The Gold Rush to the Cloud – Day two at Microsoft Inspire 2018

July 18th, 2018

It is my first time to attend Microsoft Inspire and I hope it will be the first of many. I have left each day feeling an overwhelming inspiration, not only to succeed in my new role at the Cloud Collective, but also to help our customers achieve the best business outcomes possible with the power of Microsoft solutions provided and managed by the Cloud Collective.


Today started with another powerful Corenote, featuring again, the talented Gavriella Schuster – Corporate Vice President & One Commercial Partner as well as many other fantastic speakers. I want to highlight some points made by Gavriella that really resonated with me.


Gavriella had recently taken a look back at her busy schedule since last year’s Inspire, and using Microsoft analytics tools, was able to see that she had over 1000 unique conversations with partners over the past year; which is amazing. The only common thread that came out of those conversations was a sense of excitement and at the same time fear. Each partner felt excited by the magnitude of the opportunity in front of us all, but at the same time fearful of it due in many cases to concerns around security.

Gavriella also referenced the American Gold Rush during the mid-1800’s, which led to one of the biggest human migrations in the US history. She noted during that time, the real fortunes weren’t made from the gold itself but rather from the communities, commerce, and industries which were born out of the rush. Graviella then made a great correlation between that time in history to present day with the Cloud now being our modern-day Gold Rush and Data being the currency of the Cloud. Data is now what will drive how we continue to evolve and grow our businesses of the future. The real fortunes of the future will not be made from being in the Cloud but rather from the infrastructure and capabilities that we are building around the Cloud and the data that we pull through it. As well the foundation for success in pivotal times such as these is and has always been partnership between people.

Gavriella also highlighted last year’s launch of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner Team and IP Co-sell which was established to help Microsoft and partners build solutions that stand the test of time. Each one of those solutions starts with an idea and a conversation much like it did back in 1872 when Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno had an idea to work with his fabric supplier to create pants for workers of the time that would last. This idea and partnership led to the birth of what we know today as Levi’s.

Gavriella also highlighted some of the great results post last year’s launch of the One Commercial Partner Team.

  1. They have built over 28,000 solutions, services, and applications with partners in this last financial year.
  2. Generated over 3 million leads out to partners and they have jointly developed over 100,000 co-sell opportunities
  3. And if that wasn’t enough, they have landed over 5 Billion dollars in partner sales with 87% co-sell partners participating in that achievement


Observations of Day 2 and Day 1’s Evening

Last evening was very special with Microsoft and Telstra hosting the Cloud Collective celebration dinner in recognition of our fantastic first year in partnership. The comments made by the senior team from Microsoft, Telstra, and Cloud Collective reinforced once again why I wanted to join this incredible team. And special thanks to Gretchen Cooke (Telstra Director Unified Communications and Digital Media), David Quirk (Telstra Strategic Alliance Manager for Microsoft), and Claudia Mcintosh (Microsoft Director Partner Development) for all their fantastic support over the past 18 months. It was a delightful evening with great conversations all round about our plans for continued growth.

Today was packed full again of great activity including some healthy planning sessions with our Microsoft channel leaders. I also walked the Commons Floor today to take pictures and have a look at the amazing mass of partners exhibiting at this event. It dawned on me that something unique and special is present at Inspire. Despite the shear volume of 40,000 people and hundreds of exhibits and sessions happening all at the same time, you still get a strong sense of intimacy and entrepreneurial spirit throughout the halls when watching the interaction between attendees. I can only think this feeling comes largely from the spirit of partnership that has been present within the Microsoft ecosystem for years now.

I look forward to Day 3 and tomorrow’s exciting Corenote with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft!