Microsoft Inspire, the annual worldwide partner conference of Microsoft, kicked off in Las Vegas this week. The five-day event brought together thousands of Microsoft partners, which helped them expand their network, explore product roadmaps, accelerate digital transformation of customers, and more.
Gavriella Schuster, Corporate VP of One Commercial Partner Channel Chief, started the conference with a keynote about the recent changes announced to the channel partner benefits, competencies and Internal Use Rights (IUR).
Schuster confirmed that the company has finally made the decision to roll back the changes, “So, we are going to keep the FY19 competencies and internal use rights just as they are.”
She talked about the power of partnerships, ways to create new opportunities for the partners in the coming year, and to develop an environment that helps them perform at their best.
Judson Althoff, who is the Microsoft’s executive vice president of the Worldwide Commercial Business organization focused on the company’s growth, its mission to digitize every organization and the technical innovative solutions the company plans for the next 12 months.
Here are the important notes being discussed during the Microsoft Inspire event:
1. Microsoft Teams
Althoff said that the company plans to invest more to add new features in Microsoft Teams in FY2020. There will be more AI and collaborative capabilities enriched in Teams to connect the front-line worker to the boardroom.
2. Azure Cloud Migrations:
During the event, Schuster discussed about the organizations which are still using the older versions of its server technologies- Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. She explained that the approach that organizations are using is complicated, exposed and have the risk of vulnerability, and switching to the new servers would remove that vulnerability for them.
Microsoft has unveiled new tools and technologies to shift customer workloads to Azure. Azure Migration Program (AMP) is introduced to encourage the partners to modernize the systems and migrate their customers to the Azure Cloud.
3. Azure Lighthouse:
At Inspire, Schuster talked about a new service called ‘Azure Lighthouse’. This service is architected to automate the “multi-customer, multi-tenant management at scale in a secure environment.”
Azure Lighthouse allows the organizations to monitor their customer’s resources in a single view inside the Azure portal. It will allow organizations to create, update and resize the resources of multiple customers without having to process through multiple access tokens and identities, reducing human error.
4. Investments in Security and Compliance:
On the security part, Schuster said that security and data privacy are the number one priority for its partner growth. She later emphasized that Microsoft invests around a billion dollar every year in R&D on security and have pivoted their services to focus on security.
5. Technical Innovative Priorities:
Althoff talked about bringing critical modern skills to enable its customers participate in the digital economy. For DevOps, the company will work on empowering the lead developers through GitHub and Power Platform. He further spoke about the arrival of a new version of HoloLens in the market.
6. CSP & Marketplace:
Microsoft’s channel chief revealed a number of Marketplace bonuses for independent software partners with new pricing models.
Schuster said, “So, this year I’m going to say, that not only do you want to be listed in Marketplace, but you actually want to have a transactable offer. Because that enables us to activate three additional channels to market for you. One is, the Marketplace itself, where the customer can buy directly on your paper. The second is enabling us to pull your services through our sellers on our Microsoft paper. The third is to enable all those partners transacting CSP to be able to pull your services through their paper in CSP.”
“So that is not only activating 22,000 Microsoft sellers all around the world, but the 70,000 Microsoft partners that we have transacting through CSP on your behalf. And, we are going to incent our sellers on your services. We are also going to incent our partners through CSP on your behalf. And we will put more go-to-market dollars in for every service that you have listed in AppSource as a transactable offer.”
“This year, we’re moving CSP onto the modern commerce platform, which enables us to actually collapse that delta in the Azure engineering roadmap—so that we can deliver all of those Azure services to you through CSP. And it enables the customer to be more mobile on their purchasing. And we are building in, by design, security and data privacy, through multi-factor authentication in Azure Active Directory,” she added.
Apart from these, the company is also planning to launch an AI accelerate program.