Microsoft, for many years now, have built and maintained a network of technology and service partners for the majority of their products. These partners capitalise on both perceived product gaps and make creative use of APIs to create an assortment of extensions, bolt-ons and utilities that can help make a software deployment shine.
It stands to reason then that Microsoft would want to keep this partner community informed and content on the future of their various technologies. Since 2003 they do exactly this, once a year, in a forum known as the World Partner Conference (WPC), which as an event that lasts several days and aims to achieve the following:
- Informs: On the product roadmaps for the next year
- Educates: On the latest best practice and product related innovations
- Builds: Both networks and connections for attendees
This conference is noticeably different from events like Ignite and Build, which are aimed at the general stakeholder community regardless of role or responsibility. WPC has a different aim. It looks solely at the partner community, and as such presents content tailored to their interests.
Celebrating the success of its partners
On top of the show that Microsoft put on for the community, many partners take advantage of the occasion to host their own events and to highlight feats that their own products are capable of. One such partner is Nintex, who have developed a strong synergy with SharePoint since the beginning, and have built themselves a fine reputation as a stellar workflow and forms solutions provider.
2015 Nintex Partner Awards
This year, Nintex hosted their 4th Partner Awards event, an occasion that they use to highlight outstanding achievement and to recognise and reward important contributors of their products. A variety of awards were handed over to community colleagues from a number of different global regions, and consisted of 4 main categories:
- Business Excellence
- Marketing Impact
- Nintex Choice
- Solution Innovation
Rather than detailing who won what award, we’d invite you to take a look at their press release, which you can read here.
Nintex wins Office App Awards
To further the recognition of Nintex’s offering, we’re delighted to highlight some of the awards they won themselves. If we take a brief look back, 2014 was a good year for Nintex as they picked up four awards across three specific categories. These included:
- 2014 “People’s Choice” top honour for Nintex Workflow for Office 365
- Nintex Forms for (Office 365) recognised as a finalist in the same category
- Top spot in the Most Interesting SharePoint Scenario and Most Downloaded SharePoint App categories
12 months on and they’ve continued their run of form, securing themselves another 5 awards. These were:
- People’s Choice top honour for Overall Developer
- First place for Most Launched SharePoint Add-in and Most Business Value SharePoint Add-in (Nintex Workflow for Office 365)
- Named 2015 Office and SharePoint Development Application Partner of the Year
- Two second place awards, including Best Mobile App and Highest Performing SharePoint Add in
Whilst there is significant praise and kudos for winning these awards we feel that this recognition provides one additional benefit. Some partners have expressed concern that as Office 365 sees more widespread uptake, Microsoft will become more of a rival than a partner.
To those thoughts, we’d use Nintex’s award history as an example of how to address these fears. There’s no denying that the cloud represents a disruptive change to how many in the IT industry have typically worked. This disruption also offers opportunity for those that are able and willing to (re)develop products and services. Nintex’s ability to do this has garnered them a lot of recognition within the partner community and no doubt a fair amount of new business too.
Enhancements to their Partner Programme
Lastly, Nintex have made some structural changes to their own global partner network, all designed to make dealing with them a lot easier. Their new partner model recognises two types of partner (Solution and Technology Partners) and further categorises the relationship the two share into the following three classifications:
- Premier: Active high reselling, referring, and technology partners.
- Certified: Active reselling, referring and technology partners with appropriate certifications and/or product integration validations
- Registered: Partners that refer business to Nintex but without requisite certifications
Nintex have also set-up a series of Portals to empower and assist partners with their work. Specific content hubs have been developed, such as a new Learning Centre, Marketing Centre and Product Centre.
Moving in the right direction
The 2015 WPC was an exciting show that continued Microsoft’s trend of keeping its partners informed and educated as to their future plans and ideas. These plans can be both scary and exhilarating depending on who you talk to. Having so successfully reworked their products in conjunction with Office 365, Nintex (among others) are well situated to progress along with Microsoft in terms of cloud integration.
Lets see what the next 12 months bring us!