Microsoft Inspire is the annual event held for Microsoft partners, that highlights the key focus areas and themes for Microsoft in the new fiscal year 

Bringing together Microsoft leadership, partner and customer teams.

Held on 19-20 July, Microsoft Inspire, usually held in Las Vegas, was hosted virtually for the third year in a row. However, unlike the two years prior, this year’s conference facilitated regional in-person events to bring together Microsoft leadership, partner and customer teams to celebrate FY22 and look forward to how they can all work together in the year ahead.  

As the Group Head of Alliances here at Incremental, I attended the UK regional event held in the Microsoft offices in Paddington, London. This was a great opportunity to network with my Microsoft contacts and other partners, attend roundtables, hear from the Microsoft UK leadership team on their commitment and priorities for the UK market in FY23 and take a tour of the newly opened Microsoft Technology Centre. 

Above: Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK presenting at the Microsoft Inspire UK regional event in the Microsoft office in Paddington, London. 

Inspire themes and focus  

Inspire’s key themes included how modernisation and migration can help customers to innovate, the new digital imperative for hybrid working and streamlining security across platforms. 

A focus of this year’s event was how Microsoft can support organisations through the challenges the next decade will bring – which will be entirely different to what has happened in the previous decade. The key announcements revealed how the Microsoft cloud can provide organisations with the technology to help them to do more with less.   

Above: Microsoft Inspire panel discussion. (L-R) Orla McGrath Global Partner Solutions Lead, Alan Lewis General Manager for UK Public Sector, Musidora JorgensenChief Sustainability Officer, and Chris Perkins – General Manager for Enterprise Commercial. 

Keynote highlights 

One of the highlights of Inspire is the keynotes, as these focus on the priority and focus areas for Microsoft, important announcements and key investments for the upcoming fiscal year. This year’s keynote speeches featured Microsoft CEO – Satya Nadella, Chief Partner Officer – Nicole Dezen, Vice President of Global Partner Solutions – Nick Parker, and EVP and Chief Commercial Officer – Judson Althoff.  

Key highlights from the keynotes include: 

  • A notable shift from ‘digital transformation’ to delivering the ‘digital imperative’ for every organization – CEO Satya Nadella’s theme throughout his keynote was ‘do less with more’ which was an echo throughout the other keynotes and the entire conference.  
  • Announcing the Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty – enabling customers to meet governments’ specific data sovereignty security and privacy requirements.  
  • Hybrid work is here to stay – Microsoft introduced more enhancements to Microsoft Teams to help drive collaboration in the hybrid working world  
  • Say hello to the Digital Contact Centre Platform – combining several Microsoft products including; Teams, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Nuance AI capabilities, into an open and collaborative platform to create a seamless, user-friendly experience. (See below). 

Microsoft’s FY23 principles 

EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Judson Althoff, outlined Microsoft’s dedication to empowering its partners worldwide to succeed. To strengthen the investment in the partner ecosystem, he outlined 5 key principles that will be implemented internally to drive continued partnerships for increased customer value. 

  1. Remain customer focused: Microsoft will roll out a sales academy, globally, to sharpen sales skillsets to achieve modern selling practices. This involves upskilling employees to achieve significant results by combining the application of technology with selling.
  2. Regional skill at scale: Thousands of knowledgeable resources, workload and industry-aligned, will be added across Microsoft’s regional markets to support Microsoft partners in delivering better to customers. 
  3. Focus on growth and share: This is a combined effort to focus on the growth of both Microsoft and its partner network. This will lead to the overall growth of customers across various industries including healthcare, retail, hospitality, public sectors and more.
  4. Digital First: Focusing on the upscaling of the Microsoft channel ecosystem will promote the interconnectivity of digital marketing and sales to drive more opportunities. 
  5. Simplify and optimise: The simplification of Microsoft processes and systems will enhance systems and the overall collaboration with partners. 

If you would like to know more about Microsoft Inspire or how Incremental can help your business with its digital transformation, please connect with me on LinkedIn or get in touch to arrange a conversation.