July 13th, 2018
Three years ago I attended my first global Microsoft Inspire, a huge eye opener from the sheer scale of the partner network, and I immediately came to see the enormous significance of being there. The sessions were amazing but the real value was found in the relationships and the network of people we got to meet.
Meeting so many partners and really connecting with them led not only to real and meaningful relationships but it allowed us to benchmark ourselves; we were able to ascertain whether we were keeping up with what we should be at a technology and partnership level and it gave us the ability to plan exactly what we needed to improve and where we needed to focus.
This year, Microsoft Inspire will be co-located with Microsoft Ready for the first time, providing a unique opportunity for Microsoft Partners and Microsoft employees to create valuable new relationships and strengthen existing ones. With 40,000 people expected to descend on Las Vegas for a full week this is going to be more than a conference, it’s going to be an experience.
Microsoft Inspire is a fantastic place to meet and develop relationships with other partners and get in front of the executive team at Microsoft. Being part of the event you get to ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered, you get a chance to talk through and validate your approach and see the things you could be doing better. There are some exceptionally smart people at Microsoft and as a small business being able to get face time with that level of talent and knowledge is invaluable.
Microsoft is a large organisation with lots of moving parts that is sometimes very difficult to navigate. Attending Microsoft Inspire has allowed us to gain an understanding of who is who, what people are doing, what their priorities are and where their focus is.
Following an extremely successful first year we return to Microsoft Inspire, the inspiration for and birthday place of the Cloud Collective, an alliance of Microsoft partners – Antares, Modality Systems and Quorum.
Not only great for connecting with Microsoft staff, Microsoft Inspire presents partners with an opportunity to talk to other partners and get a feel for kind of people who we could work with. The friendship, trust and transparency we developed during our time at Microsoft Inspire helped the alliance partners of the Cloud Collective recognise we were truly aligned both culturally and in terms of providing the best end-to-end solution for our customers. A lot of credit goes to Inspire for allowing us to establish and build partnerships in an environment outside of our comfort zone that really tested our ability to work (and play) together.
There is one aspect of the conference where I feel I’m not just growing my business, but I’m actively contributing to my own personal development and that’s through listening to the speakers. Some of the presentations I’ve been fortunate enough to attend are transforming, and it’s not just about the content of the presentations – but the immaculate presentation of knowledge delivered impeccably. It is spellbinding to watch the way the speakers present and the way they engage with people; it’s a real personal education.
This flawless delivery highlights the fact that if you want to be good at something you don’t wing it – you know it, you are prepared for it. I watch these speakers at the top of their game and become aware of the hard work they’ve endured to get there. It teaches me that a small change in some of my habits can improve the way I do things; it highlights the truth that with hard work and patience you can do almost anything.
Apart from all the business and networking I’m also excited for the final evening and One Celebration where Microsoft will transform the Las Vegas Motor Speedway into a modern city of five (5) vibrant thematic districts brought to life through lighting, bold color, and street-style graphics. Full of music, food and entertainment, the final closing show will be by no other than Bruno Mars!
The Cloud Collective team will be posting daily updates from the conference with speaker and session highlights, as well as some photos of social events and the Las Vegas experience. Make sure you follow our LinkedIn page to receive the updates.