There's always a gap between plan and execution. Project management is the act of managing those gaps. At the Worldwide Partner Conference held last week in Toronto, it was great to have some good project management in place to help handle the gaps.
My company’s leadership team entered this event with a strategy: to meet with system integrators from each of the countries and territories in which we do business, as well as strategic isv's that offer complementary solutions to our own. We also scheduled multiple meetings with members of relevant Microsoft product teams to discuss Microsoft's and our own product roadmaps. And of course we identified sessions to attend to learn more about the broader Microsoft messaging, partner successes, and leadership development topics.
No matter how well you plan going into a conference like this, things change: schedules meet the reality of logistics (namely, moving between the north and south buildings, changing room numbers based on overwhelming attendee responses to some topics), new opportunities appear (like my podcast with @PaulSpain), and the prioritization of extracurricular activities, like the non-stop chain of parties held by every other sponsor. Thankfully, we had some help from our new Director of Partners and Alliances, Gerald Rhee, who did a fantastic job juggling meetings. Especially when our east and west VPs of Sales, Nick Fasano and Michael Burns, respectively, took up shop at Jack Astor’s outside bar and renamed it Axceler Toronto. Gerald was able to reschedule many of their partner visits to the new office digs. Well done!
While news of Microsoft’s Wave 15 release was limited, and the fruits of last week’s meetings will play out over the next several months, three relevant announcements were released during and post-conference:
- Axceler launched a new Partner Advantage Program for Managed Service Providers (MSPs), including comprehensive training, marketing and support components around Axceler’s governance solutions. As part of this announcement, Apptix has signed on as a strategic service partner, which you can read more about here.
- Axceler announces new leadership team members – Claudine Bianchi joins from Avid Technology as our Chief Marketing Officer, and John Puopolo joins from RapidBuyr as our Chief Technology Officer. Both have extensive experience working with rapid-growth companies, and will play an integral role in our strategic direction. Read more here.
- Today, Microsoft announced their public preview of Wave 15 versions of Office and SharePoint. You can read a play-by-play of Steve Ballmer’s announcement here, or visit the official website here.
All three are huge announcements for Axceler as we prepare for the fall SharePoint Conference (in November) in Las Vegas, and more product announcements. For me personally, I can finally start talking about SharePoint 2013 / Wave 15 details that I’ve been sitting on since the MVP Summit in February. While my NDA is still in effect, we are free to discuss everything available through the public beta, so I am excited to see new content roll forth, start capturing community videos on the new bits (#TheOneThing), and doing more writing. Look for a new ebook sometime before the November conference.
Next up for me is SPTechCon in Boston where I have three regular sessions, a lightning talk, and will be leading a panel on governance. Then its down to SharePoint Saturday New York City, where I have a session on content governance and will lead a panel on community development.
August is much quieter, with visits to Axceler’s offices in Boston (and a presentation to the BASPUG) and Los Angeles, and some much needed time home. Lots of writing to be done, and webinars to be conducted before the events and travel heat up again in September. Look for updates.