Key Insights from Microsoft Inspire 2021

On July 14-15, DataArt, a Microsoft Gold Partner, took part in Microsoft Inspire 2021, the company’s second virtual partner conference. The event gathered Microsoft leaders and partners to reveal new products, advancements in cloud innovation, partnership opportunities and the company’s focus for the coming year.
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By Alla Lemlekh
SVP, Business Development, DataArt
Key Insights from Microsoft Inspire 2021

Just like last year, the event was all-digital, which has again proved that the Microsoft ecosystem, with the help of its partnership network, continues to help customers adapt, innovate, and succeed with their digital products.

Alla Lemlekh, SVP, Business Development at DataArt, attended key Microsoft Inspire sessions. In this post, she shares her top takeaways about new developments in the Microsoft partner community, as well as updates to Azure and introduction of Windows 365.

Driving Growth Through Partnerships

Traditionally, the event opened with a keynote speech by Satya Nadella (CEO), in which he mentioned that “Microsoft is only successful if their partners are successful.” This year, Nick Parker (VP of Global Partner Solutions) started his presentation by expressing gratitude to Microsoft’s partners for delivering transformative products and solutions that helped businesses adapt to these challenging times. “It is your engagement with Microsoft technology that has a big impact on the world recovering,” he said.

Parker also announced that Microsoft is prioritizing investments to support the partner ecosystem and deliver strong results. Starting July 1, Microsoft has reduced the marketplace transaction fee from 20% to 3% to help support partners’ growth. “These significant new investments underpin our fundamental belief in our partner business model,"  said Nick Parker.

Rodney Clark (VP of Channel Sales & Channel Chief) revealed that Microsoft plans to rebuild its deal registration workflow to bring partner and seller experiences closer together and apply Zero Trust and automation technologies to keep fraud out of the ecosystem. He also announced that Microsoft would increase its investment in skilling by more than 250%, a move that  includes deep technical training through cloud weeks, virtual hands-on labs and digital technical skilling content that is on demand to deepen partners’ technical capabilities. “Our customers are increasingly technical, and, to stay relevant, we need to match that same level of tech intensity,” said Rodney Clark.

Innovations with Azure

Microsoft introduced two new advanced specializations for partners working with Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc. Azure Stack HCI partners can also use new marketing assets to showcase their technical capabilities and highlight the value of Azure Stack HCI, a cloud-connected, hyperconverged infrastructure operating system (OS) delivered as an Azure service. Azure Stack HCI’s new features include simplified guest licensing activation and enhanced infrastructure security.

Azure Migration and Modernization

Microsoft expanded its Azure Migration and Modernization Program by offering new scenarios that optimize the modernization of any app, regardless of framework or supporting database. A wide range of managed services includes Azure App Service, Azure Kubernetes Service, and—starting recently —Azure Spring Cloud and Azure Cosmos DB.

Windows 365

Microsoft also introduced Windows 365, a new virtualization technology for Windows that allows users to stream apps, tools, data, and settings across devices. Windows 365 is designed to give organizations a modern, flexible, and secure way to empower distributed workforces. The ability to access a cloud PC from anywhere, and on any device, fits into Microsoft’s general strategy of optimizing products like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 for a post-pandemic hybrid workforce.

Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva is a new employee experience platform that includes a combination of tools for employee engagement, learning, wellbeing, and knowledge. Viva partner integrations will be available later this year, with more than 20 partners, including ServiceNow, Qualtrics, and Workday. Through new and existing partner integrations, users can take full advantage of personalized tools, insights, and experiences.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

At Inspire, Microsoft announced a new cloud offering that will tackle one of the most critical issues of our time. Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability is intended to help companies record, report, and reduce their emissions in order to achieve zero carbon emissions.

This new offering will allow customers to invest in sustainable practices and partner with experts to address their carbon reduction and sustainability plans. Microsoft sees carbon emissions as one of the most urgent crises facing the planet. This new cloud technology was created as a response to demand from investors, customers and legislators for more accountability when it comes to companies’ carbon reduction efforts.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability was developed using trusted Microsoft technologies, including Azure, Microsoft Dataverse, Power Platform, and Power BI. This new offering will employ the Microsoft ecosystem of partners for specialized industry third-party apps, data sources, and emissions data connectors.

Video Website Find more conference insights in Microsoft Inspire 2021 Book of News
Rick Seaney
DataArt is extremely proud to remain a trusted Microsoft partner and be the first to try top-notch technologies the company releases year by year. This year, as always, Microsoft Inspire was a compelling event to attend. The speakers have really inspired partners to remain active participants of the network.
Alla Lemlekh SVP, Business Development

Last year marked DataArt's 20th anniversary as a Microsoft partner. Throughout these years, we have seen thousands of clients empowered by Microsoft’s tools, and it has always been a pleasure to assist in digital transformations. This year, DataArt received a regional Partner of the Year Award (Cloud Native App Development category). There is certainly more to come!

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