By Jonathan Maresky, Product Marketing Manager, Cloudguard IaaS, published July 2, 2019
I like Microsoft Inspire.
The conference, previously known as Microsoft WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) was my first foray into the wonderful world of cloud computing events. I remember being very impressed by the depth and breadth of Microsoft’s partner community, and even more impressed by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. His keynote, in front of a packed stadium of 15,000 attendees, emphasized the importance of a healthy partner ecosystem to Microsoft, as well as Microsoft’s commitment to its partners.
Microsoft Inspire 2019, which takes place in Las Vegas during July 14-18, is one of Microsoft’s largest annual events and a wonderful opportunity to learn, network, partner and of course grow your business. I’d like to share five obvious-but-still-valuable tips in order to succeed at Microsoft Inspire – and if you visit me at Booth 719, I’ll give you even more tips.
Tip 1: Plan your attendance in Inspire in great detail
I’m not going to write about five tips for event planning success – that’s not the point of this blog.
But I will ask a few questions to help your planning process:
- Why are you at Inspire? Everything you do should serve an objective. Define your Inspire objectives clearly in advance, and ensure these are understood and agreed.
- What will help to convey your value proposition? Prepare your company and product content to reflect and support your messaging – see below.
- How can you maximize the use of your time at Inspire? Plan meetings with partners and Microsoft contacts before the event, and before their schedules are already full.
- Who will you take to Vegas? Decide on your attendees to best meet your objectives and try to give them time to learn and attend sessions instead of doing 100% booth duty.
- How do you tell the world? Consider how social media and online marketing can help generate interest in advance of Inspire. (This blog is self-referential!)
Tip 2: Have a great partnership program
Inspire is targeted at Microsoft’s immense and diverse partner community.
So it is first and foremost a partner event.
(Although, depending on your product, you can still find customers and generate valuable sales leads at Inspire, because some partners can also be customers.)
But to succeed at Inspire, you need to focus on partners: Microsoft’s partners and most of all, your partners and potential partners.
Check Point is a partner-driven organization, similar to Microsoft.
We have over 6200 partners all over the world, and an excellent channel partner program. Check Point partners gain immediate access to accelerated sales team training, free certification and training for their technical teams, and co-op funds to grow their business.
Do you want to be a Check Point channel partner?
Sign up here today!
Or email us to schedule a meeting at Inspire.
Tip 3: Cultivate your partnership with Microsoft
Microsoft also has an impressive and valuable partner program, the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). After joining, you receive various valuable benefits, marketing and sales resources, and you can apply for competencies depending on your area of interest and expertise.
MPN members are also assigned a partner lead within Microsoft’s partner team, who will help you to understand the various programs and benefits, as well as guide you to succeed in your go-to-market activities inside Microsoft and co-marketing opportunities together with Microsoft.
Of course, this partnership effort is ongoing and continuous and year-round and may even include meeting with relevant Microsoft executives.
But the apex of your partnership with Microsoft is generally at Inspire, which also includes Microsoft’s Partner of the Year Awards.
How about Check Point? See for yourself:
Microsoft recently launched the Azure Security Expert Series, which will “provide on-going virtual content to help security professionals protect hybrid cloud environments”. In the first session, Ann Johnson, CVP of Cybersecurity Solutions Group at Microsoft, led a discussion on cloud security best practices including a Q&A with Check Point’s Worldwide Head of Cloud Security, Ran Nahmias.
And last but not least – Check Point was one of the top Security partners worldwide for Microsoft in FY19 (Microsoft’s financial year from July 2018-June 2019)!
Tip 4: Fine-tune your messaging for success
In Tip 1 I wrote about planning your messaging for Inspire.
This is not a trivial task:
- You need to understand your customers and their journey towards deciding to work with you.
- You need to understand your partners.
- You need to understand Microsoft’s interests and considerations.
- And above all, you need to understand your company’s value proposition and benefits to your customers, partners and Microsoft.
- And all of this messaging needs to be condensed into concise and clear language.
- Review your messaging with the Microsoft partner team well before Inspire
- Present benefits instead of features
- Outline the value that you will provide instead of product pricing
- Consider your competitive advantages instead of bad-mouthing your competition. Don’t forget that competition is good and motivates us to do better.
Tip 5: Have an industry-leading solution
Check Point is the leader in Cloud Security.
The CloudGuard family protects assets in the cloud from the most sophisticated threats with dynamic scalability, intelligent provisioning and consistent control across Azure, Azure Stack and hybrid networks.
CloudGuard IaaS provides advanced threat prevention and network security to protect customers from malware and other sophisticated threats, and also provides secure connectivity across Azure cloud and on-premises environments. Check Point provides a secure cloud blueprint with the top five principles to building a secure cloud environment, and customers can receive free trial of CloudGuard IaaS on Azure Marketplace.
CloudGuard Dome9 enables visibility, governance and continuous compliance monitoring of Azure and multi-cloud environments. CloudGuard Dome9 also allows users to visualize misconfigurations, risk exposure of customer workloads and comply with regulatory requirements and best practices.
Check Point recently launched CloudGuard Log.ic, an exciting security analytics solution for threat protection and security intelligence, with forensic investigation capabilities. CloudGuard Log.ic enriches cloud logs with context, transforming them into actionable security logic.
CloudGuard SaaS protects enterprise data by preventing targeted attacks on SaaS applications and cloud-based email; it provides complete protection against malware and zero-days, sophisticated phishing attacks, and hijacking of employee SaaS accounts.
However you choose to use the five tips above, don’t forget to summarize the event afterwards, to understand what you did well and what you can improve for next year.
But for this year:
Come over to Check Point at booth 719 or schedule a meeting with our team at Inspire today!
Visit https://www.checkpoint.com to learn more about how CloudGuard can help you protect your data and infrastructure in Microsoft Azure and hybrid clouds.