Next month, Microsoft partners from across the globe will gather at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), for four days of networking, systems-integrator-specific tracks, workshops, one-to-ones, seminars, keynotes and round tables.

2014 – The biggest year yet for Microsoft Systems Integrators (SIs)

With the new era of Microsoft software solutions taking centre stage, and a wealth of experts and thought leaders on hand to share their expertise in every aspect of partnering with Microsoft, 2014 is shaping up to be WPC’s biggest year ever. You’ll learn everything you need to know about leveraging opportunities for growth in five key areas: Cloud, Big Data, Mobility & Devices, Enterprise & Social, and Leadership, Sales & Marketing.

For SIs in particular, this is a vital opportunity to engage with Microsoft’s teams about why partners who are optimised for cloud solutions grow faster and are more profitable, as well as learning successful strategies for growing your business in the cloud.

As an SI at WPC 2014, you’ll learn how to:

• Address key challenges faced by SMBs that require the knowledge and skills of SIs
• Address market needs for today and prepare for tomorrow
• Reach new markets and broaden your customer base with easy-to-implement marketing strategies
• Have effective conversations with other partners to address their challenges and learn best practices

But don’t just take our word for it. We caught up with Damon Knight, Director of Microsoft Profession at global SI CGI, to find out why he keeps coming back to WPC, and how an SI can extract the most value from this unmissable date on the Microsoft calendar.

“We’ve been involved as a company with WPC for about eight years now, so I guess you could say we’re seasoned veterans,” says Damon. “The opportunities to enhance your business are incredible. The networking is vital, specifically with some of the niche suppliers. We had a third party supplier in the oil and gas space. We had a number of high level meetings with this supplier at the event which subsequently led to us proposing a solution. We wouldn’t have had that opportunity if it weren’t for WPC.”

New and innovative technology implementations

Damon also values WPC for the technology side of things, as he goes on to explain. “WPC gives me the opportunity to see some very unique implementations of Microsoft’s products, certainly in areas CGI hasn’t traditionally been involved in. Either by leveraging that technology or using it as inspiration, we’ve been able to use the software in ways we’d never considered before.”

Access to Microsoft’s senior experts

Damon also values the unrestricted access to Microsoft technical experts. “Having the chance to talk to people involved in development and design of products and ask them questions about why they did things a certain way is so valuable,” he says “It helps you get a deeper understanding of the product, meaning you’re far more knowledgeable and trusted when it comes to working with your customers. That’s a unique component of WPC.”

Damon’s plans for WPC 2014

“Last year and the year before were about finding our feet within the context of our own business, getting everyone from CGI together to talk and share experiences from WPC and within CGI,” Damon explains. “This year is about enhancing our strategy, building our business plan and taking advantage of the opportunities to meet other partners. We’re a global Systems Integrator, but in my opinion the opportunities for any size of partner are huge. We’re looking forward to the event.”

Make 2014 your most profitable year ever

WPC 2014 is set to be the biggest and best opportunity for SIs to take their business to the next level. If you’re not yet registered, there’s still time. All you need to do is visit this link. We’ll see you in Washington from 13 to 17 July.


About CGI

CGI is a global business with 68,000 professionals in 40 countries across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe who provide end-to-end IT and business process services that facilitate the ongoing evolution of our clients’ businesses.

CGI in the UK snapshot:
• Serving clients across the commercial and public sectors
• Industry expertise, end-to-end service offerings and rich IP-based solutions that advance clients' business goals
• Alliances with global partners including Microsoft, Oracle and SAP to deliver the best solutions for our clients
• Around 6,000 experts based across the UK
• The first 5* accredited service desk in the world (Service Desk Institute)
• Offices in 16 UK towns and cities