Back in July, Microsoft held their Annual Partner Conference, Inspire 2019. Unlike previous years, there were not a lot of changes announced. The focus was on helping partners grow cloud adoption and consumption. Azure, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Teams held a spotlight, thanks to their FY 2019 contributions. The Corenote by Satya Nadella offers an overview of Microsoft priorities, such as cloud adoption, AI integration, privacy, data security, and what they mean for you as an end user.
The following are thoughts from the Connection team that attended Inspire 2019, what Microsoft will be doing over the next year, and what Connection is doing to help our customers.
Microsoft is encouraging partners to work together from layered service providers (LSP) to system integrators (SI) to independent software vendors (ISV). This will help Microsoft and their partners achieve their goals. In FY 2020, we will be collaborating with more ISV partners and creating tailored Microsoft+ISV offerings.
Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams
Microsoft will continue to focus heavily on the growth of Microsoft 365 through adoption and consumption. Microsoft Teams showed enormous growth in FY 2019, reaching 13 million daily active users, and is going to play a big role in driving Microsoft 365 consumption. Microsoft Teams is much more than just a replacement for Skype—it’s a tool that delivers on many fronts that drive business transformation. Increasing adoption of Microsoft Teams and educating our customers will be a big priority for Connection.
For us, Azure is all about encouraging the user experience and helping customers realize it’s much more than a tool for storage and backup. If you haven’t tried Azure, give the hybrid approach a go with your existing on-premises server investments. Take the first step to migrating from SQL and Windows Server 2008 to Azure, and get FREE extended security updates for three more years. Check out this blog post to learn more.
Microsoft is looking to lead the devices industry with the Surface family, best-in-class premium devices that maximize Microsoft’s portfolio of software. Connection continues to work on becoming a managed services provider of Microsoft solutions. This is where we will be able to provide value to our customers while growing with Microsoft.
Windows OEM Devices
From a Windows devices standpoint, Microsoft is pushing forward with a full solution sale, from devices at the edge to those in the cloud. In the education space, Microsoft is going through an evolution that includes leveraging Microsoft 365 as a tailored productivity suite for learners and educators alike. At Connection, we’re working hard to put apps and devices into a cohesive offering that provides comprehensive software/hardware combinations for our education customers.
Windows 7 End of Support
Another big priority for the Connection team will be the support of customers going through a transition from Windows 7 to 10. Windows 7 is approaching end of life—January 14, 2020—and moving to a modern device is a great opportunity for users to enjoy the new functionality and security that comes with Windows 10. Check out our Make The Shift To A Modern Device article to learn more.