A couple weeks ago I went to my second Microsoft Hosting Summit held in Bellevue, Washington. This conference is an annual invite-only Microsoft event for Hosting Partners and I have found this event to be extremely valuable. The event this year was bigger than last year, with about 350 people and with participants representing 38 countries. I even met a host from New Zealand!
The conference agenda (keynotes and breakout sessions) are a vehicle for Microsoft to convey their vision and roadmap directly to Hosting Partners, and also to discuss and demo new Microsoft technology. The Hosting partner ecosystem represents a lot of licensing revenue and Microsoft must maintain good partner relations, while simultaneously communicating to the hosting partners about their progress penetrating the hosting services market and potential partnership plays around these Microsoft hosted services.
While there has been some tension over the last couple years between Microsoft and hosting partners with the announcement of Microsoft’s Software + Services strategy, all hosting partners have now generally accepted that Microsoft will be moving into the hosting space and are strategizing accordingly.
Besides the formal presentations, the conference provides excellent networking opportunity among hosting partners and there are also many meetings occurring between partners and Microsoft staff, whose outcome will hopefully improve the Microsoft hosting platform.
Others have blogged about the conference on the official Microsoft Hosting Summit 2009 live spaces site.
I’ll be posting some of my thoughts/observations in another post.
VP Marketing and Business Development