The Texas heat, 14,000 partners on a bus, the Cloud, Lenny Kravitz, some worn out shoes and more…
Another great World Partner Conference has come and gone. This year’s event was held in Houston, TX. I’ve been to the out skirts of Houston, but never downtown. First, I want to establish that it is HOT deep down in Texas. Luckily with the incredible conference setup, everything stayed nice and cool indoors.
We arrived Sunday for the Welcome Reception and opening of the Expo floor and right away I started meeting with some great Microsoft partners. Some great live music including a mariachi band entertained the expo floor for the evening; while the Toyota Center held the welcome reception. What a way to kick off the week!
Day two kicked off with Steve Ballmer giving the keynote and it’s obvious that this year’s theme is big data, social, and, of course, cloud. That’s where Fpweb.net fit in over at the Hosted Cloud Pavilion. We have a lot to say about the business benefits of hosting your SharePoint in our private cloud, but I spent the majority of the day talking about the new Fpweb.net Partner Program and getting a feel for the great partners around the expo floor.
I also learned very quickly that some new shoes are in order. I certainly brought the wrong pair and my limp at the end of the night showed it.
I must say that coordinating busses to transport 14,000 partners to and from their hotels took a lot of work and the cabs were grateful to have us all in town as well. Each night there was another event to go to and Fpweb.net’s and the rest of the hosting providers was hosted on Tuesday. It took place at Lucky Strike Bowling Alley and they certainly did not disappoint. A gentlemen was walking around in full cowboy gear with a lasso and taking ‘old timey’ photos to show off your experience.
Each day brought new experiences and great conversations with Microsoft’s partner community from around the world, but day four also brought Lenny Kravitz at Minute Maid Field. This one was tough for me since I am a St. Louis Cardinal’s fan, but there was a TV with the game on. (The Cardinal’s beat the Houston Astros in St. Louis, while we watched Lenny jam in Houston).
Every day also brought a clear theme in questions, including:
- What makes you different from Azure? Answer: The Difference Between Fpweb.net and Azure
- What makes you different from Office 365? Answer: The Difference Between Fpweb.net and Office 365
- Can you use our licenses? Answer: We sure can.
- What does the FP stand for? Answer: The abridged Fpweb.net Story
At the end of the week I can honestly say, I had a great time! We launched our revamped Partner Program with four new ways to partner in front of great partners from around the world, and we got a chance to talk individually with several great ISV’s, SI’s, and consulting firms looking to partner with Fpweb.net. My kids are enjoying all the great swag I brought home for them as well. Now all the neighbors know I am a nerd (if they didn’t already). I am already looking forward to next year’s World Partner Conference in Washington D.C.
Were you at WPC 2013 in Houston? Let me know your experiences and what you enjoyed most. Drop me a comment below and tweet us your photos from the event (@fpweb).