WPC 2016 Day 3 – Where partners need to focus in FY17

After 3 late nights tweeting on Australian time, we have the final keynotes of WPC16… (if you want to watch the keynotes yourself then they are available here https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/wpc/wpc-2016-vision-keynotes)

Judson Althoff (@judsonalthoff) to Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business

With the departure of Kevin Turner (who has been conspicuously absent at WPC – understandably) there have been lots of changes at the top.

One of the most significant (IMHO) is the streamlining of Microsoft’s sales teams under a single boss with the promotion of Judson Althoff to Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business.  Reporting to him will be EPG (Enterprise Partner Group), SMS&P (Small, Midmarket Solutions & Partners), Public Sector and Developer Experience and Services.

Our Shared Focus

If we had to forget all information provided at WPC apart from one thing, then it would be the same thing every year – WHERE ARE MICROSOFT PUTTING THEIR FOCUS.  This is what all Microsoft internal metrics will be based on and therefore where Microsoft employees themselves will be focused.

This does not mean that partners have to immediately change everything they do, but it absolutely means that the story they tell about their business to Microsoft has to align with this focus.

Judson could not have made this clearer or easier to consume and his whole keynote can be simplified to the following few slides.

I cannot over emphasis how we are aligned and how we have shared success metrics

MS overall view (Small)

The all up drivers that shape the business.

  • Mission: Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more
  • Worldview: Mobile first, cloud first
  • Ambitions:
    • Reinvent productivity & business processes
    • Build the intelligent cloud platform
    • Create more personal computing
  • Culture: Make a difference

(This is the first time I have seen all of these laid out on a single slide)

Judson then took these and delivered the FY17 shared priorities from a sales perspective.  This is where and how the rubber is going to really hit the road:

FY17 shared priorities (Small)

  1. Drive Digital Transformation with customers
  2. Accelerate cloud adoption
  3. Propel Windows 10 Enterprise deployment
  4. Generate SQL Server 2016 growth
  5. Drive ISV and SI momentum
  6. Make experiences come to life through hardware solutions

And the huge societal shift that is driving all of this is Digital Transformation and Experiences.  According to PWC research 86% of CEOs think digital is their #1 priority and are using it to transform their businesses:

When talking with a CxO one has to speak in the vernacular of business outcomes.

CEO priority is digital (Small)


Everything else was about fleshing out the detail.  For example, to differentiate Microsoft Cloud Offerings:

  • Dynamics 365 – 5 things Dynamics 365 does (that Salesforce can’t)

what D365 can do but not Salesforce (Small)

  • Office 365 – 5 things Office 365 does (that Google Apps for Work can’t)

5 things office does (Small)

  • Azure – 5 things Azure does (that AWS can’t)

5 things azure can AWS cannot (Small)


An explicitly re-enforced theme was that SECURITY is at the heart of all of these differentiation messages.  His claim is that EMS (https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/server-cloud/enterprise-mobility/Overview.aspx) is the fastest growing product that MS has ever had.  This is a must add asset for cloud deployments.

differntiating on security and privacy (Small)

SQL Server 2016

This will be a huge release this year and as this is #4 in the shared priorities.

Data is the new black.  It is the ticket to the C-suite.  They are all looking for intelligent analytics.

He pitches that SQL Server 2016 will be the richest in terms of built in capability, the most secure and also the best value that will democratise access the analytics.

SQLServer (Small)


SQServer TCO (Small)

There was lots more messaging and I would encourage you to watch the whole video (https://player.vimeo.com/video/174543385) but that is enough for me now.


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