The overwhelming theme of this year’s virtual Microsoft Inspire 2021 conference was that Microsoft is fully committed to being the very best partner they can be to their partners. Satya Nadella started the conference with a powerful keynote acknowledging that Microsoft has gotten where it is today solely because of its partners and that it will only continue to grow if its partners are also growing. Every major takeaway from the conference carried along this theme, yet concepts ranged from security to reduced costs to higher functionality. Below are what we believe to be the most impactful takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2021.
Windows 365 in the cloud: This incredible announcement is a big one. Windows 365 will allow the same view and functionality of windows that you use in the office from literally any device, anywhere you want to work. Windows 365 will offer a “simple and secure method of providing a digital workspace that can be scaled and sized to meet their individual needs.” Windows 365 is the key to our new hybrid work environment many of us are growing accustomed to.
Zero Trust: Zero Trust is Microsoft’s new security platform that gives us the confidence to adapt to the ever-changing complex business environment we work in today. This platform is based on the principle “never trust, always verify.” Although this concept may seem simple, this is precisely what we all need to conform to, especially since the perimeter of our networks fully dissolved and may never return with most working with a hybrid work environment.
This platform relies on three main steps.
– 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 we must verify every request no matter where it originates.
Improvements to Viva: Viva now has even more training programs, partner workshops, and sales and marketing resources available to its partners. There will be new integrations starting this fall that will include ServiceNow, Qualtrics, and Workday. Again, Microsoft is prioritizing the support for every Microsoft partner.
Marketplace and App Store Incentives: Microsoft’s new commercial incentives will allow partners to keep 97% of revenue from the app store and Azure marketplace. This is such a massive reduction as the industry standard is typically 20%, whereas Microsoft has now reduced transaction costs to 3%. The reduction will be incredibly impactful as Microsoft’s commercial marketplace is the most comprehensive in the industry, with over 30,000 applications available and more than 4 million shoppers every month.
Windows 11: Windows 11 is “designed for hybrid work, built for collaboration, and is the most productive and secure version of Windows yet.” With the change in our work environment and that 73% of employees want flexible remote options. Still, only 67% want more in-person work for collaboration; Windows 11 will deliver tools to maximize hybrid work. Windows 11 will 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
As always, Microsoft wowed us with their announcements at Inspire 2021. We are thrilled that they are prioritizing their partners and bringing what we truly need to the forefronts. For more information on these announcements, reach out to your Pendello Solutions Team today.