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Microsoft Inspire 2017

On their way to “drink the Kool-Aid” in Washington DC at Inspire next week are Simon Bright, Empired Group COO, and six other members of the Empired and Intergen Senior Leadership teams - a nice change of season for them all!

Simon sees high value in this event and ensuring people from the Empired Group attend as, “Inspire is the biggest Microsoft partner event and as such brings about the biggest opportunity for us to learn and grow through the insight and experience of the global partner network.”

While networking and building on close relationships with Empired and Intergen’s strategic partners is high on everyone’s agenda, a huge drawcard for our attendees are the keynote sessions. What an atmosphere, to be in a stadium with close to twenty thousand people, hearing from inspirational speakers and key Microsoft executives. Emma Barrett, Executive General Manager, Solutions and Services, says the keynotes demonstrate new technologies and talk about Microsoft’s strategy for the next year. It is a real download of information and it is always very future-oriented and forward thinking, while being motivational and inspirational as well. Personal development and leadership sessions are also something to look forward to learning from and to bring back for the benefit of the Empired Group.

Inspire allows our attendees to spend valuable time with our most important partner: Microsoft. John Bessey, Executive General Manager, Sales and Marketing, highlights that Inspire is the beginning of very clear messaging from Microsoft around what they are doing with their technologies and platforms that our customers have invested in. Being up to date with how Microsoft sees the next 12 months is extremely important for us in order to support our clients and make sure that what we are offering them is aligned with the long term strategic direction of Microsoft. Inspire is the forum for determining how we go to market and to make sure we are aligned on priorities, getting the New Year off to a very fast start. Through the messages we receive we are able to bring real life lessons and knowledge back to our customers, ensuring tomorrow’s advantage is delivered today.

Networking and developing relationships is also a huge part of Inspire and a great way to start is by proactively setting up the right meetings with the right teams. The most senior people in Microsoft are attending and can provide guidance or advice in specific areas. The ability to build great relationships and network also gives us direct access, in the future, to product teams, again so we make sure we are getting the best advice and outcomes for our clients. Stuart Strickland, General Manager Western Australia, Sales & Marketing, says that a lot of Microsoft Australia executives that have extremely busy schedules when at home can make the time for meetings in Washington at Inspire.

As well as the high level view of how Microsoft sees their next 12 months developing, Inspire is also a fantastic learning exercise to better understand the Microsoft stack, what they want to see from their suppliers and how we can better apply what is in the stack from a solutions perspective and not just a technology perspective. As a services organisation, the conversations we have with clients are all about the intimacy with their business and becoming very business outcomes focused. Brett Gresele, Executive General Manager, Lifecycle Services, says the exciting thing about working with our partners, at Inspire, is how together we develop solutions that can address our clients’ business outcomes.

Jaen Snyman, National Business Manager, Cloud Design and Integration, has the priviledge of being invited to join a range of specialised groups while attending. Among them are Office 365 high touch partners, EMS Elite partners and an Azure Site Recovery roundtable. He says these provide a great forum to talk about specific product roadmaps that really matter to his practice and also to his clients. In these sessions he will learn from other partners’ experiences, get feedback from Microsoft experts and also get to share his own experiences and feedback, to help the wider Microsoft Partner Network and their clients.

Everyone is extremely excited to spend four full-on days drinking from the fire hose and learning about the business outcome, platform and technology opportunities Microsoft customers are exploiting around the world.

Emma Barrett captures the general mood of the team by saying “Everyone expects to come back buzzing and excited about the year ahead. There will be so much information to absorb and process during and long after our time in Washington. The size of the event, with the number of people that attend creates quite an atmosphere, with an abundance of new and exciting announcements and updates. It will be motivational, inspirational and so informative!”

Stay tuned for our post event blog on what we all picked up while there.

Posted by: Breanna Mudge, Marketing & Communications Coordinator | 10 July 2017

Tags: Microsoft Partners

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