Partners and customers to meet at Connect

Partners and customers to meet at Connect

Microsoft New Zealand is hosting the first of two events this month that bring together partners and customers.

The freshly branded Connect event contains streams for partners, business decision makers and technical professionals and will visit Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Steve Haddock, partner group manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says the two presentations for partners will be the best sales readiness sessions the vendor has delivered for years.

The sessions will focus on developing business-based arguments, rather than reciting features and benefits on a product-by-product basis, and will be presented by Bruce Rasmussen, managing director of Australian firm Carpe Diem Consulting Services, which provides strategic leadership in business planning, marketing, sales and e-business.

“He will be focusing on strategic selling, developing business-based arguments and services revenue from Microsoft solutions rather than product revenue. This is so important for people to come to,” says Haddock, adding that in Australia partners rated this session very highly.

“It was getting nine and eight out of ten from partners, which is outstanding. People will regret it if they miss it.”

This month’s event is the first under the Connect banner and Haddock says Microsoft hopes to create a brand around the name with another round planned for November.

“We want to create a brand that we maintain to have some continuity. In a year’s time people will know Microsoft Connect is on twice a year and is something they should go to,” he says.

Connect is unique to New Zealand and in the way it brings together partners, end-users and technical staff, says Haddock.

“We’re trying to bring customers and partners together and align things in one consistent, cohesive way.”

The event will also include an exhibitor area where Microsoft partner and customers can meet.

“We are trying to have partners on the stand who have solutions that are related to content presented,” says Haddock.

Connect is held in Christchurch on April 7 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington on April 12 at the Intercontinental and Auckland April 14 at the Aotea Centre.

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