Why I’m not going to Microsoft Inspire – by Julie Simpson aged 51-and-a-half

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First of all – I can’t believe I am that old. Secondly, I can’t believe I am publicly announcing it. Ah well, I always did shoot from the hip. Some people never learn.

After 15 years (this would be my 16th) I’ve taken the big decision not to attend Inspire in July. Which feels weird. After 15 years of intense networking, collaborating, speaking and socialising like nobody’s business - this year I shall be resting my feet and my voice during Inspire week. I can’t believe I have actually made this decision. Check me out!

The reason? ResourceiT doesn’t need me to be there. After another highly successful year we are beyond delighted to see the multi-skilled and respected professional Sarah Gray (appointed ResourceiT General Manager in July 2018) and the incredibly talented Tory Simpson (ResourceiT, Head of Digital and Creative) take-up the baton to represent our organisation at Inspire. We have no doubt that they will reach for the stars and make every single second count in Las Vegas. That doesn’t mean we won’t of course miss our own Becky Little who is soon coming to the end of her maternity leave and will I am sure be seeing you all next year.


In the meantime, we certainly feel very lucky that two people of this calibre have elected to bring their skills, energy, innovation and ideas to our business and share that with Microsoft and its partners all over the world. And what better place to make powerful and lifelong connections with partners than at Microsoft Inspire?

Talk to Sarah about Channel development and marketing strategy – you will be amazed by what she knows and can guide you through. Talk to Tory about digital and social media and how to generate leads. She will make your mind race with her ideas and knowledge of the new, digital world and results she has been delivering for our clients.

As for me, as co-founder and leader of the organisation for the last 16 years (for those that don’t know my husband and I both gave up our jobs, sold our house and started our business in 2003), I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I embrace and support the next generation to achieve great things and continue to take our business forwards for many years to come.

To all you fellow entrepreneurs out there, I have found that there is nothing more satisfying than supporting the next generation. Knowing that because they are so great, you have room to grow, to learn and to develop by taking on new challenges and learning new things, feels so good. I am ecstatic to be in the position to be exploring new opportunities for ResourceiT talking to new international business partners and organisations who have complementary services that blend perfectly with our channel connections, knowledge and experience. The sky’s the limit as we are open for business and striving for growth like never before. So exciting. How lucky I am to be presented with a new opportunity to begin a new phase of my career. And at my age. Love it.  

I can’t pretend I won’t miss the challenge laid down by leading a session at Inspire. Although achieving Number One session from 745 in 2017 filled me with such joy I realised that when you have been first there is only one way to go. There is nothing better than creating content and presenting it to a big crowd, and having people tell you that what you spent hours and hours and hours building, and thinking about and practising delivered value to them. It’s a huge high, but one I look forward to experiencing at my next gig hosting the Women of the Channel Europe in November in London for the second year (if you are in Europe and haven’t attended check it out, amazing event).

I also can’t pretend I won’t miss The WIT Network gals and all the incredible events taking place. Like never before there will be meetings, and gatherings, and mentoring, and networking and collaboration, and if you haven’t yet joined The WIT Network, what are you waiting for? For me, when Christine Bongard and I introduced Satya Nadella to the stage last year and welcomed over 1,000 people to the Women in Technology Charity Luncheon – I ask myself again, where do I go from here?

Will I miss the travelling and being away from home. Um, maybe not. Will I miss the sore feet? Not a chance. Will I miss the heat in Las Vegas in July? Hmm, let me think about that for a millisecond. How about ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

Will I miss the hype, the fun, the learning, the excitement, the networking, the connections, the opportunity, definitely yes, yes, YES! To all my friends and people I so look forward to seeing (to name a few Charlie James, Clare Barclay, David Brown, Adam Spurr, Daniel Langton, Tim Wallis, Dan Scarfe, Mary Hunter, David Little, Sophie, Elena, Christine, Gail, Corinne, Jennifer, Leasa Meyer, Lisa Harper, and of course Gavriella) – oh how I will miss you.

Some things will never change, so I’ll sign off on this post by saying…

If you are a Microsoft partner or Microsoft employee attending Inspire and want to learn some short-cuts to increasing growth, accelerating success, lifting up your classic or digital marketing and business development, or channel development strategy, or build a better business with Microsoft, please do connect with Sarah.Gray@ResourceiT.net or Tory.Simpson@ResourceiT.net. They will both be there with bells on and will be delighted to chat and share our knowledge of delivering over 3,000 business, sales and marketing projects for Microsoft and its partners. Please do connect and let’s all make the incredible conference that is Microsoft Inspire count.

Have fun in Vegas – I shall raise a cocktail (or two) to you all and who knows what 2020 may bring!

-        Julie Simpson, Founder & CEO

Marley Lacey