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Published:Oct 01, 2017

7pace at Microsoft Visual Studio Partner Summit 2017

Tuesdays are usually somewhat typical for me, as far as days go, as I settle in at my home office in Celebration, Florida. I usually check my email and browse Zendesk and our 7pace Community for any tickets or communication from our customers, and then dive into the other tasks for the day. But Tuesday, September 19 was not going to follow any pattern or road I had travelled on before. On this Tuesday, I was heading to the Visual Studio (VS) Partner Summit 2017 being held in Redmond, WA. Here, VS product teams would be engaging with and sharing their roadmaps and future opportunities for their VS partners. I was looking forward to meeting up with my co-worker, Maxim Lutsan, the CTO of 7pace, who was traveling all the way from our corporate headquarters in Munich, Germany. I was excited for this opportunity to interact and forge relationships with the Visual Studio Partner Team and fellow VS partners.

Day 1 of the conference kicked off with a welcome from Shawn Nandi, Senior Director, Cloud App and Data Marketing and a keynote address by Brian Harry, CVP, Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), on Enterprise DevOp Trends, Challenges and Partner Opportunities. We were pleased to have 7pace Timetracker featured in Brian’s presentation as an example of partners who personify success within the VSTS Marketplace and ecosystem.

Sessions continued with Laura Quest, Partner Ecosystem Development, Cloud App Development and Data Marketing, who spoke on Opportunities Ahead Through the VS Partner Program. Laura pitched 7pace’s upcoming feature presentation in the afternoon session, while recognizing Timetracker as “the most downloaded third-party VSTS extension” on the Marketplace.

The morning wrapped up with Ravi Shanker, Principal Group PM Manager, Visual Studio, speaking on VS Marketplace Uptake, Investments, and Roadmap.

After lunch, Maxim was invited to speak as a special guest of Joe Bourne, Senior Program Manager, as part of his TFS and VSTS Extensibility and Ecosystem Strategy session. Presenting on 7pace’s behalf as an example of a VS partner who embodies the success of the partner program, Maxim shared our best practices with our fellow partners, including the various methods we use to communicate and interact with our customers, our growth as an extension and company, our experiences, pain points, lessons learned, and why we continue to “bet on the VS Marketplace”.

Sessions continued throughout the afternoon, featuring engineers and leaders from the VSTS team including Mario Rodriguez, Joe Bourne, Abel Wang and other members of the extensibility team on how to better go-to-market together in the DevOps space.

The day culminated with the much-anticipated Visual Studio Partner Technology Showcase (aka “Partner Expo”) in the Grand Hall at the Microsoft Conference Center. Here, we got the opportunity to demo Timetracker to and interact with Microsoft evangelists, MVPs, and consulting service partners who deliver DevOps consulting on behalf of Microsoft, sales and marketing leaders from the Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise organization, and product leads from across the VS family. 7pace proved to be very popular with expo attendees, who kept us busy and engaged the entire evening. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and helping them get to know us and Timetracker better.

Day 2 kicked off with a keynote address by Julia Luison, CVP, Visual Studio and .NET, on the Future Roadmap for VS and how partners will continue to be critical to Microsoft’s (MS) success going forward. We then dove into sessions on MS’s Journey to Agile with VSTS, VS IDE and Extensibility updates, and Azure Services Driving Application Innovation from a developer advocate’s perspective. We closed out the afternoon with an interesting presentation on Channel 9 videos and then got to catch some of our fellow MS partners in the hot seat as part of the “Click-to-Lead” Partner Success Panel. Hosted by Laura Quest, partner representatives from LaunchDarkly, Modern Requirements, Redgate, Mobilize.net, and Telerik answered host and audience questions on their path to success as MS partners.

It was then time for Maxim to board a bus to Safeco Field for the Seattle Mariners vs.Texas Rangers baseball game in the Mariners executive suites with the DevOps Partners and MVPs, and with Microsoft’s product, sales and marketing leaders from Cloud & Enterprise. And it was time for me to head back to Orlando. It was an intense, exciting, and fast-paced two days, where we got to mingle with, learn from and showcase 7pace to Microsoft leaders and fellow partners. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our showcase booth, and who shared their knowledge and experience with us!

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