Aug 17,2021

From inspiration to action. Key takeaways for Canadian app-builders from Inspire 2021

Microsoft Inspire is among our most strategically important events every year, bringing together Microsoft’s 400,000 partners worldwide, including 14,000+ Canadian partners. Our innovative and entrepreneurial partners join with Microsoft’s leadership to connect, collaborate, share, and plan.

Inspire 2021 came packed with inspiration and exciting news. I will dedicate this post to share some of the most important takeaways for Canadian partners and potential partners considering a Microsoft relationship. But before I do, let’s size up the Canadian partner opportunity.

Every day, more and more Canadian technology organizations align themselves with Microsoft for a reason. As our economy rapidly digitizes, opportunity flourishes for Microsoft partners with domain knowledge, cloud expertise, and certified skills. IDC pegged the Canadian public cloud market at $8 Billion in 2020 and forecasts it to grow at a rate of 15 percent by 2024.

At a global level, Microsoft estimates its 400,000 partners will produce a staggering total of US $1.2 Trillion in revenue by 2024.

In order to take advantage of this historic opportunity, let’s turn to most important takeaways for you from Inspire 2021.

1. Microsoft wants to partner with you

As organizations embrace a second wave of digital transformation, Microsoft and its partners help their mutual customers build resilience and leverage AI and the intelligent cloud. For those of you asking, “why partner with Microsoft?” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella answers powerfully in his Inspire keynote, explaining what differentiates the Microsoft Cloud, the only cloud with the capabilities to support every organization’s multi-cloud, hybrid and edge needs, as well helping customers build sovereignty over their own data. This is a must-watch video!

2. Now’s the time to get in the marketplaces

Partners who sell (or may want to sell) their apps on Microsoft’s popular marketplaces—Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace—celebrated the announcement at Inspire of a dramatic reduction in transaction fees. Microsoft moved from an industry-standard of 20 percent to just three percent as part of its commitment to partner success.

Microsoft AppSource customers have more options for payment, including paying by credit card or invoice and custom pricing with private plans.

App builders and resellers can reach over four million monthly active shoppers, including 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies using Azure, through these marketplaces. If you don’t already list your app on a marketplace, the Cloud Enablement Desk (CED) can assist you. Sign up to have a Microsoft cloud expert follow up with you and help you through the process.

3. Microsoft 365 represents a huge opportunity

Do you have a big idea to customize Microsoft Teams and reach its 145 million daily active users? Pursue it. Microsoft wants to inspire and empower more partners to build their own apps for Microsoft 365. That’s why they have new build-with and go-to-market benefits for partners, including access to technology, one-on-one consults from experts, marketing resources, and support to achieve co-sell status. Learn more about building your own Microsoft 365 apps.

4. Leverage our cloud to differentiate your solution

Your cloud partner can be so much more for app builders than hosting alone. As the economy digitally transforms, the marketplace of apps and solutions grows exponentially. Fortunately, app builders can leverage the breadth and depth of transformative technologies-as-services on offer inside the Microsoft cloud to differentiate their customer experience.

From AI and custom solutions for Teams, to low-code application development and intelligent automation—Microsoft empowers app builders with diverse technologies to innovate and differentiate the experience they offer. In their presentation, Partner programs to help you differentiate, Ashley Asdourian, Director of Partner Marketing, and Daniel Rippey, Director, Partner Programs & Experiences, discuss how you can innovate.

5. The industry clouds can help you specialize

Partners can differentiate their solutions by specializing in a segment or industry, such as healthcare, retail, government, or manufacturing. The regulatory environments, users, and operational requirements of such distinct industries makes a solution unique to their needs and wants compelling.

Recognizing the increasingly sophisticated requirements of each segment, Microsoft has announced major investments to help key industries accelerate their digital transformation more quickly and securely. These Microsoft industry clouds now include:

  • Microsoft Cloud for Retail
  • Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare
  • Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing
  • Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services
  • Microsoft Cloud for Non-profit
  • Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

Visit the Microsoft Canada Industry to learn how you can bring your solution to life leveraging Microsoft’s industry clouds.

Last, but not least, connect with your peers and Microsoft Canada through the Microsoft Partner Network. Opportunity abounds for technical and business professionals who want to collaborate to pursue national and international deals. From finding fellow partners to accessing all kinds of go-to-market benefits, you can find it all on MPN.

Not a member yet? Join the Microsoft Partner Network to get started!