Bittersweet WPC

Comments Off on Bittersweet WPC

Earlier today the team wrapped up our Microsoft WPC plans and agenda. We will be sponsoring the event that I’ve traditionally made my biggest deals at. Microsoft WPC used to be THE event to meet big decision makers, spec out new vendors, work with peers and learn from the best in business.

This year we will be sponsoring WPC for the very first time, coming to it as a stronger and more profitable company than we’ve ever been, with the record growth to boot a very promising future.

Yet, this event will be very bittersweet. Despite the record amount of business we do with Microsoft, they have never been a more irrelevant part of our business future. Our of all our key relationships, we work with Microsoft the least yet send them the most money. Between Dell, HP, Autotask, AhSay, Sophos, ConnectWise and Microsoft, I have the least bit of a working relationship with Microsoft. I’m simply a consumer of their goods.

As someone who has built a company trying to emulate Microsoft’s success in the approach with the partners, I have to admit I’m sad with the direction they have taken the company. I have to admit, even though they are now competition, that I am even more disappointed that it’s not working. Last year I posted a very (appropriate or profane, you be the judge) picture of what Microsoft did to it’s partner base – and by all accounts it’s done more to alienate people from Microsoft and make it less popular than ever before.

As a partner and as a stock holder, I am disappointed.

As a sponsor and a business man, I’m moving forward with Microsoft looking for the win. However, when relationships become “just business” people soon only look at the numbers.

This is a good, albeit tragic, thing to pay attention to no matter where you are in your business maturity: there is a reason why people work with you. If you don’t nurture the very reason people work with you, they will consider your competition even if they don’t win “the feature spec battle.”