As revealed at this year’s Microsoft Inspire, governments now have a tool allowing them to move to the cloud while remaining compliant with strict security and legal regulations. In addition, details about spacecraft innovation, financial support for ISVs, and an exciting workplace video and photo sharing app were announced at Microsoft’s largest partner event.
Microsoft’s largest international partner event, Inspire, took place on 19-20 July. During the two-day, large-scale event, the Redmond tech giant presented almost all it has to offer to its partners and customers. It included cloud and hybrid solution, now with a special solution designed for governments, new tools made to support hybrid work and digital collaboration, platforms for developing and distributing software to ISVs, and innovation backed by experience from the space industry.
One of Microsoft’s core missions is to support its partners as the company’s success is dependent on the success of its partners. Microsoft currently has more than 400,000 partners who employ more than 22 million people around the world. This network is built on Microsoft cloud services. The demand for cloud solutions is expected to exceed USD 1 trillion by 2025.
A tested and secure way to access the cloud for governments
One of the most anticipated reveals at this year’s event was a could solution especially designed for governments. Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty will help governments accelerate their digital transformation, allowing them to provide better online public service while remaining compliant with the relevant laws and security requirements. Governments will be able to reap all the benefits of cloud technology: resiliency, security and scale, while having a greater control over their data, residency, and transparency to their operational and governance processes. All of this is achieved without having to give up an iota of their data protection and security needs.
As pointed out by Digital Futures Index, digitalization of public services is a high priority in Central and Eastern Europe. The region is developing dynamically but its governments still lag behind those of the Western European frontrunners. Digital services that operate in the cloud, like the EESZT in Hungary and Burokratt in Estonia, can drive digital literacy and the uptake of digital services. This will eventually lead to the digital transformation of economies.
Developers, developers, developers
Although Microsoft has gone through significant changes recently, the company is still eager to win the hearts of developers.
For ISV partners who want to develop and publish their software worldwide, Microsoft now offers an ISV Success Program, to be available broadly in fall 2022. It is intended as a pathway to their success in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. Participants can get access to nearly $128,000 in benefits in the form of cloud sandboxes, developer tooling, technical and business resources, and a dedicated community. Additionally, Marketplace Rewards has been integrated into the ISV Success Program and software providers can still benefit from Microsoft’s industry-leading 3% marketplace transaction fees at Microsoft Marketplace.
New industry designations for ISVs were also introduced at the partner event to be available later this year. These designations differentiate solutions based on their demonstrated performance with customers, technical maturity, customer success, and their special features for healthcare, retail and financial services.
Innovation from space
It is widely known that many of the innovations we use every day were first invented for the space industry. Now, Microsoft brings together the possibilities of space with the power of the cloud. It will utilize satellites and related technology to bring connectivity anywhere and unlock new opportunities in data technology. The new Azure Space Partner Community, which was announced at Inspire, will be the umbrella organization over space operators, manufacturers, systems integrators, data providers, ISVs, start-ups and more. This community represents the future of space computing and will deliver the most comprehensive and innovative offerings for our joint customers.
Hybrid has become the new norm at workplaces
A buzzword of the last few years, the hybrid work model was high on the agenda at the conference. It is referred to as the new norm already by Microsoft. The changes that swept through workplaces inspired Microsoft to make both new and existing software more suitable for collaborative work. Excel Live is the latest example. It enables people to work collaboratively on workbooks directly within the Teams meeting window. Microsoft Whiteboard has also added collaborative annotations.
The new Viva Engage helps organizations build connection and community with a new Stories feature that allows sharing of short videos and photos that people post to their Storyline. In other words, Microsoft has created the Instagram of the workplace.
Windows 365 celebrates one year
Windows 365, which has helped Microsoft partners modernize their workplaces, celebrated its first anniversary at Inspire.
Several of its new features were presented, including point-in-time restore, which lets administrators “turn back the clock” on a Cloud PC (Virtual Machine restore points). This solution provides protection against data loss in the case of an unexpected system failure. The new Citrix Optimization Pack for Windows 365 Cloud PC will deploy personalized Windows desktops to power remote and hybrid work for Windows 365 users.
These are just the tip of the iceberg: Inspire has something for everyone. For example, Serverless SQL on Azure Databricks, which will be available in public preview on July 29th, will provide instant compute to users for their BI and SQL workloads, with minimal management required and capacity optimizations, significantly lowering the overall cost, meaning about 40% in savings.
Azure Center for SAP, another tool covered at the event, helps run the widely used governance system from the cloud with ease. Microsoft had something for open-source developers, too: A new Azure VM series featuring the Ampere Altra Arm-based processors engineered to efficiently run scale-out, cloud-native workloads like web and application services, modern data analytics platforms, open-source distributed systems, and more.
You can view some of the presentations made at Inspire by clicking here.