Microsoft Inspire 2021

Inspire is Microsoft’s annual event for their partners. This year’s conference illustrates
ways Microsoft collaborates to provide a best-in-class experience for the customers.
The story for Inspire is anchored in the Microsoft Cloud and the opportunities it provides
you to build differentiated solutions and grow your business.

Modern WorkplaceCloud PlatformBusiness Applications



Inspire is Microsoft’s annual event for their partners. This year’s conference illustrates ways Microsoft collaborates to provide a best-in-class experience for the customers. The story for Inspire is anchored in the Microsoft Cloud and the opportunities it provides you to build differentiated solutions and grow your business.


The key announcements this year are around 5 main themes:

1.     Digital transformation across industries

2.     The future of work

3.     Innovating from cloud to edge

4.     Building a foundation for trust and security

5.     Driving growth with the most partner-focused platform.


These 5 themes tell the connected Microsoft story and are the basis for the event session lineup.


Digital Transformation across Industries


Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a selection of industry-specific cloud offerings to bring together capabilities that the customers need as a base for further innovation. These industry clouds are an aggregation of the solution areas represented as vertical expressions of the Microsoft Cloud. They enable organizations to rapidly build their own digital capability and ultimately improve time to value, lower costs, and increase agility.

·       Announcing Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability :

a SaaS offering that enables organizations to more easily and effectively record, report, and reduce their emissions towards net zero, with plans to support water and waste tracking. The packaged offering includes SaaS offerings that connect to real-time data sources, accelerate data integration and reporting, provide accurate carbon accounting, show performance against goals, and provide intelligent insights to enable any organization to take more effective action on sustainability. Learn more in today’s blog post.


The Future of Work


Since the start of the pandemic, Microsoft Teams has become the new front end for a new world of work. Today, Microsoft are sharing announcements on three products that are creating new categories and new possibilities for customers and partners: Collaborative apps (Dynamics 365 + Teams), Employee Experience (Microsoft Viva), and Windows 365.

·       Windows 365 :

Microsoft are announcing that they are bringing Windows to the cloud with Windows 365. Windows 365 is a new way to deliver Windows 10 or Windows 11, streaming your personalized apps, settings, and content from the Microsoft cloud, to any device. It makes purchasing Cloud PCs easy with predictable with per-user per-month pricing, and is natively integrated across Azure AD, Microsoft Defender, Microsoft 365 applications, and Microsoft Endpoint Manager for Enterprise customers, while Business customers can leverage a simplified self-service experience on the web. Windows 365 will be available on August 2nd.

·       Build Collaborative Apps with Microsoft Teams + Dynamics 365 :

In this new category of collaborative apps, customers can stay in the flow of work by getting everything done right within Teams. And for partners, they can bring in all their rich business and vertical functions directly into the Teams application. Microsoft are announcing that any Teams user will be able to view and collaborate on Dynamics 365 records directly within Teams, at no additional cost. This eliminates the tax that has historically held organizations back from connecting collaboration and business process, enabling organizations to bring rich Dynamics 365 experiences into the flow of work with Teams without the need to pay for multiple underlying software licenses.

·       Employee Experience :

A first-class example of the brand-new collaborative apps you can build in Teams is Microsoft Viva. Viva puts people at the center, connecting them to company information, workplace insights, knowledge, and learning. Customers value Viva as an open platform that can be easily integrated with existing tools and systems and customized for business needs. Earlier this year, they announced a number of Viva partner integrations, and today, they are announcing the second wave of 21 Viva partnerships and new research from The Bersin Academy.


Innovate from Cloud to Edge


Companies are transforming their businesses using Azure. The announcements outlined below are proof of Azure’s commitment to help every organization be future ready, build on their terms, and operate hybrid seamlessly.

·       Free Extended Security Updates for 2008/R2 and 2012 Servers – Only on Azure.

We Microsoft are announcing Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2012, free only on Azure. Customers running 2012 releases of Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises will have the option to purchase Extended Security Updates.  In addition, for customers who need more time to upgrade and modernize Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/R2, we Microsoft will now provide one additional year of free extended security updates only on Azure.

·       Azure Migration Program (AMP) is Now Azure Migration and Modernization Program ( AMMP ) :

Over the last 24 months, AMP has helped 4500+ customers successfully move to Azure with the right mix of expert help and best practice guidance.  As  weMicrosoft worked with these customers, they also asked for help with modernizing their applications. As a result, Azure Migration Program is evolving to become the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP)Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP) with expanded support for app modernization scenarios, including newly added support for Azure Spring CloudAzure Spring Cloud and Azure Cosmos DBAzure Cosmos DB. 

·       Help Customers Operate Hybrid Seamlessly : 

With the general availability of Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arcgeneral availability of Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arc on July 30, 2021, managed service providers using Azure Lighthouse will be able to manage cloud data services (alongside Windows, Linux, and Kubernetes) on any on-premises infrastructure or in any cloud environment a customer needs without having to change existing tools or processes.  

·       Help Customers Modernize Datacenters with Azure Stack HCI.

It’s now possible to simplify guest licensing activation with Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) and provide advanced protection across hardware, firmware, and OS with Secured-core server. We’ve Microsoft has also announced new partner resources and programs for Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc, including advanced specializations.


Build a Foundation of Trust and Security


Our world is changing, and Microsoft Security is rising to the challenges of a new normal. We Microsoft surpassed $10 billion in security business revenue, representing more than 40 percent year-over-year growth, and were recognized as a leader in 5 Gartner Magic Quadrants5 Gartner Magic Quadrants and 7 Forrester Waves7 Forrester Waves. This not only demonstrates our Microsoft’s commitment to providing best-in-class security solutions but also underscored the trust our their customers have placed in Microsoft and our their partners.

·       Microsoft 365 Lighthouse ( Now in Public Preview ) :

Microsoft 365 Lighthouse provides managed service providers with one central location and standard security configuration templates to secure devices, data, and users for small and medium business customers that are using Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Specifically, Microsoft 365 Lighthouse empowers partners to quickly identify and act on threats, anomalous sign-in, and device compliance alerts. Reducing management complexity as our partners scale and driving standardization across customers will allow partners to proactively manage risks and improve the security posture for the customers.

·       Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection with Azure AD B2C :

Microsoft extend the scope of protection of Azure AD B2C to include fraudulent activities by integrating Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection with Azure AD B2C. By combining the power of Azure AD Identity Protection and Dynamics Fraud Protection’s account protection capabilities, customers can help protect end customers from account abuse, thus protecting their own business.

·       Applications and Data :

The app governance add-on feature to Microsoft Cloud App Security and an extension to the priority user group capability in Insider Risk Management to include fine-grained role-based access control (RBAC) are both now in public preview.


Drive Business Growth with the Most Partner-focused Business Platform


Microsoft made announcements reinforcing our their commitment to help our partners get to market faster, build apps for every customer need, and scale through our channels to help reach new business heights. Learn more in today’s blog post.

·       Simplifying the Business Applications ISV Connect Program :

We are announcing simplification and enhancements to the Business Applications ISV Connect program—most notably, we are reducing the revenue sharing fees required to receive benefits and aligning to the newly announced standardized 3% transaction fee with commercial marketplace. Learn how partners can join the Business Applications ISV Connect program.

·       New Build-with and Go-to-market Benefits for Microsoft 365 :

There is an untapped opportunity to build productivity and collaborative applications in the new hybrid-work reality. Microsoft is investing in helping ISVs accelerate their success with new benefits. These benefits include access to Microsoft technology, one-on-one consults with Microsoft experts to help design and build collaborative applications and employee experience about, marketing resources to scale to new customers, and support to achieve co-sell status. \  

Reference: From Microsoft Partner email “Microsoft Inspire 2021 Hero Announcements” on 16 Jul, 2 

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