By: Dann Anthony Maurno
Microsoft Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela made the announcement – the third of three items (more on the others later). Capossela wrote:
And finally, we are shifting Microsoft Envision, our event for business leaders previously planned for February, to become part of Microsoft Ignite Sept. 25-29. The partnership between business and IT leaders has never been more important, so Microsoft Ignite will now cater to both audiences and help foster collaboration between the two. We’ll have more details to share in the coming months.
Microsoft is telling partners that “Microsoft Dynamics technical content will move to Microsoft Ignite.”
Envision replaced the apparently much-preferred Microsoft Convergence event, in just four months to launch in April 2016.
After a rocky start, Envision had already been envisioned as something new. Just a month ago, Microsoft advised partners in November that Envision 2017 would do away with the traditional exhibit hall and sponsorship model for a more intimate and story-driven experience, with partners presenting “solution experiences” and success stories focused on the theme of driving digital transformation with Microsoft. Microsoft corporate vice president for the Worldwide Partner Group Gavriella Schuster advised in an email that the “traditional event pay-to-play” sponsorship model would be replaced with a “benefits model.”
Whether due to low interest so far, another rushed schedule, or other factors, Microsoft apparently decided that Envision 2017 would be tossing good money after bad.
Envision 2016 an “antisappointment”
Microsoft partners who had sponsored Convergence did not mince words over the value proposition of Envision. As on ISV told us last month, “Envision is no longer interesting to me…I [won’t have any] business with Envision unless they decide to bring back Convergence,” which Envision replaced.
Envision 2016, wrote Capossela in January 2016, “is designed for CxOs and their senior department and functional leaders who are driven to shape their own future and position their organizations and business for success in a mobile first, cloud first world. So it put decision makers with purchasing power at center. For technical content, software administrators, power users, and other “decision influencer” roles interested in Microsoft technology, there was Ignite and Build.
Ignite remains, and Microsoft bills it as “five days of hands-on learning, industry insights, and direct access to product experts.” With Diamond sponsors like Accenture, Avanade and Salesforce, and platinum sponsors like Cisco, Lenovo and IBM, the bonanza is back. With Ignite, Microsoft promises:
- 700+ sessions
- Interactive Digital Labs
- Direct access to product experts
- Deep dives and demos
- 300+ partners at the expo
- Product roadmaps, vision, and strategies
Build heads to Cloud City; WPC is now “Inspire”
“As always, our goal is to provide high-quality event experiences that deliver impactful guidance and enable our vibrant communities to network, grow and learn from each other,” wrote Capossela, who made these two announcements:
- The Microsoft Build conference will be in downtown Seattle (the “cloud city”) from May 10-12, 2017. There, developers will hear from Microsoft engineering leaders and learn about the latest tools and technologies to boost creativity and productivity.
- The Worldwide Partner Conference to will be rebranded as Microsoft Inspire, held July 9-13 in Washington, D.C. “This new name reflects how Microsoft and our partner community inspire each other to innovate and deliver powerful new solutions to customers.” Registration is open now.
Further, Capossela directs customers and partners to a wide range of live and virtual events, listed at www.microsoft.com/events.