WPC 2016

Microsoft’s Dean Armintrout Recaps WPC 2016 and Talks What’s Next! [Video Interview]

Dux Quax Year in Review Series: Microsoft’s Dean Armintrout Recaps Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 (WPC 2016)

Happy holidays everyone and almost Happy New Year! As we count down to 2017, we have more Dux Quax: Year in Review videos left for ya’ll! And with the recent announcement Microsoft Inspire, a brand new name for Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, who better to catch up with than Microsoft Inspire Experience Ambassador, Dean Armintrout?

Watch the short video below, as Dean and I recap WPC 2016 in Toronto and talk about what’s next for Microsoft Inspire in Washington D.C.!

For anyone in the Microsoft Partner ecosystem, this is the one event you must attend! Here’s how you can register now!

Remember to keep the conversation going by tweeting to Dean and I at (@thedeanzine) and (@meetdux)!


More from Dux Quax: 2016 Year in Review from the Microsoft Team

WPC 2016

Transcript from Dux Quax with Dean Armintrout: Recapping 2016 and Talking about the WPC 2016, “The Last WPC”

Dux: Hi, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Dux Quax, Year in Review 2016 and looking forward to 2017. I’m in the beautiful Microsoft Campus here in Redmond and very excited to be with Dean today. So, Dean, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell everybody what you do here at Microsoft?

Dean: Sure. My name is Dean Armintrout, and I am officially the WPC Experience Ambassador, and what that means is I have the amazing job every day to make sure that every single experience we put together on WPC is done with the partners in mind to make sure that they make the most out of their time at the events.

Dux: WPC, so what’s WPC, for those not familiar, especially for first-time viewers and customers out there, and why is that important to Microsoft?

Dean: Sure. WPC is our Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. It’s the biggest event of the year that Microsoft puts on for our partners and it’s the largest opportunity for so many partners and Microsoft executives to come together, talk about their sale strategy for the year, learn what’s coming out or what’s coming with our products and our solutions for the year, and really understand how we can partner together to move your business forward.

Dux: Sounds like a fun event.

Dean: It absolutely is.

Dux: So I know Microsoft, being a partner-driven organization, big ecosystem, this must be a very big event.

Dean: It is a very big event. But one of the things we pride ourselves on is we focus a lot on community. And while WPC is this massive community, it’s also a ton of smaller communities. And that’s the beauty of this. We really make sure that we’re delivering experiences that are targeted to the right partner at the right time in the right way because we know that what’s going to work for an ISV is not necessarily going to work for another partner. So we want to make sure that we’re offering a variety of experiences, helping connect those communities within each other, and to find new communities, and really build the event around that.

Dux: Now, speaking about experiences, how was it this year in 2016?

Dean: 2016 was amazing. We’re in Toronto, which is a great, amazing metropolitan city, right in the heart of downtown. We sold out registration for the first time ever, having a record of attendance of over 16,000 attendees.

WPC 2016

Dux: That’s a lot of people.

Dean: It’s definitely a lot of people, but it didn’t feel like a lot of people. It was a lot of people but I think we did a good job of trying to move focus around it and getting in where that needed to go. So it was a great experience. We sold out registration. We sold out of our sponsor and exhibitor opportunities. We had over 120 sponsors and exhibitors in our giant conference area are coming together showcasing their solutions. We had four packed days of contents and sessions and experiences and demos and, of course, tons of ancillary events to kind of let your hair down and network and get to know some new partners.

Dux: I got to tell everybody. I’ve been attending WPC the last eight, nine years now. I kind of think back. Boy, as a partner, not only do I learn a lot and help grow my business, but the networks out there, we build other partners, figuring out how we can work together and do business and grow business, and help our customers, it’s just [inaudible 00:02:55] amazing.

Dean: That’s great to hear. And that’s one of the things we strive for as well. We recognize it’s a massive channel and there’s a lot of untapped opportunity there, and so one of our goals is to help you connect with other partners in our channel so you can build out your channel as well.

Dux: Absolutely. So for 2017, so we were in Toronto this year, where is 2017 going to be?

Dean: Washington, D.C.

Dux: Oh, that’s my hometown.

Dean: That is your hometown.

Dux: So it’s going to be great, and I’m really excited. So anything in store that’s top of mind for 2017?

Dean: Absolutely. You know, we have the challenge every year of building upon the momentum of the year before. We’re coming off a great momentum and have the last couple years, so our biggest challenge is how do we keep that going? I think, hopefully, you’ll agree it’s an exciting time to partner with us and for us to partner with you. There’s a lot of great things coming out with Microsoft, and so it’s really, how do we build the best event around that to showcase that to our partners and keep them excited to help them understand that, yes, we’re all in. This is the best decision you made to partner with us.

Dux: So from a customer perspective, I mean, obviously, WPC has a lot of great value for partners, learning, networking, understand how to grow their business. But if a customer is watching this, why is this important for them as they work with partners?

Dean: I think as customers see our solutions and our products and what we’re coming out and how we’re being innovative, they don’t want that. They’re going to want to know, how can I do this in my company? And that’s where you come in. Partners come in and say, “Hey, I can take care of that for you. I can help you with that.” Especially, digital transformation is all the rage. Those are the buzzwords and we’re all about it. So as we look to this era of digital transformation and work with our customers, recognizing that they need help being led through that, that’s where we and our partnership with you can come into play and help you make your customers to be successful in our space.

Dux: Wow. And, boy, you know, you got digital transformation, modern workplace, modern way of collaborating, leveraging the cloud. It’s just so much. And the customers I work with, they see the value of expertise we bring. And through WPC 2016, well, all the resources are great that I find in the end, but just being there in person, learning, engaging, speaking, that’s priceless.

Dean: Absolutely, and that’s great to hear and definitely what we achieve. We recognize that every partner’s different. Every customer is different. They have different needs. And so that’s where you get the opportunity at WPC 2016 to find what it is that you’re looking for to help your customers succeed and we’ll help you get there.

WPC 2016

Dux: So speaking of getting there, can people sign up for 2017?

Dean: They can. Pre-registration’s open. Go to mspartner.com and you can sign-up for pre-registration. And then we’ll have our official launch in January.

Dux: Awesome. I’m excited. But before I let you go, Dean, if you’re a Microsoft product, what would you be and why?

Dean: Microsoft Product that I would be and why. I would be our new Microsoft Team’s product because we’re all about teams. We’re all about community. It takes literally a small village to pull WPC 2016 together, both with our Microsoft team but also our partner community like you, and so I think Microsoft Teams takes that digital experience one step further and figures out how we can connect with each other in more effective and corrective ways.

[Learn More about Microsoft Teams]

Dux: That’s very appropriate. Awesome. Well, Dean, always a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Dean: Likewise.

Dux: Make sure you guys check out WPC 2016 on the MS Partner website, and till the next episode. Thanks again. Bye.

Dean: Bye-bye.

WPC 2016