Bit-Wizards is a Microsoft Partner with several Gold competencies, in areas such as application development, collaboration & content, mobility and application integration. We didn’t gain that valuable status overnight. It took years of relationship building and a serious commitment to the success of our Microsoft partnership to get us there.
One significant way we have built and maintained that relationship is through our continued attendance at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). After some reflection with our team attending this year’s conference, we came to some notable conclusions. WPC holds more value to us than any conference we attend all year, it gives us direction, and most importantly WPC brings with it new relationships and strengthens old ones.
Louis Erickson, COO at Bit-Wizards, believes so strongly in attending WPC that he blocks his calendar for the event a full year in advance. Louis says, “WPC gives us an inside scoop on what is coming in the future on the Microsoft roadmap.” The value we find in the small group sessions specifically tailored to the technologies we deliver to our customers are of great importance. For example, being one of the first Azure Circle Partners, Bit-Wizards has found that sessions providing vision on where technologies are headed in the next year allow us to align our goals and utilize partner programs to be effective in selling alongside Microsoft all year long.
At WPC, Microsoft presents a focused vision for the coming year and that gives us what Director of Solution Sales Alex Morrow says is the “chance to learn about new programs and training to support that vision. We then share them with our development team in order to bring them in on the excitement that WPC sparks in us.” Bringing our team along with us in pursuit of Microsoft’s vision is just one way we continue to get ROI from the WPC experience when we return home.
Probably the most beneficial aspect of WPC is the relationship building opportunities waiting there. This worldwide event is truly about growing and cultivating your network of Microsoft and partner connections. Vince Mayfield, CEO at Bit-Wizards, has attended WPC for years. The first year he attended, the event took place in New Orleans. Looking back now, he realizes that his approach to WPC is much different than it was then. Meeting new partners and Microsoft teams wasn’t at the forefront of his mind in New Orleans. But over the years Vince has seen how taking time to build those relationships during this conference has always been well worth the effort. At Bit-Wizards, we leverage our Partner Account Manager and Partner Technical Advisor to help us navigate the whirlwind that is the WPC experience. They help us schedule meetings and engage other partners; partners that have the ability to complement the products we offer to our customers. Vince believes it is important to, “attend the parties and sessions, and make it your goal to meet at least two new people at each session. There is nothing quite as impacting as a true face-to-face meeting to solidify a relationship!”
There is a certain value in WPC that may not be articulated well in a 500-word blog, but attend once and you will know as we do, that you are a part of the “WPC Crew.” And one day you will have a reason to reach out to someone you met at WPC; even if it is just to tweet a hello! Who knows, that one-time, face-to-face meeting might turn into something much, much more.
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