I have attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) as an employee since 1999, while I was still working in Microsoft Brazil. Since then the show has evolved a lot. Partner attendance has increased every year, and is now around 10,000 people, and is certainly one of the largest shows in the Industry. This year, however, I get the opportunity to work behind the scenes of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and have the privilege to help shape the session content for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) track on top of other WPC 09 activities.

With the economic crisis and recovery surrounding us, it is even more important to attend WPC 09, even if your business with Microsoft is still maturing. Why is that you ask? Here are a few key points why you don’t want to miss out this year:

  • This is a pivotal launch year for Microsoft. Not only because of the products that will be announced in FY10 like Windows 7 or Office 2010, but mainly because of the Windows Azure, our cloud computing offering, which is promised in October 2009.
  • Consolidation in the ISV segment is also making our world a different place. With Oracle and others on a spree of acquisitions that touch every segment of our industry, ISVs should be rethinking their relationships with platform companies and align to better deal with new threats.
  • With the economic challenges, companies need to look for efficiencies, focus is more important than ever, and reinventing the wheel is not a good practice. Innovation is key now, and creates opportunity as the economy begins to rebound.

With these points in mind we put together an exclusive agenda for ISVs on July 16 at WPC. The day starts off with a keynote from Kim Akers at 11 AM. Kim is our General Manager for ISVs and she will discuss how as cloud computing and internet services transform our world the differences between ISVs, Web Developers, and Digital Agencies has been reduced, and how the software plus services approach to navigating the services transformation provides new opportunities for partnership.

After lunch Kim returns with a session starting at 1:30pm, where she will talk about the economic challenges or better said, the reset of the economy, and how companies are succeeding in that environment and the opportunities this presents. She will also show what Software plus Services offers to ISVs and how to benefit from it by increasing your breadth of offerings and also reducing your infrastructure costs.

After Kim’s session, Rob Craft, who is the CTO of our group, will discuss how ISVs should get ready for the new launches and develop applications to three scenarios—desktop, server and the Cloud. Very few companies, such as Microsoft, have the ability to offer a platform so comprehensive, and the business opportunities for developing solutions on the platform will be widely covered in this session. Rob will also talk about the steps ISVs need to take to make certain their applications are compatible with Windows 7, ensuring that our joint Customers are happy and no solutions present problems with the new operating system. He will also cover Office 2010, and how the pervasive productivity suite can serve as a front end using Office for Business Applications technology.

The last session of the day will be Ross Brown, Vice-President Solution Partners and ISVs, who will discuss the Microsoft business case and value of being a partner from a platform, program and pipeline perspective.

So, if you are an ISV and you are attending Microsoft WPC 09, you can’t miss these ISV sessions on July 16th. I will be there and I will be looking forward to seeing you. Check out Digital WPC to stay up to date on the latest news and happenings.

Alexandre Pombo