partnersummit

Microsoft Partner Summit 2017

2 incredible days.
80+ Speakers and Sessions.
Global and local thought leaders.

The inaugural Microsoft Partner Summit made a splash in Sydney in November 2017 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Darling Harbour. These two incredible Partner days within the broader Microsoft Summit 2017 agenda uncovered the opportunities available for partners in Australia, while delivering a practical approach to building skills and capability.

More than 3,000 delegates across the business and partner community joined global and local speakers, saw world-leading innovation and explored the incredible impact Australian businesses and Microsoft partner organisations are having as they embrace the new possibilities of digital transformation.

Check out the highlights from this event.

We’re already thinking about our next Summit – so if you’re looking forward to doing it all again, register your interest today.

From the universe to the workplace

Professor Brian Cox, Physicist used the field of Cosmology to explain how our world views have changed over time as scientists challenged current theories. As Einstein challenged the concept of absolute space and absolute time with his own space-time theory, sometimes ideas come along which require a complete reformation of current thoughts. Brian encouraged the audience to be optimistic, think carefully and be inspired by new ideas.

Defining digital leadership

Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President Industry, Microsoft defined digital leadership. It’s not enough to transform – you need to transform continually, implement technology responsibly and ensure technology is inclusive for all. She talked about the Digital Feedback Loop. How companies such as Netflix and ASOS use customer feedback and product telemetry to continually improve, thereby bringing in more customers, who bring in more data which ultimately brings in more customers.

Empowering people to achieve more

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft highlighted the importance of inclusivity in technology, to ensure the more than 1 billion people with a disability in the world can participate. She then introduced Microsoft employee Kenny Singh who has a visual impairment. He shared how the Seeing AI app gives him more independence, empowerment and dignity. For example, Kenny (who is into fitness) uses the app to help him identify his protein bars and identify people with whom he is interacting.

Digital transformation: an Australian perspective

David Thodey, Chairman CSIRO, Chair Jobs for NSW provided a perspective on digital transformation in Australia. With a focus on people and culture, he shared four principles to help navigate the journey of transformation. He discussed the importance of creating an environment of continuous reinvention, the power of building a culture founded in trust, and the criticality of a learner mindset for leadership.

Creating a powerhouse growth engine in Australia

Mark Leigh, Director, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft quantified the local digital transformation opportunity within the context of a world moving toward an innovation landscape defined by the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge. Mark explored the local opportunities that partners can focus on and invest in, within Microsoft’s four solution areas which power the successful digital transformation of customers.

Julia White, Corporate Vice President Cloud Platform, Microsoft uncovered the power of the Azure platform, showing the opportunity for Partners in the Infrastructure and AI space. Julia highlighted the number of services now available on Azure and Microsoft's commitment to the local Australian market with significant data centre investments. Julia also covered how Azure services creates a repeatable, sophisticated customer experience.

The power of purpose

Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller, Microsoft outlined why so many companies care about aligning their culture and business strategy to a clear purpose, with research showing benefits across business results and employee engagement. Through the window of Microsoft’s own transformation story of anchoring on purpose and a clear, defining mission; Steve shared real examples and learning of how companies of any size can think about defining purpose and putting it into action with the right leadership, tactics and symbols.

Industry Focused. Partner Powered

Joel Borellis, One Commercial Partner Technical Lead, Microsoft Worldwide shared global insights on best practices and learnings for building successful practices. He highlighted examples such as productising an existing service; maximising specialities with a fixed scope and price repeatable offerings; and riding on a new technology wave such as blockchain and being the first to take it to market.

Continuing the theme of global insights, Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President Industry, Microsoft shared global customer insights and industry trends. Toni highlighted the importance for partners to look at the market and characterise their capability in relation to customer outcomes. Examples of market motions included the competitive dynamic in Retail; investment in risk and payment platforms in Financial Services and cloud first policies in Government. She explored why it’s critical for partners to ride these waves and put an industry veneer on what she calls the new diagonal – solutions not quite sitting in either the vertical or horizontal eg. Predictive maintenance, precision operations.

Microsoft Australia Partner Awards

Microsoft Australia Partner Award (MAPA) winners were announced The MAPA awards, which celebrate the successes and innovations of Microsoft Partners were announced before a packed Partner Keynote session.

Congratulations to the 2017 MAPA Winners across the following categories:

  • GIS People
  • Transform your Products Award for Excellence: Advance Computing
  • Empower your Employees Award for Excellence: Insync Technology
  • Engage your Customers Award for Excellence: Avanade
  • Cloud for Good: Cloud Collective and Single Cell
READ MORE

Networking with purpose

Partners were able to make genuine connections whilst making a difference by participating in the 'ConnectMe' structured networking sessions. These were hands on workgroups for partners to explore practical ways to make a positive contribution to society across six areas: Health & Wellbeing; Children, Education & Skills; Poverty & Homelessness; Public Safety & Cyber Security; Indigenous Economic Inclusion.

Accelerating your sales cycle

Mark Stuyt, Chief Engagement Officer, Neural Impact showed how industry oriented sales professionals are more focused and find it easier to teach a prospect something new. Building this framework along with an emotional messaging strategy can help deliver higher win rates whilst investing less time on the sales process.

Market Opportunity – The real pace of digital transformation

Trevor Clarke, Strategist, Tech Research Asia lifted the lid on digital transformation and identified specific areas of opportunity for partners. Customers have too many areas of transformation to address, so the advice for partners was to specialise and collaborate. Trevor identified the specialisation opportunities for partners as being foundations (datacentre, infrastructure and assets); operations (automating processes), employees (intelligent workspaces) and improving customer experience. He also noted that projects are getting smaller but increasing in quantity, so customers are looking for partners to collaborate, leading to development of new partnership models.

User-centric design

Rei Paki, Head of Product and Design, Medical Director shared a fascinating insight into customer centred design. He outlined Medical Director’s practical approach, which involved mapping out the patient journey and identified the steps that take place in a doctor visit. Using this map, it’s easier to identify problems in the process (like waiting for a doctors appointment) and solve for these problems using technology.

Turbo-charge your innovation

Dr Amantha Imber, Founder, Inventium led a fun, action-packed session that gave practical advice with 3 simple steps to improve innovation. These steps were (1) identify frustrations (2) crush assumptions and (3) never making big decisions after lunch. Dr. Imber challenged the belief that innovation begins with an idea – rather, innovation should be tested as customer-centric. By asking customers what frustrates them about their business or the services, partners can successfully identify the solutions needed to innovate products that customers are willing to buy. She also shared that assumptions are the biggest blockers to innovation because they restrict our brain from reaching its full potential of imagination.

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