Jul 06,2021

Discover how Inspire, has truly Inspired

Microsoft Inspire

A major highlight of every Microsoft Inspire event for us here at Microsoft Australia is the experience we can offer our local Partners. It’s always fantastic to see the lessons Partners take away from the two days, and the connections they’re able to forge.

The partner experience forms the foundation of what we do, and care about, in being part of a community of partners leading growth and innovation into the future. In the lead-up to Microsoft Inspire 2021, we asked a few partners of their experiences and the impact it has created for their organisations, with many having attended for 15+ years.

Rhonda Robati,VP of Sales and Operations APAC at Crayon, says that Inspire 2020 was a direct driver for change in her company.

“Last year’s event was one factor contributing to Crayon’s decision to launch the Data & AI practice in the APAC region,”adopting a focus on, “creating innovative and value-based artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions.”

That was a theme through many conversations with our partners – the information which industry experts discuss at Inspire is crucial to help inform business in the following 12 months.

CEO of Satalyst, Todd Elliot says Inspire has always been worthwhile in offering an understanding both in the direction of Microsoft technologies, and the direction of work culture amongst other forthcoming trends.

“The opportunity to hear directly from Microsoft executives and technical teams about what they have been working on and what will be important in the next year is invaluable as a business leader,” he says.

 This ongoing value is also a shared sentiment from Markus Windhofer, General Enterprise Manager at Fred IT Group – “Having attended for a number of years what never ceases to amaze me is the breadth and depth of information Inspire offers,” he says.

 “No matter what type of delegate or partner you are you are bound to get value.”


Networking and social aspects of Microsoft Inspire certainly look different in this virtual world, and we know many partners join us each year to connect with Microsoft experts and peers alike. The Microsoft Inspire team have worked hard to ensure vital connections, discussions and peer to peer interaction is intertwined in this year’s event.

As Jen Lilley, Director of Cloud Revenue at Logicalis, describes, it remains a highlight of the Inspire experience. “The Australian partner community is close-knit, there are always opportunities within our community to partner and achieve great outcomes for customers together.”

That change to an online event can be a real boon to Australian Partners – where before only a few people could attend, now your entire team can register and join in!

The scale of this impact has grown significantly, and is something Pat Murphy, Executive General Manager of Insight, inspires us all to do – bringing his team on board and involved in various sessions, which you can view in our session builder

“Inspire had always been an event for a few in our organization,” he says, “Due to the logistics and practicalities of travelling to the other side of the world. We are looking forward to having a much larger contingent of Insight Teammates involved in the full event again this year.”

Last year was our first time going digital for Microsoft Inspire and the partner ecosystem was quick to adapt and still benefit from the broad range of sessions and speakers.

Product Direct at Synnex, , Deniz Kilicci, says that Inspire 2021 will be another chance for all participants to make the event their own from any device and location.

“Innovation and technology were centre stage at Microsoft Inspire 2020, highlighting the profound impact that Microsoft’s ecosystem has on all areas of people’s lives,” he says.

“I’m looking forward to hearing Microsoft’s vision at Inspire 2021 and seeing how they are accelerating future innovation.”

In particular, one speaker at Inspire 2020 made an impression.

Rhonda agrees, “One of my favorite parts of Inspire 2020 was Satya Nadella’s ‘Tech Intensity’ concept and its meaning for the partner community.”

“Crayon is a firm believer of the power technology has to drive the greater good and it is exciting to feel that its expertise can contribute to noble global goals.

💡 Register for the Microsoft Inspire opening in this year’s event. Add to your schedule here >

In particular, two of our longest-attending partners shared their thoughts on the value Inspire has created for them.

Andy Neumann, CEO of Sensei Projects, says that there is always real value for him in Microsoft Inspire, both professionally and personally.

“Growing alongside Microsoft over the past 10 to 15 years… Seeing the rise of the cloud, modern technologies come into existence, understanding the deeper impact we can have across the world,” he says.

“And strong social bonding and networking with Aussie partners whilst at Inspire has allowed me to call on that network dozens of times over the years and build some real friendships.”

Finally, Gary Duffield, Alliances Director at DDLS, summed up his experience with why he doesn’t think the question ‘why should I attend Microsoft Inspire?’ is the right one to ask.

“I think the question should be reversed, if you don’t attend, think of the innovations and inspiration you’ll miss. Not so much ‘be there or be square’ as ‘be there or get stuck on premise with too many servers.”

Microsoft Inspire runs from 15-16 July (AU time). Register your team here.

Already registered or unsure which sessions to attend? You can see our top recommendations, including our ANZ Live Community event featuring Rachel Bondi (Global Partner Solutions Leader for Aus), Steven Worrall (Managing Director for Microsoft ANZ), and Matt Bostwick (Partner Director for NZ) here.