Microsoft Inspire 2022: Major Announcements – ChannelNews

On July 19th and 20th, Microsoft hosted its annual Inspire conference virtually, open to 400,000 partners worldwide. The Redmond giant honored its Partners of the Year and the event allowed Nicole Desen, newly appointed Director of Partner Operations, to detail the milestones and programs to ensure the success of the partner ecosystem, starting with her new central Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program consists of six solution areas, to which Microsoft is now adding an industrial component that will initially focus on the retail, healthcare, and financial services sectors. “We develop industry designations that distinguish solutions based on their demonstrated performance, technical maturity, and customer success,” the IT giant said.

Faced with criticism of the new rating system for being a “solution partner,” Microsoft is defending the benefits of its program. “By partnering with us, you can leverage Microsoft’s technology, reputation, industry expertise, and global reach to leverage the Microsoft cloud, build relationships with other organizations, and differentiate your business in a competitive marketplace,” said Nicole Dezen.

With cloud demand estimated at $1 trillion by 2025, Microsoft is looking to turn to independent software vendors (ISVs). The ISV Sucess program, currently in private preview but due to open in the fall, provides up to $128,000 in benefits for building SaaS solutions in the Microsoft cloud. ISVs will have access to cloud sandboxes, developer tools, technical and business resources, and a dedicated community.

As the battle between cloud providers over the thorny issue of sovereignty intensifies, Microsoft has taken advantage of Inspire to announce Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignity. This offering of solutions for government and public actors promises better control over data, its location and management.

Microsoft is also launching a digital contact center offensive to improve the customer experience. The Redmond giant will combine its Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Microsoft Teams, and Nuance products, a voice recognition specialist acquired last year, into its new platform. As such, it lays the foundation for a true multi-channel platform in the emerging Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) market.

Hybrid work and adding a collaborative experience to the workflow remains another major focus. The editor improves the integration between Microsoft 365 and Teams with new features like Excel Live for collaborating on a spreadsheet from a meeting interface or collaborative annotation board. The Viva Employees platform expands its internal social networking capabilities by adding functionality for editing and sharing “stories”.

Finally, on the occasion of the first anniversary of Windows 365, Microsoft talked about its latest developments, in particular, instant recovery of cloud PCs or automatic update applications (Autopatch).

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