Here's some early information about Microsoft's BI conference planned for May 9th.

With the release of SQL Server 2005, Business Scorecard Manager 2005, the 2007 Office system, the ProClarity acquisition and the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, it is clear that Microsoft is investing deeply in business intelligence.  Microsoft is poised to fundamentally transform the business intelligence (BI) industry by making it a ubiquitous technology. Now we will have a Microsoft Conference dedicated to BI to showcase our market-leading products and solutions, expertise and customer successes!

SAVE THE DATE for the first-ever Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference to be held May 9-11, 2007 in Seattle at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. This event will feature keynotes by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, and Jeff Raikes, President of the Microsoft Business Division.  Additionally, technical and business-focused session tracks, chalk talks, Partner and Microsoft solution expo, hands-on labs, and numerous highlighted customer success stories are sure to make this event a HUGE success!

The conference is designed to educate customers and you, our valued partners, on nearly every aspect of Microsoft’s BI offering. We are expecting to host between 1,500 and 2,000 IT Professionals, business decision makers, existing customers and partners from the world at the event.

We know that you probably have a lot more questions so we have provided some additional information below to answer a few of your questions:

1. How can I get involved?

We are already seeing an overwhelming amount of interest from the partner community to participate in the conference.  The primary way that you can get involved is to Sign up as a Conference Sponsor. We will offer various levels of sponsorship and exhibit opportunities. Certain sponsorship packages will include the opportunity for partner presentations in a partner breakout track. More details will be available in January when the sponsorship packages become available. In the meantime, please visit the Microsoft Partner Pavilion & Expos site for more information about the conference. In addition, if you are interested in receiving exhibiting and sponsorship information when it becomes available, please send an email to pavilion@microsoft.com with ‘Microsoft BI Conference 2007’ in the subject line and you will be added to the list.

2. How do I invite our top customers to the event? 

We are expecting the event to sell out due to the enthusiasm that we are already seeing from customers and the fact that the event is limited to 1500 attendees.  Please encourage your co-workers and customers to sign up as soon as the worldwide registration site goes live in mid- to late February.  We will be sure to notify you when registration goes live. Early bird pricing will be available through March 15, 2007, so by registering early you and your customers will have a guaranteed seat at the best price!

3. How do I nominate my customer to present and/or possibly present on stage with Steve Ballmer?

There are three key ways to get your customers involved in the conference. First, it is our goal to have two of our top BI customers on stage with Steve Ballmer during his keynote address on Friday, May 11th.

Second, we are dedicating an entire track to customer presentations! You will have the opportunity to introduce or co-present with your customer provided the session is success/case study focused. More information about the nomination process will be available when the Conference website goes live in early January.

And finally, we will be presenting the first-ever Microsoft BI customer awards at the conference. More information about the awards will be available on the event website when it goes live. In the meantime, if you have customer suggestions or questions specifically relating to getting your customers involved in the conference, please contact Jason Blumberg.

The criteria that will help determine which customers are selected are:

- The customer can speak to the real-world benefits of using Microsoft BI

- Size and scale of deployment (# of users, # of sites/locations, different user types , etc.)

- Using multiple products within the Microsoft BI product family

- Brand-name customer

- Competitive replacements or head-to-head competitive wins are also desirable

4. What are the expected attendee fees for the Conference?

Attendee fees will be $895 during the early bird registration period, which will run from February until March 15, 2007. Prices go up to $1095 after midnight on March 15th, so encourage your customers to register early! A limited number of attendee and booth staff passes will be included with the various sponsorship packages, so these fees would only apply to non-sponsoring partners or attendees above and beyond the number allocated for the sponsorship level.

5. Do you have any other details about registration?

We expect the conference marketing website to go live in late December or early January and the worldwide registration section of the site to go live in mid- to late February. Expect to hear more as the event site goes live and as registration nears!

We hope that you are as excited as we are to showcase Microsoft’s BI solutions at the first annual Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference in May!  Be sure to lock these dates (May 9-11, 2007) on your calendar now.