Microsoft Inspire 2017 wraps up, here’s what you missed

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Microsoft’s biggest partner event – Inspire 2017, came to an end yesterday.

The event was a great success with a count of over 17,000 attendees, some major product announcements and partner led digital transformation goals.

The day 1 keynote session focused on empowering organizations through new and advanced technology products like Microsoft 365.

Microsoft’s corporate VP, One Commercial Partner – Ron Huddleston, emphasized the immense opportunity available to the partners through the new partner program.

He said that the new One Commercial Partner Program will work with the partners in three important areas:

  • Build With – The Microsoft partner development experts will work with those partners who need any help around building their own IP, practice or any other capability.
  • Go-to-Market – The Partner experts’ team will help the partners bring their product into the market through offers.
  • Sell With – The channel managers will work hand in hand with the Microsoft sales team to ensure that the right partner solution is available to the right customer at the right time.

While Day 1 keynote focused on new products, programs and partner opportunities, the Day 2 keynote covered the implementation part.

Judson Althoff, Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business, talked about the four important pillars of digital transformation at Microsoft – Engage Customers, Empower Employees, Optimize Operations and Transform Products. 

By providing some real-world examples, he explained how partners can play an important role in empowering end customers to ride the digital wave.

The examples that covered wide range of industries from healthcare to retail to manufacturing and mining, helped the partners understand how they can understand customer needs more quickly and act even faster.

He further added that to better the bonding between Microsoft and its partners they would focus on two important areas of selling solutions. One is Azure Co-sell that will assist the partners who create any solution with Microsoft Azure; second are the channel managers who will help partners build and sell powerful solutions within Azure.

The final vision keynote of Day 3 focused on some new efforts by the company in regards with privacy, new sales team reorganization and overall policies they would be using to have an impact on the world.

It included announcements around GDPR policy compliance that will be in effect next year, and that Microsoft is ready to help partners comply with the new rules.

Microsoft also discussed its AI for Earth program, originally announced at AI event in London. Under this, it will provide access to cloud and other AI computing resources, lighthouse projects and technology trainings which is a $2million commitment in the next fiscal year.

Overall, the event brought new inspiration for the partners and strengthened their belief that Microsoft is a partner led company who makes partners stand at the forefront of the digital transformation.

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