The Westcoast Cloud Team
October 29, 2021

ELEVATE 2021: as it happened

Elevated to a new level

In our last blog, we stated how good things don’t last forever. And, sure enough, our ELEVATE conference has been and gone. It’s safe to say that it was a raging success, with a wide range of experts giving their takes on how businesses can emerge stronger from the pandemic.

We had speakers from Microsoft, The Marketing Practice (TMP), and our very own Westcoast Cloud team, all hosted by Bogdan Untilă. The sessions were interspersed with vendor booths, giving partners plenty of opportunities to talk to our vendors and ask questions. Honestly, we’re pretty chuffed.

Feel like you’ve missed out? Well, if we’re being honest, you have. But you’re in luck – we recorded the whole thing. You can watch it here.

The day started with the theme of change. Our Managing Director, Mark Davies, emphasised the importance of supporting each other through a constantly developing work environment.

Microsoft SMB Director, Alison Wright then talked to us about Microsoft’s current product landscape and what Microsoft sees changing and developing over the next five years.

Alison’s upbeat talk gave us an optimistic view of the road ahead. Yes, she recognised the challenges businesses are currently facing, but she still gave us plenty of reasons to be cheerful – making a solid case for the UK being one of the best places to start a business. Did you know that nearly half of UK SMEs had already hit or surpassed pre-COVID levels of turnover? Well, now you do!

And, if you’re looking for more little rays of sunshine like that, Alison’s is the session to watch.

Next Tom Marwood from Westcoast Cloud and Nicolás Charritton from Microsoft discussed how vital Microsoft services such as Viva and Teams will be, to the hybrid work going forward. With 73% of employees wanting the option of remote working, but 67% saying they would like more engagement with their colleagues, online collaboration tools have never been more important.

We were also given a full run down of what Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop can bring to your business, by our very own David Cox, Tom Marwood and Microsoft’s James Marshall. A brilliant session that reminded partners, that they must listen to the needs of their customers, before a rival does so. ‘Standing still’, they warned us, “is the same as moving backwards,’ and they gave us a few invaluable tips about how to keep driving your business forward. A must watch!

After a lunch break, Emily Fowler & Lon Clark from BitTitan, a Microsoft Gold Partner, joined us to introduce their MigrationWiz service – designed to help a business migrate its data between cloud environments. She explained how you can finally automate your long, tedious workflows – giving you the time back to concentrate on what matters: Your customers.

Have you ever thought about behavioural psychology in sales conversations? Well, you should, at least according to TMP’s Alastair Hussain. His fascinating talk gave us all a unique insight into what the customer is thinking. Alastair’s talk included everything from American social science studies (Cialdini’s 7 principles of persuasion) to the Starship Enterprise. We’re still not sure how he managed to get it all in.

Amazingly, 78% of salespeople that use LinkedIn outsell their peers. A stat brought to us by the second of TMP’s special guests on the day, Sarah Knight. In her super engaging session, she explained how to drive revenue through social selling, get LinkedIn working for you, sharing a few secret LinkedIn hacks such as: expressing your opinions, showing your brand’s personality through social posts and mixing up the style of content. Something we think is worth trying!

Veronica Popescu, our Marketing Manager, then dropped by to tell us about PartnerOn with Westcoast Cloud. A fantastic tool that offers partners the chance to build a digital marketing strategy, capture new leads, and fully engage with their customers online. Oh, and did we mention, it’s free?
Cally Beaton then capped it all off as the event’s special guest. We don’t want to spoil anything about her talk, but it’s safe to say it made a worthy end to the conference.

We’d like to thank everyone who spoke, as well as everyone who attended online. We appreciate all the feedback that’s come in, and we will come back stronger than ever next year. After a gruelling few years, the event brought together all our partners and gave us plenty to chew on. If you fancy a bite yourself, click here, where you can watch the entire thing.

And so, we guess it’s goodbye to ELEVATE for 2021. 2022, anyone?