Microsoft Inspire 2019 – What did we learn?

Just over a week ago, the CSP channel descended on sunny Las Vegas for Microsoft’s biggest partner event of the year, Microsoft Inspire! We’ve summed up the highlights and important announcements from the event here… also, did we mention we had a stand with a team of budding intY staff there as well?

The big announcement

Gavriella Schuster opened with the huge announcement that after listening to partner feedback, Microsoft has decided not to go ahead with the imminent changes to the FY19 Internal usage rights that were previously announced before Inspire 2019. This included changes to on-premise support and core competencies which will also be staying the same. You can hear what Gavriella had to say about the changes HERE.

This is great news for any intY partner and the channel as a whole. The internal use rights give you experience deploying and running the technology, while also saving you money on software. It’s a great move from Microsoft and shows that they are championing collaboration and productivity for all.

There were multiple petitions raised which accrued thousands of signatures, numerous articles and interviews. This made it impossible to ignore and shows that Microsoft is listening to their partner community, as Gavriella said Microsoft culture is based on “a listening & learning mindset”.

This demonstrates the power of the partner community, highlighted by the fact that 95% of Microsoft revenues are coming through its partners.

“Let’s grow together and celebrate our wins together”

Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President for One Commercial Partner at Microsoft Corporation.

Azure and AI

Microsoft unveiled new developments in Azure and AI at Inspire 2019. Satya Nadella showcased several applications that leverage Azure and AI. He stated that they want to build out Azure to be “the world’s computer”. With 50 billion endpoints all connected to the cloud, it’s no wonder they are heavily investing and building out Azure to become “the world’s computer”.

We are very excited to see how our partner community can use this resource to enable their Azure plans during 2019.

Azure lighthouse

Azure Lighthouse is now available providing capabilities for cross-customer management at scale for partners to differentiate their managed services and benefit from greater efficiency and automation. Service providers can manage across customers’ Azure resources and subscriptions from within a single control pane.
Azure Lighthouse is available at no additional charge.

Note that you may incur charges for use of underlying Azure services, such as Azure Log Analytics and Security Center while using Azure Lighthouse. If an underlying service is offered for free, you won’t be charged for using it.

“I felt very lucky to be at Inspire in Las Vegas to meet with IT professionals from all horizons and to learn more about new IT trends, such as Teams, Adoption and Change Management (ACM) and about Azure (especially the new tool Lighthouse). When you are there, you realise the Microsoft world!”

Joanna Scherer, Product & Vendor Relationship Manager at intY, a ScanSource Company

Democratizing technology through AI for Good

Microsoft President Brad Smith talked about their AI for Good programs including AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility and AI for Humanitarian Action. In his Corenote, he announced that Microsoft would add a fourth program to AI for Good called AI for Cultural Heritage. Check out this preview of how new technology can help societies around the world honour and celebrate their people, language, and places. Watch the full Corenote HERE.

HoloLens 2 demonstration

One of the breath-taking demonstrations at Inspire was the live demo of the HoloLens applications with Azure. Microsoft leveraged the power of Azure AI to translate Azure Corporate Vice President, Julia White’s, keynote into Japanese.

Not only was it translating English into Japanese in real-time, but the Japanese language was spoken by a hologram that was a replica of Julia White. Microsoft used it’s Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible. HoloLens has been in demos before this, however, is taking the technology a step further to the bleeding edge of mixed reality cloud.

Nadella described HoloLens 2 as “an absolute breakthrough”, with out-of-the-box and third-party applications taking advantage of mixed reality cloud. It only takes a moment to understand the potential of this new technology and enable a business to break down language barriers that have long been business blockers.

Microsoft Teams

Teams usage is at an all-time high with over 13 million active users, not bad for a product launched two years ago.

Satya Nadella finished his Corenote with an update on Microsoft teams he stated that “The one product that has had an absolute breakout year is Teams. Teams is the hub for teamwork. It’s really four things in one. It has chat. It has meetings. It brings together collaboration, using all the richness of Office tools, within that same scaffolding. It’s the business process workflow. That’s what Teams is about. It defies even the category definitions that are there out in the marketplace. And that’s what’s driving this tremendous momentum.”

It’s no surprise that 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using Microsoft 365! Microsoft has recognised that its tools focus on the knowledge worker. They have identified that the big opportunity with Teams is bringing first-line and knowledge workers together, to create “the worlds productivity cloud”. Exciting times ahead! It will be interesting to see how this space grows and the updates that will be released to enable and empower your customer’s workforces.

Did we mention we were there?

The power of Partner Insights™

This year we put the power of our world-first cloud consumption tool Partner Insights™ in the spotlight. Hosting engaging, live demonstrations of the platform across all 3 days, we showcased how it delivers real-time analytics of customer adoption and consumption of cloud software such as Microsoft Teams, Azure and Exchange as well as live data from our security and back-up vendor, Symantec and Acronis.

Every live demo was accompanied by a raffle which gave our stand visitors a chance to win some free Apple AirPods! We’re pleased to say there were a lot of happy faces at stand 1829!

In addition to this, Nulia in conjunction with intY launched their new platform Nulia Works which helps customers with their digital enablement across the Office 365 suite. Through the power of Partner Insights™ to identify the usage and adoption opportunity and Nulia to then enable partners to act on it, partners can really begin to add true value add to their customers.

Final thoughts

Suffice to say we’re looking forward to the year ahead and seeing how the Microsoft space gathers pace! Here is what our VP of Sales and Alliances Aaron Watts had to say about the experience.

Inspire was a great success for intY. Just 2 weeks post-acquisition, we had a huge amount to talk about!

We previewed a pending Partner Insights™ update that delivers unprecedented visibility of Azure consumption costs, a slicker and cleaner UX, as well as a richer Office 365 data-set to track CSP rebates linked to the consumption and adoption of multiple Office 365 workloads.

We also announced our continued partnership with Nulia and the launch of Nulia Works. The narrative presented to intY partners by combining Partner Insights ™ with the Nulia Works platform will lay the foundations for a seismic shift in the role of the modern-day MSP, aligned to increased customer awareness of both consuming and procuring cloud services. This message is one that we’ll be taking to our existing partners imminently!

We had a steady stream of foot-fall to our stand, with the team delivering some hugely crowd-engaging demonstrations throughout the week! The work was hard and the days were long but I think most people managed to make it back from Vegas in one piece…”

If you would like more information about any of the Microsoft or intY announcements made at this year’s Inspire, then please get in touch

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