I’m currently attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto, an annual event designed to inspire new thinking, spark new relationships and drive new business opportunities across Microsoft’s partner ecosystem. Insite has been a Microsoft partner for the past ten years and offers the industry’s leading .NET commerce software platform. So, as you might assume, I’m quite passionate about the value the Microsoft/Insite partnership gives our customers.
A few observations, so far, from the show:
- After just the first day, attendance appears to be at record levels. Many of the partner booths were quite busy within just an hour of the show opening.
- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote presentation was very focused on cloud, mobility and data. There’s no question that the era of big-iron systems and installed software is moving on.
- It’s clear Microsoft partners are still determining if they should build or buy software solutions—this is one of the events they attend to decide that.
- A number of Insite partners are at the event, including Sitecore, Perficient, Verndale and NishTech. Looking forward to meeting up with them!
Benefits of Partner Collaboration
On Tuesday, I joined three other Microsoft partners onstage to talk about the topic of “Partner Collaboration.” While this may seem like a reasonable concept, most professional services organizations aren’t yet collaborating on a widespread basis with each other.
Rather, we find many agencies, integrators and development companies still attempting to solve online customer needs with their own custom-built applications, versus collaborating with software vendors for pre-packaged or configurable software. While this approach can work, it may result in a larger investment, delayed go-live dates, and ownership of an “orphaned” web application unable to enjoy upgraded capabilities as released.
Instead, a partner approach extends and enhances a vendor’s offering to meet their customers’ specialized needs, while maximizing their customers’ investments and delivering world-class results.
A Strong Partner Ecosystem is the Future
There are partners who are leading the way with collaboration, however. Four partners spoke onstage about the power of collaboration and how developing the right partnerships can ultimately benefit your customers—we heard an example of collaboration where a Microsoft independent software vendor (ISV) teamed with a Microsoft systems integrator (typically an agency or development shop) to deploy an industry-changing solution for their customer. This customer-first mindset will win long term.
A strong partner ecosystem has been part of Insite’s DNA since day one. Our implementation partners deploy our platform to power robust, scalable global commerce and sales enablement solutions for their customers. We also partner with a variety of technology vendors, such as Sitecore and InRiver, to provide the combined functionalities important to our customers.
Bottom line: this type of widespread partner collaboration is the future, and it’s really what the Microsoft Partner Community and the WPC is all about.
Join me for a webinar with Sitecore, “B2B Commerce—Digital Experiences that Drive Revenue,” Wednesday, July 20 at 10 am CDT. Click HERE to register for the webinar and learn about how B2B organizations are finding better ways to digitize the total customer experience.
Brian Strojny is CoFounder & EVP at Insite. Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.