Nestled atop The Star, with panoramic views over Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, sits a $100 million multi-purpose events centre.
Standing within it on November 16 will be the head of a tech giant boasting a market cap in excess of $US460 billion, with one purpose and a laser sharp focus on his watching audience.
For there will be no wide-angled view when Satya Nadella visits Australia for the first time as Microsoft CEO, rather a precise and particular line-up of key strategic partners.
Through headlining the Microsoft Australia Developer Event, Nadella will outline how the vendor is engaging with developers to help shape the future with an intelligent cloud platform and artificial intelligence.
In aligning with the developer community, Microsoft is once again sending subtle - or perhaps not so subtle - signals to its traditional channel base.
For this won’t be a trip of channel convenience, there will be no reseller one-on-one meetings or strategic addresses, rather, this visit will lay the groundwork for Microsoft’s future partner strategy in Australia.
Akin to Nadella’s opening keynote at 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, sometimes, it’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say that counts.
Amidst a whirlwind visit to Australian shores, Nadella’s agenda is built around lending credibility to an event addressing today’s development challenges, from Xamarin cross-platform development and the functionality of cognitive services, to the integration of open source DevOps practices with Microsoft Azure.
While the vendor isn’t completely slamming the door shut on its core base of value-added resellers, it’s deliberately shifting focus to independent software vendors (ISVs).
Emphasised at WPC, reiterated at APC and now cemented at Microsoft Australia Developer Event, ISVs represent the beating heart of Redmond’s new channel.
Perhaps most noticeably, Microsoft’s global deals with SAP and Adobe have best highlighted the vendor’s desire to indulge itself with ISVs, but in Australia, local progress is also being made.
Whether it be Janison, Objective Corporation, Capstone or MailGuard, Microsoft understands that ISVs now play a crucial role in extending and expanding Azure cloud offerings across the market.
Similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and IBM, the message to the reselling channel is to catch up and change, pursuing profitability through managed services and productising intellectual property (IP).
In essence, the onus is now on partners to build and develop unique solutions on top of cloud platforms, offering the originality required to ensure ongoing success.
While the traditional and transactional methods of the channel will not disappear overnight, and nor should such a fallacy be encouraged, the direction of travel is clear.
In flying over 12,000km from Redmond to Sydney - adhering to a meticulously planned out schedule - Nadella’s visit is as purposeful as it is symbolic.
But the key question for the channel remains, can you read between the lines?