The Worldwide Partner Conference is flying by. Partners have told me they are especially excited to participate in a Worldwide Partner Conference that’s more dynamic than ever.  I’ve talked with dozens of partners attending the conference and I’ve been thrilled to hear how excited they are about Microsoft’s products, the great speakers, the networking opportunities, and the chance to share what they’ve learned with customers when they return home.
 
Watching the connections grow between Microsoft employees and our partners, our two biggest assets, is supremely satisfying. There has been one consistent observation throughout my week in D.C. –  the strengthening of  relationships to the betterment of all attendees. That translates into an improved top to bottom experience for our customers; which is the ultimate goal.
 
The major theme of this week, and a reflection of our biggest corporate imperative, is cloud computing.  You’ve heard it already,  “We are all in”  and the lineup of products we highlighted this week offers a comprehensive approach to cloud computing that is amongst the strongest in the industry.  Our strategy and approach to this IT transformation offers Microsoft partners the ability to deliver game-changing solutions to all customer types. Partners tell me they loved how Tuesday’s Cloud Day in the U.S. Lounge – and all the corresponding cloud events and activities – clarified the enormous value to partners. If you did not catch the other cloud events, don’t miss the “Partner Business Transformation: How to Ready Your Business for Cloud Services” session from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. today.
 
We started the conference with the Day of Giving, making it easy for volunteers to make a local impact – either through painting a mural at a school for homeless children, sewing a quilt for the child of a deployed soldier or donating blood. This day has become a favorite for participants because it is fun, rewarding and impactful.  And as if that weren’t enough, yesterday’s guest keynote by President Bill Clinton wowed the audience. He’s a charismatic speaker and everyone I have talked to was inspired to think more broadly about how they can make a positive impact in their own communities.
 
And, there’s more to come. Today is US Track Day and it’s devoted to celebrating U.S. partners. The U.S. product, sales and marketing teams will deliver a full day of content – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – with more than 40 U.S.-focused sessions. Today’s track sessions will take Microsoft’s worldwide strategies and tailor them to you and your business.

Posted by Robert Youngjohns
President, Microsoft North America Sales & Marketing and SVP