It’s Day 2 of Microsoft Inspire, and the Pax8 Microsoft team has taken over Pax8 Denver headquarters as we cover the digital event in real-time and break down the key highlights. (And we’ve even caught ourselves up on the Microsoft big screen once or twice!)
Below are some of our top takeaways from Day 2, including product news, best practices, and industry thought leadership.
General Key Takeaways
Microsoft FY23 Priorities
Judson Althoff kicked off Day 2 of Microsoft Inspire by showcasing Microsoft’s principles and strategy for the channel in FY23.
- FY23 Principles: Microsoft emphasized the need for partners in the channel to remain client-obsessed throughout this fiscal year. It will be imperative for partners to listen and consult their clients, inspire their digital transformation, and design complete solution stacks. Businesses will be able to maximize the value of Microsoft cloud solutions by allowing them to have the ability to manage and optimize the way they manage their day-to-day operations. Another core principle emphasized today was around upskilling organizations at scale.
- Digital literacy is key to understanding the foundations of security and innovation within Microsoft cloud solutions. Microsoft is focusing on growth for partners and organizations selling and utilizing Microsoft solutions in a digital-first world. This will increase partner revenue pipelines, allowing partners and businesses the opportunity to simplify and optimize the digital journey, leveraging all the best solutions across the Microsoft ecosystem.
- FY23 Strategy: Addressing Microsoft’s FY23 principles allows us to dive into the strategy of how the partner community will achieve success this fiscal year. Microsoft cloud solutions are a stack of building blocks that are the foundation of an organization’s digital world before layering additional solutions and services. Adding independent software vendors (ISVs) from Microsoft’s marketplace to the top of that foundation will help businesses complete their digital transformation and allow them to plan for a future in which technology delivers more for the client and further extends industry value across solution areas.
- Empowering the modern workforce and inspiring creativity and innovation will be key for success in FY23. Today’s hybrid work solutions help companies move from remote to hybrid work with scale and confidence. We are not just surviving hybrid work — we are thriving! Microsoft Teams levels the playing field of remote work, allowing you to be fully immersed from anywhere on any device. Teams will be the place we live, hang out, work, and interact. The last position of strategy for Microsoft in FY23 is surrounding data. Data is everywhere and needs to be secured fully from the source to the endpoint. Clients need an integrated security suite and a compliance system to respond to regulatory rules that are ever-changing across the globe and are fundamental to business digital evolution. Microsoft allows clients the chance to control and manage when, where, and how they can use their data.
Microsoft ❤️ Oracle
Clients across the globe have relied on Microsoft and Oracle software working together to run business-critical applications. Today, Microsoft announced that they have expanded their partnership with Oracle to introduce Oracle Database Services for Microsoft Azure. With this new technology, Microsoft Azure clients will be able to provision, access, and monitor Oracle Database Services in the Oracle cloud with more ease and a familiar platform. This extension of the Microsoft and Oracle partnership will offer more choice for multi-cloud architecture and lets clients use the best capabilities of both clouds.
Win with Dedicated Industry Solutions: Microsoft continues to emphasize the importance of vertical-specific solutions that support industry needs, and they are backing this up with their industry-specific clouds. Industry clouds aim to tackle gaps unique to the respective industry while empowering organizations to enjoy the work they do and thrive while doing it. Some of the key clouds we heard Microsoft highlight during the event are:
- Cloud for Nonprofit connects intelligent and integrated cloud functionality of the Microsoft stack to the most common nonprofit organizational scenarios, including constituent and supporter management, award management, fundraising, volunteer management, program design and delivery, operations, and data management. By unifying data across the organization, nonprofits can benefit from accelerated mission outcomes based on the recommendations and insights they receive from the platform.
- Cloud for Manufacturing is designed to deliver capabilities that support the core processes and requirements of the manufacturing industry. The Cloud for Manufacturing is unique as a result of the industry-specific standards and communities, like the Open Manufacturing Platform and Digital Twins paired with Microsoft’s ecosystem of partners that deliver additional value.
- Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with existing retailer systems. With the Cloud for Retail, organizations can maximize the value of their data and elevate their clients’ shopping experience while building a real-time, sustainable supply chain with data across the ecosystem.
This year at Inspire, Microsoft wanted to highlight some of the major successes of the channel, including a 31% growth in GSI (Global System Integrators) revenue. In addition to this major growth in GSI, Windows 11 truly came to life this past year. Despite the channel’s upheaval with NCE, partners persevered and delivered at scale. We here at Pax8, along with Microsoft, are convinced this year will be the greatest year ever for the channel, and it is the consistent advancement of Microsoft cloud solutions that will help partners empower their clients across the globe.
Microsoft is committed to helping partners across the channel navigate uncertain times in an uncertain market in a global economy that is all tied together. No business is 100% resilient, but businesses that are more fortified with technology can pivot and persevere through any challenge. Companies that are digitally prepared stand to get the best possible outcome and have a greater ability to innovate and prioritize their business.
The ability to innovate and prioritize can help businesses in many ways.
- Addressing the future of work by threading the needle between growth and employee needs and satisfaction.
- Assessing long-term solutions to supply chain issues that impact businesses across the globe.
- Creating a sustainable work environment to positively affect change throughout the world.
- Increasing cybersecurity creates a foundation to operate in the digital world by helping organizations operate more securely and safely in uncertain times.
Microsoft is innovating the way we view cloud solutions by introducing new industry-specific solutions to address industry-specific needs. So, this leads us to the question of why industry solutions matter. Well, the key is being able to do more with less — allowing small to medium organizations to maximize their potential. Industry-specific solutions build horizontal capabilities that you can extend to build and deliver vertical value as well.
Drive Innovation and Social Impact with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit
Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is the key to driving growth in the nonprofit industry. This new suite of applications and support from Microsoft leverages the new Microsoft industry-specific cloud focus, using the common data model to provide nonprofits the support they need immediately with data they already have within their organization. Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit was the first industry-specific cloud tool launched by Microsoft in October 2021, and Microsoft is constantly providing updates and new features within the application suite.
With Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit, partners and their nonprofit organizations get access to deeper skilling and enablement resources through Microsoft Learn that truly show the advantages and usage opportunities that exist within the applications included in Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit. It allows partners and nonprofits an opportunity to differentiate their clients’ positioning within the applications available in the Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit suite, in both the free basic plan as well as advanced support in the standard plan. Utilizing the common data model, Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit provides deeper platform integrations for nonprofit organizations with industry-specific tools to enhance a nonprofit’s reach to donors and supporters.
Coming soon to Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit will be an improved user experience, including a new “getting started” page for when a nonprofit first begins their journey into the Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit suite. Nonprofits can get a new marketing insights integration that maximizes the potential of the Fundraising and Engagement application that is free in the basic version of Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit. Microsoft will also be making improvements to the donation import process for nonprofits, allowing greater insight into their donors and supporters. In addition to those new features, Microsoft has simplified the deployment process for nonprofit organizations and their partners.
Scale Your Business and Impact with Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability
Microsoft delved into their sustainability story and the new opportunities it creates for partners as businesses face complex sustainability challenges. Businesses must actively think about how to re-engineer the energy and economic system that has been in place since the Industrial Revolution. This will require new forms of energy and new technologies with a shorter timeline for development and implementation. Organizations face a complex task and will need to balance environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments while continuing to grow business revenue, market share, and shareholder value. As a result, organizations are learning they must transform existing business practices to meet the new sustainability imperative.
Key areas of focus for organizations as they navigate sustainability for their business include:
- Understanding differing guidelines and reporting practices — not just globally and regionally, but within industries as well.
- Mandatory carbon reporting is on the horizon. This different standard is a challenge that may involve gaps arising from manual processes for reporting that do not provide timely insights and are not auditable.
- Siloed data, such as data returning in multiple formats leads to additional complexity when collecting and reporting data.
No single company can solve this all alone. Companies of all sizes — large and small — will have to work together to tackle this growing opportunity. Microsoft is investing in building the world’s leading platform for environmental sustainability challenges together with the partner ecosystem. In addition to the Cloud for Sustainability, Microsoft is also releasing Microsoft Sustainability Manager.
Microsoft Sustainability Manager is a solution built on top of the Cloud for Sustainability that unifies data intelligence and offers organizations an increasingly automated and comprehensive view into the emissions impact of their operations. With the initial launch, Microsoft will be focusing on carbon emissions, and in the future, will support water and waste tracking.
What makes the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability partner opportunity unique?
- The platform is flexible with security, privacy, and compliance built-in that empowers partners to quickly and easily build, extend, and connect sustainability solutions.
- The ability to extend the platform to support more ESG capabilities.
- Insight tracking for other sustainability solutions powered by the Microsoft Cloud.
Sustainability comes to life when Microsoft and the partner ecosystem work together!
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