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WPC 2016 Preview: 7 Technologies Hitting Prime Time

RCP analyzed the Worldwide Partner Conference session catalog to help partners get the most out of the show or to track it from the office. For more on WPC 2016, visit our event page here.

These are the buzzwords that have graduated, at least in terms of Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) sessions and Microsoft commitment and focus, to full-fledged partner opportunities with concrete tools, processes and guidance behind them.

1. IoT: The number of sessions about Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities seems substantially higher than a year ago, with many of them focused on nuts-and-bolts concerns like the capabilities of the Azure IoT Suite.

2. Power BI: The business intelligence-focused cloud service is on the verge of being a theme this year, with sessions on leveraging it on its own, with Dynamics CRM Online, with Salesforce.com and with ERP products, among others.

3. Power Apps: Microsoft's platform for building and deploying custom line-of-business applications is the star of several sessions this time.

4. Azure Stack: The ability for customers to run Azure on-premises was delivered in rough form a few years ago. But the new Azure Stack has much better parity with Microsoft's public cloud offering, leading to new partner opportunities.

5. Cortana Intelligence Suite: Intermingled with machine learning and many other Microsoft technologies, the Cortana Intelligence Suite is a backdrop of many case study-style presentations, as Microsoft moves to ramp up channel understanding of the capabilities.

6. StorSimple: Microsoft bought StorSimple in 2012 and released the Azure StorSimple virtual appliance to complement the physical appliance in 2014. This year, Microsoft is reaching out more aggressively to its channel with sessions designed to both introduce the StorSimple product and provide partnering details.

7. Cloud Platform Immersion Program: The Immersion programs are sales tools that are similar to the old Microsoft Experience Center (MEC) demos that Microsoft's field would often help partners use to give customers a full-stack experience to move a sale to close. Microsoft is running dozens of availabilities at the WPC for partners to get familiar with what a Cloud Platform Immersion Program demo would look like for their customers. Some of the available setups involve SQL Server 2016, Cortana Intelligence Suite, IoT, Enterprise Mobility Suite, System Center 2012 R2, Azure, StorSimple and Office 365.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2016 at 6:29 AM


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