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WPC 2016 Preview: 9 Eye-Catching Sessions

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 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) sessions are unlikely to transform anyone's business, but they promise to be entertaining, thought-provoking or both.

1. Trust and the Microsoft Cloud: A year ago Microsoft's top lawyer Brad Smith made his first WPC appearance with a well-received talk about the company's attempts to balance government investigatory requests with customers' privacy expectations. Microsoft is taking the topic further this year with a session on the Microsoft Trusted and National Cloud offerings.

2. #cloudready: A few sessions about "Building a #cloudready Business" (hashtag Microsoft's) require partners to do some homework first. An online cloud self-assessment tool takes 15 minutes and will give attendees some baseline information for the discussion.

3. Partner-to-Partner (P2P) Challenges/Solutions: The cloud tool isn't the only self-assessment tool prepared for the WPC. Microsoft also created a P2P Assessment app for partners to download ahead of the session. The exercise is supposed to help partners step through a P2P Maturity Model. In addition to the assessment-based sessions, Microsoft is also holding sessions encouraging partners to expand into the CRM Online business by teaming up with Dynamics partners.

4. The Dogfood Sessions: Microsoft IT will run several sessions at the WPC explaining how Microsoft's self-described first, best customer uses the company's technologies.

5. Enabling the Journey to Cloud: Julia White, who leads product management of the Microsoft Cloud Platform, will outline the theoretical progression customers could make across Microsoft's stack from on-premises to hybrid to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS).

6. The Future of Technology: A Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, James Whittaker, will walk attendees through the history of technology to arrive at "some startling predictions" about Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to the session description.

7. Security Trends: Microsoft Chief Information Security Officer Bret Arsenault is providing an overview of the threats keeping CISOs like himself awake at night, along with a discussion of solutions to help manage those problems.

8. What's Next for Windows 10 Mobile: Anyone looking for specifics in Microsoft's muddy mobile strategy might find a few details in this session. Interestingly, amid many sessions on Microsoft devices, at least one session includes a mention of the Lumia line of smartphones.

9. Pop Culture: A couple of fun session titles could signal good sessions. One is "Business Lessons from the Grateful Dead." The other is "Kirk vs. Spock: How To Make 25th Century Decisions."

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 06, 2016 at 6:29 AM