What an incredible and unforgettable time we had at Microsoft Inspire this year in Las Vegas. It was amazing to see more than 14,000 partners from over the world, coming together to share, network and connect, and most importantly, to celebrate how we, together, are helping people and organizations around the globe to achieve more.

There was so much to see and do during the week, from our Corenotes and to the valuable sessions and on to the many different networking opportunities. Here are the key highlights and memories from the week.


Celebrating our Canadian partners innovations

We kicked off the week with our Canadian keynote and welcome reception at the Four Seasons hotel, where we had the opportunity to thank our innovative Canadian partners for the amazing work they’ve done in delivering transformative solutions and for their impact in their customer’s businesses across Canada.


This year we added a new theme to the 2019 IMPACT awards and celebrated our partners as ‘Heroes of the North’ announcing the winners of 2019, showcasing the extraordinary impact and transformation they’ve generated with our Canadian customers.


If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to read my blog post to see the list of the 2019 IMPACT awards winners, and to visit the awards site to get access to the photo gallery.


Images of people at a conference
I’d love to highlight all the amazing conversations that happened during the Social Hours at the Canadian Lounge during the week, but honestly, there were too many!   It was thrilling to see the number of attendees from our incredible Canadian partners.  Our Microsoft team really enjoyed connecting and engaging with our partners and learning together during the week.

Image of a booth at an event

Your opinion means a lot to us, and we’d love to hear from you. If you attended Microsoft Inspire this year, I’d like to hear your input about this year’s events. I invite you to complete this 3-min survey

Highlights from Microsoft Inspire

We’ve rolled back the changes to the partner programs

Last week we shared some important news about changes we announced recently to the partner programs, competencies and Internal Use Rights. Gavriella Schuster Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft kicked off Inspire recognizing how we underestimated the impact these changes would have on our partners, and confirmed that we’ve rolled back the changes. This was a WOW moment for me as we showed how important our partners are for us, and confirmed that we listen and value our partner’s opinions. We are truly convinced that partners make more possible and are working and investing on helping them make that happen.

This announcement includes planned changes to on-premise support and new competency requirements that have also been rolled back. I invite you to read her blog post to learn more here.


Expanding the partner opportunities

Gavriella also talked during her corenote, about how partners are making more possible. She shared how we continue to focus our investments and programs to help partners differentiate their services and offerings; go to market and connect with customers; and simplify how they do business with Microsoft and with each other. Here is a quick summary of the investments shared this week at Inspire:

  1.  Azure Lighthouse provides partners with cross-customer management at scale so they can differentiate their managed services and benefit from greater efficiency and governance.
  2. The Azure Migration Program (AMP) is designed to help partners accelerate their customers’ migration to Azure with proactive advice and tools. Read the announcement
  3. The new Microsoft Security competency is now available, allowing partners to market their expertise and providing access to a range of benefits designed to enable business growth and profitability.
  4. Five new specializations are available: Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure, Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure, Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure, Modernization of Web Applications in Microsoft Azure, and Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure. This is in addition to the SAP on Azure advanced specialization announced in May. A specialization for Teams is also on the way.
  5. We’re launching the AI Accelerate program, a new effort aimed at helping partners build and deploy AI offerings to customers more quickly.
    To read the complete blog post from Gavriela, click here

Also, to get more information about the partner opportunities as well as foundational information about partnering with Microsoft, I’d recommend watching the  three on-demand sessions below:

• Build your go-to-market strategy with Microsoft (I-PWM107)
• Maximizing the ISV partnership opportunity (I-PWM139)
• Cloud Solution Provider experience on Microsoft commerce platform (I-PWM123).

Enabling partners to deliver differentiated managed services

Announcing the general availability of Azure Lighthouse, capabilities for cross customer management at scale for partners to differentiate and benefit from greater efficiency and automation.  Azure Lighthouse is part of our ongoing investment to empower the ecosystem with efficient tools, so partners can grow profitably as their customer base reaches new peaks. Read more

Microsoft Teams now has 13 million daily active users

Two years ago, we launched Microsoft 365, an integrated set of apps and services designed to help customers transform workplace collaboration, streamline business processes, and protect critical information.

Today, Microsoft Teams reaches 13 million daily active users, introduces 4 new ways for teams to work better together. More than 13 million people now use Teams daily—and more than 19 million people are using it weekly across 181 markets. WOW- This is mind blowing! Can’t wait to hear more stories of organizations transforming workplace collaboration and helping streamline business processes all over the world. Read the blog

Microsoft Dynamics 365 opportunities

The company announced the next version of its Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and two new integrations for Dynamics 365 that address the automotive and financial services industries. In addition, the Business Applications ISV Connect program is generally available, with new development tools and guidance, marketplace resources, joint field engagement processes and go-to-market support.  Read more

Enhancing Microsoft’s commercial marketplace for partners

We’re excited to announce new tools, commerce options, and a rewards program through the Microsoft commercial marketplace that help partners leverage this important distribution channel. Read the announcement here

Announcing AI for Cultural Heritage

We’re expanding our AI for Good portfolio with AI for Cultural Heritage to enable everyone to continue to have their own place. Learn more

Partner and customers making an impact:

During the Corenotes, we had the opportunity to see amazing success stories from around the world From Healthcare to public sector, retail to manufacturing, and some other industries, it was mind blowing to realize how our Microsoft Partner network continues to work tirelessly to help upskill organizations and create new tailored solutions so that customers around the globe can succeed in the digital era.

Here are some of the stories showcased during the week:

  • Technology is fueling Unilever’s digital transformation. Here’s how
  • At a factory in Iceland, @Alcoa is one customer using Microsoft Teams to empower employees and stay connected to firstline workers. Watch the story
  • From Japan, here’s how a waitress digitally transformed the restaurant where she worked. Learn more about the story
  • This story from the UK shows the impact the Power Platform for citizen developers is already having. Watch the story
  • This story from South Africa brings home how the cloud and edge transform lives. Watch the story


In the news: 

What’s next for the industry

Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft was the last but not least Corenote presented during this amazing week, and he talked about the year we’ve had and what is next for the industry, including opportunities to bring the latest innovations to our mutual customers. I encourage you to read his blog post where he reflects on the past 12 months of innovation and collaboration with our customers. Learn more here

If you would like to watch the on-demand keynotes, demos and read more news shared during the Microsoft Inspire week, click here

I look forward to another year of collaborating and driving more digital transformation closely together, and to seeing you next year for Inspire 2020, July 19th to 23rd, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.