Kicking off Microsoft Inspire 2021: our commitment to your success - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

Kicking off Microsoft Inspire 2021: our commitment to your success

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Today marks the start of Microsoft Inspire 2021, our largest partner event of the year. While I have participated in 16+ Microsoft Inspire/Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) events, as most of you know, this is my first Microsoft Inspire as Microsoft Channel Chief, and I’m excited to virtually connect with you during the event to celebrate our partners’ achievements and prepare for the future together.

In the weeks leading up to Microsoft Inspire, I’ve reflected on how this ecosystem has come together over the past year—one that challenged practically every organization—to deliver the innovative solutions and guidance our customers need. I’m inspired by the work you’ve produced, and I can feel your drive, your ambition, and your desire to create positive impacts for our customers, communities, and planet moving forward.

Microsoft, and I personally, are committed to helping you realize your goals. We understand that you want to hear and see from us that we are committed to your success, that we trust you with our largest and smallest customers, and that we will invest in you, your growth, and your profitability. We want to help empower all of our partners to continue to deliver transformative solutions and services and to be differentiated in our marketplace, such as through our #BuildFor2030 initiative, not only because building an inclusive economy is the right thing to do, but because it’s also good for your business. We’re also making investments to enable a more diverse partner ecosystem—for example, our racial equity initiative is focused on increasing Black and African American-owned partner representation in the United States to enable their growth and success. success.

As we head into another period of intense digital transformation, spurred by a widespread return to the office and, for many, the transition to a hybrid workplace, Microsoft partners are well-positioned to help customers with their transformation journeys. As we think about this next phase of an increasingly digital world, it’s important we consider how the partner ecosystem collectively can rise to the challenge, and what Microsoft can do to support. We as Microsoft, need to do three things:

  • Strengthen our digital capability: We will provide specific directions across our digital experiences to help you navigate the partner journey of building innovative solutions, going-to-market, and selling with Microsoft and other sellers and partners.
  • Deepen your technical capability: By investing in and accelerating technical skills across the partner ecosystem, we can match customer needs with joint capabilities. We also plan to become increasingly industry focused and aligned. 
  • Streamline engagement between us to drive profitability: We can make the choice easier for you to engage with Microsoft by optimizing how we share opportunities, as well as making enhancements to platforms and tools like Microsoft commercial marketplace and Partner Center.

We’ll continue to share updates as we invest in these three priorities over the next year and beyond. I’m confident that as we consistently make progress in these areas, the entire network will be empowered to meet the evolving needs of our customers and grow as a result. I encourage you to actively participate in Microsoft Inspire so you’re optimally positioned to capitalize on the opportunities available to you as our partner. I hope that throughout the event, and over the coming months, our team will show you just how thankful we are to all of you, and how committed we are to your success.

You can learn more about upcoming Microsoft Inspire sessions to help you build security and trust, deliver value with Microsoft cloud innovations, and grow your business. You can also review the biggest partner announcements and news released during Microsoft Inspire here  And catch up with on-demand sessions after the event here.


  • Rodney Clark
    Former Microsoft Channel Chief

    As Microsoft Channel Chief, Rodney Clark led the team responsible for the Microsoft services partner business, as well as cross-partner strategy and outcomes through the Microsoft Partner Network. The team's focus is driving digital transformation and building capability through all partner channels, programs and motions – critical in setting the go-forward strategy for our partner ecosystem, and continuing to accelerate growth with partners and customers. Prior to this, Rodney served as the Corporate Vice President of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Mixed Reality Sales business, responsible for building intelligent systems and mixed reality capability through sales and go-to-market execution, with partners and customers. Throughout his career at Microsoft, over 20 years, he has had the opportunity to lead multi-billion-dollar businesses and accelerate transformation, develop new channels and markets, drive M&A initiatives and run international organizations.