Every summer we at Microsoft go through a rejuvenating process at the end of our fiscal year (June 30th) that cleans the soul and refocuses our efforts on strategy, partners and customers for the coming new year.   Since about 95 percent of Microsoft revenue originates from our partners it’s important that we sync up with them and hear what they’re saying about the industries we serve, together. It helps us achieve clarity in our relationships and service to industries, especially as technologies and business strategies change.

This year, right after the US 4th of July holiday, we held our worldwide partner conference in Houston. Some 7,500 partners were represented by some 13,000+ people(http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/wwpc/default.mspx). The energy and optimism there was palpable. It’s always a very impressive showing, even if the partners there represented only a fraction of Microsoft’s 650,000 partners worldwide.  (Think about that: We’d have to “rent” the Mall in Washington to even have a shot at fitting one representative from all those partners worldwide. Impressive.)

Since our common goal with partners is to find ways to innovate and help customers with new concepts, we use this conference to come together, share strategies and ideas and otherwise work together to develop new solutions around new platforms and technologies. For instance, we had a lot of discussions about S + S and how partners can use this new platform to build innovative solutions for customer business problems.

For the Power & Utilities vertical, it was a great time to visit with our partners and they were well represented.  It’s a long list of partners that the Power & Utilities team engaged with at the conference but here’s a sampling: OSIsoft, Areva, Clicksoftware, Enspiria, ESRI, EG Utility, Itron, Accenture, Bentley, SAT Corp, Logica, Mariner, Subnet Solutions, InfoSys, Enterprise Informatics, McLaren Software, Ferranti, Invensys and Dassault Systemes. Our meetings served to share ideas about innovations and new initiatives. They also served to strengthen our convictions that issues like environment, regulation, smart grid and smart metering, and generation optimization are key issue currently driving utility industry decision makers.

It’s an understatement to say that partners are key to our efforts and success in Power and Utilities. We continue to spend the most in R&D of any technology company (http://www.ciozone.com/index.php/Editorial-Research/Top-50-Technology-R&D-Spenders/50-Biggest-R.html) and the knowledge , insight and innovation that comes out of this investment goes directly into our work with partners, customers and investments that we make with them. In coming days, I’ll blog about a couple of examples of this dynamic.

In sum, our mutual customers should know that the Worldwide Microsoft Utilities Team values the time we spend with our partners. Simply put, it empowers excellence, something everyone in the utility industry aims for daily.

clip_image001