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WPC 2016 Preview: 11 Buzzwords

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.

A cheat sheet for terms you might be hearing from Microsoft for the first time at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC).

1. Madeira: It's billed as a project for small companies that have grown beyond simple financial tools but who haven't gotten to the point where they need full-fledged ERP systems.

2. Blockchain: Best known as the underpinning of Bitcoin, Microsoft has a surprisingly deep and wide commitment to blockchain for a number of applications. Blockchain is also referred to as the distributed ledger platform.

3. Microsoft Flow: This is a service for automating workflow across Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products.

4. ASfP: Short for Advanced Support for Partners, ASfP is the newest partner support option, and it lives between MPN Technical Services and Premier Support. There's also a summer promotion to save $2,500 on the first year of ASfP.

5. Skip: A mobile checkout technology, Skip allows customers to walk in to a store, scan an item, pay and walk out. "Can an Uber-like experience revitalize retail?" the session description asks.

6. Windows SMB: This isn't exactly a buzzword; it's more like a placeholder for news, as we're not sure what it's called. The session title is "Completing the Stack: New Partner-Managed Service Opportunities for SMBs with Windows." The description reads, "In this session we share details of a NEW Windows offering that has been designed specifically for SMBs and partners with managed service offerings. This new offering will enable simpler access to core security and management features of the Windows operating system for SMBs with more complex IT requirements and sophisticated security needs."

7. Proximity Software: This is an interesting subset of the Internet of Things (IoT). A longer name is beacon-based proximity software and the purpose is to retrofit physical spaces for the digital age.

8. R: The language of machine learning, which stands in here for machine learning generally, and both topics will be popping up all over the WPC.

9. HoloLens: The virtual augmentation headgear is still science-fictiony as Microsoft continues to refine the prototypes to get them ready for their first commercial release. HoloLens is sure to be the hot selfie opportunity at the WPC. Having a picture taken with a HoloLens on your head at a Microsoft event is now as obligatory as proof you were there as getting a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

10. Windows as a Service: Microsoft confusingly called its new way of building, deploying and servicing its OS Windows as a Service. People assume that Windows as a Service means Microsoft is delivering Windows the way many customers say they want it -- in a SaaS model. Now Microsoft has had to go back and explain to partners, who can then explain to customers, that it's something different.

11. DevOps: Several sessions are dedicated to explaining the basics and benefits of the DevOps mindset to the broad partner community.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 08, 2016 at 6:27 AM