Committing to partners, customers and the world
The first full day of WPC began with a rousing musical performance from K’naan and a strong call to action from Microsoft Person of Action and founder of Sequence, Ariela Suster, who used the example of her work in El Salvador to combat gang violence to challenge the Microsoft partner ecosystem to understand the impact this partnership can have to better the world.
After recognizing the incredible achievements of the 2016 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists onstage, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group, Gavriella Schuster, introduced Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella whose keynote Transforming our world together outlined how the opportunity for growth through digital transformation could not be clearer.
Diving deep into future opportunities
With so many prospects for new and expanded business ahead, the focus was on the future all week at WPC and the feedback from attendees about Monday’s sessions reflected this desire for predictive, insightful presentations. Kim Akers, Corporate Vice President, ISV, and James Whittaker, Distinguished Engineer, delivered the day’s top rated session, The future of technology: Unlocking new ideas to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Similarly focused on what’s to come and how partners can capitalize on making positive change, Profiting from digital transformation in Public Sector—a general session given by Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President, Public Sector—was immensely well-regarded.
Many of the week’s best sessions also came from the leadership speakers who shared their strategies for business-building, negotiating partnerships and maintaining strong personal brands while being effective leaders. One such session on Monday came from Matthias Schranner, CEO of Schranner Negotiation Institute, whose presentation Learn from a hostage negotiator received rave reviews. Said one attendee of Schranner’s talk, “By far the best session I have been at in a long time. Simply excellent.”
The diversity of topics at WPC each year represents a diversity in opportunities for partners and the many facets of how Microsoft technology can impact industries and people around the world for the better—all while growing our respective businesses. As Satya Nadella said, "The entire GDP [Gross Domestic Product] is being shaped by digital technology. Everyone in the audience has an opportunity to tap into this revenue stream."
Celebrating women in technology and a successful first day of WPC
Monday also marked the first day of the new WPC Women initiative. As Gavriella Schuster, the executive sponsor of the program, said in Monday’s email to attendees, “WPC Women seeks to connect the important conversations about women in business and technology with the top priorities of our partner channel: building strong networks, inspiring innovation, and leading with purpose.” Throughout Monday and the week, sessions such as Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce with Cathy Alper, Community Director at CompTIA, sought to do just that. Be sure to catch all the WPC Women sessions from the week if you missed attending any while in Toronto.
The day’s official programming came to a close with the Happy Hour in The Commons, including a special WPC Women Happy Hour in the Community Hub. Read Monday’s recap blog from Dean Martin, WPC Experience Ambassador, and watch the day one highlights video to make sure you didn’t miss a moment of the excitement.