The February 2018 EMEA Partner summit finished a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good we wanted to just take a little bit of time to savour it before this post. This was our sixth running of the event, and has definitely been our biggest and best to date. We were delighted to see a mix of partners who had previously attended other sessions as well as a number of new faces, with partners attending from all across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The event actually consisted of two tracks: one for our commercial staff and another for technical staff at our partners. For our commercial colleagues, there were two days of assorted content, including keynotes from cpfister (our EVP for product), kevin.bury (our SVP for customer experience), and Ludo Neveu (sales GVP). All of our sessions received great feedback, but two that stood out in particular included a customer success session (featuring THWACK® MVP robertcbrowning), and the commercial wrap-up session, where our sales team was able to share part of our internal workflows.
Our technical partners also had a chance to attend the keynotes. There was a focus on technical training, with the technical aspect spread over four days and exams running on the final day. Given the variety of experience and specialties of those attending, two different training sessions were run during the days, focused primarily on providing training for the NPM and SAM SCP certifications, as well as a new beta exam for NTA and a more advanced Orion® Architecture beta exam.
Of course, it’s not all just work. There’s some downtime in the evenings, and it’s great to be able to share some Irish hospitality with our visitors. The main social event took place on Tuesday night, where we enjoyed some good barbecue within walking distance of our event hotel. But as an added bonus, once we finished the meal (and it took a while; there was some GOOD eating!), we moved on to some post-meal entertainment, including bowling, pool, and, if the stories are true, a very competitive table-tennis game between some keynote speakers.
For those of us within SolarWinds, our partner events are some of the biggest highlights of the year. It’s an excellent opportunity for our sales and marketing staff to have some face-to-face time with many partners with whom they may have worked remotely over the years. And while one of the overall goals of the week is partner enablement, it’s also an excellent opportunity for partners to provide feedback directly to SolarWinds. Work is already under way for future Summits, taking into account feedback from our partners, but also looking to incorporate some new ideas as well.
And as a bonus, here’s a video highlighting our great week.