For the third year in a row, Microsoft’s Inspire conference, the marquee partner event of the year, was hosted virtually. The annual partner conference witnessed some exciting announcements and developments related to Microsoft technologies and the celebrated partnership programs.
During his Microsoft Inspire 2022 keynote speech, the company’s CEO Satya Nadella urged the Microsoft partner community of 400,000 organizations to go beyond digital transformation and take the agenda of ‘digital imperative’ ahead. He said, “The next ten years are not going to be like the last ten. Digital technology is a deflationary force in an inflationary economy. It’s the only way to navigate the headwinds we’re confronting today”.
Top Announcements from Microsoft Inspire
Highlighted below are a few of the major updates announced during the recently concluded Microsoft Inspire event.
1: Succeeding in the Hybrid Work World
Microsoft is collaborating with partners to enable customers to understand the new norms of work, including hybrid work, improve collaboration at work and build a digital employee experience. Towards this, Microsoft has introduced many new features for Teams at Inspire 2022.
- Teams Connect Shared Channels: This was one of the most important announcements made during the event. It enables Teams users to collaborate with people inside and outside the organization in one shared space.
- Collaborative Annotations: Allows users to draw, type, and react on top of shared content in a Teams window. A new video clip feature has been added in Teams chat enabling users to record, send and view short videos.
- Microsoft Teams Rooms and Devices: Microsoft is making several improvements to Microsoft Teams Rooms and devices, including a new category of AI-powered intelligent cameras, new dedicated Teams displays, new webinar features, a LinkedIn integration, and much more.
- Excel Live: Excel Live was released during Inspire. This feature allows users of the Excel spreadsheets application to “collaborate on workbooks in real-time in Teams meetings.” Excel Live builds upon the Live Share in Teams feature announced at Microsoft’s Build conference in May. Live Share allows users to collaborate within a Teams meeting window.
Microsoft also announced some major updates for Viva. Some major updates include:
- Microsoft Viva Goals: It is a goal setting and management solution that aligns teams to strategic priorities. The solution will be available from August 1, 2022.
- Microsoft Engage: A new employee experience app that will integrate with Teams. The solution enables employees to build community and connections at the workplace. It also features Stories and Storylines that users can use to express themselves and inform people more about themselves.
2: Unlocking Opportunities for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)
At Inspire, Microsoft unlocked various new opportunities for the partners to meet customer needs, innovate faster and cost-efficiently, go to market, and grow a thriving business. The Redmond giants announced new benefits with the ISV Success Program, which aims to help ISVs innovate rapidly, build well-architected applications, publish them to Microsoft’s commercial marketplace, and grow their sales.
Now, partners can access nearly US$128,000 in benefits to utilize productive, modern, and innovative developer tools to speed up software development. Additionally, ISVs can now earn Marketplace Rewards as a part of the ISV Success Program. Additionally, Microsoft also announced upcoming improvements to its commercial marketplace platform to help ISVs scale and reach more customers, simplify selling, and accelerate revenue in the commercial marketplace.
3: Windows 365 celebrates one year
During the event, Windows 365 marked its first anniversary. Following this, Microsoft announced that Windows 365 service had been enhanced with Citrix’s HDX Plus. It enables IT to extend the hybrid work experience on cloud devices and support a broader range of endpoint devices and peripherals. Citrix’s HDX Plus allows more security and policy controls.
Windows 365 Government is another new introduction for public sector entities, where two new products have been announced: Government Community Cloud product and Government Community Cloud High for local, state, and federal agencies and government contractors.
4: Microsoft Digital Contact Centre
Microsoft unveiled the new Digital Contact Center Platform, which brings together several Microsoft products, including Nuance, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Microsoft Teams, into a single, open, extensible, and collaborative platform that can help create a seamless experience for users who are seeking help – no matter the channel.
The platform aims to deliver best-in-class AI that powers self-service experiences, live customer engagements, collaborative agent experiences, business process automation, advanced telephony, and fraud prevention capabilities.
5: Azure Space Partner Community
Microsoft announced a special community to support space partners known as The Azure Space Partner Community. This will enable partners to provide the most comprehensive and innovative offerings to customers and the future of space computing.
6: Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty
Microsoft introduced a new industry cloud designed especially for the public sector. The offering is meant to digitally transform workloads in the Microsoft Cloud while meeting compliance, security, and policy requirements. According to Microsoft, “With the addition of Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, public sector organizations will have greater control over their data and increased transparency to the operational and governance processes of the cloud.”
The announcements at the Inspire event exhibits Microsoft’s continued investment in helping their partners grow their business, better serve customers and align more closely with the cloud transformation we see across industries.
For the past 23 years, AgreeYa has been helping organizations from varied industry verticals achieve success with their Digital Transformation initiatives. As a Microsoft Global Systems Integrator and Gold Partner, we are best positioned to enable organizations to leverage the power of Microsoft technologies to enhance collaboration among employees, improve productivity, and scale up their business.
To speak with AgreeYa’s Microsoft experts, or to learn more, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.