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. We’re diving deep into as many sessions as possible to bring you all the 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.

 

Session Recap: Microsoft into Focus

Nick Parker, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Global Partner Solutions, discussed how the investments and innovations Microsoft is making in their partner ecosystem supports partner growth through:

 

– Industry-specific clouds that help MSPs specialize and amplify their brand. Partners who focus on industries are more relevant to their client base and accelerate their time to market. Microsoft’s industry clouds now include Healthcare, Retail, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Nonproft, and Sustainability (new).

 

– Expanding the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, a coalition of ISV and MSSP members that leverage and integrate Microsoft security tools to deliver better security and protect clients from rapidly growing cyber threats.

 

– Making it easy for partners to take advantage of every opportunity. Check out these numbers! $1.2 trillion in revenue will be generated by Microsoft partners by 2024 on business related to Microsoft technologies. 70% of organizations use digital tech to transform their business. And, 65% of global GDP will be digitized by 2022, which will drive over $6.8 trillion of direct digital transformation investments by 2023.

 

Session Recap: Partner Programs to Help You Differentiate

Microsoft partner programs are designed to help you go to market faster, broaden your client base, differentiate your value, and accelerate growth through benefits. Microsoft uses Partner Contribution Indicators (PCI) to assess your progress towards attaining or retaining a Silver or Gold Competency. These include:

 

– Performance indicators, such as net new revenue and net new customer adds

– Capability indicators, such as number of consultants, consultant growth, and number of developers

– Customer success indicators, such as new large deployments and monthly active user growth

 

Successful partners focus on these three key areas:

 

1. Developing a strong capability profile: This provides prospects with a clear understanding of your strengths and value.

2. Defining your offerings at a deep technical level: Publish these offerings on the commercial marketplace so that prospects can find you.

3. Building a cohesive set of competencies and advanced specializations: Develop your strengths in areas where you have proven performance with certifications and specializations.

 

If you’re not sure what steps to take next in your Microsoft partnership journey, the Pax8 team of Microsoft experts can help!

 

Session Recap: Windows 11 – Learn About the Exciting New Version of Windows That is Designed for Hybrid Work

Windows 11 is coming in late 2021! Microsoft’s elevator pitch for Windows 11 is that it is “designed for hybrid work, built for collaboration, and is the most productive and secure version of Windows yet.” In the face of a paradox in which 73% of employees want flexible remote options but 67% want more in-person work for collaboration, Windows 11 will deliver tools to maximize hybrid work. Highlights include:

 

– New streamlined UI to improve productivity and focus

– Snap screen layouts for easy organization

– Deeper integration between OS and productivity apps

– Blazing fast browsing

– Easier deployment than Windows 10

– Most secure Windows yet

 

Microsoft is focused on making the transition easy for partners. Get ready by planning for general availability, preparing your internal stakeholders, and engaging clients now. Apps that work on Windows 10 will work on Windows 11 — guaranteed. Think of Windows 11 as an update, not an upgrade!

 

Session Recap: Microsoft Cloud for ISVs – Unlock Your Opportunity

There’s never been a better time for ISVs to partner with Microsoft! This was discussed in our Day 1 recap, but it’s a pretty big deal, so we’ll highlight it again – Microsoft has dropped fees for transactable offers in digital storefronts to 3%, down from the industry standard of 20%.

 

Microsoft is also innovating ways for ISVs to build apps and go to market more efficiently, leading to 50-75% faster development and 85% reduced time to implementation. And, coming this fall in private preview, ISVs will be able to share margin to motivate Microsoft’s channel of 90,000+ CSP partners. Other benefits for ISVs building with M365 include:

 

– Full integration of Microsoft technology

– 1:1 technical consultations

– Marketing support

– Build with and sell with programs

 

Session Recap: Deliver Mission Impact While Growing Your Business with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit

From 2020 to 2021, Microsoft partners provided service to over 220,000 nonprofits globally, providing over $2 billion in donated or discounted software and services! However, the opportunity remains massive as there are 4 million+ qualified nonprofits globally – and only 5% are using Microsoft services. In the US alone, nonprofits spend $37 billion in software.

 

The Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit brings together trusted cloud capabilities in a unified platform to accelerate mission outcomes in areas such as such as:

 

– Better understanding donors and supporters to increase fundraising

– Delivering effective programs and mobilizing volunteers more efficiently

– Using data to gain mission insights

– Strengthening cybersecurity

 

To support nonprofits, Microsoft has announced new incentives and discounts, including a new Dynamics 365 donation of 5 free seats of Sales Enterprise and 10 free seats of Power Platform. Cloud donations now include Modern Work, Azure, and D365. And, starting October 1, nonprofit global accelerators will provide an additional 12% earning opportunity on select SKU types.

 

Pax8 was proud to receive a spotlight during this session highlighting our work with Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact program.

 

Session Recap: Seizing the Opportunity of an Accessible Future

Investing in accessibility is about more than just checking a box. It’s a fundamental building block for creating inclusive workplaces and customer experiences. Implementing Microsoft accessibility tools drives inclusion and equity for all. Check them out:

 

Immersive Reader

Dark mode in Word

PowerPoint Live in Teams

Accessibility Checker

Dictate

 

Session Recap: Modernize Security and Defend Against Threats

Most security vendors choose either a security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform or Extended Detection and Response (XDR) for their security approach. However, Microsoft thinks you should bring the best of both together.

 

To that end, they’ve created a cohesive ecosystem to integrate SIEM and XDR security tools and secure all clouds and platforms, no matter where your data lives.

 

Session Recap: Accelerating Application and Data Modernization with Azure and Power Apps

By 2025, 40% of IT budgets will be consumed by maintaining legacy applications! Microsoft is helping organizations modernize without abandoning their investment in these applications.

 

Microsoft helps companies migrate workloads to Azure to save money and build applications at the level of their expertise – some might stick with hard core development, while some might shift to low-code app development through Power Platform.

 

All Your Inspire Questions, Answered.

Microsoft Inspire might be wrapping up, but we only just got started breaking down everything we learned. Watch our Teams Live Q&A from Friday, July 16 to hear our key Microsoft Inspire takeaways, thoughts, and predictions.

 

This article contains contributions from our team of Microsoft experts. Check out their Day 1 Microsoft Inspire recap here.