Microsoft Inspire 2019 is done and dusted. It was a great event and lived up to my expectations. There were 6 Parallo representatives in attendance. This included CEO, sales, technical and operations leadership. 50% of us even managed to make it back healthy 😊.
The event provides insight into innovation, commercial opportunities, a platform to connect with other partners, engage with Microsoft staff, and the wider vendor community.
For me, the pace of innovation was certainly on display, which is both exciting and a little scary. It highlights the need for customers to align themselves with knowledgeable and fast paced partners, for Microsoft to continue to enable their partners and for Partners to work with other partners.
Although there were several interesting announcements, meetings and identified opportunity, following are my key takeaways from the event.1 - Azure Lighthouse
This will almost certainly play a big part in our Managed Services going forward. It will assist us with automation, governance, security and scale. We created a similar application a few years ago to manage our many customers at scale, but this is an improvement with more features so it’s good news for any MSP.2 - Partnering with other Partners (P2P)
Is necessary. The event encourages and enables specialist partners to connect, share ideas and see if there are opportunities to work together, ultimately delivering better outcomes for our customers. It was great to have open discussions with local and global partners. I met several partners. The majority being ISV partners, but I was also fortunate to meet Data and Analytics, Teams, Licensing and O365 specialists.3 - PowerApps and Citizen Developers
PowerApps will get a lot of focus in the industry this year and with the introduction of the concept of Citizen Developers, anyone can start to solve business challenges with this low-code development platform4 - Teams
Having now broken through as a leader (over Slack, in the number of concurrent users), this shared workspace tool will hockey stick up in adoption and I predict will have existing Teams users expand their use of the platform. The presentation by UNSW (Dr. David Kellerman) showed some insights around the possible areas of value. Worth a watch https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-au/2019/06/unsw-uses-teams-to-increase-student-engagement/5 - Azure Sentinel
A cloud-native SIEM platform, which leverages built-in AI. As security is top of mind in everything we do, we will continue to leverage, and expand our use of Sentinel.6 - Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Cognitive Services
There were two amazing presentations around AR (Minecraft Earth) and VR with Cognitive Services (Virtual Avatar that could speak fluently in another language with the same tone as the presenter). Although my kids are going to love Minecraft Earth, bringing cognitive Services with VR, highlighted the cross over possibilities.
Julia White – CVP Azure Marketing delivering the demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auJJrHgG9Mc#action=share7 - Microsoft ISV Partner Enablement
I believe Microsoft genuinely have the best interest of the customer and partner at the core of what they do. With the opportunity to co-sell (Microsoft selling ISV solutions) and Azure having arguably the best technical and commercial platform for ISVs, it’s a great time to migrate, and ideally transform onto Azure (through us of course). Appreciate all you do Hamish McNee, Ryan Tarak, Abby Shen, Sarah Bowden, Steve Hornblow, Puneet Batra, Belinda Stevens, Cath Gentile, Scott Ward and Richard Higgins.
There is always the option to watch the Keynote from Satya Nadella and demo videos at https://news.microsoft.com/inspire2019/
Overall, I’m excited about what’s ahead of us and on a personal note, I’m going to get into PowerApps.