Key Insights from Microsoft Inspire 2020

On July 21-22, DataArt, a Microsoft Gold Partner, participated in Microsoft Inspire, a conference held annually by Microsoft Corporation for its partner community. This year, the event was all-digital for the first time, which proved that, even in such turbulent times, the Microsoft ecosystem continues to help customers adapt, innovate, and succeed with their digital products.
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By Alla Lemlekh
SVP, Business Development, DataArt
Key Insights from Microsoft Inspire 2020

At Inspire, Microsoft announced a variety of new features for its products and services across Azure, Microsoft 365, Teams, Business Applications, Security and Compliance, as well as sustainability initiatives. Alla Lemlekh, SVP, Business Development at DataArt, shares key insights from the conference.

Human Connection, Technology Innovation, and Partnership

Gavriella Schuster (Corporate Vice President), Judson Althoff (EVP, Worldwide Commercial Business), and Nick Parker (CVP) opened the event with a presentation of partnership strategies and partner priorities for the fiscal year 2021 and a discussion on how the partnership community can reimagine future opportunities together.

The global pandemic has changed our world and taught us that no business is 100% resilient. Gavriella Schuster shared her opinion on overcoming the current health and social crisis and world’s challenges «through human connection, technology innovation, and partnership.»

Technology is the driving force behind improved customer experience and business transformation. According to Judson Althoff, all digital transformation projects moving forward will be purpose-driven — «the art and science of leveraging technology innovation to drive business and societal outcomes for good.»

«Now what is next to achieve these purpose-driven outcomes is to bring in societal change, the long-lasting change for good, to be trusted partners for our customers, to engage in activities that support fundamental human rights, to address the inequalities in the world and the social unrest. And finally, to get back to the goals of sustaining the planet for the future, so that the world is a better place not just for our generation but for generations to come,» — said Judson Althoff.

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Next Generation of Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI was a key announcement at Microsoft Inspire. Stack HCI is positioned as a native and completely integrated Azure service that gives businesses the most advanced security and performance, as well as the easiest and fastest way to integrate their data center with the cloud.

A new deployment wizard also offers IT administrators a way to rapidly set up an Azure Stack HCI cluster and connect to Azure and leverage Azure Stack HCI native integration with core Azure services, such as Azure Backup, Azure Security Center, and Azure Monitor, so customers can easily take advantage of Azure hybrid management capabilities.

New Azure Migrate Enhancements

To deliver the benefits of the cloud, Microsoft also announced the launch of new migration features to help customers act faster and expand IT operations and processes.

New Azure Migrate enhancement enables users to conduct richer data center assessments, including the ability to import and make assessments using uploaded Configuration Management Database data, and support for Azure VMware Solutions assessments.

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Apache Hadoop

Another announcement at Inspire was that Microsoft’s supported distribution of Apache Hadoop, an original open-source framework for distributed processing and analysis of big data sets on clusters, is now available, completely open-source, and compatible with the most recent Hadoop version.

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams

Three years ago, at Inspire, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 as a combination of Windows, Office, and EMS. This year, Microsoft launched new features and offerings to give partners more opportunities than ever before. Microsoft 365 helps partners build their businesses and strengthen relationships with their customers in many different ways. Microsoft shifted focus from building products to designing and accelerating technology experiences that help companies and individuals do business in more productive and more secure ways. For example, a new Microsoft 365 service solution — Universal Print — opens opportunities to many reseller partners, enabling an intuitive and secure print experience for users and helping IT reduce time and effort.

As thousands of businesses have transitioned to remote work over the past few months, Microsoft Teams have proven mission-critical to enabling remote and hybrid models of work across different meeting rooms and spaces. Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, and Aya Tange, Product Marketing Manager, showed the latest Teams innovations, including new ways to support the hybrid meeting experience through greater device management capabilities.

As for new enhancements to the Power Platform experience within Teams that makes the tool a more powerful hub for teamwork and business process transformation, it will allow companies to quickly respond to changing business needs, making it easier to create, deploy, and manage apps, as well as visualize data, without ever leaving Teams.

Sustainability Initiatives

Microsoft announced the new steps toward its goal of being carbon negative by 2030. A new Microsoft Sustainability Calculator will provide cloud customers transparency into their total carbon emissions, enabling them to reduce and report their environmental impact.

A new coalition Transform to Net Zero, launched by Microsoft and other leading corporations, will help accelerate business action toward a net-zero carbon economy.

According to Julia White, CVP, sustainability strategy is great not only for the earth but also for the business. It can help increase revenue, save money, reduce operating costs, build brand integrity and trust. Microsoft’s approach is to invest heavily in building the leading platform for technology solutions to reduce environmental challenges.

Alla Lemlekh, SVP, Business Development at DataArt, states:

Key Insights from Microsoft Inspire 2020
Being a partner of Microsoft across a variety of its products and services, and a loyal user of its products, DataArt attended Inspire, as one of the most prominent events for Microsoft partners. It was a great opportunity to hear about the latest innovations and strategy from Microsoft leaders and to experience innovations in practice. The conference also provided new ideas for digital transformation. Together we Inspire.

Find more conference insights in Microsoft Inspire 2020 Book of News.

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