start this conference than to recognize some great performances within our partner community. I got visibility to hundreds of submissions that represented such outstanding customer success stories. We went through a comprehensive and thoughtful process and narrowed that down, and I now want to give a warm welcome to a special group of folks sitting on either side of this stage that represent the very best in us all as partners and as businessmen and women.

Please join me in celebrating the 2014 Partner of the Year Award winners.(Cheers, applause.)

Thank you to these partners for your commitment to our mutual customers and for being shining examples of what Microsoft partners can achieve. Come on, let’s give these winners one more round of applause.(Cheers, applause.)

Now, I want to get right to the heart of things.This is a really important week for us. First, it’s our fiscal year field kickoff with all of you.But second, it’s our single biggest opportunity of the year to demonstrate to each and every one of you that making a bet on Microsoft, that making the decisions to invest in a partnership with us is the best business decision you can make. That’s what we’re all here for, and that’s what the Worldwide Partner Conference is all about.

Now, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many of you directly, relatively new to this role, less than a year.But I can tell you I’m not new to our partners at Microsoft. I’m a career seller, and I’ve been selling with Microsoft partners for over 18 years. As a matter of fact, there’s a number of partners here at this conference today that I’ve had the personal experience to sell with, and we’ve had some great successes together.

It’s that firsthand experience that has driven my deep belief in the power of partnering. I’ve had the opportunity to see the best of your capability come together with the best of our capability to drive phenomenal customer outcomes.

So I feel right at home today working with partners from every corner of the world, listening to your feedback, and making sure your success is at the top of our priority list.

I also want to thank you all for making the investment to join us this week at the Worldwide Partner Conference. We have partners who flew in from over 136 countries around the world to discover their opportunities with Microsoft and with each other.

I also find it quite appropriate that we gather today in Washington, DC, this being a place that at its best symbolizes discovery and vision for a better future.Leaders from around the world come here with an aim to develop partnerships for better tomorrows for the people and nationsthat they represent. So when I look out at all of you, I think it’s quite impressive to think that this is one of the largest gatherings of business leaders in the IT industry at a time of great opportunity.

So I’m here this morning to give you a sense of where Microsoft is headed, and to introduce you to some of the opportunities ahead this week for all of you.I want to be clear, though. Our primary goal of this Partner Conference is to show you the opportunities to grow your business today and why you should invest in growing your business in the future with Microsoft.

Now, to give you a sense of where Microsoft is headed, it’s always good to start with the here and now.And in the market today, Microsoft’s coming from a position of strength. Our brand is strong.It’s a trusted brand.Our Windows and Office franchises each boast over a billion users worldwide. Office 365 is our fastest growing commercial product ever. Our cloud platform is one of the leading platforms in the world, with 57 percent of the Fortune 500 using Azure.

But there’s no debating the fact that we face strong competition, both traditional competitors and a wave of new companies challenging us every single day, challenging us to deliver the very best innovation that we can offer our customers in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

And you know what, we’re coming at it from a different place.Despite our consistent performance and class commercial products, Microsoft views itself as a challenger in this industry. And it’s only through groundbreaking innovation, a deep focus on the customer and building opportunities for our partners that we’re going to thrive.

This is our opportunity to be clear on our direction for the future. And to do that I want to frame in very simple terms the landscape we see in the market.

We see people connected to multiple devices of their choice, running applications to help them do things that both make them more productive and candidly entertain them.

This is creating an abundance of data, data that can provide people with greater insights to make better decisions.

And this exponential growth of connected users, devices and applications is being accelerated by the cloud.

Simply stated, that’s the world we live in. And you know what, that’s good news for everyone in this room.You see, our focus is to create the best cloud-connected experience on every device.

Productivity and platforms are at the center of our business. This focus is the very foundation of our mutual opportunity and our joint success. The Microsoft cloud platform, supporting our unparalleled stack of solutions, is our key differentiator.

But to add to this, we’re working across the industry to ensure that if our customers are using other vendors’ technologies, they can do that in our cloud as well.

And you can all leverage our platforms and solutions to deliver exactly what your customers wanta complete solution delivered where they want to be, whether that’s in our public cloud, a hybrid scenario or in a private cloud, and on any device. That’s the power of our partnership.

And together we’re emerging stronger in this world.When Satya Nadella took over as our new CEO, people started taking a fresh look at Microsoft. And what they’re seeing today is a company that’s innovative, passionate, realistic and humble, yet confidentmore importantly, a company willing to challenge its own history and embrace the reality of our customers’ approach to technology.

We’re a partner-first company and we always have been.We go to market with partners, period. And with each new business model we introduce into the commercial market, we’re just expanding the opportunities for our partners to participate.

We strive every day to make our vision a reality and we work hard every day to help you make your vision a reality as well. So this week we’re going to show you the many ways that Microsoft can help you experience greater success with us and further your vision.

You’ll hear about riding the wave of cloud disruption with Microsoft and Azure.

You’re going to hear about how to help turn all of that abundance of data that our customers are generating into insights with tools like Power BI.

We’re going to discuss productivity in a mobile-first world, talking about opportunities with Office 365, CRM Online, all wrapped with a great management story.

We’re going to discuss ways that we’re going to help you seize the cloud opportunity.

And then we’re going to wrap up this morning’s session with Kevin Turner, our chief operating officer, who’s coming and laying down the path to winning together.

And on Wednesday, I’ll come back and talk about, share a view of our portfolio of how we invest in your success, and then our partners are going to take the floor to talk about selling in a modern world. We’ll talk about together how we can go win the next billion customers with Windows. And then something I know we’re all looking forward to, Satya Nadella will take the stage and share his vision for the future of Microsoft and your place beside us.

And in between these vision keynotes I really hope you’ll take advantage of the track keynotes that we’ve put together this week. Whether you’re interested in enterprise social or mobility, big data or the cloud, leadership or Dynamics, we’ve put all these sessions together and developed them to help you further your success.

So here we are. You have a week of discovery in store. I strongly encourage you to connect with the 3,000 Microsoft people who have come here to join you and bet on you every single day.

Connect with each other. There’s so much business to be done here at Worldwide Partner Conference.

You know, we live in a phenomenal time, and we’re lucky enough to participate in the most vibrant industry on this planet. And I truly believe that success is ours for the taking.

So have a great week at WPC, and I’ll see you throughout the conference. Thank you.