It’s finally here – Day 1 of Microsoft Inspire kicked off today as a digital event. For Microsoft geeks like us, their largest partner event of the year is our big game day! The entire Pax8 Microsoft team gathered at the Pax8 headquarters in Denver, Colorado so we could watch together and provide a play-by-play breakdown of all the highlights. (And we’ve been having a blast along the way).


Below are some of our top takeaways from Day 1, including Microsoft announcements, product news, and best practice guidance.


Session Recap: Inspire Opening

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opened the event by discussing how Microsoft Cloud leads the pack in facilitating the rapid acceleration of digital adoption. He shared how Microsoft is investing and innovating across their portfolio to empower employees and organizations to achieve more. Some of his most exciting announcements include:


– Windows 365: Windows 365 is a cloud service that takes the operating system to the Microsoft cloud. Think of it as a simplified licensing model approach that provides a cloud PC for end users on any device. It differs from Azure Virtual Desktop because you don’t have to worry about calculating computing or storage costs. Windows 365 launches for Windows 10 this August and will be available for Windows 11 when it is released later this year. Want to learn more? Nerdio, a Pax8 vendor who has been piloting Windows 365, has created a comprehensive blog post about it.


– Collaborative apps (Dynamics 365 + Teams): Clients will now be able to access Dynamics 365 data inside Teams at no extra cost! This integration removes barriers to productivity and breaks down silos between collaboration and business processes.


– Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: This new industry cloud is designed to help companies measure and manage carbon emissions, set sustainability goals, and take measurable action. For example, it can help organizations report on IT carbon emissions and create a sustainability scorecard to track progress against carbon emission reduction goals.


– New products and features supporting hybrid work: In the past year, Teams has added 300 new features! We expect more announcements around this throughout the conference.


Session Recap: Zero Trust Framework

Zero Trust is a security model that adapts to the complexities of modern business environments based on a principle of “never trust, always verify.” The need for Zero Trust rapidly accelerated this past year as the network perimeter dissolved due to the new hybrid work environment. What’s important to remember is that Zero Trust is not a product or a SKU, but rather a philosophy or behavior model.


This session shared how Microsoft engrains Zero Trust security baselines across all products within M365 and Azure based on three fundamental principles:


– Verify explicitly for identity: Use all available data points to authenticate and authorize.

– Use least privilege access: Provide “just enough” access to users for their job requirements.

– Assume breach with every authorization and identification: Don’t let your guard down behind the corporate firewall. Instead, take a stance that every request must be verified no matter where it originates.


Session Recap: Build and Go-to-Market with M365 to Deliver Unique Value with Teams and Viva

As more organizations standardize on hybrid work, the need for a flexible employee experience has expanded. Viva is the first employee experience platform for the digital era, powered by M365 and experienced primarily through Microsoft Teams.


The number of Microsoft apps have doubled in the past year as Teams users have skyrocketed over 700%. This leads to a $300 billion opportunity for ISVs. Through a new set of benefits, Microsoft is supporting ISVs in building, promoting, and activating apps and integrations within Teams and Viva.


Session Recap: Microsoft 365 Lighthouse — A Chat with the Lighthouse Keepers

This session gave us the inside scoop on M365 Lighthouse – it’s now in public preview! That means that partners enrolled in CSP can use this new tool to manage M365 Business Premium clients. Lighthouse is a cross-tenant management solution built into the partner ecosystem to manage security, compliance, and device management all in one place. Ultimately, it helps MSPs improve operational efficiency and deliver managed security services at scale.


This blog post has all the details on eligibility requirements and how to enroll. You also won’t want to miss Microsoft’s webinar on July 28 at 9am MT to see what Lighthouse is all about.


Session Recap: What’s New in Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare helps provide more efficient care by managing health data at scale. Through the power of M365, Dynamics 365, Azure, Power Platform, and partner solutions, it provides capabilities to:


Improve the patient experience and enhance patient engagement

Empower health team collaboration and coordinate care

Improve clinical and operational data insights

Protect sensitive health data


Other Top Takeaways

The market share opportunity is massive. There are 6 million+ clients on legacy solutions!


Goodbye “remote work,” hello “hybrid work environment!” While the focus of the last year was on work from home and remote work, the lexicon has shifted to “hybrid work” as businesses standardize on mixed work environments. Microsoft also introduced a new mashup word for “phygital” technologies that blend physical and digital experiences (such as providing videoconferencing tools for remote coworkers to participate in in-person meetings).


Partner Center got some new features and tools this year. Especially exciting is “Project Orland,” a new experience launching in private preview. Project Orland is designed to help partners grow their cloud business by improving account management and sharing client insights and recommendations.


New commercial incentives allow partners to keep 97% of revenue in the app store and Azure marketplace. Microsoft’s commercial marketplace is the most comprehensive in the industry, with over 30,000 applications and services and 4 million shoppers engaging every month. Microsoft has reduced fees to 3% for transactable applications in digital storefronts – this is much less than the industry standard of 20%. Learn more about the fee changes here.


We’re so honored!

We can’t end this recap without sharing that Pax8 has been announced as a winner for:

Microsoft US Partner Award for Business Excellence, Indirect Provider

Eagle Award for SMB Indirect Provider Partners with CSP Customer Adds


See You on Day 2!

Today was jam-packed, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! Stay tuned to our Microsoft Inspire page at the link below to catch all our Day 2 insights. Then catch our Teams Live Q&A to hear our key Microsoft Inspire takeaways, thoughts, and predictions.



This article contains contributions from our team of Microsoft experts.