Microsoft Inspire is finally here! The entire Pax8 Microsoft team gathered at the Pax8 headquarters in Denver, Colorado so we could watch together and breakdown of all the highlights.

 

Key Announcements and Highlights

Before we dive into our favorite sessions from day one, we want to ensure you as the partner are aware of key announcements Microsoft made that will help you grow your business. Here are some highlights:
 

1. The future of cybersecurity is multi-layered.

Microsoft is offering a multi-layered security approach dedicated to threat protection, identity and access management, and compliance and privacy management. Partners will have the ability to earn up to $36 of additional revenue per seat by stacking Microsoft 365 security solutions such as Defender for Business and Defender for Endpoint with Entra, Purview, and Priva. To enhance organization security, Entra provides identity access management, Purview provides data governance, and Priva provides PII and risk management.
 

2. Microsoft Teams is the core of Microsoft’s digital fabric.

Teams is core to the Microsoft experience and continues to receive updates to provide added value. New features include:
 

  • Teams Connect allows for two tenants to connect to one another without having to toggle back and forth.
  • Video Clip lets users record a short video message for a more personalized chat.
  • Collaborative Annotations will let Teams meeting participants annotate together while sharing their screen in meetings.

 

3. Project Orland will help partners better nurture their clients.

Project Orland will have the ability to look at your CSP client base and apply data models built by Microsoft Data Scientists to surface prioritized opportunities for partners to act on. Project Orland uses AI to identify potential opportunities for you to pursue with your clients to acquire new users, minimize churn, and harvest growth. With ML-based prioritization, account managers and sellers can focus on the most urgent and impactful opportunities.
 

4. Digital sovereignty for the public sector needs to be flexible.

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty is a new solution that will enable public sector clients to build and digitally transform workloads in the Microsoft Cloud while meeting their compliance, security, and policy requirements. Public sector clients will be able to harness the full power of the Microsoft Cloud, including broad platform capabilities, resiliency, agility, and security.
 

5. The employee experience is at the heart of every business.

Microsoft continues to evolve Microsoft Viva, their employee engagement experience platform. Viva has three new main offerings that are available now or coming soon. The Microsoft Viva suite includes Viva Insights, Viva Learning, Viva Topics, and Viva Goals. There are also some new updates to the Viva suite coming within the next few months. Additionally, Microsoft announced Viva Engage and Viva Sales today. The key highlights for Viva announcements include:
 

  • Viva Goals will be ready for general availability on August 1, 2022. It will be directly integrated into Microsoft Teams to allow for easy sharing of objectives and key responsibilities (OKRs) via dashboards, as well as leading conversations across your organization. Viva Goals will communicate with AI integrations to automatically update OKRs in real time based on integrated applications, such as Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Viva Engage was announced today and will be coming in late August 2022. Viva Engage will allow users to build meaningful relationships and communities through the fully integrated platform on Microsoft Teams. With this new platform, it’ll be easier than ever for your company to create a culture and location for digital sharing by building digital communities, hosting virtual events, and more.
  • Viva Sales was announced last month. Viva Sales is separate from the Viva suite but is a great tool to optimize the partner opportunity.

 

6. New Windows 365 offerings for government.

Microsoft continues to expand where and how Windows 365 can be used. Governments have unique, enhanced security and compliance requirements, and to better meet those needs, Microsoft will be releasing a new Windows 365 offering for Government Community Cloud (GCC) and Government Community Cloud High (GCC High) organizations in the United States. This will enable United States government contractors (and the local, state, and federal customers they support) to securely stream their Windows apps, data, content, and settings from the Microsoft Cloud to any device, any time.

 
 

Microsoft Inspire Opening

In FY23, Microsoft is focusing on doing more with less. With the new Cloud Partner Program, Microsoft is focusing on six solution areas to grow and accelerate your business. They announced many new programs for FY23 including Cloud for Sovereignty, Azure space partner community, the ISV success program, and more.
 

Microsoft emphasized that hybrid work is here to stay and introduced more enhancements to Microsoft Teams to help drive collaboration in this hybrid world. With over 24 trillion security threat signals each day, Microsoft is also building up their security solutions in FY23 with Microsoft Entra, Microsoft Purview, Microsoft Priva, Microsoft Defender, and Microsoft Sentinel.
 
 

The Digital Imperative in Hybrid Work

Many organizations purchased and deployed technologies during the pandemic to bridge the gap when moving to full remote work. Today, we heard Microsoft continue to drive the importance of hybrid collaboration and technologies to support organizations as they enhance their hybrid workplaces.
 
The technology that enables hybrid work is core to the new business norms and processes that will be foundational to business growth. Interestingly, 38% of hybrid workers say the greatest challenge is knowing when they should join a meeting virtually, in person, or why they should go into the office. Additionally, 43% of remote workers say they don’t feel included, but only 27% of companies are creating team norms around hybrid work and hybrid meeting etiquette.
 
Microsoft announced Digital Contact Center as a tool that can help organizations bring collaborative experiences into their workflow. Digital Contact Center creates a secure omnichannel experience for the end client, while integrations with other Microsoft tools that add automation and platform intelligence make it easy for employees to access the data they need right when they need it.
 
Doubling down on technology in the hybrid workspace, Microsoft stressed the value of employee experience platforms and how they can help ensure that employees excel in their roles.
 
Employee engagement platforms such as Viva provide a holistic employee experience that allows employees to stay connected with each other, their work, and themselves. Our experiences over the past two years have reshaped priorities, and now more than ever, it is imperative that we use technology to bridge the gap between work and the personal lives of employees.
 
With 53% of employees being more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic, employers have a responsibility to make work worth it. One of the most felt aspects of remote and hybrid work is the impact it’s had on employee relationships. Teams have become more siloed. While a majority of hybrid employees seem to be maintaining their work relationships, only half of remote workers say they have a thriving relationship with their direct team, and even fewer have a strong relationship with those outside their team.
 

In a digital-first work world, where 51% of hybrid employees are considering a shift to remote work in the year ahead, we can no longer rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital we’ve lost. Leaders must be intentional about reconnecting both hybrid and remote employees into the fabric of the organization. This won’t be a trivial task — 43% of leaders say relationship-building is the greatest challenge in hybrid and remote work — but it’s one worth prioritizing.

 
 

Grow Your Business with the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Microsoft also announced the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, which launches October 3, 2022. Please note that Silver and Gold competencies will expire on September 30, 2022. However, partners can choose to renew their membership for an additional year. Incentives and rebates on the old program will be available until December 31, 2022. After this date, only IURs will remain as a benefit. Partners must attain at least 70 points in one of the six designations to be eligible for the new program.
 
If you want to see your current score, sign into the Microsoft Partner Center dashboard and select the Membership workspace.
 
If you don’t see the Membership workspace, check your assigned roles in Partner Center. You must have the Global admin or MPN partner admin role to view the Membership workspace.
 

  • Select Solutions Partner > Overview on the navigation menu.
  • Select View Details for any of the solution area cards on the page or select any solution area of interest on the navigation menu. Take the time to read through each section to get an understanding of where you currently stand. Please be sure to reach out to your account manager to look over your current standing and see how we can help you get where you want to be. Partners can use the score simulator to forecast and plan ahead.

The Solutions Partner Score Simulator will help you to identify how upcoming projects will impact your score and gain insight as to where you stand on your path in obtaining your new designation.
 
 

See You for Day 2

Today was jam-packed, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! Stay tuned to our Microsoft Inspire page to catch all our Day 2 insights.
 
 

Have Questions for Our Microsoft Experts?

Want to learn more about what’s covered at Inspire and how Pax8 can help you take the right actions based on key learnings and insights? Our pros are standing by.