By Nicholas Glanfield, General Manager at Stellar

Last week I was lucky enough to join around 16,000 others in attending the global Microsoft partners event ‘Inspire’ held in Washington DC.

The event, themed ‘Taking on New Challenges Together’, is intended to celebrate success across the Microsoft partner community, as well as providing opportunities to hear from many senior Microsoft executives regarding the company’s strategy and future direction.

In the opening keynote Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stressed Microsoft’s renewed focus around four key pillars:

  • Modern Workplace
  • Business Applications
  • Applications and Infrastructure
  • Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It was reassuring to hear (and I lost track of the number of times Satya stated this) that analytics and AI will continue to become even more pervasive throughout every aspect of the Microsoft stack, starting with the newly announced Microsoft 365 business offering.

While Microsoft has sold Office 365 and Windows 10 to businesses in many different ways, Microsoft 365 Enterprise combines Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security features into a single subscription.

A lot was made of this new bundle and its ability to support a plethora of additional business functionality.

From a partnering standpoint, another important message (albeit light on regional detail currently) is the instigation of a new organisation, Microsoft One Commercial, that puts partners at the centre of everything Microsoft does. This announcement by Gavriella Schuster, VP of Worldwide Channels and Programmes, is in response to global partner feedback that Microsoft needed to do better in how they engage with, promote and support the partner community.

A figure of US$250m was touted as being the value of this global investment by way of organisation change, new hires, global support programs and incentives.

Stellar is a Microsoft partner.