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New partner opportunities, exciting product announcements, and software updates were just a few noteworthy announcements at Inspire 2020.
While COVID-19 may have prevented Microsoft partners from gathering at Microsoft Inspire 2020, partners were still able to meet virtually. Partners heard from various inspirational keynote speakers and got fresh new ideas from various informative presentations.
Microsoft CEO Staya Nadella spoke to partners along with Channel Chief Gavriella Shcuster and Executive VP, Judson Althoff. Some of what they discussed include the incredible growth of Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Teams, and Dynamics 365. Nadella had this to say about Microsoft’s infrastructure: “across the cloud and the edge,” there is an “incredible impact our partners and customers can have with it.”
There were many great annoucements from Microsoft Inspire 2020. Here are just a few of them:
Moving Forward Despite the Pandemic
While many businesses have struggled due to COVID-19, Microsoft has not. During the conference, they shared their financial results from their fourth quarter of its fiscal 2020. They saw revenue growth year-over-year by 13 percent, surpassing most Wall Street analyst expectations. These promising numbers drilled home that Microsoft is continuing to move forward despite the challenges posed by the economic crisis and COVID-19.
New Software Updates
During Inspire 2020, the Microsoft executive team announced exciting updates to Microsoft Teams, Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Dynamics 365.
With the recent increase of remote work, the market for Microsoft Teams, a remote-work solution, has increased. Executives showed how companies can use Microsoft 365 as a secure collaboration solution for remote workers.
They also discussed Together Mode, a feature in Teams that utilizes AI to create a shared digital background that participants can meet in. Colleagues will then feel like they’re meeting in one room and can pick up facial expressions and body language usually missed in online meetings.
Microsoft announced during Inspire 202 new hybrid migration, data, security and compliance, and developer offerings around the Azure cloud platform. Additional new updates include: third-party connectors for Azure Sentinel, new Azure Migrate features, the next generation of Azure Stack HCI, and Azure Lighthouse security enhancements.
More information regarding the updates to Azure Lighthouse were also released. Partners can expect privileged identity management for just-in-time access as well as multi factor authentication.
Microsoft also stated that Azure Lighthouse will reduce the risk from standing elevated access, match customers’ compliance and risk management requirements, and strengthen authentication methods, which was a popular request from partners.
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)
WVD also saw a significant increase in demand similar to Microsoft Teams. For partners, this provides organizations a unique opportunity to get up and running from the Azure portal in minutes. Plus, businesses can add hybrid environments to create an end-to-end hybrid solution for customers.
Dynamics 365 Customer Voice
Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 Customer Voice at Inspire 2020. This solution aims to improve customer responses by enabling organizations to incorporate feedback into their customer view instantly. Before this, Microsoft had created a customer solution voice and attached it directly to Dynamics. This voice collected feedback, but it was divided from the rest of the solution and didn’t utilize the capabilities from the rest of Microsoft’s technology stack.
Last year, Microsoft announced this solution would be deprecated and customers were to use Microsoft Forms in its stead. While helpful, Forms was still very new.
The announcement of Customer Voice solves a useful customer problem. On the backend, the solution utilizes the framework introduced by Forms, but is supercharged for smoother customer satisfaction score collection for organizations. Additionally, as services from Office 365 branded as Microsoft 365, services in Dynamics 365 and Azure are now also being positioned as “Microsoft”.
Concentrating on Partners
During Inspire 2020, Nadella discussed Microsoft’s changing business model that refocuses on partners. He stated that for Microsoft to do well, its partners need to do well. This new business model creates a huge opportunity for partners by creating stronger customer relationships and long-lasting digital transformation.
Providing More Opportunities for Partners
Microsoft Leaders spoke of specific opportunities for partners to focus on for each category of need for customers. They encouraged partners to utilize all three solutions in the technology stack and use all three clouds. This ensures organization’s are providing customers with more services.
Businesses who are unable to use the technology stack should join forces with companies who can, like JourneyTEAM. Additionally, leaders said they hope to see more building practices in AI and data analytics, and Windows Virtual Desktop, two rapidly growing workloads.
Accelerating the Shift to the Cloud
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies were slowly making the transition out of data centers. Post COVID-19, companies are rapidly transitioning. Microsoft is encouraging companies who are migrating their data centers to use one of their many solution areas and cloud capabilities through data and AI, security, infrastructure, apps, and business applications on Azure, Microsoft 365, or Dynamics 365. Using these solutions provides customers with the technology needed to persevere in these difficult times.
Transition to Managed Services
Previously, Microsoft leaders have asked partners to shift to managed services. During Inspire 2020, the need for this transition took on a more adamant tone. Executives stated that managed services allow customers to pay on their own time–whether that’s right away or through payment service schedules.
Who is JourneyTEAM
JourneyTEAM is proud to be a Microsoft Gold Partner that has seen rapid growth and success in many of the areas discussed at this year’s conference. We have numerous departments and services that operate in all three of Microsoft’s cloud solutions that can grow with your organization’s needs.
They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more.
We were honored to be awarded the MSUS 2020 Partner of the Year for Dynamics 365 in Media and Communications and the Crystal Eagle Award for being a Top 5 Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner at the Inspire 2020 conference.
If you’re interested in learning more about Inspire 2020 or have questions about JourneyTEAM services, please call 833.438.2312 or visit www.journeyteam.com.
Article by: Dave Bollard – Head of Marketing | 801-436-6636
JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com