Jul 12, 2012

Reflections on Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2012

The following blog article was guest written by Steve O’Hanlon, President and Chief Operating Officer at Numerix.

I was privileged to attend Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) for the first time last week in Toronto. I was there for two reasons: First, to accept the 2012 ISV/Software Solution Partner of the Year Award on behalf of Numerix. Second, to meet with key executives in Microsoft’s Enterprise Partner and Developer Platform Evangelist groups who manage our relationship within Microsoft’s network of over 650,000 partners.

Steve O'Hanlon at WPC
Steve O’Hanlon, Numerix President & COO, at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, where Numerix was the honored recipient of Microsoft's 2012 ISV/Software Solution Partner of the Year Award

Microsoft pulled out all the stops to recognize Numerix at the largest WPC in the company’s history. Among the many ‘red carpet’ treatments bestowed on us as award winners, I was honored to represent Numerix at an exclusive Award Winners luncheon with Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. During the Vision Keynote Tuesday morning, I enjoyed an exhilarating ‘walk of fame’ onstage in front of 16,000 attendees.

These events left me both humbled and extremely proud of how far our partnership with Microsoft has come in just a few short years. But fanfare aside, I was truly inspired by the sheer breadth and depth of technology innovation Microsoft showcased at this conference. I’m not just talking about cool gadgets and interfaces - although I must admit the 150” touchscreen display landed squarely at the top of my Christmas wish list – I’m referring more to the impressive advancements Microsoft’s made in its Windows Azure, SQL Server 2012 and Windows 8 platforms.

At Numerix, we’re always on the lookout for the next new thing we can leverage in our pricing and risk analytics solutions to the benefit of our clients. From what I saw at WPC, Microsoft’s offerings are clearly well positioned to address the enterprise class performance, scalability and usability needs of our most demanding financial services customers. While at WPC I also had several productive discussions with our counterparts in Microsoft’s Worldwide Financial Services team on how technology innovations such as cloud computing can translate into real business benefit for our mutual customers.

Joe Pagano, Managing Director, Capital Markets and Banking for Microsoft spoke about a fundamental shift in the way organizations are aligning people, process, policy, governance and technology to positively impact their bottom line. The key, Joe said, lies in an organization’s ability to go beyond the traditional one-time cost savings benefit to achieve “sustainable cost disruption” that not only lowers costs but actually funds significant business innovation going forward. This is precisely what we’re seeing manifest itself in our customers. Whether it’s a midsize asset manager that lacked in-house IT horsepower or a large insurance firm that deferred deployment due to IT cost constraints, sell- and buy-side institutions are leveraging our burst-to-Azure capability to calculate complex risk measures on their derivatives portfolios faster, more granularly and more frequently.

A lower cost, on-demand compute platform such as Azure enables creative new approaches to risk management at a fraction of the infrastructure cost and deployment time – all the makings of a game-changer for our industry. I’m excited about the next chapter in our strategic relationship with Microsoft and the positive impact we can have together for our customers.

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