Microsoft Inspire

On July 10th 17,000 people from the Microsoft partner community from 140 countries descended on Washington DC to attend Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft’s annual partner event. The four-day conference traditionally provides the platform for the latest Microsoft announcements and sets the tone for the Microsoft year and this year was no different.

In his opening key note session Satya Nadella set out his vision of the technology paradigm shift that is driving Microsoft and its partners from “Cloud first, Mobile first” to the “Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge” era. This shift drives multi-device, multi-sense, serverless computing infused with artificial intelligence that will become intrinsic in every application. This new technology paradigm is expected to generate an estimated $4.5 trillion opportunity for digitisation and digital transformation.

Nadella went on to explain that Microsoft is changing, not only in the way it builds products but also how it is combining those products to define solutions and their organisation to enable the four outcomes of digital transformation: Empowering Employees, Engaging Customers, Optimizing Operations and Transforming Products. These outcomes will be achieved by mixing the ingredients of the four newly announced Microsoft solutions areas: Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications and Infrastructure, Data and AI that will drive Microsoft thinking.

It was within the Modern Workplace that Nadella introduced Microsoft 365, a complete, intelligent, secure solution to empower employees, combining the best of Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security. A completely integrated solution driving intelligent employee productivity and creativity that will be delivered in two offerings, Microsoft 365 Enterprise for larger organisations and Microsoft 365 Business for small and medium size businesses.

Within Business Applications Microsoft announced new solutions to meet the needs of businesses combining Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn, as well as launching an industry solution targeted specifically at retail customers, all part of the July release.

Microsoft 365 for Sales provides a combined solution including Actionable Insights, Relationship Management, Sales Productivity and Performance Management and Digital Intelligence to better predict customer needs and drive sales success.

 Microsoft 365 for Talent delivers human capital management for a mobile, employee-focused, strategic HR approach that helps organisations find and hire the right people, nurture success, and deliver high-impact, sustainable results.

The all-new Dynamics 365 for Retail means retailers can now enjoy a fully integrated, end-to-end view of operations with centralised management and clear visibility of all stores, employees, customers, inventory, and financial information.

Microsoft also used the conference to explain some of the changes it was making within its own sales and marketing divisions to better serve its customers and partners. While some of the detail is still to be disclosed, the emphasis is clearly on driving simplification, industry focus and supporting digital transformation as well as making it easier to do business with Microsoft across its total solution stack.

These highlights from the conference are only some of a wide range of changes announced by Microsoft to improve their customer and solution experience, reach and potential. Microsoft Inspire 2017 reflected why this remains a very exciting time to be part of the Microsoft Ecosystem both as customers and partners but importantly, also marked changes in the Microsoft solution and go to market strategy that brings business applications and specifically Microsoft Dynamics into the mainstream of Microsoft thinking. 


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