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Microsoft Inspire 2017 - Executive Summary

CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft Inspire (© Microsoft)

"Inspire" - for the first time the world-wide partner conference of Microsoft has been held under its new name. For roughly a week all international Microsoft partners - this year around 17,000 guests from 140 countries - came together in Washington, D.C., to find out about the latest news from Microsoft. For us, of course, a key event from which we have returned with many impressions and exciting insights to Office 365, Skype for Business, Sharepoint & co. So much to be promised - the next few months will really have some innovations in store! We have summarized our impressions exclusively for you.

© Microsoft

Microsoft's driving force – its partners

The Microsoft partner community is growing steadily. In the cloud business alone, more than 64,000 partner companies, which employ more than 17 million people, are working hand in hand with Microsoft. And the community pays off: more than 95% of the company's revenue is generated by the partners. The results from the analysts at ICD are correspondingly positive. They expect Microsoft partners to generate nearly one trillion US dollars by 2017 alone. As a qualified and certified partner we are very pleased to be a part of this community and share our enthusiasm for the Modern Workplace and Digital Transformation with you, our customers.

„If you want to build with us, we are going to build with you. That`s what Inspire is all about.”

One of the most inspiring highlights was certainly the "Vision Keynote" by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the increasing digitization, where every part of society and economy is being fundamentally transformed because of digital technology. Interested to learn more? You can find this keynote, as well as, other vision keynotes and sessions online.

Microsoft's CEO also had some interesting news and demos. The biggest announcement: The launch of Microsoft 365.

Modern Workplace on the rise - "Office 365" is integrated into "Microsoft 365"

Changing tasks, the way teams interact, communicate and work together - digital change and the associated transformation of traditional forms of work forces many companies to reorganize. Companies like Microsoft support digitization and drive the development of the Modern Workplace - with flexible and agile solutions that are mobile, web-based, and from the cloud. The merging of individual products into holistic, digital solutions will also determine the future of a company, economy and society as a whole. The goal is to give each person access to a variety of applications and tools that enable him or her to work at any time, from virtually anywhere, with maximum flexibility and security.

Accordingly, Microsoft is focused on solutions for the modern, digital workplace of the future - and even less on individual products. Different business segments continue to grow together to provide Microsoft customers with exactly what they need in their workplace - an efficient platform for everything. And these services are increasingly coming out of the cloud - in the form of the new license model "Microsoft 365".

Sonia Dara, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Surface (© Microsoft)

The new subscription-based model brings together best-in-class solutions, including Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 will be offered in two versions, “Business” and “Enterprise”, to drive creativity, simplicity, teamwork and security. According to Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Office team, Microsoft 365 “represents a fundamental shift in how we will design, build and go to market to address our customers’ needs for a modern workplace” Microsoft 365 will be available for public preview in August 2017. You can learn more about Microsoft 365 here.

Microsoft 365 Business - for SMEs with up to 300 employers

  • Light Version that can be upgraded to Windows 10 Professional
  • Central Management board
  • Access to Logbook App MileIQ

Launch of three new tools:

  • Email & online marketing tool "Listings“
  • Contact management "Connections“
  • “Invoicing” for creating and sending invoices

Microsoft 365 Enterprise - for enterprise with 300+ employers

  • Windows 10 Enterprise / Office 365 Enterprise available as E3 and E5 model (will replace "Secure Productive Enterprise“ offer)

Further news at a glance:

  • AzureStack is now available, offering business users the ability to deploy cloud platform services in their own data center.
  • Microsoft plans to launch two new versions of Dynamics 365: Dynamics 365 for Talent works with LinkedIn and is a complete end-to-end solution for human resource management. Dynamics 365 for Retail now offers retailers an integrated view of all business processes and sales channels.
  • Independent software vendors (ISVs) can look forward to their own program "ISV Cloud Embed". In the coming months, Microsoft will launch several preconfigured devices (such as Dynamics 365 Embedded, Microsoft Flow Embedded, PowerApps Embedded, and Power BI Embedded) to help software vendors easily upgrade existing business applications using Microsoft Azure and build new applications.

By the way, this year's Inspire is just over, but we are already looking to the next big event - from 25 to 29 September 2017 Microsoft is hosting the Ignite in Orlando. And we are very curious what announcements will be waiting for us in autumn! To bridle the waiting time, we recommend news, sessions and keynote from Inspire. Enjoy watching and reading!

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