What a week its been!
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July
On Saturday Morning Chris and Alex grabbed a taxi at 6:45am to get to the airport to get to Heathrow before 07:30 as their flight to Houston was leaving at 09:30 for the WPC 2013. Their flight was initially delayed by two hours, then by another hour, and finally an extra hour. No surprise they felt the need for a coffee after the third announcement. However, after having a 10 minute coffee break from waiting, it was announced that the flight had already left – a slight problem.
Alex and Chris managed to organise new flights to Houston later that day, however this was only possible on separate flights. When they were both finally on their ways to Houston, Chris’ plane received an announcement that there was a problem with the petrol pump and had to make an emergency landing in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.
Chris therefore found himself in Gander together with 360 other passengers, whom a lot of were on their way to the WPC as well. Chris will be making his way over to Houston at midday on Sunday.
Alex on the other hand, managed to make it to Houston without any further problems. He attended the award ceremony and had lunch with Steve Ballmer who is the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft.
Chris filmed a quick blog video at 6am to inform everyone on the event:
Monday 8th July – Chris finally makes it to Houston!
Alex went on-stage with Steve Ballmer and Jon Roskill to collect our World Cloud Partner of the Year for SMB award. You will be able view the award ceremony below. Alex announces and collects our award at 1 minute 40 seconds.
Furthermore, they introduced Windows 8.1 on all of the new devices, giving IT Managers a lot more control, especially on the BYO market. Further improvements have been made to Lync allowing users to see multiple user pictures when using the program.
Chris and Alex also headed into the UK Lounge for some networking, where they met all of the senior partners of the UK team.
Chris ended the day with a second video:
Tuesday 9th July
A very exciting day! Chris and Alex got a full-on demonstration of the new Surface Pro by Microsoft. It Windows 8.1 has an 4GB, a RAM I5 processor, making it faster and allowing you to multi-task more effectively as well as getting a great discount for the devices as attendees of the WPC.
Later that day they attended the Customer Immersion Experience session, where they got introduced as to how the whole customer can take all of the Microsoft constituent products including;
- Office 365
- Data for SharePoint
See Chris’ video for the explanation:
Wednesday 10th July
Chris and Alex attended the Keynote speech by Jon Roskill in the morning, where he spoke about four key things that would influence IT over the next decade, these were:
- Mobility – about their services, their telephones and other devices
- Connecting to the Cloud
- Big Data – SQL, business intelligence and reporting
- Social Media
Jon’s speech followed by Kevin Turner, the Chief Operating Officer. He indicated that Microsoft has had its biggest year yet! This was due to the Surface, the telephones and Windows 8.1. He then added that he is challenging himself to an even bigger year of innovation in the upcoming year.
After Keynote, Chris went on to join the Partner Advisory Council for the world to discuss how they can get all of the 600,000 partners, to adopt the Cloud to help them move forward.
Once all meetings and speeches were out of the way, it was time for some relaxation and entertainment by Lenny Kravitz and Fitz and The Tantrums, not to forget premium foods and beverages.
Thursday 11th July
Chris and Alex attended the Regional Keynote Speech by Clare Barclay, talking about Microsoft UK’s accomplishments and the their future plans. After her speech the UK winners were announced on-stage to receive a congratulations from Clare Barclay herself. Chris and Alex then filmed their final video blog of the event, giving their thoughts, opinions and experiences of the event which you will be able to find below:
“Houston we have problem!”
On their final day in Houston they went by the NASA Space Centre. Chris always wanted to go to Mission Control, he was curious to see where the first and last man to the Moon started their journeys. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969. The sensation Chris and Alex felt of being in the same room which controlled Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon was incredible. The last man to the moon was with Apollo 17 in 1972.
The WPC 2013 was incredible experience and we highly recommend anybody who has the opportunity to attend the WPC in Washington next year, to definitely go. Not only do the various events, sessions and seminars that are organised there, provide you with great insights for future prospects and ideas, you are also given the opportunity to network with all of the other Microsoft Partners Worldwide.
You can view the pictures of the event on our Facebook Page.