Microsoft’s unified technology event for enterprises

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Over the past few months, it has been awesome to connect with our technical communities, customers, and partners at the SharePoint Conference, Lync Conference, Exchange Conference, Project Conference, and most recently, at TechEd North America. While the world is increasingly digital, there is still no replacement for time together, in person, to talk tech and business, and simply get to know each other better. Hands down, my favorite weeks of the past year have been those spent at these conferences, meeting with many, many of you!

As we took stock of the past conferences and looked forward to the next year of conferences, we decided we can do better – better for our technical communities, better for our business customers, better for our partners, and better for Microsoft. Part of this is a recognition that as our industry continues to evolve, so must our approach to creating valuable experiences for all of you. Part of this recognition is feedback from attendees across the past conferences asking for more content and product team engagement across Microsoft versus just within one product area. And, part of this is a recognition that Microsoft’s own cloud first, mobile first strategy must carry through to our conferences for all of us to be successful together.

With that backdrop, I am thrilled to announce we will be hosting an inaugural, unified Microsoft commercial technology conference the week of May 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. We’re bringing the best of what made our past conferences so valuable, plus adding more of what you’ve asked for including…

  • Clearer visibility into Microsoft’s future technology vision and roadmap
  • Unparalleled access to Microsoft senior leaders and the developers who write the code – many of whom will present and engage with you and answer your questions
  • A broader range of learning opportunities across all of Microsoft’s technologies, including actionable best practices from industry experts
  • Deep community interaction with the top technology professionals and industry peers in structured and informal settings
  • Epic after-hour festivities for you to unwind and turn up the fun!

If you attended the SharePoint Conference, Exchange Conference, Lync Conference or Project Conference, this is the conference for you. And, if you’re interested in or already using Office 365, this is the conference for you.

As someone who has attended all of these conferences, I know that some of you might be thinking that this new, unified conference can’t possibly be as magical as the past conferences you’ve attended. Or, that you really enjoyed the conference in the past and don’t want it to change. I totally get that and am here to reassure you that this unified conference will be every bit as awesome, every bit as valuable and in fact, it will exceed on both these measures. That is our maniacal focus and commitment to you, so hold us to it!

Save the week of May 4, 2015 and follow us on twitter @Office365 or join the Office 365 Technical Network to stay connected – we’ll be back in September with more details. I can’t wait to see you in Chicago for this unparalleled event.

Save the Date: May 4 - 8, 2015 Chicago, IL

  1. It is good to see MS shifting the conference focus to reflect the growing dominance of Office365. The SPC14 conference might as well have been called the Office 365 conference, as the majority of SharePoint seminars were already SharePoint online.

  2. Will 5 days be enough for all the content of the other conferences, or will there be a large scale back?

    • We wont scale back and at the same time we are making sure each community feels at home and will not get lost in an ocean of people and content.

  3. So if I am to understand this correctly, this the the SPC of 2015(plus all of the other conferences)?

    There will not be a separate SPC/Lync/Exchange etc?

    • Yes, we are bringing together the different conferences into a single event. We wont have a stand alone product conference anymore for the products mentioned in the blog. But we will do it in a way that will ensure you keep the access to engineering, content and community for each of the events that we bring together.

  4. Any plans for an european or EMEA event??

    • We continue to evaluate top markets to host our first-party events based on feedback from attendees as well as evaluation of city infrastructure and conference venue availability and capacity. We have no information to share at this time for location or dates past May 2015.

  5. I am sure I was not the only one to notice the date. May 4th. High marks on the nerd scale 🙂 #StarWarsDay

  6. I see the reason to do this in a way to cut cost.. However, when you have companies with a large Microsoft footprint or consulting firms with large Microsoft practices, sending 20-30 people to a conference on a single date range is extreme hit to an organization. Companies will still send people to the conference but in fewer numbers to save cost themselves. Not much choice in the matter or find other 3rd party Microsoft conferences to fill in the gaps.. I see that area growing..

    • We are not doing this to cut cost, while efficiencies are certainly beneficial to everyone, the focus for greater audience relevance and a One Microsoft approach will help us reach ITPros and loyalists, as well as extend to decision makers, enterprise developers and influencers we don’t traditionally reach. I do understand your feedback, but could also argue that this is a great place to bring customers as a consulting firm and help drive business.

    • I agree cloudzar. It takes a year to coordinate events like SPC – it’s painful and consumes a huge staff at Microsoft just to promote, plan, and execute. They can speak all they want about not doing it to cut costs, but you know it’s a huge factor. If I was them, I couldn’t say I wouldn’t be pushing it as well. So many of the Microsoft sponsored events have overlap, but now the interactive and technical in-depth offerings will truly be compromised in this condensed offering. And, they would have to cater to 20-30,000 attendees, I would think? I don’t know of the percentage of people from SPC that go to TechEd and vice versa, but can’t imagine it would be more than 5-10%. With this announcement, the 3rd party conferences, like SP TechCon just got the attendance boost they will love, and it will still never be as overwhelming as the SPC’s were starting to get. After attending 3 of the last 4 SPC’s, I think I can confidently say I won’t be making arrangements to attend this anytime soon. “Epic after-hour festivities for you to unwind and turn up the fun!”?? If you don’t mind a happy hour going shoulder to shoulder with 15,000-20,000 of your not-so-close friends in one arena…sure! Tons of excitement!

  7. Great to see. One question though – I’m assuming you guys are aware this event is scheduled to overlap with SAP SAPPHIRE. Was looking to attend both, given the good direction the SAP/Microsoft partnership is going… any thoughts on this?

    • After a comprehensive review of our objectives, planned events, available dates and locations in 2015, we selected the best option. Given the crowded event landscape among our partners, industries, and even Microsoft itself, overlapping events can occur, and at times are unavoidable. We will work with attendees, partners, employees, and others to minimize any challenges. We look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago the week of May 4, 2015.

  8. Hum, May 4th in Chicago… I hope it doesn’t snow.

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